Do you know Damascus steel? It is a very special type of steel that has mysterious patterns. The patterns are different in different pieces and the manufacturer designs them according to his desire.
Damascus steel is used to make the Damascus style knife which is very popular nowadays. In addition, this type of steel is usually forged by fusing two or more types of steel, which results in fascinating patterns.
This band sometimes represents the design of tears, sometimes of circular shapes and sometimes of flowing water. These are not the only patterns that Damascus steel has and there are many other patterns.
Damascus steel was originally made in the regions of India and Sri Lanka, from where it was imported throughout the world. The people of India and Sri Lanka knew the true art and technique of making a Damascus steel knife.
Some say that Damascus steel is so named because it originated in the capital of Syria, Damascus. Others say it is named after Smith himself, who first made it by fusing different types of steel.
There is another story that the patterns of this steel, known as strip, matched the patterns of a cloth known as Damascus and that is why it is called Damascus steel.
We can't say for sure what the real story is, but the most promising and popular one is the one that says this steel has its origins in the city of Damascus.
Now, if you are considering buying a Damascus style knife or if you are considering buying one, then you should also learn how to maintain your knife and especially you should learn some tips on how to sharpen its blade.
This is because if the concentration of stainless steel is high in the knife you own or if it is purely made of stainless steel, the knife blade will quickly lose its sharpness and you will need to sharpen it to keep it working properly.
However, if you choose a carbon steel knife, you don't have to worry too much about losing its edge, because carbon steel doesn't lose its edge easily. But a carbon steel blade is very prone to corrosion and rust and is not so much preferred to stainless steel.
Therefore, when using such knives, you should be well aware of how to properly sharpen a damascus blade.
The three most important tools needed to sharpen a knife are
They allow to sharpen correctly the blade of a Damascus style knife and to transform it into a new blade.
The first step is to firmly grasp the steel rod in one hand and place its end on a surface. Make sure the steel rod is at a ninety degree angle to the hard surface you have placed it on.
Now hold the knife in your other hand and hold it over the steel rod at an angle of about fifteen to twenty degrees with the blade of the Damascus knife touching the steel rod.
You should now apply pressure and slide the knife blade all the way down the steel rod to the tip. After doing this once, you need to repeat this step but on the other side of the steel. Continue this until you have made about ten strokes.
If sharpening the blade of a Damascus style knife with steel did not give good results, then you should try using a whetstone. Then help yourself to sharpen the blade in a controlled, precise and accurate manner.
While sharpening a knife blade with a whetstone, you should also use a lubricant. Oil or water can be used as a lubricant.
The next step is to place the whetstone on a smooth surface and hold the knife with both hands over the whetstone at a twenty degree angle so that the fingers of your hand grip the handle of the knife while the fingers of the other hand press the tip of the knife blade.
Next, you should rub the blade on the whetstone evenly, moving forward and backward. Repeat this step over and over and you will feel the metal of the blade sharpen against the whetstone.
Remember to keep the angle intact throughout the sweeping motion.
After a few strokes, you will see that your knife is sufficiently sharpened and the blade is ready to be used.
So now you know two ways to sharpen a damascus knife. You can also use a knife sharpener. The main thing is that you are comfortable with the method you use.
So which method is best for you?
Sharpening stone is certainly the best choice to maintain the edge of your knives.
Halfway between a sharpening stone that only straightens a cutting edge - useless if the knife no longer cuts - and a grindstone that removes a lot of material and does little damage, the whetstone is an ideal compromise.
This attractive and mysterious steel has captured the imagination of many people. So I will do my best to explain what it is and how it is made.
The terms damascus steel, damascened steel or damascene steel refer to 2 types of steel that look similar :