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Damascus blades - good for EDC or just for show?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by sir_mike, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. sir_mike

    sir_mike Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Hi all,

    As the title says, are Damascus blades good for EDC'ing or just for show? Do they have good edge retention? Sharpness? Easy to sharpen? etc. How does that steel compare to others like 154cm, VG-10 or S30V?

    I am thinking of getting one but havent decided if I should go folder or fixed so looking for some comments from folks that own and use them!

  2. greendude


    Oct 9, 2012
    I don't like Damascus blades. don't see the point. I though I saw it in knives that had a core laminated with Damascus , but then - why Damascus and not just one layer of steel? japanese gyuto (chef) are commonly made this way - very hard carbon steel core, laminated with Damascus, stainless or simply softer "iron". I don't see the advanteges of the Damascus lamination over the others.

    as for all the blade being Damascus - don't see the point.
  3. mkjellgren


    Nov 1, 2005
    They could be good for edc, it all depends on what steels are used to make the damascus. In general though, with the advent of modern powdered metals, the advantages of damascus are moot. Modern damascus is more for the pattern than anything else, so yes, it's just for show.
  4. sir_mike

    sir_mike Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Thanks guys but arent the Damascus typically made for two types of steels so they should be fairly consistantly made. I am thinking more for show too! :)
  5. NvG79

    NvG79 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 24, 2011
    I own and edc a small sebenza wirh stainless devin thomas spirograph damascus, and it is a treat!
    The steel holds up to any of the 'supersteels' man can buy these days!!

    Does it have a specific point....... Nope, but it looks frickin cool!!

  6. crimsonfalcon07


    Dec 27, 2010
    I EDC a fixed blade made from damascus. Not all damascus is the same, but a good damascus is plenty good, and if you like the aesthetic value, that's the main reason. Stuff actually holds up reasonably well to use too, although the pattern can and will scratch over time.
  7. sir_mike

    sir_mike Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Yeah, I like the looks too but looks are not the only reason to buy Damascus but it is the reason to buy a CRK! :)

    So how do I know what is a "good" one or a "bad" one?
  8. crimsonfalcon07


    Dec 27, 2010
    Helps if you actually know what went into it. A lot of "damascus" steel knives that you see on places like the bay are really low quality. Much of it isn't actually pattern welded steel (as opposed to wootz). If you know which steels went into it, however, you're probably looking at the real deal. Ditto if they advertise the name of the person who made the steel. Those are both good signs. I get most of my damascus from Alabama Damascus. Good folks.

    If you're looking for a really classy damascus EDC, you should go custom from some of the guys on here. Browse the custom knives forum some, and you can see some of the stunning damascus patterns that have been put together. Some of them are so detailed that it boggles my mind how someone could create a pattern like that.
  9. leroyk3


    Feb 16, 2009
    i think there a lot of things that maybe you don't see the point of. maybe a stick would be a goo carry for you leroyk
  10. Bastid

    Bastid Goat herding fool and resident vermin breeder. Staff Member Super Mod

    Feb 27, 2001
    Like most anything there is damascus, some of it is pretty, some not so pretty, some will perform on par with just about anything out there for cutting, some does not. Some have so much talent behind them the thought of how the maker pulled it off boggels the mind. Like others have said, it depends on who makes it and what it is made from as well as technique.
    Cutting competitions have been won with damascus blades so it is not just for show.
  11. leroyk3


    Feb 16, 2009
    that was for greendude
  12. severtecher

    severtecher Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2002
    I have several good looking custom Damascus knives.
    Of course the only really usable Damascus is the unsurpassable Ninja Damascus. With all the trouble in Syria lately you know Damascus prices will skyrocket. Get yours while you still can.
  13. marthinus

    marthinus KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 10, 2006
    Have to agree with many here, not all damascus is the same.

    Some of the best for EDC is Damasteel as part of Erasteel. Contains RWL-34 and something else. To lazy to google it now.
  14. sir_mike

    sir_mike Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    @severtecher: The only Ninja Damascus that I can find is in swords only. Is it put into other knives?

    @marthinus: I will try to google that and see if I can find any folders or fixed blades in the size I want.

    Thanks for the info guys! :)
  15. crimsonfalcon07


    Dec 27, 2010
    I get the sense that severtecher is just teasing about ninja damascus. Next he's going to be talking about elite tactical special ops damascus... Which is like regular damascus, except that it's even more stealthy and awesome because it's got a blade that's been coated black. Yeah. For those times when your mission requires you to take down the mall terrorists without them seeing you coming and all. Cause it's not like coating damascus invalidates one of the main reasons to use the stuff. Oh no.

    Devin Thomas and Chad Nichols are well known makers of damascus steel also. Darrel Ralph and Chad Nichols have made customs with Chad's SS damascus sandwiching a core of M390, which is pretty much the most epic san mai I've ever heard of. Great cutting performance coupled with the looks of damascus. Damascus blades are going to be very spendy though. It's a lot of work to make, and so it's correspondingly quite expensive.
  16. Ernie1980

    Ernie1980 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    I have two folders in carbon damascus steel, and their performance is similar to a plain carbon blade. It looks great though! Alabama Damascus is not too much more than a carbon steel blade. Don't expect a miracle cutter- just another knife but I think every knife fan needs one:)
  17. JTR357


    Sep 10, 2007
    I only have experience using Devin Thomas' stainless damascus he outsources to Case & Chris Reeve knives.Mainly the raindrop & ladder patterns.I would say it performs at least as well as production grade 154CM ,as far as edge holding & ease of sharpening go.
    I personally love the stuff.It works well & looks good doing it.I would replace all my blades with DT's damascus if possible,with the exception of some 3V & ZDP blades I like just the way they are.
  18. sir_mike

    sir_mike Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Can you provide me with details of where I can check the work out in Case or others? Maybe a link to a seller of his knives but you might have to email or pm that info as I dont know if the forum would like it posted.

  19. JTR357


    Sep 10, 2007
    It's Case knives.One of the (if not the) oldest knife manufacturers in the US.

    Just Google "Case knives"
  20. marthinus

    marthinus KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 10, 2006

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