“ Brand: Kitchen Devils / Product Type: Knife Set „
You may think I am exaggerating when I say these are the sharpest knives in the universe, but try them and you will agree!
Since I've been on maternity leave I have had more time to cook & our old cheap knife set was on its last legs. One day my other half was watching "how it's made" on the Discovery channel & there was a bit on about Ceramic knives, which drew our interest. I had never heard of ceramic knives before, so I did some research on the internet & found rave reviews for the Kyocera knives. They are one of the most expensive but should last a lifetime (if cared for correctly). Kyocera knives are all made in Japan and are one of the most well known and appreciated around the world. There are some cheaper varieties, which are not made to the same standard as these in other countries (i.e. China), however, these have been known to nick and break easier.
~ Availability ~
The knives are available over the internet; I have looked round our local homeware & department stores and have not been able to find them anywhere. I bought this set from a trader on Amazon for £60 for the set of two knives.
~ Theory behind Ceramic knives ~
Ceramic is an extremely tough material, second only to diamonds, which does not corrode like metals and keeps its sharp edge so shouldn't need sharpening (so long as you care for it properly). Ceramic knives originate from Japan, where they require extremely sharp knives to cut the thin sushi dishes.
Ceramic is also non reactive and chemically neutral, so should not leave a taste on the items you are cutting, which is also good for delicate flavours in sushi. As these are non reactive, they are mean to keep cut fruit and vegetables fresher for longer, as they do not oxidise as easily. I have not done any "scientific" testing as such, but I have found that the iceberg lettuce doesn't go brown at the edges as soon as previously with our old knife set. There are tests on the internet where someone has cut an apple into slices with both a ceramic knife and a steel knife, and took photos over a few hours and showed how the ceramic knife took a lot longer to oxidise and go brown.
Also, ceramic is meant to have a natural antibacterial properties, I'm not sure how effective this is, however, it is meant that bacteria wont pass on through the blade. However, I can understand that if the blade does not corrode and stays smooth I expect that there is less chance of bacteria sticking to the blade, therefore making it easier to keep clean and safe.
~ The set ~
The knife set consists of a 14 cm Santoku knife and 8 cm paring knife. This is a good value starting set.
The set comes in a stylish gift box, so it a great present idea, which also seconds as a good storage box. They also come with an individual plastic sleeves which covers the blade, to keep them clean but also as a safety precaution. The box has a flip lid and inside is lined with foam, with cut out space for the knife handles to keep them in place and safe from breakage.
The knives are both of a similar design, with a white ceramic blade and a black plastic handle. I would prefer a more classic design, which Kyocera do sell (for double the price!), however, this sets handles are quite a modern and curved. If I was made of money, this would not have been the handle type I would have chosen, however, the knife blade (the important part) are the same.
The Santoku knife has a long wide blade, similar to a chefs knife, which is slightly curved so you can do the rocking motion to cut. This blade is an ideal knife for the usual vegetable and meat cutting, and is what we use mostly.
The paring knife is a small thinner blade with a pointier tip. It is good for peeling and cutting small items.
~ Cutting ~
I cannot reiterate enough as to how sharp these knives are! When they came through the post, we got a bit excited and decided to make the thinnest sliced veg we could find in the cupboard. We had a wafer thin salad, then made crisps!
The blade easily just slides through the food, with no "sawing" required, with hardly and pressure. I have found that the blade does stick slightly when chopping potatoes, but this is only due to the water and suction created by the potatoes and not the slicing blade.
As these are very sharp, they are NOT for children or for the clumsy! I have on a number of occasions nearly chopped my finger to the bone by the merest of touch of the blade. So be EXTREMELY careful and keep all fingers away from the blade! My other half laughs at me they way I carry the knife around the kitchen, he says I look like I'm carrying a lightsaber! But you cannot be too careful!
There are a few things that you cannot use this knife for, it is not something you can go and replace your entire metal knife set with. I have found very dense things like cheese and sweet potatoes are impossible to cut. I'm not sure whether it is due to the cutting blade or the "suction" on the smooth surface which makes it stick. Also, ceramic is very tough, however, is also very brittle, therefore it cannot be used to cut onto hard things, i.e. boning meat.
Also, you cannot use this blade for things where you would use the side for crushing i.e. garlic.
~ Looking after the knife ~
The knife can be washed with normal washing up liquid and water, however, do not just chuck it into the washing up bowl with the rest of the washing up. Firstly you don't want to stick your hand into the bowl and pick up the knife by the blade, but also, as the knife is very brittle it is possible to shatter the blade if dropped or smashed against other hard surfaces. So it is best to wash straight after use and put back into the plastic shield and gift box.
It does say it is dishwasher safe, but I wouldn't put it in there in case it bashes against other items in there.
When cutting you should use a soft chopping board i.e. wood or plastic, and not glass or slate as this will blunt the blade. We buy the cheap set of 3 rubbery plastic boards from Tesco's for about £3, however, they do need to be replaced every so often as the knife has cut completely through the green vegetable board.
It is best to store these in the gift box they come in rather than loose in the cutlery draw, to keep them safe from breakage
Be careful not to drop this knife, not only do you not want to chop a toe off, but there is a possibility of the knife shattering on a hard floor.
Sharpening the blade needs to be done professionally. It is unlikely that it will need sharpening as it should not blunt if used correctly, however, if it does you cannot just use your normal steel knife sharpener. Kyocera do offer a free knife sharpening service for people in the USA but this is not open to UK.
~ Overall ~
The knives are pretty expensive, however they make life so much easier and preparing food so much quicker. If you follow the care rules these knives should last a lifetime without blunting, so in the long run they will work out cheaper.
### Update ###
I'm not sure what they have done with the picture as it has changed to something completely unrelated to the product.