I wanted to go off the beaten path a little bit today and talk about Damascus steel. Damascus may not make for your traditional Bowie, but it adds a unique look to any knife and it can also add a little variety to your knife collection.
Without a doubt, Damascus is one of the coolest looking steels out there. For me, its patterns are reminiscent of those in fingerprints or tree rings. Damascus is largely used in knife blades, but there are also Damascus dog tags, arrowheads, and beads out there. The concept of Damascus steel has actually been around for centuries, specifically in the Middle East. However, somewhere along the line, the knowledge of how to create this type of metal was lost. While the techniques used to make Damascus today are not the same as those used in ancient times, it is made to look the same now as it did in its original form.
To make Damascus, two or more different types of steel are layered together and then folded over and over again.Think of Play-Doh—if you folded two different colors of Play-Doh together many times, the end result will be similar to what happens when creating Damascus. After the folding process the steels are acid etched, and since every type of steel reacts differently to acid, the end result produces distinct contrasting colors and patterns.
Here’s another, less traditional Damascus Bowie:
The process of making Damascus steel is fairly involved, which is reflected in its price. However, in my opinion, Damascus is well worth the price and is the most beautiful, unique type of steel out there.