As survival-minded individuals, it's important that we never become complacent with our gear. Sure, using old-school and traditional tools for survival is a reliable option, but if you're not constantly checking out new alternative technologies, you might be stuck using outdated gear that's less effective.

Ceramic survival knives Stone River

A fixed-blade black Zirconium Oxide ceramic neck knife from Stone River.

That said, we're curious to hear what you think on the topic of ceramic knives. It goes without saying that most of us own at least one fixed-blade or folding knife, and the vast majority of those knives are made of steel. That's the way blades have been forged for centuries, and some might say there's no need to fix what's not broken.

Ceramic survival knives Boker Antigrav

This Boker Antigrav folding knife uses a ceramic blade and carbon fiber scales to tip the scales at only 2.1 oz.

However, modern ceramic knives have come a long way, thanks to prominent manufacturers like Kyocera (from Japan), Boker (from Germany), and Stone River (from the U.S.). They also provide some interesting advantages when compared to ordinary steel knives. Here's a quick list of general pros and cons to summarize ceramic knives:

Ceramic Pros:

  • Excellent edge retention. Ceramic can stay sharp 10 to 12 times longer than conventional steel.
  • Extremely light, about half the weight of a comparable steel knife.
  • More concealable, since they won't be detected by metal detectors (obviously, we strongly advise against doing anything illegal with this knowledge)
  • Non-reactive and less porous, so they will never corrode or retain tastes/odors like some steels can.
Ceramic survival knives Kyocera chef

Kyocera, a leading manufacturer of ceramic kitchen knives, uses a proprietary material called Zirconia Z206.

Ceramic Cons:

  • Potentially brittle, and will shatter instead of denting or bending like steel.
  • Generally more expensive than comparable steel knives.
  • While great for precise slicing, ceramic won't handle hard chopping or cutting against hard surfaces (like bone or glass)
  • When they eventually become dull, these knives are more time-consuming to sharpen.
  • Usually slightly less sharp than a perfectly-sharpened steel blade.

We mentioned in the last point that ceramics are usually very slightly less sharp, but when cared for correctly, they can still be as sharp as a razor. Here's a video that proves it's possible to shave with a freshly-sharpened Kyocera ceramic kitchen knife:

So, we want to hear your thoughts on this cutting-edge blade material (forgive the pun). Answer the poll, and let us know if you'd ever consider a ceramic knife. Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page to explain your choice.

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