What Are Damascus Kitchen Knives?

Chef using a damascus chef knifeChef's Knife 9.5" | Shogun Series

What Are Damascus Kitchen Knives? 

Content Table

  1. What Is A Damascus Kitchen Knife?
  2. Difference Between Cast Damascus Steel And Pattern-Welded Damascus Steel
  3. What To Look For When Shopping For A Damascus Kitchen Knife
  4. How Damascus Kitchen Knives Are Made
  5. Differences Between Damascus Knives vs. Carbon Steel Knives
  6. Differences Between Damascus Knives vs. Stainless Steel Knives
  7. How To Sharpen Damascus Kitchen Knives
  8. Let’s Talk About Dalstrong Vs. Other Professional Kitchen Knife Lines
  9. Dalstrong Recommended Damascus Kitchen Knives And Sharpeners
  10. Frequently Asked Questions About Damascus Kitchen Knives

1. What Is A Damascus Kitchen Knife?

Damascus kitchen knife block set

A Damascus kitchen knife stands out from its peers, thanks to its rippled water-like design. It usually has a wavy light and dark pattern. Apart from its luxurious look and build, it is best known for its spectacular edge retention, which also makes it flexible and tough. There are two kinds of Damascus Steel: Cast Damascus Steel and Pattern-Welded Damascus Steel. 

In terms of material, Damascus steel is treasured and talked about for a variety of reasons. The first is its place of origin. Damascus steel originated from a European and Asian lineage. 

Damascus steel is produced by the technique of hammer-wielding sheets of iron and steel, which then undergoes the quintessential process of forging and heating. It would tell you a lot about how far technology has progressed, considering back in the day, Damascus steel was used to create sword blades and knives. Whereas today, it is primarily used for pocket knives, butterfly knives, and fixed blade knives.

2. Difference Between Cast Damascus Steel And Pattern-Welded Damascus Steel

damascus knife beside sliced sandwich

Cast Damascus Steel is made by using sheets of iron and steel and then mixing it with charcoal. The alloy is preserved slowly and reduced to a no oxygen environment. So, essentially, it is made by producing forged Wootz steel (a type of steel originally made in India) and maintaining it at a constant temperature to achieve its wavy pattern. 

Pattern-Welded Damascus Steel is surface-treated to produce a light/dark pattern by welding together plates of low and high carbon steels. The production of these knives takes quite some time, which explains its price range. It requires drawing, cutting, and welding over and over again to achieve the desired precision, fineness, and material distribution. 

However, some don’t consider Pattern-Welded knives as Damascus steel at all, since some material is lost when being surface-treated due to firescale surface cleaning procedures. 

Modern Damascus steel is made by forge-welding various kinds of steel before tweaking and manipulating the metal to flatten out the very first layer and producing multiple layers over it to encourage durability and sharpness. 

3. What To Look For When Shopping For A Damascus Kitchen Knife

carving knife between roast beef

While getting your hands on an expensive piece of Damascus kitchen knife is every culinary aficionado’s goal, choosing the right kind of knife is crucial. Be it a chef knife, kitchen knife, or or paring knife, there are plenty of checkboxes to tick before you purchase one of these kitchen knives made with Damascus steel. 


Damascus steel is created to provide dexterity, hardness, and precision. So, it only makes sense to seek a blade material that has a sturdy build to prevent any kitchen mishaps. The harder a knife’s blade material is the less tension on its edge. This improves the life of your Damascus steel knife. 


The blade is the key component within the anatomy of a knife, and a deciding factor when it comes to versatility. A Damascus kitchen knife has an upper hand in comparison to a stainless steel knife or a copper knife. 

However, if you’re extremely keen on longevity, you must keep in mind that a kitchen knife made with carbon steel can be much more durable than Damascus or stainless steel when sharpened. After all, they do tend to have 2-3 (Rockwell) points more than a typical Damascus knife. 


What one might consider a bit of a splurge, may just be an investment into their culinary craft. Sure, knives made with Damascus steel tend to be more expensive than a typical kitchen knife, but it is usually guaranteed to last a lifetime for any chef, professional, or home. One versatile Damascus knife can eliminate most of the inconveniences you face in the kitchen. 

4. How Damascus Kitchen Knives Are Made

damascus kitchen knife beside sliced pomegranate

Damascus steel is produced by combining two different types of steel into unique, one-of-a-kind designs through the process of welding. A very common method, dating back to over 2000 years in ancient India. The various types of steel used in this process, include Vanadium and Nickel. Once a pattern of welded Damascus steel has been shaped through a billet, upon desirability, the Damascus knife will be hardened or annealed. 

The technique of refolding is beneficial in evening out any imperfections, as well as impurities. Acid etching is an advanced technique too, which aids in exaggerating the classic, yet unique, Damascus pattern. 

However, upon analyzing ancient Damascus steel, it was determined that Wootz steel added strength and durability to a Damascus knife, much more than today’s modern techniques do. Back in the day, Damascus steel blade was more flexible, as well as durable. 

Moreover, the updated, modern pattern-welded Damascus uses high carbon steel, so such steels often depend upon various unique combinations of elements to achieve certain assets of a traditional Damascus knife. 

This is why today, we see a large number of fake Damascus steel knives. It is the aesthetic of these knives which is of primary importance, rather than the blade, the blade material, sharpness, and its durability. This was an uncompromising factor in ancient days. 

5. Differences Between Damascus Knives vs. Carbon Steel Knives

paring knife slicing into an apple

Yet again, there is an array of criteria that you should look at before you decide which type of knife is worth your cash. Something you should note, knives made with Damascus steel and Carbon steel are both great contenders for your knife block, outdoing regular knives. 

Damascus steel kitchen knives are on the more expensive side, thanks to their incredible precision and forging methods. Whereas Carbon steel kitchen knives are more affordable. Here are some other things you should consider, without a doubt: 


Damascus Steel is the name of the steel which is made by combining and forging together steel alloys or a combination of iron and steel. 

Carbon Steel derives from the element, Carbon, which is supremely hard, which indefinitely means, it provides greater edge retention and resists abrasions.


Damascus steel knives have aesthetically-pleasing patterns and designs such as swirls on the surface of the blade. This is created by folding metals together. 

Carbon Steel knives have a minimalistic and modern style. 


A Damascus knife is historically known for its elegant look and build. They are hands down, the most attractive tools in one’s kitchen. 

A Carbon steel knife isn’t quite as elegant as a Damascus one. It is more practical looking in the sphere of aesthetics. 


A Damascus steel knife is accompanied by a higher price tag, owing to its rich history and manufacturing process. 

A carbon steel knife is comparatively cheaper than Damascus. 

6. Differences Between Damascus Knives vs. Stainless Steel Knives

meat cleaver cutting smoked beef

Just like Carbon steel knives, Stainless steel knives are in a league of their own. But, if you’re in two minds about Damascus steel knives and Stainless steel knives, continue reading to know more about the things you should check for before you make your purchase. 


Damascus steel knives are excellent choices if you’re trying to opt for a chef knife, thanks to their forged composition. 

Stainless steel knives are either merely alloys or a combination of iron and a tiny amount of carbon. However, it is prone to rust, which inevitably decreases its durability.  


If you were to browse through the internet, you would notice that most chef knives are made from Damascus steel. This is because they feed the hands of collectors, as well as draw people in, owing to the swirls and wavy patterns forged on the blade and some parts of the handle. 

Stainless steel knives are just as successful as chef knives due to their credibility and abrasion-resistant nature. However, if you’re one for the beauty of your culinary tools, a plain Stainless steel blade surface and handle is probably not for you. 


Damascus steel is utilized primarily to manufacture knives. This means that most kitchen knives such as a utility knife, paring knife, bread knife, and chefs knife are a big hit. Later in this article, we’ll walk you through some of the best-selling Damascus steel knives. 

Stainless steel can be utilized to make cookware such as pots, pans, and culinary sets. They’re not limited solely to knives. 

Resistant To Corrosion 

Both Damascus and Stainless steel knives are resistant to corrosion. 


Both Damascus and Stainless steel knives are excellent buys in terms of durability. 

7. How To Sharpen Damascus Kitchen Knives

whetstone knife sharpening kit on countertop

A Damascus steel knife is just as easy to sharpen as those made with Stainless steel or High carbon steel. There are many ways to do this. 


If you use a Damascus steel knife, chances are, you own a Damascus steel chef knife, too. And these knives can use whetstones from time to time. All you’ve got to do is hold your knife by the handle and angle the blade towards the stone until you achieve the desired precision. 

Manual Sharpeners 

Manual sharpeners are widely available and affordable, too. Some people prefer these over whetstones, and that is completely fine. You can still achieve the same sharpness for your chef knife. 

Honing Steel Rods

These rods exist to improve and encourage the blade’s sharp edge. It is perfect to reposition and align your favorite Damascus chef knife by holding the handle securely. All in all, it is a versatile tool to enhance the sharpness of your blade tenfold.

8. Let’s Talk About Dalstrong Vs. Other Professional Kitchen Knife Lines

 Eleven knives in a row against a white background displaying each of Dalstrong's knife series

Dalstrong is much younger and fresher compared to other professional kitchen knife companies. However, they have planted their feet firmly on the ground with versatility and newness being the core foundation. When founded in 2014 by David Dallaire in Toronto, Canada, Dallaire worked on the performance and presentation of Dalstrong’s knives through his vision. 

Giving competency a whole new meaning by enhancing the purpose and aesthetic value of Dalstrong’s knives, the company was ahead of others in the culinary game. But, have successfully seized their moment in real-time. 

While we do take pride in the wide range of knives available for purchase, an honorable mention is necessary for every single chef knife at Dalstrong. This is owing entirely to their distinct purpose. While we’re on the topic of Damascus chef knives, it is only fair to mention the availability of spectacular Western and Japanese chef knives, too. 

A way to better understand the craftsmanship and sword-smithery of Damascus chef knives would be to consider Shun’s Shun Classic line, which is out of the ordinary in its own right. However, what one can avail at Dalstrong is a sense of the futuristic. 

Ranging from a classic and necessary tool as a chef knife to an intricate creation of a Damascus chef knife, every blade, handle and serration is awe-inspiring and authentic, owing to the spirit that stemmed from Tamil Nadu in India, all the way to Seki City in Japan. 

9. Dalstrong Recommended Damascus Kitchen Knives And Sharpeners

There are plenty of key components that are crucial for creating the perfect Damascus chef knife. The blade and handle are very important to your knife, which is why sharpening them from time to time is a good culinary routine. 

There is a myth that your Damascus chef knife would be damaged if used on Whetstones.

This, however, is untrue. If anything, it encourages longevity and resilience. Certainly, these are two things you’d want in a knife you spent an extra penny for. So, sharpen away. 

Knife Sharpening Kit

1. #1000 / #6000 Grit with Nagura Stone & Rust Eraser | Premium Whetstone Kit

#1000 / #6000 Grit with Nagura Stone & Rust Eraser | Premium Whetstone Kit

    Whetstones with rust and stain removers are all jam-packed in this incredible premium kit by Dalstrong. Not to mention, the packaging is sublime. The 1000 gritstone is perfect for dull and damaged blades. They are great for aligning the tang of your knife with its handle. 

    The 6000 gritstone is included to give your Damascus chef knife the extra sharp edge. It works perfectly well, especially with a paring knife or a Japanese knife, the two that often need sharpening for a convenient process of cutting and slicing meats, fruits, and vegetables. 


    • Top-grade corundum is a core component for the kit’s longevity. 
    • Versatile in its provision, this whetstone kit can be used for kitchen shears and other bladed tools.
    • Comes with a rust eraser for that defining edge.


    • Comes with a higher price tag if you’re not a seasoned chef yet. 
    • This Whetstone may be overkill for cheaper knives outside of Dalstrong's line. 

    Damascus Kitchen Knives

    2. Serrated Paring Knife 3.5" | Shogun Series

    Paring Knife 3.5" | Shogun Series

      If you’ve got a knife in your kitchen that has a Damascus blade, you already know it is packed with personality and versatility. There is nothing different with this serrated paring knife. It is simply ideal to cut tough fruits such as kiwis, avocados, limes, and lemons, and where necessary, layer by layer. The serrations along the blade are perfectly spaced for a seamless slicing process on your cutting board


      • This knife was engineered together using 67-layered Damascus steel and a stunning serrated blade to go with it. 
      • Providing a full tang that extends into the handle and scalpel-like sharpness, it is ideal to produce precise layers in a brisket over the holiday season. 


      • If you’re on the lookout for a knife that can maneuver through bigger culinary tasks or stubborn meats, might I suggest a slightly longer knife. An ergonomic handle is of utmost importance here.
      • You may work better with a knife that has a straight edge and blade rather than a serrated blade, such as a Damascus chef knife.

      3. 14" Slicing & Carving Knife  | Shogun Series

      12" Slicing & Carving Knife  | Shogun Series

        Representing a Damascus sword, this slicing and carving knife is a testament to its history. Slice through conveniently for even layers of your preferred choice of meat. Low in maintenance, it is the perfect knife for a budding chef or a seasoned kind. While slicing with this knife won't keep the hot juices from escaping your meat, if you are what we call, a Dalstrong pro, you already know that you want to be wearing an apron when slicing and carving.


        • Triple-riveted for maximum resilience while cutting your meat into chunks.
        • Full tang structure for decreased palm fatigue and easy slicing/carving. 
        • The handle is impervious to heat, cold, and moisture, thanks to its military-grade G10 build.


        • You might find the knife’s dimples and size posing as an inconvenience, which is perfectly alright. It is all about preference. 
        • Perhaps, you’re on the lookout for hard steel, or a Stainless steel handle, similar to its Stainless Damascus blade. 
        • A Damascus chef knife is already built to withstand tough foods, so if you prefer a half/sub tang knife, this might not be the perfect one. 

        4. 7.5" Serrated Chef's Knife | Shogun Series  

        7.5" Serrated Chef's Knife | Shogun Series

          This serrated chef’s knife is the perfect gadget for cutting shallots and herbs, delicate vegetables such as tomatoes, all artisan bread, and eventually helping you adapt to the process of ‘controlled cutting’ when you’re in the kitchen. This knife was painstakingly crafted over 60 long days using the best quality of materials for both, the blade and the handle. 

          This knife is a prominent razor-sharp powerhouse for your kitchen. It is made with a lot of love, and a lot of SUS410 Damascus cladding. We’re talking like, 67 layers. Believe me, minds were blown when putting this article together. 


          • If the above details weren't already intriguing enough, it has an ergonomic handle shape that offers superior comfort and flexibility like never seen before. 
          • The 7.5” blade has an ultra-premium Japanese AUS-10V ‘super steel’, (hard steel), with a sublime cutting core at 62+ Rockwell. 


          • Maybe, you’re looking for a little bit more blade since you’re spending a tad for this beautiful Damascus knife. 
          • You could be looking for a knife that is angled at more than 8-12º. 

          5. Tanto Chef's Knife 8" | Shogun Series

          Tanto Chef's Knife 8" | Shogun Series

          This Tanto knife is the epitome of perfection. It has incredible skinning and slashing skills, owing to the sharp blade that glides through fish, meat, and tough fruits and vegetables. It is necessary for any serious chef, or the aspiring kind, to get a grip on all tasks related to fish, including cutting even layers of sashimi. It is made with 67 layers of AUS-10V Japanese super steel for durability and stain resistance. 


          • Hardened at 62+ Rockwell, it offers great edge retention.
          • With a military-grade G10 handle, it is every chef’s dream. 
          • A magnificent ‘Tsunami Rose’ logo by Dalstrong to compliment the beautiful Damascus blade. 


          • Some home chefs might prefer an inexpensive knife to start with.
          • Typically, Tanto knives can be much longer than 8”, so you might want to opt for that, especially if you’re a professional chef. 
          • If you’ve used chef knives in the kitchen before, you probably want a handle that encourages more dexterity. 

          6. Chef's Knife 10.25" | Shogun Series X

          Chef's Knife 10.25" | Shogun Series X

            This chef knife is a Dalstrong favorite for many reasons. If you’re someone that has big batches of culinary prep work to be done regularly, I can’t recommend this Damascus chef knife enough. With incredible edge retention, this full tang knife is an indispensable tool when it comes down to picking the right Damascus knife. The military grade G10 handle is an added trait for superior handle control, flexibility, and comfort. 


            • Packaging includes a PerfectFit Dalstrong Sheath. 
            • Carefully designed with 67-Layered sharpened Damascus.
            • Includes Dalstrong’s classic ‘Tsunami Rose’ blade pattern and a ravishing copper mosaic on the handle. 


            • This versatile Damascus steel chef knife comes with a higher price tag (for all the right reasons, might I add!)
            • Perhaps, you’re looking for a knife that has a blade that is angled at 15-20º, resulting in better results, unlike the blade on this chef knife, with 8-12º per side. 

            7. Chef's Knife 9.5" | Shogun Series

            Chef's Knife 9.5" | Shogun Series

              Out of Dalstrong’s collection of incredibly well-performing chef knives, this one is right up there. This Damascus chef knife from the Shogun series is tried and true to its name. 

              Intended to cut through meat in a single stroke, it is the perfect Damascus chef knife. It can handle many tasks in the kitchen with its blade sailing right past tough vegetables and fruits. It is the perfect present for your chef friend. 


              • The full tang blade boosts its robustness, resulting in this chef knife lasting you a lifetime. 
              • The Damascus pattern has never been more prominent with Dalstrong’s exquisite ‘Tsunami Rose’. 
              • The handle has a non-slip grip which is impervious to heat, cold, and moisture, resulting in maximal robustness. 


              • This knife has a fierce build, which might be a tad daunting for a new chef in the kitchen. 
              • Any Damascus chef knife requires a great deal of maintenance, so if you’re looking for something with less maintenance, this might not be the knife for you. 

              8. 5 Piece Knife Block Set | Shogun Series

              5 Piece Knife Block Set | Shogun Series

                Crafted and engineered carefully over 60 long days, this 5 piece knife block set may not be a classic Damascus chef knife, but it is perfect for any kitchen use. Be it cutting through fresh bread or chopping up vegetables, a Shogun Series X knife will handle the toughest kitchen tasks and the rarest cuts of meats, all without lacking robustness or durability. 

                This trait can be easily achieved through the usage of Damascus steel, which is quite literally built to last a lifetime. Made with Japanese high-carbon AUS-10V steel, each knife has 66-layers of SUS410 Damascus cladding. Hand polished to reveal Dalstrong’s signature ‘Tsunami Rose’ pattern, in totality, this knife set is packed with versatility and elegance. 


                • Packaged by Dalstrong with class, it is an incredible gift set for anyone around you aspiring to be a chef. 
                • Full tang blade increases its resilience, awarding you with perfect and clean slices of meat. 


                • If you wish to purchase a more sleek-looking knife set, looking at the Crusader series would be a good place to start! 
                • Maintaining Damascus knives requires some effort, so if you’re looking for one that is low in maintenance, this may not be the best pick. 

                9. Meat Cleaver 9" | Raptor | Shogun Series

                Meat Cleaver 9" | Raptor | Shogun Series

                  The Dalstrong Shogun Series 9” Heavy Duty Cleaver – ‘The Raptor’ is a menacing powerhouse tool of ruthless chopping efficiency. Designed to break down large cuts of meat and poultry, from pork ribs, to salmon heads, and versatile enough to glide through thick and tough skinned fruits and vegetables, the curved profile, and pointed tip is built to achieve clean, perfect slices through flesh, skin, and sinew.

                  A must have for all pitmasters, butchers, and chefs who prepare large amounts of meat. Unrivalled Performance: Ruthlessly sharp scalpel-like edge is hand finished to a mirror polish within a staggering 8-12°degree angle per side using the traditional 3-step Honbazuke method. With a slightly longer than normal blade length over your typical boning knife, this knife offers more to love, acting as an extension of the arm, performing long, single slices on even the largest cuts of meat, thus reducing wrist and hand fatigue for those high-volume preps. 


                  • Ultra sharp AUS-10V Japanese super steel cutting core at 62+ Rockwell hardness for extraordinary performance and edge retention.
                  • It has a gorgeous tapered blade with non-stick properties which also decreases friction.
                  • A Damascus knife like this one, offers authenticity and the highest grade of performance, especially if you’re a professional chef. 


                  • Sure, this Raptor knife is a little too much blade, thus it would be an overkill for the novice chef. 
                  • The price may not be justifiable if you’re an aspiring chef looking to experiment. The same goes for a home chef! 

                  10. Frequently Asked Questions About Damascus Kitchen Knives

                  Butcher's Breaking Cimitar Knife 10" | Shogun Series

                  Does Damascus make good kitchen knives?

                  Damascus steel accounts for great kitchen knives, and most chef knives, too! It doesn’t get better than Damascus in terms of quality, followed by Carbon steel. 

                  How good is Damascus steel for knives?

                  Think of Damascus steel knives put together as a sandwich! The hard steel is sandwiched between the softer steels. The hard steel provides a sharp edge, whereas the softer steel offers protection. So, Damascus is an excellent choice of steel for your knives!

                  Do Damascus knives rust?

                    Mostly, they don’t. Thanks to their stainless nature which prevents abrasions and rusting. However, if your knife is made with high-carbon steel, it is vital to clean and towel dry after using it. 

                    I couldn’t recommend the Premium Whetstone Kit enough. It includes a rust eraser!

                    What is special about Damascus knives?

                      Aesthetically speaking, the wavy patterns and swirls across the blade are incredibly hard to resist! As for its performance, Damascus steel is made over 60 days to ensure resilience, sharpness, and durability.

                      Shop Dalstrong Shogun Series Knives Today

                      Written by Ananya Tiwari

                      Ananya loves the fine things in life. When she isn’t penning down poetry or song lyrics, she spends her time cooking and creating recipes while also enjoying new cuisines.

                      What Are Damascus Kitchen Knives?

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