What is real Damascus Steel?
The word "Damascus steel" is unfortunately not a protected term and therefore cheap rolling laminates are often sold as damask. In a rolling mill, a normal, (often rust-free) knife steel is provided in the welded joint with a "strip paper" to produce a damask-like look. However, unlike the real damask, this method has no effect on the cutting properties of the knife, so only the optics are paid for here!
The right Damascus steel consists of at least two knife steels, which are alternately present in the cutting edge as many thin layers. In addition, a decisive quality characteristic is that the steels not only differ, but are complementary in interaction with each other. Especially the favourable, imported damask often has great quality fluctuations.
But beware: There are huge differences in quality, even if it looks similar! 5 properties must be met for a knife made of Damascus steel to be of high quality.
Only if all 5 criteria are met, a Damascus is worth its price:
1. The steels in the damask should complement each other in their properties and suitable for the purpose of use. Especially with low-priced Damascus steels from abroad, usually lies, because there is not some steel used with high-quality components such as 1095 and 15N20, 1.1248, 1.2003, 1.2067, 1.3505, 1.2210 and other high class steels more which we use for our unique compositions depending on the knife line. Our tip: Stay away from cheap damask!
2. The arrangement of the Damascus steels and the mixing ratio should be chosen according to the requirements. The number of layers should also be at least 100 layers. We recommend 50 to 100 layers per mm material thickness.
3. The steel structure must be optimally adjusted by means of a precise heat treatment. In the production of Damascus steel, the steel is heated to more than 1,200 °c. As a result, the steel structure suffers enormously and the steel becomes gritty and brittle. Only when the microstructure has been professionally corrected and refined, the resulting knife will remain sharp for a long time and give you pleasure. The purchase of damask is a matter of trust in the capabilities of the manufacturer. Otherwise, buy the cat in the bag.
4. Small welding faults in the Damascus steel can occur, but these should be very small and hardly visible. In no case can big defects be repaired simply with the welding machine, because these areas will not be hard later. Pay attention to large spots that interrupt the pattern. You will be amazed how often you get to see something like this.
5. The hardening and tempering of the finished blade should be carried out by an experienced damask smith. Only if you know the material accurately can you achieve optimal results. Hardening plants are often not able to harden the blade as a single piece and do not unleash the efficiency that is slumbering in good Damascene steel.
Trust the expertise of Knivesmasters and you have the certainty that a Damascus steel knife meets all the criteria and is worth its money.