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Snake Eyes 3211
07-02-2011, 11:05 PM
I got a buddy trying to sell me a Scandi ground Damascus blade that I havent pulled the trigger on yet, as I am hesitant on Damascus in general. I know over the years it has been hyped up, and you read about it in almost every knife magazine nowadays, but IMO, I feel like it is overhyped, and created to look pretty. I could be 110% wrong, but thats why I am here, to learn.

Any you fellas have hands on expertise with this specific metal? Is it HYPE or FUNCTIONAL?

(Oh yes the specs on the blade: 7 1/2 in. long, blade being 3 1/2 in. long. 1 1/8 in. wide, made up of: 125 layers of 1095 carbon steel and 15N20 Nickel steel.)

Mr.Black
07-02-2011, 11:13 PM
Heres my first hands on with it functional,Yes very.as I said in the post Ive always thought it was cool looking but know I also know it is some great Steel.
Take care.
M/BK
http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38991 (http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38991)

John, the baptist
07-02-2011, 11:15 PM
"Damascus" is actually an incorrect title (if you're going to get specific). Its actually pattern welded steel. Usually 2 types of carbon steel (one higher in carbon than the other), layered, folded, folded, folded again, until you end up with (usually) around 512 layers or so. The bigger the pattern, the fewer the layers. The tighter the pattern, the more layers. The folding of the steel is what would give you a superior blade.

Depending on the maker, the steel used, and the method, you can end up with a very nice blade. Fully functional, as well as beautiful...but that also depends on the heat treat...

I'm no expert on the subject, this is just how I understand it...

SDS
07-02-2011, 11:16 PM
It depends on the quality just like any other steel. You can get some pretty poorly made damascus (Pakistan type stuff comes to mind) or some VERY high end damascus. It just really depends on the steels used in it's construction and who made it as well as how it has been heat treated.

This may not be the answer you were wanting but it just really depends. If you know the manufacturer you can do a little research and likely determine what kind of quality you have.

SDS

Snake Eyes 3211
07-02-2011, 11:18 PM
Man, that thing worked great! Does yours have a convex edge on it? Also, being forged with 1095, you will have to keep it lightly oiled, is this correct?

pfspinelli
07-02-2011, 11:19 PM
Damascus steel was a big deal because you could tell the forging techniques of the blade. You could see that it had a damascene pattern and therefore knew the quality of the blade you were buying. We are talking middle ages to mid 18th century of original production. After the 1750's the original technique for making this type of steel was lost.

Most modern "Damascus Steel" blades are really forge pattern welded materials (IE three layers of carbon steel with two of nickel steel in between" and then folded over and over and over etc. very similar to Japanese style forging techniques)

As far as quality they are not bad. but not worth any serious extra cash in my opinion
(if you want my opinion go mora, cheap and it works.) so yes definitely something that could be mostly decorative

Hope this helps

Keyser Söze
07-02-2011, 11:19 PM
get some Alabascus is the best

Snake Eyes 3211
07-02-2011, 11:20 PM
It depends on the quality just like any other steel. You can get some pretty poorly made damascus (Pakistan type stuff comes to mind) or some VERY high end damascus. It just really depends on the steels used in it's construction and who made it as well as how it has been heat treated.

This may not be the answer you were wanting but it just really depends. If you know the manufacturer you can do a little research and likely determine what kind of quality you have.

SDS

From what I know, he is a U.S. bladesmith. The steel isnt import. And I agree, as with any knife, its who makes it, and where it comes from.

Snake Eyes 3211
07-02-2011, 11:22 PM
get some Alabascus is the best

Not to familiar with that. Hard to find?

Keyser Söze
07-02-2011, 11:25 PM
Not to familiar with that. Hard to find?

aha is made in the deep kingdom of Alabama -damascus - and is very good quality , i have 3 knives from them and they are awesome -needs a good high quality buffing for the blade not to rust

Snake Eyes 3211
07-02-2011, 11:26 PM
Damascus steel was a big deal because you could tell the forging techniques of the blade. You could see that it had a damascene pattern and therefore knew the quality of the blade you were buying. We are talking middle ages to mid 18th century of original production. After the 1750's the original technique for making this type of steel was lost.

Most modern "Damascus Steel" blades are really forge pattern welded materials (IE three layers of carbon steel with two of nickel steel in between" and then folded over and over and over etc. very similar to Japanese style forging techniques)

As far as quality they are not bad. but not worth any serious extra cash in my opinion(if you want my opinion go mora, cheap and it works.) so yes definitely something that could be mostly decorative

Hope this helps

He is talking $60. He has it wrapped with paracord, So I will have to dish out another $20-30 or so for spacers, rivots, and handles.

Thats why I ask if its hype or functional, as I dont know to much about Damascus, and didnt want to get into to much of a costly $$$$$$ project, when there might be better out there.

Snake Eyes 3211
07-02-2011, 11:28 PM
aha is made in the deep kingdom of Alabama -damascus - and is very good quality , i have 3 knives from them and they are awesome -needs a good high quality buffing for the blade not to rust

Lmao, How much ya talkin'? are they custom, or ready to rock?

Keyser Söze
07-02-2011, 11:30 PM
Lmao, How much ya talkin'? are they custom, or ready to rock?

yes my knives are custom and ready to rock ---but they are mine :p

Snake Eyes 3211
07-02-2011, 11:33 PM
yes my knives are custom and ready to rock ---but they are mine :p

Well that dont help me none lol. Should I send ya a pm on a Price? or do you not do that either? :33:

Keyser Söze
07-02-2011, 11:38 PM
Well that dont help me none lol. Should I send ya a pm on a Price? or do you not do that either? :33:
first you show us what other blades you have --in the knives #### thread-- then will see if you can handle the damascus:p:p:59: seriously is a good steel and will hold an edge+ is cool

SDS
07-03-2011, 12:25 AM
"Alabama Damascus" is a company, or more specifically a person's company name, under which he sells his steel. Here is a link to their/his site for more information:

http://www.alabamadamascussteel.com/servlet/StoreFront

His steel is very decent quality. I wouldn't call it top of the line but very affordable for a working knife.

If you can, ask the maker if he made the damascus or if he bought it. If he made it ask him what steels he used and how he made it. I don't know of any knifemakers who won't talk knives, especially with a potential buyer. If he did not make it ask him where he got the damascus that was used and what he knows about it.

If he gets offended or acts like he is trying to hide something make your decision on whether to buy the knife accordingly. I would be surprised if he were anything less than pleasant to deal with. As I said, nearly every knifemaker I have met enjoys talking about knives. It's why we do what we do :)

I think at $60 you won't get hurt but it's probably not a really high dollar damascus either. The high end stuff can end up costing well in excess of $100 per linear inch.

SDS

pfspinelli
07-03-2011, 02:32 AM
I don't know of any knifemakers who won't talk knives...
I think at $60 you won't get hurt but it's probably not a really high dollar damascus either. The high end stuff can end up costing well in excess of $100 per linear inch.

SDS

I would agree with this. At 60 it doesnt seem too bad. IMO a lot of the price comes from the number of folds since it took more effort for the smith to make so the $100 per linear inch he mentioned probably has (or should have) in excess of 500 folds in the blade. If you can find what steel types were used in the forging process so you can get a general idea of the knives' characteristics.
For instance tool steel is high carbon, hard, durable but hard to sharpen or shape. whereas a low carbon steel will be soft malleable and less likely to break, when you combine the two you can get some of the qualities of both.

Skrapmetal
07-03-2011, 06:29 AM
It's pretty. Some of it is functional. But I have yet to see any that is as good as the the popular tool steels in a dollars-to-dollars comparison. Certainly none that was better.

If it is a good blend of steels with a good heat treat and the price isn't unreasonable, it will be fine.

Binalith
07-03-2011, 02:12 PM
this is interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damascus_steel

bushwolf
07-03-2011, 03:21 PM
I seriously doubt that most of the damascus currently on the market is really any better than 1095 carbon steel.
IMO it is more for looks than function.
The heat treat and quality control of the steel are really the determining factors.

Avoid Pakistani damascus, as it is low QC and has a nasty tendancy to de-laminate, and will not hold a good edge.

If you can't be sure of the steel's contry of origin, I would pass on the knife at that price.

Steve K
07-03-2011, 09:30 PM
I don't know where the steel was made, but I would not sell the billet to make a knife that size for $60. Just my thoughts.

Beo-wulf
07-03-2011, 10:05 PM
I agree with those who say " it depends upon the maker and the materials".
With that said, I have been exposed to a lot of Jeff White's Damascus and a bunch of Andrew Takach's too. I use Damascus fairly often, and like it a lot.

Starchaser
07-04-2011, 12:02 AM
About damascus steel: YouTube - ‪The Myth Of Damascus Steel‬‏ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OahXsi58G8w&feature=related) This is a good description of the why of damascus. Today, pattern welded steel is for aesthetic purposes. For a superior blade, consider san mai, as CS uses, or the laminated Scandi knife blades. The Japanese sword magic was the "soft" spine, and the "hard" cutting edge. The cutting edge was a harder billet of steel welded between layers of softer steel. Then the blade was coated with clay, leaving the edge area bare in order to quench faster than the spine. This left the "hamon" or temper line. A differentially tempered, single layer blade is the modern equivilant. btw, the cutting ability of the katana comes not just from the hard cutting edge, but from the shape of the blade from the spine to the cutting edge. It was convex, to part the flesh and push it away from the deepening wound. And technique, of course. This may be old news, and I apologize if I am only taking up space.

L.V
07-04-2011, 04:46 AM
I think that the damascus legend comes from Wootz steel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wootz_steel) in the days back as then it were superior. I also understood that those pattern welded damascus blades are more looks than "superior function" today. Altho you get a micro serrated edge on damascus blade when you sharpen it due the mild/hard layers and this would make it a bit better slicer ie. in hunting knifes than one bar steel blade. In wood work the one steel blade is better in theory as the cutting technique is different.

Above is what I have read in many different sources, no hands on experience sry ..so take it with a grain of salt.

In this thread (http://forums.dfoggknives.com/index.php?showtopic=19266&st=0) in Bladesmith's Forum is a few good pics of "wootz" pattern.

Liveitloud
07-04-2011, 07:32 AM
I just bought the knife below and will report back when I have had time to give it some hard use. It is 1095/15N20.

http://i744.photobucket.com/albums/xx81/Bluntrauma/Bill%20Akers/TwistedRecurve.jpg

http://i744.photobucket.com/albums/xx81/Bluntrauma/Bill%20Akers/019-21175bucks.jpg

Snake Eyes 3211
07-04-2011, 07:35 AM
^^^^^ VERY nice. Looking foreward to how it performs

Liveitloud
07-04-2011, 09:09 AM
Me too! :) Should be here tomorrow. Just checked with UPS and it's sitting in Dallas calling my name. A couple a more #### shots.



http://i744.photobucket.com/albums/xx81/Bluntrauma/Bill%20Akers/112-6.jpg

http://i744.photobucket.com/albums/xx81/Bluntrauma/Bill%20Akers/106-5.jpg

http://i744.photobucket.com/albums/xx81/Bluntrauma/Bill%20Akers/050-13.jpg

Maker bacustom knives aka: Bill Akers.

Niflreika
07-04-2011, 11:48 AM
Don't some of the cheap, crappy blades (obviously not those above), use acid etching to simulate Damascus, yet are in reality only one type of steel?

Fischereco2
07-04-2011, 12:15 PM
Don't some of the cheap, crappy blades (obviously not those above), use acid etching to simulate Damascus, yet are in reality only one type of steel?

They sure do. It's easy to spot the difference however. Also, some makers use acid to simulate older style hand forging and age. I don't think that's anything disingenuous on their part, they just want their products to have a certain aesthetic appeal.

As far as Damascus steel goes, I think it's a mixed bag. In general I wouldn't say that it is inherently better than any other modern steel, but obviously the quality of a blade varies greatly from maker to maker. A crappy Damascus blade is not preferable to a well made carbon steel blade, and vice versa.

As someone who dabbles in reenacting, and has a little blacksmith knowledge, I can say that pattern-welded blades can be beautiful and practical weapons, and are the easiest way to let everyone around you know that you possess a quality item. Ultimately I think that's really the driving force behind them in modern times. They look pretty, they work, and they advertise their super craftsmanship.

As far as katanas go, there could easily be another video entitled "the myth of the katana". For whatever reason people seem to revere Japanese swords as if they are the end all of all weapons. The reality is that Europeans were making superior pattern-welded blades long before the Japanese were, and if you examine historical katanas you will find that many of them are made from iron and are relatively crude in their construction. Additionally, I think the design of the katana as a weapon is flawed. It's long, unwieldy, requires two-hands to use, and probably wasn't actually used a primary weapon nearly as often as Hollywood would have you believe.

I don't hate all things Japanese, but as someone in the sword community I wonder where a lot of this stuff comes from. A sword is a sword and a knife is a knife. It's a long sharpened piece of metal designed to cut things. They are all pretty much interchangeable, with slight variations in design. None of them are magic, none of them can slice through machine gun barrels or deflect bullets, and none of them are the perfect tool for every scenario imaginable.

/end rant

Niflreika
07-04-2011, 12:24 PM
Thanks for the reply.

As for katana, from my undestanding, the katana was:
1.) a symbol of rank -- not everyone was allowed to own swords. Just like Norse culture where only the Jarls were allowed swords. Axes were popular not because people liked them better, it was because they were useful tools, and what they were allowed to own.
2.) The backup weapon for when your polearm broke, not the primary (unlike the hollyweird version), like you said. I have a feeling the wakizashi (SP?) and tanto saw more combat than the katana.

Torakka
07-04-2011, 12:40 PM
In most cases ive encountered in internet sites and forums i sadly see a load of damascus knives. What makes it sad in my eyes is that almost every one of them is un-used.

That tells me something. Not about the steel but about other things :).

If threads are about damascus steels capability perform in any outdoors tasks, i can understand pics of un-used knives if theyre new,but will be used but in a thread about using tools,about does it work, its always funny to see comments about LOOKS of the steel :26:. Id rather see some damascus get beaten as cheaper knives get, and see how well they have lasted and how awesome is the cutting result.


Well,anyways, i like some damascus steels too, but it seems to be too often only about looks. Many forge laminated steels that have proper spring steel on side and high carbon in between,perform super well,and and last just about anything.

Is the appearance of the damascus,worth the price ?
Or the performance of it ?

Keyser Söze
07-04-2011, 11:42 PM
http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu90/gagalmg/spoon%20carving%20123%20fast%20safe%20easy/DSCF5070.jpg

http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu90/gagalmg/spoon%20carving%20123%20fast%20safe%20easy/DSCF5084.jpg

http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu90/gagalmg/spoon%20carving%20123%20fast%20safe%20easy/DSCF5127.jpg

http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu90/gagalmg/spoon%20carving%20by%20GAGA/DSCN0695.jpg

http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu90/gagalmg/spoon%20carving%20by%20GAGA/DSCN0697.jpg

http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu90/gagalmg/spoon%20carving%20by%20GAGA/DSCN0716.jpg

http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu90/gagalmg/spears/DSCN0036.jpg

http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu90/gagalmg/new%20mix%20pix/DSCN1551.jpg

http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu90/gagalmg/1stixfire/DSCN1550.jpg

http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu90/gagalmg/1stixfire/DSCN1547.jpg

and so on Damascus in use...

Torakka
07-05-2011, 03:55 AM
Way to go man ! Thumbs up.

econnofoot
07-05-2011, 10:13 AM
Working as a chef many of the 'damascus' i've seen some of the younger cooks have isn't true 'damascus'...course this is kitchen knives, which I deal with all the time. Young cooks like the look but these inexpensive(and aren't cheap still 200 easy) knives say Shun for example it's clad not true damascus. My favorite Japanese seller of knives in NYC has some wonderful true damascus knives and they also cost thousands. I bought my father a nice damascus boker folder several years ago he loves as a carry knife.

I think much of it is hype, least far as kitchen knives go. My gear knives generally are inexpensive and practical, if I had more disposable income though I'd probably own a damascus folder like I got my dad, be about it.

Ahnkochee
07-05-2011, 11:55 AM
I've been using a Bear & Son Damascus hunter knife for close to 20 years. They are easy to put an edge on, and hold that edge. It's my favorite hunting knife. Bear & Son make very nice knives in general and their Damascus steel is very high quality, and affordable. http://www.bearandsoncutlery.com/

brionic
07-05-2011, 12:59 PM
I bought one from a well regarded "affordable" maker/dealer and had to send it back due to problems with the layers not cohering.