Back in my college years I had a part time job at a local fast food chain. Part of our menu was a salad bar that required regular restocking of all its fruits and vegetables. As part of our training we were shown the proper way of handling, preparing and filling the various tubs on the bar. Almost everything was hand cut, and I noticed we weren’t using metal knives, but large plastic ones. Our lettuce was also cut with a special machine that sliced the whole head into little squares all at once. It too had plastic blades instead of metal.
I inquired about the use of plastic, which I assumed would break easily and couldn’t be sharpened, and was told that while that part was true, the trade-off was produce that lasted longer on the bar because the acids in them didn’t react with plastic and would have if we used metal. The costs associated with blade replacement was negligible when compared to spoilage of food.
I hadn’t really thought much about this lesson until recently when I began seeing ceramic knives at our local retailers. Usually offered in bright colors, these were the solution to those cheap, flimsy plastic knives of the 80’s I used to cut your carrots and celery. But the colors weren’t appealing to me, so I continued using our metal knives at home for all of our cooking and meal preparation.
The other day we shared one of our favorite recipes for snacking, which happens to be both low-calorie and good for you – our 7-Ingredient Vegetable Salad. This time we were using a monk fruit sugar substitute to further reduce the caloric intake and we honestly couldn’t taste the difference! But if you were looking closely you might have caught us using something different – a new knife! We were taking the new NanoRazor 6″ Ceramic Knife from Savvy Livings through the paces by cutting onions, celery, carrots & bell peppers – a good test of vegetables with varying surfaces and thicknesses.
Ceramic knives are lighter than their metal counterparts, and it does take a bit of getting used to if you’ve never used one before. The sharp blade made easy work of all four vegetables, even the celery. Because the ceramic material is much harder than metal, it should retain its edge for a much longer period of time. This is good, because most ceramic knives are not designed to be sharpened at home, but by the manufacturer.
The overall design of this particular knife is good, but to me has one glaring flaw. At the point where the blade meets the handle there is a extension that prevents you from fully rocking the blade against the cutting board. If this were a sword or fighting knife, I would call it a guard or cross, but since I won’t be slaying any dragons with this knife, for me its an inconvenience.
But don’t let this minor issue cloud your opinion of ceramic knives as it appears they have already corrected this design flaw in their current model on Amazon. Ceramic knives are sharper, lighter and much easier to clean than steel ones. They are also rust and corrosion free, and don’t react chemically with acids, oils, salts, or juices and change the flavor of your food like steel knives do.
You may know someone that has used a ceramic knife in the past and claimed that they were too fragile, with chipping or shattering at the slightest bump. Fortunately these issues have been addressed by Savvy Livings and theirs is made using a special 4-step process which makes their blades sharper, denser, and more durable than those on regular ceramic knives. Here’s what the company has to say about their manufacturing process:
The NanoRazor Advantage1. The blades are moulded from high-tech zirconium oxide in a 100 ton+ forging machine.2. The blade is pressed using a special cold isostatic pressing process which makes it denser and more resistant to wear.3. We use a high-temperature sintering process where the blade is placed in a 1500(°C) kiln for over 96 hours to make it denser and less porous (fewer pores means food and bacteria don’t stick to it).4. The blade is triple-polished with a diamond wheel for a smooth finish and razor sharp edge, and fit with an ergonomic, easy-to-grip handle for comfortable slicing, dicing, and chopping without wrist fatigue.
If you regularly prepare you own vegetables and fruits at home, you really need to be using something other than that metal kitchen knife. And unless you have a drawer full of those plastic knives from the 80’s, it is time to invest in a well-built ceramic knife. Find this one on Amazon for around $25 and be sure to check out their other great products on their website (plus they sometimes offer coupons!). Who knows, maybe there’s someone in your life you’d like to give a knife to! 😉