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Old 11-26-2007, 11:19 PM   #21
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Ah, but hollow ground blades have an inherent weakness. If you look closely at the geometry, they get thicker as they move vrom the belly to the spine at an exponential rate, meaning that as more metal is taken away do to sharpening, it become progressively more difficult to sharpen the thicker blade. Now granted, with proper honing technique, and sharpening carefully, a high quality hollow ground blade should last a life-time. But the softer, lower quality hollow ground blades are pure junk.

The other problem with a hollow ground blade is that it wedges foods apart, which is fine for soft meats, most breads, and many veggies. But when you are tring to slice through a large watermellon, or a winter squash, such as a large butternut for instance, or a rutabegga, that hollow gring becomes a royal pain. A high quality knife with a straight grind from the spine to the belly, slices cleanly, and goes through much more easily.

Just thought I'd share.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

And grantons are not only used on santokus. They can be found on high-end carving knives, on bread knives, and often on knives designed to slice cheese.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:39 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North View Post
Ah, but hollow ground blades have an inherent weakness. If you look closely at the geometry, they get thicker as they move vrom the belly to the spine at an exponential rate, meaning that as more metal is taken away do to sharpening, it become progressively more difficult to sharpen the thicker blade. Now granted, with proper honing technique, and sharpening carefully, a high quality hollow ground blade should last a life-time. But the softer, lower quality hollow ground blades are pure junk.

The other problem with a hollow ground blade is that it wedges foods apart, which is fine for soft meats, most breads, and many veggies. But when you are tring to slice through a large watermellon, or a winter squash, such as a large butternut for instance, or a rutabegga, that hollow gring becomes a royal pain. A high quality knife with a straight grind from the spine to the belly, slices cleanly, and goes through much more easily.

Just thought I'd share.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

And grantons are not only used on santokus. They can be found on high-end carving knives, on bread knives, and often on knives designed to slice cheese.
Goodweed, I disagree (why else would I be responding?)....

Your point - progressively more difficult to sharpen etc - tell me, how many decades does it take to get to that point, and then, why not re-hollowgrind?

Did I say anything about soft "low quality" blades? Nope.

And finally, your comment that hollow ground blades "wedge" food apart. Jeeze man. Think about it. The hollow ground area of the blade never touches the medium, but your straight angled blades contact the medium the entire width of the blade, thus creating more friction and therefore, relatively inferior cutting ability.

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Old 11-28-2007, 08:08 PM   #23
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God, so much in this thread. Will answer what I can remember seeing as how I'm probably the board's biggest ceramic nut.

1: It's not zirconium oxide, it's zirconium dioxide--also known as cubic zirconia (those faux-diamonds you see on QVC)
2: Zirconium carbide is most often used in cutting tools.

I don't like the carbides because they react with acids and water. One of the better selling points about ceramic knives is that they are supposed to be non-reactive.

You aren't really dealing with one of them being "harder" than the other, per se--ceramic is the 2nd hardest substance on the planet behind diamonds. The carbides are a bit more durable, but I've never found this to be an issue. Harder actually equates to brittleness in this aspect.

Kyocera (my preferred brand, by far) uses additional firings when making the blades to make them tougher ala the carbide blades without making them more prone to chipping or breaking. These are their Damascus blades--easiest way to identify them is that they're black.

The frailty of ceramic blades is greatly overstated. I've dropped a few of my knives over the years, and I've never had one break on me. The only time I've ever chipped one is when I accidentally cut into some bone. Even in this instance, it was an easy process to have it sent in for repairs.

As for Uri....personally I would never own one. I've heard some negative things about the quality of the knives themselves as well as a friend who sent in her blade for resharpening and it came back messed up. The only brands I'd trust in my kitchen are Kyocera and Shenzhen Hetiansheng.

Oh, and by the way, you can use magnetic strips to hold these knives. The makers put metal inside the knives so that they can be detected by airport metal detectors. They won't hang as well as your carbon steel or stainless blades, but they will hold.

Pricewise, if you're looking for an inexpensive way to try some out, Ebay is your friend. You can find a baseline Kyocera 7" santoku there for about 40 bucks. I've got more than a couple baselines in my kitchen. The more expensive lines are for once you decide to become a knife snob :).

And on the issue of the 300 dollar Kyocera...I've got news for you, that's far from there most expensive blade :P.
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:21 PM   #24
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I saw some Kyocera ceramic knives at TJMaxx the other day but I didn't know anything about ceramic knives. I think I'll get on to try it after reading all these posts.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:20 PM   #25
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I saw some Kyocera ceramic knives at TJMaxx the other day but I didn't know anything about ceramic knives. I think I'll get on to try it after reading all these posts.
Oh my gosh! My MIL lives in San Antonio! What TJMaxx? I'm sending here there tomorrow! OH wait, that is what I got her for Christmas - if she goes to buy one for me she will get one for herself. Darn it! I will have to check my TJMaxx.

If I were you I would hightail it to TJMaxx tomorrow and purchase one - it will be love at first cut!
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:21 PM   #26
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Poppinfresh, I was wondering when you were going to pop in. You were the one who inspired me to try the ceramics - and I will always be thankful for that!
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:05 AM   #27
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Michelemarie,
Try Home Goods instead of TJMaxx, they belong to the same chain as Marshalls.
They have some high end stuff at good prices (for ex. Le Creuset Dutch oven, 7 Qrts round for $150, or even Mauviel pans), I saw some of those ceramic knives there but I am not sure about the brandname.
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:46 AM   #28
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Hey wysiwyg, I'd never heard of Home Goods but I followed your link and surprise, there is one here in San Antonio! We have Marshall's and TJMaxx but I didn't know about this. Thanks so much! I guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow.
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:42 AM   #29
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Fisher's Mom,
If you are patient, they get great gear from time to time. Right now, they probably have a lot due to X-mas.
I got there a Kitchen Aid food processor (12-cup model) for $110 that cost me $100 with a rebate a while ago. Since then, I stop by once in a while with the list of things I need.
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:51 AM   #30
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Poppinfresh, I was wondering when you were going to pop in. You were the one who inspired me to try the ceramics - and I will always be thankful for that!
Always glad to bring someone into the light :). Ceramics get such a bad rap that, frankly, isn't deserved at all. Everybody is so terrified of them breaking that they stay away from them, whereas if they'd simply try one for a while they'd be hooked on em. The only reason they aren't mainstream is because of misconceptions about them and lack of consumer knowledge regarding the product.
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:42 AM   #31
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Wysiwyg-thanks for the tip. I am very aware of Home Goods but never saw ceramic knives there! I will definately make a trip there too!

Poppinfresh-I have never (knock on wood) had a problem with my knives breaking or chipping. Sure I am careful with my knives, but I'm careful with any knife I use - right? I'm excited at the prospect of finding some ceramic knives at one of these stores!
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:33 AM   #32
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Goodweed, I disagree (why else would I be responding?)....

Your point - progressively more difficult to sharpen etc - tell me, how many decades does it take to get to that point, and then, why not re-hollowgrind?

Did I say anything about soft "low quality" blades? Nope.

And finally, your comment that hollow ground blades "wedge" food apart. Jeeze man. Think about it. The hollow ground area of the blade never touches the medium, but your straight angled blades contact the medium the entire width of the blade, thus creating more friction and therefore, relatively inferior cutting ability. Buzz

I understand what you are saying. And in principle, it makes sense, but... When the cutting edge first meets the flesh of, say, a rutabagga, it starts to separate the flesh. As it slices deeper, it exponentially pushes he flesh apart until it reaches the flat grind part of the knife. When that happens, you are correct, only the cutting edge and the main body of the blade touch the flesh. This is another place where a problem can arize. Because of the hollow grind, the thickness of the blade at the spine is greater than it is for a straight-grind knife. It has to be to preserve knife strength as the grinding process removes more metal from the blade. This then causes the straight sides to force the flesh apart, maybe without the cutting edge ever coming into direct contact with the flesh. Hence, you are wedging the food apart rather than slicing through it.

This of course isn't true where the susbtance being cut is soft and pliable. But for hard foods such as carrots, rutabeggas, winter squash, onions, etc., it is significantly harder to drive the knife through the veggie.

To confirm this, I have used my high carbon, stain resistant, and very sharp Chicago Cutlery Chef's knive, with a hollow grind, side-by-side with my very sharp, straight-grind Croma 10-inch French Chef's knife. The Croma sliced through the tough veggies with significantly less effort than did the Chicago Cutlery.

All that aside though, I do believe that there is a place in my kitchen for ceramic knives. But I think I would get smaller knives such as for paring and detail work. I'm not sure how a ceramic fillet knife would work as it may not have the flexibility for the task. Maybe a ceramic utility knife would be a good thing as well. But those will ahve to wait for a Christmas where I have less of my paycheck helping others. Right now, I think that it's a bit too much of a luxury. My existing hodge-podge collection does the job. It'd be like me purchasing a new bow for $1200. It would be a dream-come-true, and my arrows would fly at 335 fps, but do I really need such speed to kill a hay bale? Just because it's available doesn't mean tha I need it.

Seeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:04 PM   #33
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Hope the below helps regarding the pros-cons of the diffrent types of zirconium ceramic blade offered..

What should I choose--a white blade or a black blade?

Both white and black blade ceramic knives are made of Zirconia. The white blades are composed of Zirconium Oxide. The black blades are Zirconium Carbide. They are made through the same manufacturing process except that the black blades are subjected to an extended final firing process that includes a precise "sintering" to produce the exotic Zirconium Carbide material. The black, Zirconium Carbide blades can be up to twice as hard as the white blades -- but both are at least 7 to 10 times as hard as the common steel knife blade.

White is the natural color of Zirconia. Manufacturers can also put white blade ceramic knives through a “carbon-infiltration” process to make the blade into black color to cater to consumers’ different preferences.
All URI Eagle black blades are Zirconium Carbide -- a far more exotic and valuable material than the Zirconium Oxide.
Zirconium Carbide is naturally black in color. One look at our Zirconium Carbide black blades and you'll be able to tell the difference between our Zirconium Carbide and the other brands' less valuable black colored Zirconium Oxide blades.
Bottom line: Our exotic Zirconium Carbide blades are priced lower than many of our competitor's blades made from Zirconium Oxide -- so now you may choose the color you like without over-paying for the Zirconium Carbide -- (if you like the black blades and want the very best make sure they are Zirconium Carbide!). They are both capable of the same long lasting sharpness and either is very durable -- both our white and black blades are covered by the same 5-year manufacturer's warranty and in-warranty sharpening service.
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:21 PM   #34
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^Again, the symbol for what these knives are made of is ZrO2 (Zirconium Dioxide). It's a small issue, but ZrO is not what we're talking about here.

The other thing I take issue with in that sales pitch they give is they are talking about the carbides (ZrC) as though they are a better option. Again, zirconium carbide is not non-reactive. There's a reason why it's primary application is in cutting tools (and I mean industrial, not kitchen). Better manufacturers have found ways to increase the durability of the knives without resorting to converting them to a carbide.


Good read on carbide:

Zirconium Carbide
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:31 PM   #35
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Sorry Poppin but you have it wrong. Look it up anywhere on the internet. Cubic Zirconia is ZrO.

zirconium oxide knives - Google Search

Shows the detail for Kyocera and Eagle ceramic knives at the very top.
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:02 PM   #36
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I've been recommending these knives for almost a year now. I bought a URI Eagle 6-inch chef's knife from Target.com last year with a Target gift card I got from my employer. I have also posted a link to a Hawaiian company that sells ceramic knives at far less than you'd pay for a Kyocera, because they're made in China instead of Japan, same as the URI Eagle. so if you have this "thing" about buying Chinese merchandise, then look somewhere else. I am old enough to remember when a stamp or sticker on an item that said MADE IN JAPAN meant it was cheap junk, so I have no problem buying Chinese manufactured goods.
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:19 PM   #37
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I ordered a Kyocera 6" Chef's knife from Cutlerandmore.com for $79.95. It should arrive tomorrow.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:35 PM   #38
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I ordered a Kyocera 6" Chef's knife from Cutlerandmore.com for $79.95. It should arrive tomorrow.

You won't be dissappointed! Congratulations!
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:43 PM   #39
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Shenzhen Ceramic Knives, 3-Piece Chef's Set for $76.99, Includes a 6" Chef's Knife, a 4.8" Slicing Knife, and a 3.2" Paring Knife.
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:37 PM   #40
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Reviews I read on other brands indicated they were not as sharp as Kyocera.
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