We all love knives that look fancy. These knife maniacs are not even pragmatic can simply deny the folding or fixed blades that they carry. Coated, painted, with satin or stone finish – knife blade can be visually enhanced in a million ways. However, it is a difficult question to answer. “Will it stand for trial against the heavy tasks?” It depends on many factors such as the steel grade, the coating characteristics and the handle construction. Speaking of the blade, nothing lasts forever and even wears the best shield down. However, there are knives that look great after centuries of good use – Damascus steel knife. Today, we will talk about the characteristics, production and other characteristics of this famous steel.
What is Damascus steel?
Many new people are likely to ask this question first. The current problem is that the topic remains open and the most experienced knife makers argue about it. Crucible steel is considered by some to be a real danger; others believe pattern welding is the right way to produce fine and beautiful knife blades. The truth (if ever) has always been somewhere between them. And to understand it we have to dig in the history and origin of Damascus steel. But that is what we find in the following section, so we only draw the full content of this blade material.
According to most resources, Damascus steel is a type of steel to make knives long ago in the Near East, and was made specifically from wootz steel ingots. Now, steel is the wootz steel (also known as Ukku, Steel, USA Steel, Teling Steel and Bulat later) for lower carbide steel combined with higher carbide steel. Sometimes it was bamboo and leaves from plants that added carbon (carburizing) to an alloy. The banding of micro carbohydrates with ferrite resulted in a beautiful and distinctive pattern and flexibility and reasonable hardness.
Where did Damascus come from?
Until these days historians are not sure where the Damascus steel came from or who first created it. What we know is that the steel is named after the capital of Syria – Damascus. Indeed this city has long been a trading center and many goods and armor, shields and swords have been sold. In addition, the blade pattern is similar to the pattern of the Damask fabrics, which were later named after the city. It was thought that the weapons were then forged from wootz ingots. The wootz steel was made in India around the same time (500 A.D.)
Whatever the myth, we know that the method has been lost since about the 16th century. Methods such as other similar welding were used in extremely long European guns. Back then, W. W. Greener used the term “Damascus” referring to welded steel in the forge. The Gun and its Development was the book 1881 (the first release). You see, in the 19th century culture, that there was no term as a hard pattern of steel or wootz. Instead, only the word Damascus was used by humans.
So if you ask me whether it is appropriate to call modern Damascus stainless steel, the answer is. Wootz was never true as Damascus’ steel (not even talking here about the country of origin). The ancient Syrian steel was probably made from Wootz ingot imported. But it is certainly polished (in ways we don’t know now). Can we call Damascus modern patterned knives? Sure, we can. Not only has the term been used as a knife and gun manufacturers for about two hundred years, but actual production is similar.
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