Damascus performance for user blade?

Jul 22, 2004
I was wondering how damascus blades perform in general use. I've done a search and gotten a little info, especially about purpose-built patterns and metal combos but am still curious. Aside from these specifically designed blades, how's the overall performance when looking at stuff like semi-custom production models and "random" damascus blades on other custom knifes?

When I can finally afford a nice custom damascus, I think I'd actually like to use it and not just have it be something pretty to look at in a display case. Is that idea practical or not so?
Mar 26, 2004
I think that's its generally acknowledged that a good modern homogenous steel knife is the ideal work tool.


Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Jan 17, 2004
Will P. said:
I think that's its generally acknowledge that a good modern homogenous steel knife is the ideal work tool.
That may or may not be true; however, what he is asking is whether he can have the steel that is pretty to look at while being perfectly capable to do all that a knife can do also. The answer is yes. If you're worried about the quality of the damascus, make sure it is from one of the more reputable makers (Devin Thomas, Damasteel, etc.)
May 9, 2000
Pattern welded steel that has as its components top quality steels will make an excellent blade for a working knife. You will however be paying more money for a knife that has a pattern welded blade and you won't be getting a better knife. Pattern welded steel sells because it has eye appeal, not because it makes for a better knife. If you are willing to pay extra for the looks you can get a knife every bit as good as one that has a blade made from homogenous steel.
Aug 4, 2004
My Buck 110 with damascus blade is the sharpest knife I own, and is relatively easy to re-sharpen. It does not have the stunning patterns that custom blades have, but it cuts like no tomorrow.


I support this site with my MIND
Sep 6, 2002
Some damsacus performs great in "general" use. Other damascus is more for looks, or best suited to a specific not "general" use.

The "usability" of your damascus is fully dependent upon the the materials and the skills of the damascus producer and the knife maker. The damascus producer chooses the ingredients, forges them together, while the knife maker (who may not make the damascus) shapes the blade and does the heat treating. If the knife maker is "worth his salt", tell the maker the uses you have for the knife and he'll tell you which of his knives will fit your needs.