Damascus steel- What is so special about it?

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
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Officer Gigglez
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Damascus steel- What is so special about it?

Postby Officer Gigglez » Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:00 pm

Obviously it has a unique pattern, but does it offer any advantages that regular steel doesn't? Is the hefty price tag worth it?
Spyderco Knives (in order of obtainment):
-Tenacious, Combo edge
-Tasman Salt, PE
-Persistence Blue, PE
-Pacific Salt, Black, PE
-Delica 4, Emerson Grey
-DiAlex Junior
-Byrd SS Crossbill, PE
-Endura 4 Emerson Grey
-Byrd Meadowlark 2 FRN, PE
-Resilience

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akapennypincher
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Postby akapennypincher » Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:14 pm

It looks cool.

No two blades are alike in pattern.

It is CLASS.
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Officer Gigglez
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Postby Officer Gigglez » Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:24 pm

akapennypincher wrote:It looks cool.

No two blades are alike in pattern.

It is CLASS.
I personally don't think it looks all that good. But I don't think gold looks good either. I guess this is why we get opinions. And by your barebones answer, I guess it offers nothing in the way of practicality?
Spyderco Knives (in order of obtainment):
-Tenacious, Combo edge
-Tasman Salt, PE
-Persistence Blue, PE
-Pacific Salt, Black, PE
-Delica 4, Emerson Grey
-DiAlex Junior
-Byrd SS Crossbill, PE
-Endura 4 Emerson Grey
-Byrd Meadowlark 2 FRN, PE
-Resilience

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sal
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Postby sal » Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:53 pm

Hi Officer Gigglez,

At this time, I believe that attraction is more visual. Considering that most decisions made about most purchases are based on the eye, this is not far out. But I believe that this is also a value based on a history. This is my own opinion and theory and I have no evidence to support my beliefs. Maybe Some of our metallurgical experts can offer more?

When the Vikings made damascus back in the day (800 AD), they were swords/weapons and their lives depended on the performance of their swords. Combining two different steels offered a much tougher blade that resisted breaking better than single steels. The worst thing that can happen to you in a blade fight to the death is that your sword breaks. When sharpening the edge, the softer material gave way to the harder material creating a serrated edge. The serrated edge cut more aggressively and stayed sharper longer.

As time went on and knowledge of metals evolved, The performance difference between Damascus and "traditional" materials was reduced and the pattern welded steel was lost in time as was the methods of making it. About half century ago, a master smith, Bill Moran, discovered how to make the Damascus material and re-introduced Damascus at a Guild show.

In the past 50 years, makers like Darrel Meyer, Ed Schempp and others have discovered/invented new ways of making pattern welded steel that further refines the patterns possible.

Also new methods of making steel, such as powdered processes allow us to make steel that for all practical purposes, looks like folded steel, but is not folded. Damasteel is one very sophisticated method producing a "Damascus" that is not folded. Takefu and other Japanese companies also have ways of making Damascus that offers other advantages such a different materials offering migration barriers.

sal

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Postby O,just,O » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:08 pm

Damascus, that is true Damascus steel has not been produced since the mid 16 th century.
What we have now is more correctly termed, pattern welded.
True Damascus steel earned its legend & reputation in a time when it was the super steel. Compared to most of the other offerings of the time, yes it was good, very good. Compared to a Japanese sword steel of 1700 A.D. maybe not so good.
Today with CPM tech we are way out in front in every aspect.
Now it just comes down to looks & if like me you think it looks garish & cheap with a lot of oxidised inclusions then it is not worth its price.
If it looks beautifull & arty with a swirl of life that speaks to your desires, then buy it at any cost.
But me, I drive a Ford, so that speaks for itself. :D
O.

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Postby The Deacon » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:18 pm

Damascus elevates a knife from being just a tool to being a piece of functional jewelry and, while some folks are satisfied with something that functions well but looks pedestrian, others are willing to pay extra for something that functions equally well and looks really good doing it.
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Postby kbuzbee » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:26 pm

sal wrote:The worst thing that can happen to you in a blade fight to the death is that your sword breaks.
That may be true for most people. I feel fully capable of impaling myself on my own sword ;) That would be worse ;)

Ken
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Officer Gigglez
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Postby Officer Gigglez » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:34 pm

So, in other words, don't buy Damascus steel. Got it. Thanks for the info
Spyderco Knives (in order of obtainment):
-Tenacious, Combo edge
-Tasman Salt, PE
-Persistence Blue, PE
-Pacific Salt, Black, PE
-Delica 4, Emerson Grey
-DiAlex Junior
-Byrd SS Crossbill, PE
-Endura 4 Emerson Grey
-Byrd Meadowlark 2 FRN, PE
-Resilience

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Postby bengaiser » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:36 pm

The Deacon wrote:Damascus elevates a knife from being just a tool to being a piece of functional jewelry and, while some folks are satisfied with something that functions well but looks pedestrian, others are willing to pay extra for something that functions equally well and looks really good doing it.
I would argue that Spyderco in general fits well into this category regardless of the use of pattern welded steels. I further imagine that this is an opinion many others out there hold, which could explain why we often end up with more :spyder: s that we could possibly use in a lifetime? That certainly is the case for me.

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Postby remnar » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:56 pm

All of the Spyderco damasteel knives that I've seen have not appealed to me. They do not have the intricate patterns that other pattern welded steels exhibit. I have been tempted a couple of times by the Spydercos, but when I take a close look at the blade it just doesn't do it for me. I'm sure the damasteel performs better than most other welded blades, but to me the appeal is in the unique and intricate patterns. If I want better performance, then I'll stick with a good quality modern steel. As of right now, I do plan on looking for a "Damascus" blade at the next gun and knife show that attend. There are always a couple of custom makers showing off their knives at the shows. Of course, I'm not looking for an EDC, instead I want a beautifully hand made tool that I can be proud to own. :)

-remnar

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Postby Gunslinger » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:00 am

It's purdy
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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Postby Liquid Cobra » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:02 am

sal wrote:Hi Officer Gigglez,

At this time, I believe that attraction is more visual. Considering that most decisions made about most purchases are based on the eye, this is not far out. But I believe that this is also a value based on a history. This is my own opinion and theory and I have no evidence to support my beliefs. Maybe Some of our metallurgical experts can offer more?

When the Vikings made damascus back in the day (800 AD), they were swords/weapons and their lives depended on the performance of their swords. Combining two different steels offered a much tougher blade that resisted breaking better than single steels. The worst thing that can happen to you in a blade fight to the death is that your sword breaks. When sharpening the edge, the softer material gave way to the harder material creating a serrated edge. The serrated edge cut more aggressively and stayed sharper longer.

As time went on and knowledge of metals evolved, The performance difference between Damascus and "traditional" materials was reduced and the pattern welded steel was lost in time as was the methods of making it. About half century ago, a master smith, Bill Moran, discovered how to make the Damascus material and re-introduced Damascus at a Guild show.

In the past 50 years, makers like Darrel Meyer, Ed Schempp and others have discovered/invented new ways of making pattern welded steel that further refines the patterns possible.

Also new methods of making steel, such as powdered processes allow us to make steel that for all practical purposes, looks like folded steel, but is not folded. Damasteel is one very sophisticated method producing a "Damascus" that is not folded. Takefu and other Japanese companies also have ways of making Damascus that offers other advantages such a different materials offering migration barriers.

sal
Thanks for that Sal. Very interesting insight. Also interesting you brought up Vikings. Any chance you and the crew are working on an Ulfberht Spyderco? ;)

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Postby Zenith » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:00 am

remnar wrote:All of the Spyderco damasteel knives that I've seen have not appealed to me.

If I want better performance, then I'll stick with a good quality modern steel.
-remnar
To my knowledge Spyderco has never used Damasteel. Damasteel contains RWL-34 and powdered version of 12C27, that is pretty modern manufacturing and steels.

http://www.damasteel.se/

Image

Image

Image

Image

Forged damascus and pattern welding is a different story and there are some articles on that as well done by more experienced people.

The mystery of Damascus Blades by J.D Verhoeven.

IMPACT STRENGTH AND FAILURE ANALYSIS OF WELDED DAMASCUS STEEL

Here is a small paper.

UNDER_GRAD_RESEARCH/Farzin%20F.pdf
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Postby RanCoWeAla » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:00 am

I don't care for it myself because most of it will rust then thete's the rough feel when you polish it and I was always afraid the edge would chip. I like for my knives to have a good mirror polished and glassy smooth finish when I put Renwax or something on it.

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Postby chuck_roxas45 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:24 am

Not for me...

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Postby Surfingringo » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:22 am

kbuzbee wrote:That may be true for most people. I feel fully capable of impaling myself on my own sword ;) That would be worse ;)

Ken
Hahaha...what about accidentally chopping certain body parts? Lol, there are some fates worse than death.

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Postby demoncase » Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:43 am

Gunslinger wrote:It's purdy
That's about the size of it from my perspective. ;)
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Postby kbuzbee » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:11 am

Surfingringo wrote:Hahaha...what about accidentally chopping certain body parts? Lol, there are some fates worse than death.
Exactly. In ancient battles, I'd be the guy carrying the giant Conan the Barbarian movie style hammer ;)

Ken
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Postby malice » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:04 am

I have a damascus Vendetta pocket knife. It's a french slipjoint folder,
and it's my "classy" knife.
I practically only have it on me when I've suited up and going to a social event.
It's also the only pocketknife I own that has never garnered a single negative comment.

What make it special is it looks and feel.
The damascus, flows. And turns what remains essentially still a tool,
into a piece of art first and formost.

I love mine, and whilst I don't advise you to buy one, I would say, hold one.
If you do, and you can't bring yourself to hand it back, you'll know.

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Postby gull wing » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:08 am

I have a slipjoint in it. I don't carry it.
SCARAMOUCHE! :spyder:


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