If you have a damascus steel blade knife, you have a knife blade with unique beauty. With its historical reputation as the metal used for the best swords over hundreds of years and its distinctive wavy design, damascus steel is a beauty to behold. So with that quality blade, especially one that has intricate etchings, comes special care. In order to maintain its beauty and use, here are our tips on how to care for your damascus steel knife.These tips are also best practice for our range of steel knives too.
The patterns in damascus is forged through the entirety of the blade. The steel's unique pattern is only truly revealed with etching an acid wash during the making process. This etching causes the different oxidation levels to show off dark and light shiny patterns on the blade.
Most hand-forged damascus blades are made of high carbon steel, which means that they have a relatively low amount of chromium in the steel. Carbon steel and carbon steel damascus can rust when not cared for properly. You will need to make sure the blade remains clean and dry in order to prevent rust or discoloration.
After cleaning and drying your knife, you should lubricate it with a wax or oil to prevent moisture from affecting the blade. We recommend Renaissance Wax, because it will keep your knife rust-free and maintain its etched beauty. A light coating of good quality olive oil will also work.
Damascus blades can also be made of stainless steel. When a knife is made with steel carrying a chromium content of at least 11%, it will be mentioned in the product specs as stainless. While stainless damscus steel can resist rust and will take less care, we recommend applying wax to any damascus blade to keep it looking at it's best.
2. Avoid abrasives.
Avoiding abrasives-rough cloths, metal polishes, steel wool, etc. is important in maintaining the look and quality of the blade. If you do use an abrasive or metal cleaner it will remove the etched oxidation that you require on a damascus knife to show the pattern. Once the etch is significantly altered, we recommend sending your blade back to the us for a re-etching service.
3. Store it properly to keep it rust-free.
When not in use, it's important to keep the damascus steel knife in a dry interior environment, where it will not be affected by extreme moisture or temperature changes. After cleaning and waxing your knife, storing it correctly will keep it safe and beautiful.
When out in the field with your knife, make sure that you don't keep it in a wet environment for long periods of time. In addition, keep an eye out for a wet handle: the moisture from the handle can also rust the blade, so keeping the entire knife dry is important. We strongly advise against using a dehumidifier bar if you are storing damascus knives with natural handle materials; especially in a closed safe or storage compartment. Extreme low humidity is a hazard for ANY natural handle material (woods, antlers, etc.) and will likely cause cracking or separation. Humidity does not affect synthetic handle materials (resins, stabilised woods etc.)
By taking good care of your knife it should last a lifetime and beyond; after all, it is a piece of art!