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What is Damascus Steel?
Damascus steel, also known as damask steel, bent steel or Damast, is a material that is made up of a mixture of several different types of steels that are forged together. The process of the steel integration, the possibilities are almost endless: it is possible to combine soft steels with hard steels, carbon steels with steels loaded with nickel, etc.
In general, two to three different steels are assembled together, which are welded in the fire by intense hammering, so as to obtain a solid block. A block which is then heated in fire again, so that it can be stretched and folded back on itself, before being welded again. These manufacturing steps can then be repeated endlessly, allowing the blacksmith to create hundreds or thousands of layers that give the blade ever greater resistance and qualities.
The history of Damascus steel goes back many centuries. Originally, as early as -300 BCE, this type of blade was produced in parts of India and Uzbekistan, where artisans used a steel called wootz, known for its high carbon content. It was used at the time mainly to make bladed weapons and swords, before it became gradually used for the creation of kitchen knives.
It was at the beginning of the 19th century that European smelters became interested in how Damascus steel was made, combining wootz with wrought iron, the operation of giving the metal a regular section. Now, thanks to improved technology several types of professional knives can be made out of Damascus steel. This is the case with the most essential blades found today in the kitchen, namely the chef’s knife, the carving knife or the santoku knife.
What are the advantages of Damascus steel for cutlery?
Damascus steel is being used more and more for cutlery, and this is because this type of professional knife blade is much stronger than those made of stainless steel, plastic or ceramic. This is due to the careful assembly and bending of multiple layers, which leads to the imperfections of the steel being distributed over the entire blade, making it much stronger and durable.
Damascus steel is also particularly famous for its very sharp appearance and stylish look. This type of knife blade ensures optimum cut quality, which is essential for the high standards of any professional chef.
The Damascus steel knife is also very aesthetic. The various folded layers and successive stretches made during the forging stage create remarkable and original patterns that make it a true work of art, in addition to being a very powerful cutting tool.
Finally, one last important element to know: investing in Damascus steel knives and cutlery ensures minimum maintenance and hassle in the long run. The blades of your knives will stay sharp for a very long time. There’s basically almost no need to sharpen them! What could be better than that, really!
Comparison of the Best Japanese Damascus Knives
Many great chefs regard Damascus steel to be one of the best in the world. This is why many people are turning away from Western knife brands in favor of their Japanese competitors.
Currently, knife makers such as Shan Zu, Hitachi and Takefu continue to compete for ingenuity to offer ever more powerful blades. Below you can find the different blades available on the market.
The best knives are with blades made of homogeneous steel
The reputation of the Japanese Damascus Knives is well established especially among professional chefs.
It is becoming quite trendy and is now gradually replacing the classic kitchen knife. Highly prized for the unique quality of its blade, a Japanese Damascus knife makes more precise cuts and thus effectively optimizes your kitchen work.
Whether you are making healthy Japanese salads or a delicious appetizer, with a quality knife you won’t make a mistake and will feel like a real chef.
If You are thinking of buying such a valuable Japanese Damascus knife for your kitchen, we offer you a comparison of the best Japanese Damascus knives that will hopefully help you decide and will ease your search. It’s up to you to find the right knife!
💡 You can check the 8 best Japanese Chef knives from famous Japanese brands in this detailed guide
Yoshihiro Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife
A beautifully crafted and a true piece of art. It’s stylishly packaged too.
The knife is very sharp and will keep its edge with no rolling or chipping even after a prolonged use.
The product is clearly of high quality. If you are just getting into higher end knives you may be able to find more affordable brands, but the craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into this knife was well worth the slight price bump.
You will have no issues using the knife with foods like carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, cilantro, parsley, chicken, and beef. What will impress you is the way it glides through meat immediately after chopping tough root veggies like they were nothing.
The high grade steel is soft enough to be sharpened easily, but it’s hard enough to not require constant attention in that regard. With its beautiful craftsmanship, it will look gorgeous on your knife rack.
In summary, you can definitely find good, cheaper options out there of Japanese Chef Knives, but if you really need a beautiful, handmade product for only a little more money than the next tier of options Yoshihiro will absolutely stand out as the best choice for you.
- NSW Damascus grade Knife
- VG-10 Hammered Damascus Stainless Steel
- Double-Edged (50/50) Blade with Length: 7″(180mm)
- Octagonal-Shaped Shitan Rosewood with Mahogany Bolster handle
- Hardness Rockwell C scale: 60 / Saya
- Handcrafted in Japan
- Improper care could damage the knife and allow the formation of surface rust
- The wooden handle is not suitable for dishwasher
Damascus Steel Shan Zu Knife
Professional knife made from Damascus steel Shan Zu will cut fruit and vegetables like no other knife!
So, if you are looking for a light, durable utensil that can relieve your wrist from long hours of cutting, the following model should be able to attract your attention.
The Damascus Steel fruit and vegetable knife from the Shan Zu brand is a great choice.
The manufacturers at Shan zu follow strict specifications when designing their products and stand firmly behind the quality of their materials.
The Santoku Damascus knife is considered the top-of-the-range among the kitchen knives and the brand confirms its premium positioning by combining into the composition of its blade two precious and ultra-resistant materials: the Damascus steel and the mirror finish.
It’s also versatile and multi-purpose, so you can use it on all types of food you can think of. Because of its stainless -steel and sturdiness.
As far as aesthetics are concerned, the Shan Zu knife is distinguished by its unparalleled beauty.
The pattern on its blade gives it a unique and magical character and will reward its owner with a sense of uniqueness and authenticity.
Warning: things you need to be careful about:
1. Don’t touch the knife blade with your hand when you check your knife, you might get hurt because of its incredible sharpness
2. Please store it safely, away from children’s reach
3. Use clean water to wash it, dry with a clean towel
4. Take it as a professional chef knife – do not use it on difficult to cut or unusual foods
5. Please read the product manual carefully before using your Japanese Damascus knife, which can help you get the most out of your new knife
What is the difference between a Santoku knife and a chef’s knife
The santoku chef knife has a blade shape that is specifically made for precision cutting and shaping of your food.
It’s especially suitable for cutting or dicing vegetables, which every good kitchen knife should be able to do.
It’s a versatile chef knife that can be used for cutting both meat and vegetables. So, there’s no difference really.
Does this product has a lifetime warranty?
Yes if used and maintained properly
Where are Shan Zu knives made?
SHAN ZU knives are manufactured in the world’s third largest knife city — Yangjiang, China.
Made of Damascus steel and high-strength, comfortable G10 materials, it has a very good grip and a cut sharpness 4 times higher than the average knife.
It is easy to carry around and can be used for a very long time with a high resistance to corrosion and wear.
With a short and sharp blade, it can cut any kind of vegetables and fruits.
Very well finished, this knife is also very pretty to look at, the alloy of the Damascus steel and the shiny “mirror” like blade which gives it an original look, that is quite common for the Shan Zu knives.
The Shan Zu fruit and vegetable knife has the best value for money in the category of specialty knives,so it could easily become an essential part of any kitchen.
The knife is very efficient and precise and will be able to perform on a high level for a very reasonable price.
- Highly versatile chef kitchen knife suitable for cutting most types of food
- beautiful finish and stylish look
- Not too heavy
- Nice package suitable for a gift
- Very sharp
- It may wear and become dull if not used according to the specifications
TUO Japanese Damascus Chef’s Knife
The knife is very sharp and well balanced. Aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It feels light in your hand and you’ll actually love using the knife.
Inexpensive option for those that want to have a high quality Japanese Damascus knife in their kitchen. Just make sure you do an appropriate occasional sharpening after use and it will perform like a knife 3 times the cost of the knife.
So, you really get awesome value for the price. You can cook huge batches of food, and even after 1 year it will still look and function like brand new.
- versatile all purpose chef’s knife
- high carbon steel as core of the blade, sandwiched with 66 layers of softer steel
- high level of rust-resistance and long-lasting performance
- razor sharp edge
- – heavy handle and drop issues. If you like working with a beefy handle you will find it perfect.
- – knuckles don’t clear the bottom when chopping.
Japanese ZELITE INFINITY Chef Knife
Next is the ZELITE INFINITY Santoku Knife. They are among the best Santoku knives available on Amazon.
If you’ve always wanted to add refinement and style to your kitchen, or to impress your guests with a visually stunning cutlery, the santoku Zelite INFINITY knife will do just fine.
It’s a very nice knife, as you can see from the picture. The knife is made from high-end materials of Super Steel high-carbon stainless steel with 67 layers, a high-carbon layered stainless steel that incorporates a ground hollow blade.
This makes the knife razor sharp, non-stick, durable and resistant to stains and rust. It is a high-performance knife with minimal cut resistance and superior quality materials.
With a length of 18 cm, it is ideal for large hands and it could cut a large roasted chicken easily, without too much pressure.
- Minimum cutting resistance, balanced weight and quality materials.
- Delivered in a nice packing box.
- Rounded and riveted handle. Comfortable grip for comfortable use. Triple handle riveted and forged for Strength and durability. Mosaic Rivet 3 metals Zeline Infinity.
- Rounded ergonomic handle, for a safe and comfortable grip. Conical shape, total comfort, perfect balance.
- Incomparable performance and high-end packaging. Serrated Edge blade – 14 cm, non-adhesive for maximum safety. For slicing citrus, cheese, sandwich, bread, steak, tomatoes, etc. Excellent cutting precision. Clean cut ideal for every use.
- Great as a Gift idea.
- Its high price may seem quite expensive, but you will find that the investment will be worth it in the long run
DALSTRONG Gladiator Chef Knife
The design is more elaborate and the materials which are used are of excellent quality. It is satisfaction guaranteed or you will be refunded (it is guaranteed to last for life by the manufacturer)!
The blade is made of stainless steel with carbon, which makes it very sharp. The edge of the blade is polished by hand on each side with exceptional care.
It is also made to be resistant to stains and moisture. The knife is hand polished to a mirror finish. The handle is made of Black Pakka wood, which gives a very professional touch to the overall feel of the knife. The weight also remains reasonable and is easily handled.
It is designed with three rivets that will allow a better grip, without any feeling that the knife slips from your hands. So, it’s easy to handle, even for a beginner cook.
The blade is curved enough to cut small veggies, and wide enough to cut meat and.
It is regrettable, however, that it is easily scratched, which can be a problem with any steel knife. Be careful, though, when sharpening and cleaning it.
Some may also have a little trouble with the location of the finger guard, which placed just below the edge.
As for the flexibility of the blade: it will allow you to cut small sized foods, but depending on the preferences, one might prefer more rigid blade for chopping meat for example.
- Precision forged German Thyssen Krupp Steel, ultra sharp, wear-resistant, one-piece and high carbon to 56+ Rockwell
- The cutting edge is meticulously sharpened by hand at 16-18 ° per side, maintaining the perfect balance between Blade Edge and maximum resilience
- High blade height gives joint clearance to facilitate food preparation and chopping activity
- Beautiful Blade with hand polished satin finish
- Tapered design for hardness and flexibility
- Added chrome for stain resistance
- Precision hardened for added durability
- Incredible strength and quality
- Can be cleaned easily which allows for less efforts during maintenance
- It could get broken if used improperly
- May become dull if you cut hard food
💡 You can check the 8 best Japanese Chef knives from famous Japanese brands in this detailed guide
Different Japanese blades
Homogenous steel blades are the entry-level blades. They are often made of stainless steel (which means stronger), some are also made with non-stainless steel blades.
So, it is necessary to be careful when buying as the longevity and the quality of the knife will not be the only concern when choosing one.
How to use a Damascus Steel kitchen knife: the 3 golden rules
Rule 1: never move sideways
Avoid lateral movements with the knife as these can damage your knife. Instead, movements from top to bottom are used to keep the edge of the blade sharp for longer.
Rule 2: the Japanese Damascus knife is an utensil which has to be handled gently
The Japanese Damascus knife has a very fine blade. This is what allows it to cut precisely all the food you throw at it and especially useful if you make Nigiri Sushi or any other type of sushi. Care must therefore be taken not to put too much pressure on the blade when it is used.
Similarly, in order to maintain its effectiveness, a plastic or wooden board is preferred for cutting food. These materials are less hard than glass or marble and will exert less resistance and wear on the blade.
Rule 3: beware of foods that are too hard to cut
Although the high quality Japanese knife is a strong and durable tool, it is not suitable for cutting hard products. It should not be used on bones or frozen foods. This is about making your investment last longer over time.
How to maintain and sharpen a Japanese Damascus knife?
To always have a sharpened Japanese Damascus knife, you need to sharpen your blade regularly on a stone.
If it is used daily, do not hesitate to use it at least once a week. To find out if your knife is sharp, place the blade on your finger.
Be careful not to cut yourself, the objective is simply to apply a slight pressure in order to make sure that the sharpness is right.
For hygiene reasons, do not forget to clean your Japanese Damascus knife after each use. It is best to do it by hand so as not to damage it. So, forget about the dishwasher, which is too aggressive for Japanese blades.
The cleaning is important, because it also affects the longevity of the knife.
Damascus Steel kitchen knives are known for their sharp edges. It is therefore important to store them in a closed space and at a height, that is out of reach of children.
They should not be stored together with other utensils, otherwise you may injure yourself by searching the for other kitchen tools.
Have you ever used a Damascus steel knife in your kitchen before? Let us know or ask your questions in the comments below.