KYOCERA OUTDOOR CERAMIC CAMP KITCHEN KNI
TEST SERIES BY MARINA BATZKE
May 01, 2017
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mbbp2013 (at) yahoo (dot) com
Los Angeles County, California, USA
5' 5" (1.65 m)
132 lb (60.00 kg)
I converted from day hiking and car camping to backpacking in spring 2013. My backpacking trips are mostly weekend excursions in Southern California. The locations range from Joshua Tree National Park desert areas in the cooler months to mountainous Southern California National Forest elevations in the summer months. I try to backpack one or two weekends a month. I always hike with a group and I like the gear talk when in camp. While I am looking for ways to lighten my pack, I am not an ultra-lighter: I like sleeping in a tent with a sleeping bag on a comfortable pad. In January 2017, I added snowshoeing to my winter activities.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: KYOCERA Corporation
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Made in China with Blade manufactured in Japan
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.KyoceraAdvancedCeramics.com
Measured Weight of Knife only: 2.4 oz (68 g)
Measured Weight of Holder only: 1.5 oz (43 g)
One Color Option: black handle/ white blade
The Kyocera Outdoor Ceramic Camp Kitchen Knife and Sheath Set arrived well presented inside a clear plastic blister box with a small hang tab, packed ready to be hung from a store shelf. The knife and sheath were showing in the front and the ceramic advantage features were described on a cardboard panel in the back. Inside that outer sales unit packaging, both the knife and its fabric holder were separately snapped into a clear plastic tray.
|The Packing Unit|
|Product Details on the Cardboard Panel|
The knife consists of a 5 in (12.7 cm) long black handle and a 4.5 in (11.4 cm) white ceramic blade. The sharp cutting length of the blade is 4 in (10.2 cm). The black plastic handle has riffles for slip resistance and improved grip.
|Blade close-up view|
The white ceramic blade shows two polishing directions and looks almost like ivory. The blade has a small imprint on one side: Kyocera advanced ceramics 16C870A. The blade is cool to the touch. The knife tip and the heel of the blade are rounded for safety: the blade has no pointy tips. Kyocera explains that a ceramic blade - in comparison to a steel knife blade - neither corrodes nor rusts and a ceramic blade does not transfer metal ions to food. I had no idea what this meant and my internet research mentions as one example the browning on edges of recently steel-blade cut lettuce.
The black knife holder is made from heavy nylon. A fabric label with the name Kyocera embroidered is attached to the sheath front. At its top, the sheath has a belt loop that would fit a belt up to 3 in (7.6 cm) wide. There is also a hook-and-loop snap (4 in/ 10.2 cm) that holds the knife handle in place. The blade section of the sheath is virtually non-bendable to protect the ceramic blade from snapping.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
Inside the clear plastic blister pack were Care & Use Instructions in nine languages (English, French, Swedish, Chinese, Korean, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese). On the cardboard that was inside the clear plastic packaging, Kyocera says: STOP! To protect your knife from damage, please read care & use instructions! So this is not your typical metal knife that you just buy and use...
store the knife in a protecting holder, such as in its sheath, in a knife block or tray,
cut straight down onto a cutting board made from plastic or wood,
cut foods such as vegetables, fruits, fish and boneless meats.
twist and flex the hard ceramic blade,
use the tip of the knife as screwdriver,
squash foods with the flat side of the knife blade,
drop the knife,
put the knife blade in an open flame, as ceramic is an excellent heat conductor,
cut foods on cutting boards made from stone, marble, tile, glass or on a plate.
I can hand wash the knife with water and dishwashing soap. This knife with its plastic handle is also dishwasher-safe. Should a discoloration of the white blade occur, it is ok to clean the ceramic blade only with a mild bleach solution.
Kyocera ceramic products are fully warranted for being without any defects in their material and/or craftsmanship. Yet Kyocera is not responsible for damage caused by improper use, such as cutting of hard foods and materials (so better not use it to create kindling for my campfire) or cutting on hard surfaces (so no cutting of fruit straight onto a rock in Joshua Tree National Park).
LIFETIME COMPLIMENTARY SHARPENING:
Kyocera offers a lifetime re-sharpening for its KYOCERA ADVANCED CERAMIC knives. Someday down the road, I pay for the shipping charges to Kyocera International Inc., Costa Mesa, California and their experts will return my knife with a factory new edge for a shipping and handling fee of $10 for one knife. This fee goes up to $30 for re-sharpening of five of their knives.
TRYING IT OUT
The knife feels lightweight with the dominant weight in the handle. The ergonomically shaped handle makes is easy to hold the knife in my right hand.
|Handle close-up view|
My first test was in my kitchen, slicing tomatoes on a plastic cutting board: the knife zoomed through the tomato skin with no hesitance. Once done, I hand washed the blade and dried it with a dish towel. Then I tried to insert the ceramic blade into its protecting sheath. At first, it took some effort to fully insert the ceramic blade into the stiff fabric knife holder. I pressed and squeezed the firm nylon a bit and finally it was easier to insert all of the ceramic deep into the opening.
|Knife inside sheath|
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Mt. Pinos, Los Padres National Forest, California, USA
1 day snowshoeing: 5 miles/ 8 km
Elevation: 8850 ft (2700 m)
Temperature: 28 F (-2 C)
Yosemite National Park, California, USA
2 days snowshoeing: 6 miles/ 10 km and 7 miles/ 11 km
Elevation: 7000 ft (2130 m)
Temperature: 30 - 40 F (-1 - 4 C)
Pop Top Peak, Santa Monica Mountains, California, USA
Dayhike: 11 miles/ 18 km
Elevation: 2930 ft (900 m)
Temperature: 47 - 67 F (8 - 19 C)
Mammoth, California, USA
2 days snowshoeing: 3 miles/ 5 km and 4 miles/ 6.5 km
Elevation: 8000 - 9000 ft (2440 - 2740 m)
Temperature: 49 F (9 C)
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
This is a very sharp knife! Every day at home, I cut up an apple by removing its core with the seeds and cutting its flesh into small pieces while holding the apple in my hand. NOT so with this Kyocera knife. The knife slices through apples so quickly that I might cut into my hand if I were holding the apple and not resting it on a cutting board.
During the test period, I have extensively used the Kyocera ceramic blade knife in my kitchen preparing for outings. The knife is great to slice through lettuce that I place on my sandwiches. The knife slices through cherry tomatoes and avocado flesh with no hesitation. Cheese offers a bit of resistance, as it clings to the ceramic blade a bit but nonetheless: I can slice pepper jack cheese into the thickness of my choice on a plastic cutting board. So far, I have always hand-washed the knife in warm water with dish soap. Not once have I placed the knife in the dish washer. Even though Kyocera describes the knife as dishwasher safe, it is my personal preference to hand-wash all my sharp kitchen knives.
While in the field, I have used the Kyocera knife to slice through fruit, sausages and sandwiches. I carry the knife inside its sheath in the top pouch of my pack and get it out along with my food when we sit down for lunch during an outing. I would not attach the sheath to my pants belt, as I don't need the knife while hiking or snowshoeing. Plus the hip belt of my pack is near the pants belt and would interfere with a belt-attached sheath.
While I love the sharpness of this knife at home in my kitchen, I do not really see this knife as an outings knife. When I go outdoors, I make sure to put items into my daypack/ backpack that have multiple uses, such as a multi-feature pocket knife. I would use such a multi-use pocket knife with its metal blade for all my slicing and cutting needs, whether soft or hard, with whatever cutting surface available (including rock or wood). Yet I do not have the ideal cutting board in my backpack that the Kyocera ceramic blade knife requires. And realizing that a ceramic blade is only suited to cut soft items, I feel the knife is not versatile enough to warrant a permanent spot in my pack.
Very sharp blade! Great knife for cutting soft items. Ideal for my trip preparation at home, yet not a multi-purpose knife for my outings.
The ivory colored ceramic blade has discolored a bit reddish, maybe from all the many tomatoes I have cut with the Kyocera knife. During the long term test period, I will try dipping the blade into a mild bleach solution, as the manufacturer mentions in the cleaning instructions and will include before/after photos in the LTR.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Juniper Flats, Joshua Tree National Park, USA
2 day/ 1 night backpack 10 miles/ 16 km
Elevation: 4400 ft (1340 m)
Temperature: 49 - 70 F (9 - 21 C)
Carizzo National Monument, California, USA
2 day/ 1 night car camp with 6 miles (10 km) day hikes
Elevation: 2000 ft (610 m)
Temperature: 38 - 56 F (3 - 13 C)
Idlehour Trail Camp, Southern California, USA
2 day/ 1 night backpack 17 miles (27 km)
Elevation: 1300 - 4600 F (400 - 1400 m)
Temperature: 53 - 69 F (12 - 21 C)
|Car camp dinner|
Mission Creek Car Camp, Southern California, USA
2 day/ 1 night car camp with 7 miles (11 km) day hikes
Elevation: 2500 ft (760 m)
Temperature: 61 - 90 F (16 - 32 C)
Lone Warrior Point, Southern California, USA
2 day/ 1 night backpack 15 miles (24 km)
Elevation: 5800 - 8700 ft (1800 - 2650 m)
Temperature: 42 - 68 F (6 - 20 C)
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
During the last two months, I took the Kyocera Outdoor Ceramic Camp Kitchen knife to two car camps and used it to cut cherry tomatoes, greens, sausages and mushrooms for salad. Without applying any hard pressure, simply with a steady back-and-forth blade movement, the Kyocera knife sliced through those foods easily. I had to make sure fellow car camp participants did not grab the knife and unknowingly use it to squash avocado or cut hard foods on hard surfaces.
When I go backpacking, I either take my small stove and make Ramen Soup with sausage for dinner and hot oatmeal with cut-up fruits for breakfast. Or I don't take a stove at all and simply take lots of sandwiches for the various meals. For the sake of testing, I have taken the Kyocera knife on my backpacking trips and used it to cut my sandwiches, the cherry tomatoes and the jalapeno-chicken sausages. I used a plastic bag as base to slice the items on. Yet usually I would do all such food-slicing preparation at home and take the pre-cut food items along.
On all my outings, I carried the Kyocera knife inside its protective sheath, stowed away in my backpack. Not once did I attach the fabric sheath to my pants belt.
Over the last four months, the originally ivory colored ceramic blade had turned reddish, probably from all the many tomatoes I have cut with it. I dipped the ceramic blade into bleach (only lightly diluted) and after five minutes of soaking scraped the reddish discoloration off with a fabric cloth, while resting the ceramic blade on a flat surface. All the discoloration came off. The knife now virtually looks like new again.
|Stained blade after 4 months|
The Kyocera Outdoor Ceramic Kitchen knife continues to be very sharp. I continue to be extra careful with the way I hold fruit and other soft foods on a cutting board (and not in my hand) while cutting with the Kyocera knife.
I love the Kyocera Outdoor Ceramic knife! As described in my Field Report and this report, it is not a backpacking knife for me. Yet for trip preparation at home and daily soft food cutting at home in the kitchen, I will continue to use it extensively.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
Thank you to Kyocera and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity testing this very sharp ceramic kitchen knife.
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Read more gear reviews by Marina Batzke