Damascus steel is a well-known material that’s been used to make knives for centuries. It earned its reputation back in the day during the times of Alexander the Great and later the Crusades when blacksmiths used to make weapons that were remarkably lightweight but extremely strong. The swords could retain their shape edges battle after battle and were much less prone to chipping and damage. The local blacksmiths in the city of Damascus were highly sought after for their exceptional craftsmanship in making these extraordinary weapons.
The Making of Damascus Steel
Fabricating Damascus steel involved heating and folding the steel many times over to make the blade stronger and give it a unique swirl pattern. The Middle Eastern blacksmiths used special steel imported from India called wootz, which was believed to be super strong, and yet flexible.
While wootz is no longer available today, blacksmiths mix different types of steel, working them into folded layers. The appearance of the final product will vary depending on the steel included in the mix. The process of making Damascus steel is hands-on and the Damascus steel knives usually come from world-renown blacksmiths like Chad Nichols, Devin Thomas, and Brad Vice.
Reasons to Buy Damascus Steel Knives
Now that you know a little history about Damascus steel, are knives made from Damascus steel worth it?
For starters, Damascus steel has an intricate and rare beauty that’s incomparable. The end products exhibit extraordinary water-flowing patterns formed by forging multiple layers of different steels. The beauty is that you can't find two similar patterns, meaning you get a unique pattern only owned by you.
Damascus steel was used to make swords and knives more than 2000 years ago. They were loved because of their ability to retain sharpness for an exceptionally long time. And it could be sharpened with ease when needed.
Since it doesn’t need to be sharpened constantly, it means you can reliably use it in your kitchen to cut anything you want.
The reason Damascus steel was used in the making of weaponry in ancient times was also because of how durable the material was. Legend has it that the swords made from Damascus steel were so durable that they could withstand battles.
Given how the materials are forged together, Damascus steel can stand up to most wear. Plus, it can resist stains, impacts, moisture, and even extreme temperatures, conditions that knives get exposed to every day in the kitchen.
Like we mentioned, Damascus steel is a combination of different types of metals, combined with the craftsmanship of making the knives, Damascus steel knives are super strong. They don’t break easily and are resistant to shattering. No wonder it’s a favorite among hunters and fishermen for their outdoor activities.
Great Value for Money
Damascus steel knife is not just like any other knife. Its techniques date back to ancient times and while the process of making it has changed over the years due to lack of the original material, the traditions of the craftsmanship have been passed through generations.
A Damascus steel knife is considered an antique and as rare as the original, giving you the honor of owning a unique kitchen knife that will last in your family for generations to come. You can even resell and fetch good money.
How to Buy a Genuine Damascus Knife
In today’s market, finding a real Damascus steel knife is not easy. For the untrained eye, it's easy to be fooled by the patterns that are synonymous with Damascus steel. Some unscrupulous traders print a pattern on a plain steel blade to make it appear to be the Damascus steel. The American Bladesmith Society insists that to attain a true “Master Smith” standard, a Damascus blade must be forged with at least 300 layers.
As you can imagine, this takes a lot of work and determination, no wonder the real thing can be quite costly. It's not easy to distinguish the fake from the real one since pattern welding together pieces of low-quality steel will give you the typical Damascus patterns. Some makers even make the patterns more prominent using high nickel materials for extra contrast, sometimes, not using steel at all.
The knives will look good on the surface but won't perform as a practical tool since they can't hold or retain a sharp edge. If you plan to invest in a Damascus knife and make it worthwhile, be sure to buy from authenticated traders or makers. It may cost a bit much, but at least you’ll know it won't be breaking or losing its sharp edge anytime soon.
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