When I was hanging around the knives website, I saw an interesting question and would like to answer it. The question is ‘Many manufacturers currently offer kitchen knives with Damascus steel blades at a premium. Besides looking cool do such knifes have any better characteristics compared to simply good forged stainless steel kitchen knives?’
To solve this question, we have to know what is Damascus steel also named Persian watered steel, was made by Islamic metalsmiths with wootz steel in 8th century CE. But its produce method was lost in the centuries. In the cold weapon era, having a Damascus sword means you will have a higher rate of survival when you are facing with the enemy. This is because of its superior toughness, sharp cutting edge and the surface characteristic of watered silk or damask like swirled pattern.
In modern life, people figured out some method to produce the similar steel that also has the beautiful surface pattern and good performance. But for knife builder, it’s very important to balance the product attributes to meet the demands of the market. There is two mainly types Damascus knives. One is blades are cheaply made and consist of simple layered steel or flattened steel cable that is etched to produce the lines to attract many people. They are definitely not worth any extra cost and in fact are easily outperformed by regular modern kitchen knives of moderate to good quality. In fact since these damascus blades are only formed from ordinary steel they will rust quite easily, must be maintained regularly and will not hold a keen edge.
I would like to recommend the other type is made from layers of high-carbon steel but also has an inner core of high carbon specialty steel like VG-10. This type of Damascus is far more expensive of course but produces a blade of superior quality as well as one that looks very cool. It will hold its edge longer because of the hardness of the inner core but will also be very durable due to the layers of more flexible and stain resistant stainless steel.
It’s a personal choice to decide whether or not it is worth the extra cost for high quality modern Damascus knives. If you only want to store it for decorating your kitchen, choose a cheaper one is enough. But if you use your knife extensively, like the very best and want a knife that stays really sharp, I would say the answer is yes. But do your homework and ask questions for searching the real Damascus brand and get the professional service. "Damascus" does not automatically mean better.
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