Not all Damascus is the same as Damascus
In contrast to the so-called mono steel, Damascus steel is an inhomogeneous steel, which has a (consciously) uneven distribution of the alloy components contained in it. However, Damascus is not a protected term, nowadays you can also find "Damascus knives", on which the typical pattern has only been imprinted or even printed. Of course, this has nothing to do with traditionally produced Damascus steel. And even with "real Damascus steel" there are still great differences in production methods and quality. Today, there are usually two types of production:
• Welded composite Damascus - the traditional one
• Powder metallurgical Damascus - the industrial one
For powder metallurgy Damascus, molten steel is atomized in a nitrogen atmosphere and the powder thus obtained is pressed together in several layers and rolled out. Such a Damascus is either processed into blades or is often used as a decorative Damascus on conventional knife blades.
Welded composite Damascus consists of pieces (plates) of two or more different types of steel. These are layered alternately and joined together at 1,100 - 1,200 °C under mechanical pressure (forging). The resulting workpiece can in turn be divided, superimposed and welded together again. In principle, this process can be repeated as often as required, whereby the number of layers of different steels processed continues to increase.
Welded composite Damascus can also be produced industrially: The mechanical connection, including stainless steel grades under vacuum, enables the production of large quantities. With Nesmuk, however, each blade is traditionally hand-forged and crafted to its final shape.
The different types of Damascus can be easily distinguished with a trained eye, and the price of a knife is usually a good indicator of the production process.