Ceramic Blades--- POLL

May 24, 1999
So what's everyone's feeling about Ceramics?

It's funny, I was just looking at one of Boker's little 1.5" (or something) ceramic blade knives and I had to laugh because the thing was tiny and yet the store had it listed for 130$.
Online, I've managed to find a Boker Infinity with a 3 3/8" ceramic blade for 100$. (from <A HREF="http://www.discountknives.com">Discount Knives</A> (and no, they're not paying me anything...)

I dunno. So I'm at the crossroads on what knife to buy next. At this point, it's looking like a choice between a BM Axis and the Boker Inifinty. So I want to get a feel for public opinion about ceramics....

Talk amongst yourselves...

I have almost every ceramic knive on the market today, starting from Kyocera kitchen knives, Bokers, and Mad Dog Mirage X. I think AG Russell once had his own ceramic knives, but I'm not so sure. The Mirage X is by far the strongest among them, but the price will probably make you laugh even more ($395).

Ceramic knives will hold an edge far better than steel knives, my Mirage X is still sharp after I sharpened it the last time, which is 4 months ago. And I use it everyday. The Mirage X is also the only one that I can resharpen myself, I can't say so with the other knives because of the lesser ceramic, but of course you can still sharpen them, providing you have the right equipment (very fine grit diamond stones) and a lot of time!. Boker and Kyocera recommend factory resharpening on all their ceramics, that's one thing you should think about.

You didn't mention what kind of tasks will you undergo with your future knife. Ceramic knives are very good in slicing, but not impact resistant (chopping). Drop it on concrete, or any other hard surface, and they will chip/break. If you know how to use them, they will serve you really well. But for utilities, I will stick with good old steel knives, as they are generally cheaper and easier to resharpen. I'll say go with the Axis.

Take care,


[This message has been edited by Frantium (edited 20 June 1999).]
I've never owned ceramic blades,but I've read alot about them.I would stick to regular steel,unless you had a specific need for a knife made of ceramic.Take Care,RS

[This message has been edited by TOMBSTONE (edited 20 June 1999).]
You don't need diamonds to sharpen ceramics. SiC is harder and can sharpen them as well. However diamonds are faster. As for not being able to sharpen any of Bokers and such. They tell you that to make it sound like they are doing something really hard. Its not.

You also can't make a blanket statement like "ceramics hold an edge better". They have better wear resistance than steel, but that only transfers to better edge holding on certain materials (soft ones).

In the kitchen, a Kyocera ceramic knife just keeps cutting and cutting and cutting.

I'm not sure how well the technology transfers to pocket knife duty.


Thanks for the enlightenment on SiC (hey, is that silicon carbide?). I tried to resharpen my Boker Gamma once, and only developed chips and nicks, unless I really go easy on the pressure. I agree, Kyocera and Boker (using Kyocera ceramic, if my memory serves me well) shouldn't make it sound hard.

They have better wear resistance than steel, but that only transfers to better edge holding on certain materials (soft ones).

Thank you again, mea culpa.

I like to sharpen my knives.... I sometimes use my folders to do light prying. Ceramics are currently very limited in this respect. I enjoy taking care of my knives, unless I was working in an enviroment where I needed a knife that could be dropped in hydrochloric acid and could only be 3 inches long I see no need....

You seem to have handle on this so I'll ask you. Did I see a folding ceramic knife somewhere with ceramic or other non-metal handle. I thought it was Mad Dog but could not find anything on their website.

I don't think Mad Dog's interested in making folders (yet). I need more info on this: what color is the blade, what color is the handle? Is it a lockback or a liner lock? I handled a used, unmarked ceramic lockback when I visited AG Russell, the staff was almost sure that it was an old folder by AG. The Gamma and Infinity from Boker have zytel handles. Some ceramics from Puma also have some non metal handles. E-mail me for any additional info, I'll try.

It sounds like a Gamma: a sub-2" black ceramic blade, black handle, linerlock, lanyard hole, no clip, rounded edges with a pebbled surface.

I bought one of the Boker Gammas when they first came out for under $100. The edge is absolutely top notch, but at a price. In this particular knife, there is no retention device to keep it closed. I opened the end of my fingers several times reaching in my pocket for it because the blade had opened up (course, that has nothing to do with the material).

Also, it can easily chip when cutting certain materials, such as packing straps, the plastic stuff that's about a ¼" wide that is usually wrapped very tightly? Anytime you cut something, under moderate to high tension, you run the risk of putting a chip in the blade. The Rc value may be high for ceramic blades, but they are extremely brittle as well.

I've heard some of the newer ceramics aren't as prone to chipping, but I'll stick with steel for now.

I do use my Gamma in the kitchen. It makes fine cuts, such as decorative carving, much easier than my steel knives.

I also have both the BM710 Axis and the soon to be released BM705 Mini Axis (sub-3" blade). Either one, as a utility pocket knife, will far outshine the Gamma, and probably most other ceramics. The 705's first normal production run is scheduled for August, but BM is assembling the marked First Production Run as we speak.

[This message has been edited by Codeman (edited 21 June 1999).]
Frantium, yes its Silicon carbide (I think this is how a lot of people sharpen ceramics as diamonds are said to create micro-fractures). It will be slow going though unless you are using a power sharpener.

As for sharpening Boker's knives. I have done that before and yes they are more fragile than MD's by far. It is much easier to chip them out because of this but there is nothing magical about what Boker does to sharpen them. The only reason they tell you not to is because it makes the knife sound better to some.

Some very brittle steels are also difficult to sharpen in this respect. The trick is to use very little pressure this however of course makes the process very long but then again its not like these materials need to be sharpened that often.

By the way Boker does have a very strong replacement policy. My uncle had his ceramic folder blade replaced when he broke off the tip. He sent it in for a problem with the handle and when they noticed the tip broken they repaired that as well even though he didn't even ask.


[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 21 June 1999).]
I looked at the Infinity, but passed on it when I noticed it only had a right-hand opening thumb disk. I'm right-handed, but I have no use for anything that can *only* be opened that way.

The last time I posted this viewpoint, it was about a Sebenza, and someone enlightened me regarding CR's two-stud policy (+$20). I hope no one posts something similar this time. It's hard enough finding something rules out one or two knives without someone injecting knowledge into the subject.
I guess I'd better not mention the concept of epoxying a bit of leather or rubber or something (or just a lump of epoxy putty) to a blade to use as an opener, then. No, I won't say a word about it ... my lips are sealed. :*

-Cougar Allen :{)
The only ceramic that I have experience with is the Mirage X Operator.
Sharpening it with diamonds doesn't seem very difficult. The thick blade stock is less than ideal for slicing but all in all the blade performs well. I have butchered deer including removal of the sternum with out damage to the blade. (surprised the heck out of me)

I hate to stop and ask myself "is this knife capable of performing this task without damage?" Hence, I will usually stick with steel.
The exception is carrying it concealed in the summer. It is the only knife I own that never rusts when carried while jogging.