There are several types of knives and tools used in history. Damascus steel has been one of the most popular ones. This is because of the exceptional quality as well as the fact that it was used in a variety of war situations. They are one of the most durable ones as well. Learn more about the Damascus steel knife below and find out why you should be buying it.
Why Should You Invest in a Damascus Steel Knife?
The Origin of Damascus Steel
As the name suggests, people believe Damascus steel gets its name because it belongs to Damascus or Syria. The truth is the steel was imported from India or Pakistan, and blades were cast out of Wootz steel. The first mention of Damascus steel was by Muslim scholars, who mentioned these swords by name in their texts. There are 3 instances where the name Damascus might have come to represent the steel.
The first theory is that the word “damas” was the origin of the name because damas means “watered” in Arabic. The swords were said to have a water pattern on them, which might have been why they were called Damascus steel blades.
The second is the mention in texts of special swords that were made in Damascus. However, these may not be the same swords, because there is no mention of the swords having patterns on the outside. Whereas, Damascus steel blades are famous for these patterns. The third word the name of the blades could have come from was the name of a blacksmith. He created swords of crucible steel, was called Damascus, and has been mentioned by Al-Biruni in his works.
These special blades are said to have been made since 300 B.C, but the first mentions of the blades can be found between 300-500 AD. The blades didn’t reach Western Europe until the crusades of the 11th century, where the crusaders were impressed by the blades used by Arab warriors. Legends about these deadly blades, and their unbeatable warriors spread like fire in a forest.
The Arabs imported Wootz steel, and for hundreds of years, produced these superior blades. However, when war broke out in the region, importing metal got harder and harder. Slowly, by the 18 century, Damascus steel blades, and the craft that was used in making them, had both vanished.
These blades found a new life in recent times when in the 1800s two students figured out a way to recreate Damascus steel. Today, these blades have become prized because of the iconic shape and look they carry. Different patterns, usually floral, are engraved on the blade.
Why Should You Invest in Damascus Steel?
Their Superior Strength
We have already discussed that Damascus steel blades were made of Wootz steel the Arabs imported. However, the technique that went into the making of the blade, was what gave them their unbeatable sharpness, and strength. These blades are said to be made the same way the Japanese made the samurai swords.
When Damascus steel blades were revived by 2 Stanford students, they discovered the metal relied on a high carbon content for its strength. The blades were forged and hammered at extremely low temperatures, but then heated at very high heat. The heating was followed by rapid cooling. This cooling is said to be done by thrusting the blades through slaves in ancient times, and scientists believe the nitrogen in the blood might have strengthened the alloy.
Today, no such drastic measures are taken. However, the rapid cooling gives the blade extra strength. The exterior of the blade hardens before the middle, giving it a molten steel core.
Another thing that lends strength to Damascus blades, is the impurities of the metal. The pure form of most metals is too malleable, and impurities are added to be able to craft it into different shapes. The plethora of impurities in Damascus steel, and the range of carbon percentages give the blades their shine and durability.
The percentage of magnesium and chromium in Damascus steel also makes it strong. Adding magnesium improves grain structure, strength, wear resistance, and hardness.
Their Ability to Resist Corrosion
Damascus steel knives, especially those made of quality steel can resist corrosion. If you care for these knives right, and the stainless steel used to create them, stop them from ever rusting. This also depends on the carbon percentage, and the percentage of other alloys used to create the steel by the manufacturer. Chromium, for example, gives the blade its tensile strength, and the ability to resist corrosion.
You should always buy Damascus steel knives from a trusted manufacturer to avoid any future problems.
Damascus steel blades have always been prized because of their sharpness. The high carbon content in the metal ensures the edge of the blade doesn’t wear down easily. The knives are perfect for cutting, chopping, and even deboning meat. Their sharp edge promises precision in the kitchen, and the lightness of the blade makes it easy to handle. All in all, they are every chef’s dream.
The sharpness of the edge depends on the type of knife steel that is used to create them. AUS8 is steel created by Aichi Foundry and has a high carbon content. However, the steel is famous for requiring its edges to be sharpened very soon. AUS10, also by Aichi Foundry, is a better option, and its knives are known for holding their edges better.
VG1 by the Takefu Special Steel Company is known for producing knives with sharp edges that don’t need to be sharpened often. However, this steel lacks cobalt and vanadium, which makes it susceptible to corrosion. VG2, by the Takefu Special Steel Company, has a lower carbon content. However, the addition of metals like chromium, copper, and others makes it extremely resistant to corrosion.
However, the king of all steel is the VG10 by the Takefu Special Steel Company. The steel creates knives with edges like no other and is the most prized steel on the market. If you’re a professional chef, we recommend getting your hands on a knife made of VG10 steel. However, for domestic use, the VG1, and the VG2 are some amazing choices.
Let’s be honest here, the swirling patterns on the Damascus steel blades make them look majestic. During the making of the blades, layers of steel are placed on top of one other to create billets. Then these billets are twisted, hammered, and heated. Once the billets have been properly hammered, and the metal has turned the right shade of red, the blade is quenched to cool, and hardened. When the craftsman pulls the blade, it reveals the patterns etched onto the surface.
However, these authentic patterns are extremely hard to find. Mostly, the patterns have been engraved into the finished blade. While this provides the same iconic look, the pattern slowly fades over time as the blade experiences friction with use. In contrast, the pattern that is created by twisting billets of steel never fades.
If you love the look of your Damascus steel life and want to have something iconic in your collection, always buy your knife from a trusted seller and manufacturer.
There are many types of knives available on the internet which can be purchased easily. However, if you are looking for something that gives an element of grace and elegance along with outstanding quality, you should be investing in a Damascus steel knife. We hope that you are satisfied with the purchase. It can be a wonderful gift for someone interested in a knife collection. There are several other knives as well which have been famous in history.