It is common to hold that Damascus Knife made of Damascus steel are the best knives known to man. But is that true? There is a certain amount of myth surrounding this quality steel starting from its origins in India, and not in Japan as is customary to do. Let’s explore what is right and what can be exaggerated in these knives.
The production of steel knives from Damascus is considered an art form that goes back to the steel age itself. The name comes from his birthplace Damascus Syria around 900 AD. Here they were used to make swords that were known to be some of the best in the world. The Japanese took and improved the process, but the art was completely lost about 400 years ago.
Thanks to the recent revival of the art of knife making in recent decades, the art of knife making in Damascus has been restored. Although we cannot know exactly how the modern process compares to the old one, we do know that the steel knives of modern Damascus are not made of the same metals as in historical periods. They do look similar, and have the same power and sharpness as those ancient swords.
Damascus steel is a very strong carbon steel alloy that can hold a sharp edge without breaking. In addition to its fine quality, it is also known for its striking patterns on the blades. Various bands, waves or ripples have always been an aesthetic feature of Damascus blades. They are actually carbides that are laid in sheets. It is these carbides that give these blades their incredible power.
Most modern Damascus knives are made from knife shortages, which are not quite the same as Damascus steel. They differ in that they are made of molded steel using a folded metal method. The resulting knife blank is made from the layers resulting from the process, shaped and polished to the blade.
Acid is sometimes used to expose the natural pattern in the knife blade of Damascus. It does not create this pattern; it just highlights that. However an empty knife treated in this way is not really an empty Damascus knife.
What do the experts say?
Most knife and cutlery experts will tell you they are exaggerated. Yes, samurai swords were amazing at the time, and other legendary Damascus swords were well-made weapons, but modern steel production caught on and in many cases surpassed the old ways and methods.
However, Damascus steel is amazing. Blades and swords can be collectors’ items thanks to their unusual and beautiful patterns. Damascus knives do hold their tip better and are much more durable than their stainless steel counterparts. Most people find stainless steel good enough for their purposes, and since it is much cheaper to manufacture and easier to maintain, it is usually the material chosen for the needs of household knives.
In conclusion, Damascus steel knives are one of the only useful tools that have survived to the present day that can be seen as a work of art. Amateur chefs and serious professionals will usually have a set of Damascus knives. For those for whom cooking is a passion, the extra performance and durability is worth the extra cost. They may not be magical sword swords, but they are fine professional blades that professional chefs and collectors alike can appreciate.