Most readily available commercial knives are made from stainless steel. Some Japanese knives will use carbon steel, which is known for its extreme hardness and the ability to sharpen the blade to a very fine edge. Carbon steel rusts easily and requires a lot of maintenance. Another alternative Japanese knife-makers offer is Damascus steel.
Originally only found in Damascus, this metal is developed from repeated folding of multiple grades of steel in order to create a more resilient blade. The true method for developing Damascus steel has been lost to the ages, so you have to be wary when shopping for a blade using this metal. You can easily end up with an amateur attempt. In the minutes it takes you to read this article, you can find the perfect Damascus steel knife for you and save yourself months or even years of getting burned by sub-par products.
We’ve worked with knives for years. We’ve tried all kinds of steel types and configurations from every brand on the market. We’ve put them to the test and offer you our findings so that you don’t have to spend years figuring out which is exactly the right knife for you.
Table of Contents
- How to Identify the Best Damascus Knives
- Damascus Knife Reviews
How to Identify the Best Damascus Knives
Damascus steel is notable for its distinctive “water-like” pattern. This occurs when the different grades of steel are folded together. Originally, Damascus steel could only be found in Damascus, where specific impurities in the steel in addition to the folding method produced this characteristic pattern. This reinforces the steel in the blade, which is why we like Damascus knives. At the end of the day, the pattern preference is more about personal aesthetic: every Damascus steel blade is its own uniquely patterned blade.
This is not required for a Damascus steel product, it is just a general preference. Unless you are specifically in the market for a folding knife, a fixed-blade knife tends to stand up to more rigorous work over longer periods of time. When purchasing a fixed-blade knife, you want a full-tang so that the blade is as sturdy as possible. Damascus steel is utilized, at least in part, on the principle that the steel layering creates a reinforced blade. There’s no point if the metal in the blade is reinforced if the entire knife doesn’t life up to that warranty.
The main reason we pay attention to price point is to determine the quality of the product we’re looking at. Damascus steel is a special steel, but it doesn’t cost that much extra to develop a good quality knife out of it. This means that you shouldn’t pay an astronomical amount for your Damascus knife. You also shouldn’t pay too little, however. When we see a price that seems suspiciously low, based on our years of experience looking at the knife market, we suspect it’s a fake. Some manufacturers will use regular stainless steel and merely paint a pattern on it to resemble a Damascus pattern. One of the only ways to tell if a Damascus pattern is fake is to see if it rubs out. You don’t want to buy one and end up stuck with a lower-quality fake.
Damascus Knife Reviews
We’ve had years of experience using countless different knife designs in order to be able to narrow down our list of the best Damascus steel knives out there. We’ve tried and tested them so that you don’t have to waste your time and money doing so. At the end of the day, a knife is a personal investment. It’s a tool you’ll be using, perhaps day in and day out; that means it is a choice that you have to make based on your own personal needs and preferences. We offer our own opinions, based on a great deal of collective experience and hope we can help make your decision as easy as possible.
The Nazarov Knives Hunting Knife is our top pick for Damascus steel products. This beautiful fixed-blade hunting knife incorporates two different Damascus steel pattern types to give you visual variety and optimal strength. We loved using this knife with its ergonomic handle and simple, pleasing aesthetic. It doesn’t have to be your favorite, but it is certainly ours.
The Bobcat Knives Bowie Knife is also an excellent product, especially for the price you’re paying. The Damascus steel is well-made with a lovely resulting pattern. We found the handle to be slightly less ergonomic than the Nazarov, but it was easily graspable and comfortably usable over long periods of time. This tool stood up to hard tasks, retaining its sharpness and strength, and would make an excellent option for your Damascus steel knife investment.
Finally, the REG-274 Damascus Steel Hunting Knife isn’t the best of the best when it comes to Damascus steel blades, but it is an excellent tool for someone on a budget. Damascus steel, while a specialized metal and method for blade-making, isn’t a significantly expensive process, meaning you should never have to pay an excessive amount of money for a good quality Damascus steel blade. That also means that finding a good quality one for someone on a particularly tight budget is a piece of cake. This knife is resilient, strong and sharp with a lovely aesthetic. It is a highly satisfactory choice for the knife-buyer who needs to save as much money as possible.
Whatever knife appeals to you is the knife you should choose, no matter what anyone else tells you. All we hope to do is help you narrow the hundreds of options down to some of the best so that you can find the right knife for you while knowing it will be the best quality and price possible!