BladeThe steel that I use is called "Damascus" steel. It is an ancient process that most of the original techniques have been lost forever but modern Damascus makers do their best to reproduce. It is comprised of 4 types of steel that have been heated, pounded, and folded over and over until there are 416 layers.
The remarkable characteristics of Damascus steel became known to Europe when the Crusaders reached the Middle East, beginning in the 11th century. They discovered that swords of this metal could split a feather in midair, yet retain their edge through many battles. The swords were easily recognized by a characteristic watery or ''damask'' pattern on their blades. Through the ages - perhaps from the time of Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C. for approximately 800 years the armorers who made swords, shields and armor from such steel were rigidly secretive regarding their method. With the advent of firearms, the secret was lost and never fully rediscovered. Today there are a handful of craftsmen who create Damascus steel using their best efforts to recapture the beauty, versatility and quality of this ancient material. I have selected Damascus as my predominant blade material due to the mystique of its long and rich history, the beauty of its many patterns, its ability to cut and hold an edge and its ease in which you can sharpen it.
I usually use 2 types of American made Damascus steel plus a couple of others steels with the qualities I am looking for in a knife with my name on it. The first type of Damascus steel that I use has 4 types of steel that have been heated, pounded and folded over and over until there are 416 layers which blends the qualities of each type of steel and creates a one of a kind work of art. The four types of steel are the same as they use for ball bearings, saw blades, springs on cars and stainless steel. Once I harden and temper the blade it will not break and is even difficult to drill through. It will hold an edge as well as any other steel that I am aware of. In a quest to provide my customers with the finest edge that money can buy, I use the Generation 3 "Wicked Edge" sharpening system. I would urge you to check it out on Youtube. The other type of Damascus that I use also will hold an edge but has nickel steel in it as well as 2 of the other durable metals that I mentioned. The raw steel is made by expert Damascus makers and the patterns are simply stunning. The knives that I make with this Damascus are the higher end of the spectrum and tend to be in the $1500 to $5000 range.
The 4 types of steel are:
1. Stainless steel
2. Ball bearing steel
3. Spring steel
4. Saw blade steel
This makes for an excellent knife blade material that can easily be sharpened and holds an edge nicely. The patterns of the steel are all different and each are a useable work of art. The depth of the pattern varies depending on how long I bath it in acid.