KYOCERA CERAMIC CAMP KITCHEN KNIFE
TEST SERIES BY KATHLEEN WATERS
INITIAL REPORT - December 22, 2016
FIELD REPORT - March 21, 2017
LONG TERM REPORT - May 04, 2017
kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
Canon City, Colorado, USA
5' 4" (1.60 m)
125 lb (56.70 kg)
Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado.
Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley.
My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|Manufacturer: Kyocera Advanced Ceramics
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Manufacturer's Website: Kyocera Advanced Ceramics.com
MSRP: US $34.95
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 4.5 oz (128 g) with sheath, 3 oz (85 g) knife alone
2 pc Set Includes: 4" (10 cm) Ceramic Knife and Nylon Knife Sheath
Made of Zirconia Z206: Kyocera's proprietary advanced ceramic.
Lifetime Warranty and Lifetime Sharpening for Kyocera knives.
My very first impression of the Kyocera Ceramic Camp Kitchen Knife was "Wow!" It certainly looks to be of high quality and much more attractive than the picture on the Kyocera Advanced website!
The Camp Kitchen Knife sports a black plastic-feeling handle with lots of ridges on both the top and bottom of the handle. There is a nice ergonomic curve to the underside of the handle. The blade is a very clean white with a rounded tip. The blade almost looks like a kid's plastic party knife. The Kyocera logo and the knife model number are printed on one side of the blade. The knife feels very lightweight.
The included sheath is constructed with a heavy-duty nylon woven material that is stiff and sturdy-looking and feeling. All edges of the sheath materials are bound - no unraveling will happen there. Three metal rivets secure the blade covering portion of the sheath with a fourth rivet securing the section of the sheath that forms a belt loop with a 3 in (7.6 cm) opening. At the top front of the belt loop is a small (1.5 in/3.8 cm wide) strap with a hook-n-loop closure to fasten around the knife handle to keep the knife in place in the sheath. The Kyocera logo is sewn on a fabric tag on the sheath.
I can see no defects in materials or workmanship.
The Camp Kitchen Knife and its protective sheath make a very nice-looking duo. Can't wait to use it!
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
On the Kyocera website there are very few care instructions for the knife in the knife description. Only two, in fact. 1.) Wash the blade - but not the handle - in a mild solution of baking soda and water to remove stains. And 2.) Store the knife in a block or tray to prevent accidents
However, in another website section there are a whole bunch of additional do's and don'ts!
How to use Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Knives properly.
Use for straight cuts of fruits, vegetables and boneless meats.
Cut on a wood or plastic cutting board.
Hand wash with a mild bleach solution if the blade is discolored - rinse and wipe dry.
Knives with plastic handles are dishwasher safe, top rack only, avoiding contact with metal utensils.
Knives with wood handles are NOT dishwasher safe.
Things not to do with Kyocera Outdoors Ceramic Camp Kitchen Knife.
Don't cut foods with heavy rinds (squash, pumpkin, pineapples, hard melons, nuts, roots, block cheese or frozen foods).
Avoid carving, prying, boning or scraping on hard surfaces including cutting on marble, glass, plates or tile.
Avoid dropping the knife on hard surfaces or hitting it against china or flatware.
Don't put the blade in an open flame.
Don't apply force to the side of the blade such as by turning the blade on its side to smash garlic or other items.
"All knives dull over time." Ceramic starts out sharper--and stays sharper--longer than metal. When the knife becomes too dull to use, the Kyocera sharpening process will flatten out the edge of the blade (removing all chips) and then re-establish a new sharp edge. Kyocera offers a Lifetime Complimentary Sharpening for Kyocera Advanced Ceramic knives only. If/when it becomes necessary, I can smply pay for shipping and processing and the Kyocera expert sharpening team will send my knife back with a factory new edge. Sounds good to me!
TRYING IT OUT
I'm not the most skillful knife-wielding chef in the kitchen - indoors or outdoors. Heck, my position is more of the dishwasher-level! I also am a bit of a klutz and the last time I tested out a field "sharp", I cut my finger just opening the blade. Since the Kyocera Ceramic Camp Kitchen Knife is a fixed blade, at least I won't have to worry about that. Nonetheless, I took care when removing the knife from the retail packaging for the first (and last) time. Fortunately, it slipped out easily enough and no blood was shed.
Emboldened by that, and not having time to backpack out the week before Christmas, I pulled a chunk of sharp cheddar cheese from the fridge. This is a favorite snack on the trail for me so I certainly wanted to know if the knife could "cut it" - literally and figuratively. It did. Nicely. Without any excess pressure needed and making clean, even cuts. And now, it's snack time!
|Ready to Work!
|Cheddar Cheese is no Match!
Though the next couple of months will be rather hectice with Christmas holidays and the upcoming Outdoor Retailers Winter Market, I still have big plans to get away from all the hustle and bustle and escape into the mountains for some long weekend snowshoeing and backpacking treks.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Since the last couple of months; all my outdoor adventures have been day hikes and only one two-night weekend campout. All of which were located in the Rocky Mountain foothills I call home in Fremont County, Colorado. Fremont County is in the south central part of Colorado and the terrain and geography are quite different from what most people think of when they hear "Colorado". Instead of towering ponderosa pine trees and white-barked aspens, this area is more high-desert with some prairie characteristics. Lots of scrubby pinon pines, juniper, grasses and even cactus. The trails are often very dusty but rocky and when muddy, sticky clay-like muck. Elevation ranges from just above the mile (1.6 km) mark to over 13,000' (4000 km).
It's been ridiculously warmer than normal this winter - heck, we really didn't have much of a winter at all! It's been in the 80s F (26-29 C) for the last week. Very, very little in the way of moisture, either snow or rain. Red Flag Warning and Wind Advisory Days (dry, windy conditions where no open flame is permitted) have been almost daily weather alerts. Very unusual weather conditions for sure!
Some of the trails I've recently traveled are in the Oil Well Flats, Grape Creek, and Rainbow and Temple Canyon areas.
An example of my hiking is the Oil Well Flats Tectonic Shift Trail which offers primitive campsites in BLM land (Bureau of Land Management) through juniper and pine tree stands with a few meadows. The very narrow, newly-constructed trail is mostly hard dirt-packed with intermittent rocks. It's an intermediate-rated trail for mountain bikes but also a hiking trail and we had it all to ourselves. Temperature was about 45 F (7 C) under a clear, sunny blue sky. Amazingly, it was one of the few days we had almost no wind at all. The trail was 2.3 miles (3.7 km) one-way with a 220' (67 m) ascent and a 51'(16 m) descent with an elevation of 6,107' (1861 m) high and 5,939' (1810 m) low.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
|Knife is Ready!
| For the sake of this field evaluation, I carried the knife on every single outing whether I was going to really need it or not. Most of the time on day hikes, it was not strictly necessary but I would use it anyway for cutting up snacks, fruits, sandwiches, etc. that normally I would have cut up at home.
Since it is a "kitchen" knife, I really had no need to "wear" the knife so it would be handy. After all, with the rounded point and the short blade length, I certainly would not be using it to defend myself against any rabid wildlife I might encounter! Despite that, I did attach the knife to my backpack waistbelt anyway just so I didn't have to rummage through my pack when hunger pangs struck. The sheath loop isn't all that large though and while it would slip onto my favorite day pack, it's not wide enough to make it over my 55 L backpack waistbelt. So, on multi-night trips, the knife gets stashed in with the kitchen utensils where I suppose it really belongs. But I think it's just so "cool" to have a knife hanging from my belt! No?
I really like the hook-n-loop strap at the top of the sheath for keeping the knife secure - no banging around. So there is no worry about the knife getting jarred loose while I'm tromping along minding my own business, enjoying nature until either I get stabbed as the knife fall out or I stop to eat and realize the knife fell out sometime in the last 4 hours! (Actually, there is no chance of that rounded tip stabbing me or anyone else.)
The knife stays put in the sheath until I take it out and then it glides out easily without any sticking or snagging of the material.
In describing usage of the knife, in five words or less, "it cuts like a dream"! Despite the fact that the blade looks like a plastic toy knife, it is very sharp and provides very smooth cutting action with very little pressure. I don't have to "saw" back-and-forth any more than I have to with my in-home kitchen knives and I've cut everything from hard sausage and cheese, apples and even nuts to soft breads, oranges, etc. I HAVE NOT used the knife on anything but food products. No freezer bags opening. No twine, rope, or twigs shortened. Food. Just food.
Clean-up is very easy. Most of the time, I just wipe the blade off on anything handy - usually a paper towel. On overnights when we have dishes that have to be washed, the knife gets a little better treatment and actually gets cleaned with water. When I get home, I scrub it up with dishwashing liquid and hot water. Even the stickiest (peanut butter) foods wipe off easily. And as of yet, that gleaming white blade hasn't stained. Nor has the blade bent, scratched or suffered any nicks.
I'm really looking forward to some upcoming trips (next week, a snowshoe week in the mountains) and using the Camp Kitchen Knife on these outings! Hopefully, all the fire bans/wind advisories will cease and we will be back to making more hot meals on the trail. Still, I suspect we will continue to need a knife for our sausage and cheese snacks!
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
|The last couple of months have been sticking-close-to-home months. All of my snowshoeing and hiking has been pretty much confined to the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) trails in Fremont County, except for a week-long trip (all day hikes) to Eagle County and an overnight to Gunnison/Chaffee County's Monarch Pass for some great snowshoeing on the Continental Divide.
Shockingly, the weather in Eagle County the first week of April was down-right balmy with very snow-free terrain - this is the home of Vail and Beaver Creek Ski resorts! While we planned to spend the week snowshoeing, we ended up hiking instead as there was no snow except the snow on the ski runs and even as disparate as I was to snowshoe, I know not to go anywhere near ski and snowboard territory! So we "made do" with some gorgeous hikes near Minturn and Avon, Colorado. Temps were in the mid 50's F (13 C).
Our trip to Monarch Pass yielded wonderful deep snow that was pretty much "crusted" over so very easy going through some beautiful pine forested areas as well as open meadows along the Continental Divide. It was a bit colder - in the low 30's F (-1 C).
In both locations, we were in steep terrain with elevations ranging from a low of 7400' (2260 m) in Avon to a high of 11,500' (3500 m) on the Continental Divide at Monarch Pass.
Close to home, I was able to get in a half-dozen day hikes in the Cooper Mountain area where most of the time it was unseasonably, unreasonably warm! We had days top out over 80 F (27 C). The Cooper Mountain range is in the south central part of Colorado and the terrain and geography are quite different from what most people think of when they hear "Colorado". Instead of towering ponderosa pine trees and white-barked aspens, this area is more high-desert with some prairie characteristics. Lots of scrubby pinon pines, juniper, grasses and even cactus. The trails are often very dusty but rocky and when muddy, sticky clay-like muck. Elevation ranges from just above the mile (1.6 km) mark to over 13,000' (4000 km).
|Continental Divide at Monarch Pass, CO
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Over the last two months, I've carried the Kyocera knife on every single hike, backpack, and snowshoe I've taken - at least a dozen different occasions. I also used the knife at home as well.
Food is a big deal with my trail mates and me and even a day hike means at least one hot meal on the way. I suspect we carry more "kitchen" tools in our backpacks than most other (normal) people do! Cheese, sausage, fresh fruit and bread/rolls usually are accompaniments to our home-made dehydrated meals. So the Kyocera knife has been put to the test for sure!
I've used it to cut everything from frozen and soft butter, bread and hard rolls, meat and potatoes, cooked and raw vegetables. The knife performed very well on them all. I got even cuts without tearing. Never did I have to use undue pressure either. The cutting action is very smooth and even as sharp as the knife is - and it IS sharp - I never suffered a sliced finger due to a slip of the knife.
I found the knife to have a very good feel and grip. I am very comfortable with using it without getting a hand cramp or fatigue.
I didn't really treat the knife overly carefully - except to keep my fingers intact. In the field, a quick swipe with a paper tower (or my jeans) sufficed for cleaning and once at home, I washed it by hand with regular dishwashing soap, rinsed well in warm water, dried it and put it away until the "next time". There are no nicks, scratches, spots, blemishes or discoloration on the blade. It is still as white and pristine as the day I got it. The sheath is in excellent condition as well.
I never used the knife for anything but food preparation. No branch cutting, kindling chopping, webbing trimming, digging cat holes, or any nefarious activities! Just food!
Nothing much changed as far as my opinion of the stellar features of the Kyocera Ceramic Camp Kitchen Knife during these last couple of months. It's a great cutting tool for kitchen prep both in and out doors. There isn't anything I could think of to suggest as an improvement. I now carry the knife all the time - I've switched from hanging it on my backpack waistbelt to attaching it to the side of my pack. I've definitely become a fan and can recommend it to all!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and Kyocera Advanced Ceramics for the opportunity to try out the Kyocera Outdoors Ceramic Camp Kitchen Knife.
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
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