I first heard about Damascus Steel Chef Knives via the Joe Rogan podcast, when Rogan interviewed Mareko Maumasi of Maumasi Fire Arts. Any knife enthusiast who has seen a Damascus blade knows how amazing they look. The patterns on the blade from the interwoven materials are unique to each piece, so if you get one in your collection you can be sure there are no others like it.
I’m a big fan of having quality kitchenware. I do a lot of cooking, and it’s always better to do a thing in style. When I saw the Rogan interview with Maumasi it sent me down the path of finding a quality chef’s knife for food prep.
I started off at Maumasi’s site. There are some beautiful knifes in his gallery, His store doesn’t have anything for sale currently, so I suspect that you have to reach out to him to ask about getting a custom made knife.
After spending some time on Maumasi’s site, I realized that I didn’t really know what “Damascus Steel” was, so I went and researched that. What I learned was that Damascus forged steel is something that happened in antiquity, but we don’t really know what it was done to create Damascus steel blades. We have stories regarding this craftsmanship from India around 300 B.C., and in the Arab region we know that Wootz steel was fabricated, but we don’t know the actual techniques used in the steel production.
In 1973 William F. Moran re-ignited the art form when he introduced his “Damascus Blades”. He knew the art of Damascus blade-making was in danger of being lost so he sought to re-create the process. Since then legions of knife makers have gotten into the pattern welded steel business.
The unique patterns of Damascus blades are created by choosing different alloys to blend, and folding the steel ingots into each other to create the design. The blend of alloys used is up to the discretion of the bladesmith, and each blend will lead to a unique look. They do need to be aware of the balance between softer and harder alloys, so that the end result is not only a beautiful knife but also a strong one.
Because the steel is blended, it is stronger than other blades. It’s not the strongest type of blade you can get, you’ll need to get into some more exotic steel to get that, but a Damascus blade should last a long time .
In lieu of getting a custom, hand-made chef’s knife, there are cheaper options on Amazon. You may not get the same quality and durability that you’d get in a handmade blade, but here are some great options on a budget:
Of course if you’re in the market for a custom made Damascus Chef’s Knife, you might be able to reach out to Maumasi through his Facebook page. There are other custom knife makers out there as well, you can check Devin Thomas’s work for example.
I still haven’t made a decision on which Damascus knife I’ll add to my kitchen. With so many choices it’s hard to decide. Soon though….