Do Slice Ceramic Safety Blades Break Easily?
When customers ask whether Slice blades break easily, they usually mean one of three things:
- Do the blades shatter when you drop them?
- Do they snap in two when subjected to a side load?
- Will the edges chip and lower cutting performance over time?
We’ll answer each of these questions in turn.
The most common misconception about ceramics is that they’re so brittle that they will shatter if dropped on a hard surface. The issue is that people hear “ceramic” and imagine day-to-day pottery, thinking Slice blades use the same material.
In fact, Slice uses a material known as “advanced ceramics”, 100 percent zirconium oxide, which is extremely strong. The key to its strength, and resistance to shattering, is in the manufacturing process. Advanced ceramics, also known as engineered ceramics start off as refined zirconia powder. This powder is shaped with high-pressure industrial presses, then baked at 1400 degrees Celsius for 48 hours. The result is tougher than steel.
It’s extremely unlikely that a Slice ceramic blade will shatter from typical or industrial use. Whether you’re dropping the tools onto a concrete floor or cutting through a hard material, Slice ceramic safety blades are reliable and durable.
Applying a Side Load
Side load refers to the pressure a person applies to the side, rather than the edge, of the blade. For example, if you use your blade as a screwdriver or you place both ends of the blade on supports (like a miniature bridge), then apply pressure to the center (with your hand or a tool like a hammer), you’re applying side load.
If you’re doing either of these things, our first question is: why? No knife blade is designed to withstand side load and regardless of which blade you use, this type of pressure risks breaking the blade in unpredictable ways, with dangerous shards potentially flying off in the process.
Slice ceramics are sturdy by design. Their extra thickness protects them to some degree from side load breakage, but no tool will act predictably if it’s used in ways it wasn’t designed for. So while we’re confident that we offer a durable product, we remind you to use your Slice ceramic safety blade as it was intended.
Chipping and Effectiveness
Many customers wonder: do the blades chip? Under what circumstances? Will it affect their performance? Slice ceramic safety blades occasionally sustain very small micro-nicks along their edge. When we say very small, we literally mean microscopic. These tiny chips can be considered normal wear and tear, and will not affect the performance of the blades. Metal blades are also subject to wear and tear, and of course they dull much quicker than Slice blades, which last an average of 11.2 times longer than metal.
It’s possible that a Slice blade will receive a larger chip or damage if it encounters something unusually hard during the cut, for example staples in a cardboard box. This situation damages any type of blade, so use your box cutters with care.