Published on March 10th, 2014 | by Greg0
Kyocera Ceramic Kyotop Damascus Knife: Quick Cuts
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something new comes along and knocks your carefully balanced system out of whack. For a very, very long time- maybe the majority of human history, steel knives of various metallic blends represented the ultimate knives in sharpness and durability. Bone, ivory, obisidian and other materials were certainly available and functional, but a good kitchen knife was steel, period.
Then ceramics entered the field, and like plastics before them, advances in materials quickly found their way to the top of the pile. If you can afford them, and are willing to endure an increase in brittleness that comes with the prospect, then ceramic knives are worthy of a careful look. For us, their only major downside is that they don’t work with magnetic knife racks and holders. And until very recently, they were a little boring, typically a flat color like white, and almost always fairly short. The Kyotop line, and the Kyocera KT-200 8.25″ Sashimi Knife made us fall back in love with ceramics, adding an awesome texture with a Damascus-style look and creating the perfect sashimi knife, the best we’ve ever tested.
“Close in hardness to diamond”, the new process is called Hot Isostatic Pressed, and each blade is hand-finished and features a Pakka wood handle (durable and moisture resistant). With sashimi knives, you are searching for a perfectly fine, ultra-sharp blade, and ceramic is great for the purpose since the blade will never corrode or rust, never add or impart a flavor or taste, and can achieve incredibly thin cuts with razor like consistency and ease. Your salmon and tuna will carve like butter- just avoid any bones. As they are lighter than just about any steel blade, you can cut faster as well- we handed it to a local sushi chef whose elegant hand movements had us practicing. For regular kitchen use, it’s almost certainly overkill and perhaps not heavy enough, and their regular line will suffice for most folks. Keep in mind that ceramic knives can stay sharp up to 15 times as long as steel, and should you ever need your blade freshened up, Kyocera offers a unique, simple sharpening service- just send it in and they will take care of the rest.
Our biggest problem with the knife is that it actually can cut through plastic boards- we ate through a couple of them during testing, as the knife was sharp enough to slice through. We’d recommend use only with a wooden board, the sturdier the better. Ergonomically, the Kyotop felt decent, a little lacking in grip and with a thinner handle that might lead people to overgrip- you can actually barely add any pressure to this knife and still slice through most anything. It stayed incredibly sharp through out tests, and drew plenty of comments for it’s character. Available now, online and in stores, it’s a budget buster at the moment but we hope the price can come down a bit over time- expect to spend around $300 at the moment.