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Damascus Steel: How many layers?

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  • #25547
    • Topics: 67
    • Replies: 2650

    Since buying the WE and sharpening every knife I owned and reading the forum often, I got the bug. I am just a home cook that likes a really sharp kitchen knife. I found I like double bevel 50/50 western style handled knives since they are most similar to what I’m use to using and therefore a good basis for comparison. I started my quest to buy relatively inexpensive knives made of what I understand to be relatively hard steel to determine which steel I prefer to use, to keep sharp and which steel I think stands up best to my use. As I accumulate knives I research further into brands and steels. I have bought a so called Damascus Steel knife and really enjoy it. I say so called since whether it is truly Damascus steel or pattern welded steel or what, is a whole discussion in itself. To get to the point my question is. “Is a Damascus Steel knife made with more layers better than one made with less layers, when made out of the same comparable steel?” For instance is 160 layers, better than 80 layers which is better than 30 layers when made out of the same stainless steel?

    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    Leo Barr
    • Topics: 26
    • Replies: 812

    I think most solid damascus knives are made outside of Japan although I enclose a picture that is an exception.
    One thing to wary of with solid damascus knives is whether the damascus steel is of good quality .Damascus made in India is poor quality.
    One thing to be wary of since you can buy billets of damascus is where it came from since you may find an American or European knife made out of this poor quality damascus so if buying you should know where the damascus was made. American or European Damascus is probable 10 times the price of the Indian made damascus which means a knife will probable be a minimum of $300 whilst you see the indian ones on ebay for $30.
    You can get damascus made from carbon steel as well as stainless .

    Aaron kimpton
    • Topics: 8
    • Replies: 155

    Modern production is pattern welded steel. Not damascus. The processes for making true Damascus are lost to us. That does not mean pattern welded steel is inferior. It simply means it is not damascus, made the same way, contain the same trace elements as the various damascus types through out history.

    Calling modern pattern welded steel damascus steel. May not seem like much of an issue. Think decimate and devistate. Decimate means to remove 1 in 10, devistate means leaving 1 in 10. They are used interchangibly, but mean vastly different things.

    Knife talk 1 and knife talk 2 books by Ed fowler cover this extensively.
    on a side note what he has done with 52100 steel is amazing

    • Topics: 38
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