Why Are Damascus Knives So Expensive?
If you’ve heard of Damascus knives, chances are you’ve also heard of the hefty price tags attached to these blades. This might have you thinking: are they worth it? Based on the look and function of the items on this list of the best Damascus chef knives, they could be very much worth it.
However, that isn’t exactly fair, is it? Naturally, as a first-time buyer, you’d also want to know the real reason for these knives’ astronomical prices.
So, are these blades really worth the money you have to pay for them? Let’s try to find out.
Looking at a Damascus knife, you just know it’s going to make a dent in your pocket. However, with the way it looks and how it feels in your hand, not to mention the way it slices, there’s a good chance you won’t mind paying that price. Now, while that alone should be enough to justify the blade’s cost, some will need more convincing.
A look behind the scenes into creating these knives could sway your thoughts in favor of its pricing.
Where Damascus blades are concerned, it’s really the look that wins you over. Manufacturers have their ordinary knife lines, high-end lines, and high-end lines clad in Damascus steel.
If so much about your culinary life centers on the look and feel of preparing and cooking food, it makes sense to pick nothing less than a high-end knife. It’s also safe to say that a Damascus knife would most satisfy such an individual.
One thing to note about the Damascus cladding is that it neither alters nor improves the function of the blade intrinsically. The only thing this special installation changes is the look of the knife, which, as established, holds more importance than it seems.
Basically, the modern Damascus blade consists of two laminated sheets of Damascus wallpaper wrapped around a knife’s hard steel core. This wrapping holds no bearing on the knife’s function, as such is dictated by the core layer. Though, elements such as handle shape, grind angle, and blade shape also factor into the equation.
Manufacturers of Damascus knives draw inspiration from, yes, you guessed it—the Japanese. Japanese steelworkers from long ago invented the procedure that led to today’s method for creating quality Damascus knives. Cladding a soft, flexible core with a tough exterior enabled these craftsmen to create blades that were bendable but virtually indestructible at the same time.
The process also involved producing a cutting edge from several high-carbon-content exterior layers tempered before sharpening. However, unlike the Damascus patterns created through forging, ancient Japanese swords' patterns were formed through folding.
In Japan, they formed swords by layering steel and then forge welding them together. That comes with a lot of heating and beating with the hammer. Every time the metal stretches, it gets folded, heated, and beaten again and again. This regular meticulous and challenging work resulted in the famed Japanese Katana and now, by extension, the Damascus knife.
Let’s be clear that this is not, in fact, the exact process for Damascus forging. This only heavily mirrors what manufacturers use to create their coveted high-end and high-priced blades.
Again, the actual process does not do much else apart from making the Damascus blade “bendier.” In the modern setting, you’ll find the procedure improving the look and adding to the cost of a blade. To many fans of the Damascus knife, the surface-level improvements are more than enough to justify the price increase.
Not all Damascus knives are made equal. While they are all relatively expensive, the top-of-the-line models take prices to a new level with their unrivaled craftsmanship and steel composition.
Products from the world’s top manufacturers are usually simpler looking, but they could be the sharpest blades you’ve ever laid hands on. They also hold an edge longer than their counterparts and can be sharpened easily.
Their superiority extends to wear and tear resistance. Unlike other knives, these won’t slowly chip away to create serrated edges that cut or slice poorly. Their blades hold true to form as long as they are cared for and maintained regularly.
Most high-end Damascus knives are forged using a technique that sandwiches the core metal between two Damascus sheets to produce a supreme quality blade that looks stunning in its simplicity.
Surprisingly, your predisposition towards Damascus blades factors heavily into your thinking of their worth. Where Damascus knives are concerned, the decision mostly depends on whether the look of the blade meets your personal preferences.
If it does, and exterior appearance matters a lot to you in knife selection, there should be no doubt where your thoughts lie. Functionality-wise, though, the look of the Damascus blade alone might not be enough to sway you in favor of its high price tag.