What Is a Damascus Blade?
We see Damascus blade on almost every Shun knife, which brings up the question, What is it? Damascus, Wootz, and Pattern-weld are names given to different types of steel and blades. The true definition of Damascus Blades
have become a lost art from history that only a few blade smiths continue this tradition. Damascus is an ancient method of sword smith technique used to create battle ready weapons that were improved from traditional techniques.
Modern Definition of Damascus Blade
The modern term for Damascus is two or more steel alloys that are forged/casted together in various methods to create the wavy artistic pattern. Damascus blades are common in Shun knives which is the artistic design that has become known for the Shun quality. The process today is to take a stronger steel and fuse between two other stainless steel to create a stronger core without mixing. When Shun produces a knife they create a core of
stronger steel to support their 16 degree edge. If this core steel wasn’t as strong as it is, the edge would not remain sharp longer than the competitors and would become more fragile. Therefore, the Damascus blade is the wavy design created from the two layers on the outside of the core steel instead of mixing the inner steel with the outer steel. The true Damascus steel would weaken the stronger steel by mixing the steels together. San-mai is most common in Japanese knives in the sandwich equation of three steels.
Where Did The Modern Definition of Damascus Come From?
The modern term of Damascus was re-imaged in 1973. A blade smith named William F Moran presented a pattern welded style beginning a new version of Damascus Knives. Much like marketing has effected the definition of Hollow Ground Knives, Damascus blades took a new definition with marketing. Instead of focusing on the steel and procedure of creating when making Damascus blades, the newer definition focuses on the wavy, artistic design on the finished product.
It is still possible to purchase quality Damascus blades such as a Shun knife and even possible to buy actual Damascus blades from the old techniques. Damascus blades will remain sharper longer is maintain properly. Damascus blades will cost more, however, there are Chinese knock offs that are sold on Ebay claiming to be Damascus but are simply cheap knives that don’t last long. If you want to purchase a Damascus knife based on modern terms, consider Shun cutlery, because these knives are reasonably priced and provide quality knives.
If you wish to purchase actual Damascus steel or knives then consider Devin Thomas. Just remember that these blades are high quality Damascus steel and can range between 1300 to 1700 dollars a knife.
And you thought a Shun knife was expensive.