Tell me about Damascus steel.

November 30, 2017

Damascus is the result of forge welding steel of varying qualities together into one billet. It often requires cutting, restacking, and repeated forge welding to achieve the desired final layer count. The process can take many hours and in some cases days to complete. Damascus offers Murray a chance to incorporate more skill and expertise into the metal, compared to forging non-Damascus steel into a knife. This is due to an increase in the number of heating and forging operations. It can be compared to the customization of a commercially available product such as a car. The more the car is modified, i.e. customized, the more the work will resemble the skills, spirit and personality of the artisan doing the work to it. In this way, Damascus allows Murray to make a unique end product, and gives him the chance to put more of himself into the steel. Likewise, whether Damascus cuts well or not, it reflects the ability and spirit of the smith much more than the inherent qualities of Damascus itself. Here is a video of Murray forging Damascus billets.

Carter Cutlery utilizes both in house hand forged Damascus steel as well as proprietary Damascus which is custom made for us in Japan.

Murray’s Damascus blades benefit from the same sharpening and maintenance regiments of our non-Damascus knives. In this video, Murray talks about the maintenance of Damascus knives.

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