This small, nine-inch-long utility knife from Boker of Solingen, Germany, may appear ordinary, but its fine materials and workmanship could mark it as the best slicing knife in your kitchen.
Boker’s Ceramic Ebony Utility knife combines a five-inch ceramic blade with a real ebony hardwood handle. That’s real African ebony, not a modern polymer which looks like ebony. Most of us only know true ebony from brief encounters with piano keys. Extremely hard and dense, ebony contains silicon within its cell structure, making it difficult to work with but stable and naturally glossy when polished. Ebony has long been one of the most prized natural materials for knife handles.
Ceramic blades, on the other hand, are new to knife-making and still developing. At present, these extremely sharp knives have several important limitations. Edges chip under side stress, and the blades themselves could break if flexed or dropped. Boker’s warranty does not cover breakage of ceramic knives, and the company provides detailed instructions for care and use. Sharpening is beyond the capability of the average home chef, since special machines are required. Boker does offer a sharpening service for restoring edges with minor chips.
The wonderful thing about ceramic blades is the way they cut. The sharpness of the edge hardly degrades at all in normal use and should last for years. Micro-chipping is common but leaves new sharp edges on the blade and doesn’t compromise efficiency. While most of us would not choose an entire set of ceramic knives as of yet, the quality of these blades is tempting. If you’d like a glimpse of the future of cutlery, the Boker Ceramic Ebony Utility Knife could be the place to start.
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