We recently premiered a new Damascus steel knife for purchase here and it got me to thinking. Sure, your old timers and people in the know have a strong idea on what Damascus is, but newer members to our hobby and way of life? Maybe not so much. So that’s why I thought I’d take a moment to break it down for you.
Though there is some speculation, Damascus steel has its origins typically ascribed to Damascus, the capital of Syria, where its believed that local smiths had utilized a sword forging technique that involved folding Wootz steel ingots to create a stronger steel, able to survive the wear and tear of battle far longer than traditional European style forging. These Damascus blades were renowned for their distinct, water-like designs upon the blade; a testament to its folding process and something that allowed them to further live up to their namesake: Damas, or “Watered” in Arabic.
Now, modern treatment and forging allows a new breath of life to these blade styles once lost to history, and Case has set out another batch of the Damascus-style blades in a limited quantity, creating just a scant 100 in a test run. Much like the original blueprint for those blades from long-ago, these too may be lost before you know it!