Caring For Your Custom Damascus Kitchen Knives - HandCraft Damascus Art

 

If you have ever got a chance to witness a chef working with a handmade Damascus steel knife in the kitchen, there is no need to tell how amazing the knife’s material that looks to be. The human instinct keeps on being inquisitive for everything that seems out of this world. Upon seeing anything unusual, one wonders with a straight forward question, “where has it come from?”. Same goes with Damascus knife here. An immediate question that might come to one’s mind would be, “how did that pattern come to be?” Even knowing exactly how, the Damascus steel knife is no less exciting. It is due to this feeling of excitement and complete aesthetic satisfaction that we recognize and attribute patterns to something unique — that a Damascus steel knife is just about as cool as you can think of. There is, however, a sense of commitment to Damascus steel care that one should take into one’s mind before making up one’s mind to have it in his / her personal collection. 

Damascus, or commonly known “pattern welded” steel is comprises of two or more dissimilar alloys of steel. These two alloys are technically given the name 1084 and 15n20. Both the alloys are high carbon steels. However, the “n” in the latter stands for “nickel,” which means that steel has a high nickel content. To make handmade Damascus Kitchen Knife, the blacksmith would forge-weld two steels together into a single solid bar. Later, patterns are produced in the layers by handling the bar.  When the forged-blade is milled to its finished shape, the material looks shiny silver - similar to non-patterned steel. The blade is polished just once and the pattern reveals itself on etching the blade in an acid bath. The acid reacts on the steel and oxidizes iron steel, which makes up most of the material. In the whole process, the layer of black iron oxide is left behind. The nickel in the 15n20 layers resists. It attacks and stays bright. 

Now take a look at the next factor to care for the handmade domestic steel knife. By nature, high carbon steel is prone to tarnishing. In its simplest form, the tarnish (or patina) is also a form of oxidation, just like the acid etch. Whether a blade is non-patterned high carbon steel, or high carbon Damascus steel, it will develop some form of this through use. This is particularly true of kitchen knives, as acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes, and onions will have a mild etching effect on the steel. For most people familiar with high carbon steel, this is part of the natural beauty of the material. I feel that it is a reflection of the meals prepared with the knife, and thus, of shared experience and memory.

Moisture and time are the main enemies of the steel. All kinds of high-carbon Damascus steel can also get rust - red iron oxide. This will not cause harm to the knife though, nevertheless, it is still very easy o care for the handmade custom Damascus steel knife. As time and moisture are the main enemy to moisture plus time, the rule of the thumb is: don’t leave your Damascus steel blade wet for too long. Fortunately, it is very easy to take a good care of high carbon and Damascus steel knives. 

It is best to be in the habit of washing and drying your knife after each use; warm soapy water will strip away any oxidizing substances left on the blade, and drying it thoroughly will prevent any rust from forming. It is also a good idea to oil the steel from time to time. Some owners keep an oil cloth handy and wipe their blades down with each use. 

 Like other knives in common, honing and sharpening are both vital facets of Damascus steel care. All blades are serrated with little teeth under magnification. These teeth are formed by the peaks and valleys of the abrasive used to sharpen the edge form these teeth. Since the teeth are longer and more ragged, they tend to bend out of line quite easily when the abrasive is coarser. This is similar to how a paperclip breaks eventually after being sent back and forth a few times. That’s where you need abrasion to sharpen and establish a new set of teeth by means of abrasion. It is worthy to note that the finer the abrasive, the smaller would be the teeth, and less prone would be the blade to dulling. 

As long as you are going to stick to these simple steps for caring of your product, your Damascus steel care is actually quite handy and your beautiful knife can last long for years to come.

 

If you have ever got a chance to witness a chef working with a handmade Damascus steel knife in the kitchen, there is no need to tell how amazing the knife’s material that looks to be. The human instinct keeps on being inquisitive for everything that seems out of this world. Upon seeing anything unusual, one wonders with a straight forward question, “where has it come from?”. Same goes with Damascus knife here. An immediate question that might come to one’s mind would be, “how did that pattern come to be?” Even knowing exactly how, the Damascus steel knife is no less exciting. It is due to this feeling of excitement and complete aesthetic satisfaction that we recognize and attribute patterns to something unique — that a Damascus steel knife is just about as cool as you can think of. There is, however, a sense of commitment to Damascus steel care that one should take into one’s mind before making up one’s mind to have it in his / her personal collection. 

Damascus, or commonly known “pattern welded” steel is comprises of two or more dissimilar alloys of steel. These two alloys are technically given the name 1084 and 15n20. Both the alloys are high carbon steels. However, the “n” in the latter stands for “nickel,” which means that steel has a high nickel content. To make handmade Damascus Kitchen Knife, the blacksmith would forge-weld two steels together into a single solid bar. Later, patterns are produced in the layers by handling the bar.  When the forged-blade is milled to its finished shape, the material looks shiny silver - similar to non-patterned steel. The blade is polished just once and the pattern reveals itself on etching the blade in an acid bath. The acid reacts on the steel and oxidizes iron steel, which makes up most of the material. In the whole process, the layer of black iron oxide is left behind. The nickel in the 15n20 layers resists. It attacks and stays bright. 

Now take a look at the next factor to care for the handmade domestic steel knife. By nature, high carbon steel is prone to tarnishing. In its simplest form, the tarnish (or patina) is also a form of oxidation, just like the acid etch. Whether a blade is non-patterned high carbon steel, or high carbon Damascus steel, it will develop some form of this through use. This is particularly true of kitchen knives, as acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes, and onions will have a mild etching effect on the steel. For most people familiar with high carbon steel, this is part of the natural beauty of the material. I feel that it is a reflection of the meals prepared with the knife, and thus, of shared experience and memory.

Moisture and time are the main enemies of the steel. All kinds of high-carbon Damascus steel can also get rust - red iron oxide. This will not cause harm to the knife though, nevertheless, it is still very easy o care for the handmade custom Damascus steel knife. As time and moisture are the main enemy to moisture plus time, the rule of the thumb is: don’t leave your Damascus steel blade wet for too long. Fortunately, it is very easy to take a good care of high carbon and Damascus steel knives. 

It is best to be in the habit of washing and drying your knife after each use; warm soapy water will strip away any oxidizing substances left on the blade, and drying it thoroughly will prevent any rust from forming. It is also a good idea to oil the steel from time to time. Some owners keep an oil cloth handy and wipe their blades down with each use. 

 Like other knives in common, honing and sharpening are both vital facets of Damascus steel care. All blades are serrated with little teeth under magnification. These teeth are formed by the peaks and valleys of the abrasive used to sharpen the edge form these teeth. Since the teeth are longer and more ragged, they tend to bend out of line quite easily when the abrasive is coarser. This is similar to how a paperclip breaks eventually after being sent back and forth a few times. That’s where you need abrasion to sharpen and establish a new set of teeth by means of abrasion. It is worthy to note that the finer the abrasive, the smaller would be the teeth, and less prone would be the blade to dulling. 

As long as you are going to stick to these simple steps for caring of your product, your Damascus steel care is actually quite handy and your beautiful knife can last long for years to come.

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