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Forever SC-16WB ceramic knife

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by kwackster, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. kwackster

    kwackster

    Dec 23, 2005
    Some time ago while surfing the net i found a website with Catra test results for 3 different ceramic knives: two by the well known Japanese Kyocera brand, and one from another (and unfamiliar to me) Japanese brand with the name Forever Company.
    Next to various types of ceramic knives the company also seems to make a host of other specialty kitchen knives from various space-age materials: http://forever-k.com/en/ceramic/
    Anyway, the 3 ceramic knives were tested on wear resistance, and the (much) cheaper Forever knife seemingly won by quite a margin regarding that aspect:

    http://socialcompare.com/en/comparison/couteaux-en-ceramique-mpo3v9w

    Now i know that wear resistance does not equal edge holding (especially with ceramic knives), but who knows ?
    Maybe they're on to something.
    Since i sharpen ceramic knives for others from time to time (and the two tested Kyocera models have always ranked the highest for me in the edge holding department so far), i became a bit curious about the Forever knife.
    So i ordered the exact SC-16WB model that was tested from a Japan based E-Bay dealer for 45 US dollars including shipping to the Netherlands, and yesterday it arrived:

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Specs:

    Ceramic knife for right handed use (non-logo side is flat, while the logo side has a wide saber grind and a 70/30 edge
    Overall length: 10.9 inch (27,6 cm)
    Blade length: 6.3 inch (16,0 cm)
    Blade material: High Density Zirconia
    Blade thickness: 1,43 mm
    Thickness behind the edge: 0,61 mm
    Factory edge angle: 26/27 degrees inclusive
    Edge finish: rather coarse with lots of bite (my estimate: somewhere around a 1000 grit)
    Sharpness: Can shave my arm- and leg hair with the growth, not against it.
    Not a single microchip can be felt using my nail, or seen through my Victorinox magnifying glass
    Handle material: black plastic
    Weight: 83 grams

    I'm going to use the knife the coming months for standard kitchen duty, mostly to see how that rather coarse factory edge will hold up.
    When the time comes i will experiment a bit with resharpening and write about my findings in this thread.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  2. chado skins

    chado skins

    33
    Jun 25, 2014
    i've conidered a cermaic knife for vegtables, and herbs. do they typically come screaming sharp? if so, how long do they stay at the level? would i have a problem cutting soft tomatoes without a resharpen for long time periods? are they all one sided?
     
  3. kwackster

    kwackster

    Dec 23, 2005
    Many ceramic knives that i've seen and handled don't come screaming sharp, at least not at the level most here at Bladeforums expect a knife to be.
    Models from the better brands can slice paper or sometimes even shave armhair, but cheapies in general won't.
    How long ceramic knife edges stay at a useful level depends very much on what you cut, how you cut, and on exactly what surface you cut.
    With a quality ceramic knife that has good blade & edge geometry, a suitable cutting surface and the right amount of care, you will be able to cut soft tomatoes and other soft food for quite a long time.
    An optimized edge finish can even prolong that period.
    This Forever knife is actually the first dedicated right hand knife that i've encountered so far.
     
  4. kwackster

    kwackster

    Dec 23, 2005
    Cutting a large Ciabatta bread with a semi-hard crust into 4 sections on a good wooden cutting board provided the edge with 1 tiny microchip just in front of the heel.
    That chip is only visible through my Victorinox magnifying glass (not with my naked eye), and the rest of the edge still looks and feels unharmed in any way.
    I've already made a few cheap ceramic knives lose their entire sharp edge by doing this test, and i wanted to see how this rather coarse edge would do right from the start.

    [​IMG]

    After this i proceeded with cutting a whole box of cherry tomatoes.
    Even with it's light weight of only 83 grams i could pinch the end of the handle between thumb and forefinger, put the tip of the knife on the cherry tomato, and slice it completely through on the wooden cutting board just before i ran out of edge length.
    The last tomato was cut as easily as the first.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  5. Chris "Anagarika"

    Chris "Anagarika"

    Mar 7, 2001
    Thanks for sharing! Your last ceramic sharpening thread and answered my questions have helped me resurrect a ceramic knife I have. Not the high end, it's a folding ACE ceramic knife (started a thread about this sometime back).

    Well, basically it has microchips (seen through 15x loupe) that effectively dulled it, and I had to go through DMT C, F, EF & EEF to brought it back. It's not that prone to chipping, especially if light pressure is used as recommended. I thought I chipped it when sharpening, but after several times looking through the loupe, I realized it was the chip from use! :eek: Once that's established, I was able to reduce the chip size through the progression with more confidence :thumbup:

    Thanks again for sharing! It's not perfect yet, but it's at least usable now.
     
  6. chado skins

    chado skins

    33
    Jun 25, 2014
    i use knives all day professionally in a kitchen. i know how to use them, and what to use them on. if proper care was taken, "quite a long time" equals what? a year? 2 years? 10? i have lots of knives, so to have a knife dedicated to softer veggies and herbs isn't a big deal. i have serrated knives for bread, chefs knives for hard veggies, boning knives for meats. would it a worthy investment for someone who already owns knives to complete all these tasks.... to just buy one knife that doesn't need resharpening as often...
     
  7. kwackster

    kwackster

    Dec 23, 2005
    A Chef i sharpen for owns exactly one ceramic knife (an older small white Caddy brand santoku that is getting to be too thick behind the edge), which he only uses to cut certain delicate foods that must not turn brown/oxidize or change taste.
    According to him steel knives, even stainless steel ones, have a tendency to brown certain foods quite fast as well as change the taste dramatically through an exchange of ions between the steel and the food surface.
    Ceramic knives have those effects much less, and it's the primary reason he uses one in the first place, not so much for their presumed edge holding qualities.

    Still: the edge on his ceramic knife lasts him about a year before he brings it to me for inspection and sharpening, and even then it still slices copy paper.
    I have sharpened the Caddy 3 times now, and through testing & feedback we have found that an edge finish up to 6 micron diamond compound (with a paper wheel) gives the right combination of strength & bite for his use.
    Sharpness wise that would be whittling one of my chest hairs towards the root, not to the point.

    This is me testing that Caddy ceramic knife on a tomato:



    At this point in time i don't know if the more advanced Forever knife will do better, also because it still has it's rather coarse factory edge.
    I hope it will (and if those Catra numbers are real it should), as price is also a major factor, but i need to do more testing first.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  8. chado skins

    chado skins

    33
    Jun 25, 2014
    i can't remember the last time, if ever, food oxidized or turned color on me due to it's being cut by a metal knife. i'm sure there are some... belgian endive maybe, if you cut it and let it set overnight. considering i just bought a 150$ knife sharpener, i'll probably just stick with what i have anyway. thanks for the info :)
     
  9. kwackster

    kwackster

    Dec 23, 2005
  10. kwackster

    kwackster

    Dec 23, 2005
    The last few days i used the ceramic knife in our kitchen for cutting various types of food: a lot of onions, tomatoes, smoked ham, Dutch cheese, mozarella cheese, mushrooms, paprika's, all for use in pasta salads which we eat a lot during summer.

    I noticed a few things:

    - Cutting up 5 to 6 large onions with the ceramic knife didn't induce teary eyes like it would have done had i used a steel knife.
    Instead i could only feel a very slight stinginess.
    - Slices of mozarella cheese stick noticeably less to the ceramic knife than they do to a steel knife, and also leave much less cheese residue there.

    Both with the naked eye and using my Victorinox magnifying glass i could not see any change to the factory edge afterwards, and the knife can still shave the hair from my calf.
     
  11. kwackster

    kwackster

    Dec 23, 2005
    The knife has been used the last couple of weeks for cutting all kinds of food, and was checked each time afterwards for edge damage as well as the ability to shave some hair from my leg.
    Last night with my Victorinox magnifying glass i saw for the first time multiple microchips in the edge, and it's hairshaving ability had also noticeably decreased.

    [​IMG]

    These microchips aren't visible with the naked eye, and the knife still cuts vegetables, fruit, and various meats just fine.
    However, since i don't like to continue working with a ceramic knife with a microchipped edge i will give it a new & somewhat finer polished edge in the coming week to see how that will hold up.
    While microchips do act a bit like microserrations improving slicing ability, they are also stressrisers in a material that can't handle that aspect too well.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  12. kwackster

    kwackster

    Dec 23, 2005
    Reprofiling the edge on the Tormek silicon carbide stone turned out to be rather easy, as the ceramic material in this knife has good grindability.
    I thinned the edge just a hair to an almost exact 25 degrees inclusive, and the time needed to remove the miniscule chips was about 10-15 minutes.
    Afterwards i did a first refining step with 15 micron diamond compound on a Paper Wheel, and now the edge looks like this.
    I took the pic using a bit of floodlight to showcase the scratch pattern a little better (if you click 2 x):

    [​IMG]

    The now ever so slight convex edge can currently shave armhair in 2 directions.
    Next step will be refining it further with another Paper Wheel with 6 micron diamond compound.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  13. kwackster

    kwackster

    Dec 23, 2005
    The edge has now been refined with 6 micron diamond compound on a Paper Wheel and is starting to resemble milk glass.
    Although the scratch pattern can still be seen with my Victorinox loupe, it's getting difficult for my cheap camera to do the same.
    Pictures were taken on the exact same spot with the same floodlight, and you can click them 2 x.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The edge can now slice single layer toilet paper cleanly, treetop the hair on the back of my hand, and whittle a chest hair towards the root.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  14. n7titan

    n7titan

    721
    Jun 14, 2014
    Are you running out of hair to test it on? :p

    Good write up :thumbup:
     
  15. Ernie1980

    Ernie1980 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    Interesting information, thanks for sharing and keeping up updated!
     
  16. kwackster

    kwackster

    Dec 23, 2005
    After a nice long vacation & a subsequent nasty flu it was time to go back to work, so i just finished refining the edge of this ceramic knife a bit further with 3 micron diamond compound on a Paper Wheel.

    With my Victorinox loupe & strong floodlight the scratch pattern in the bevels is now very difficult to see, and the keenness of the edge has progressed just a little bit more.
    For testing i sacrificed a few more chest hairs, and the edge is now able to whittle some of them in the direction of the hairpoint, while others are just cut completely through while the cut end jumps away.

    One of the coming days i'm going to find out if a Paper Wheel with 1 micron diamond compound can improve the edge further.
     
  17. kwackster

    kwackster

    Dec 23, 2005
    Finally found the time to finish the edge with 1 micron diamond compound, and the edge can now whittle chest hairs towards the point along the entire edge and also slice a tomato quite well.





    Time to find out if and how this edge will hold up in our kitchen use,
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  18. kwackster

    kwackster

    Dec 23, 2005
    Since my last post i've been using the knife in our kitchen several times a week, together with with a reground Spyderco pairing knife for detail work.
    Mostly cutting up onions, paprika's, mushrooms, various meats & cheeses and an assortment of other vegetables.
    All cutting was and is done on an end grain beechwood cutting board that i oiled several times before i started using it a couple of years ago.

    The sharpness has degraded from whittling chest hairs towards the point to whittling the same chest hairs towards the root, and through my Victorinox loupe i can see just one extremely tiny microchip (below the letter Y in the word "density" on the blade)
    The chip is not visible with my naked eyes, but i can just feel it on my nail.

    Will continue to keep using the knife.
     
  19. DeadboxHero

    DeadboxHero Triple B Handmade Knives, Big Brown Bear Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 22, 2014
    So Sharp!
    I love it
     
  20. mrdeus

    mrdeus

    909
    Mar 6, 2012
    Nice. I tried sharpening my old Kyocera a couple of years ago, but didn't get it as sharp as I would like. I used wet & dry sand paper. It's one of those things I've been putting off.
     

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