03-03-2017, 05:48 AM
#1
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Dear gents;

I am about to receive a Jerry Starks custom, made out of a Randy Haas feathered damascus steel. Two months into the project i start to wonder, how does damascus compare with tools grade carbon steel? I mean, how hard it is? Does it holds a very keen edge better? How do you hone it? Or it is only beautiful to look at? Jajaja. Guess not...

Best regards,

Pepe Peña


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 03-05-2017, 07:15 AM
#2
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Better steel, sharper edges than most carbon steel razors.

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 03-05-2017, 11:38 AM
#3
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Just pretty certainly not harder or better I've owned and honed many Damascus razors, you are paying for the workmanship.

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 03-21-2017, 01:34 PM
#4
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
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(03-05-2017, 11:38 AM)Jamie Mahoney Wrote: Just pretty certainly not harder or better I've owned and honed many Damascus razors, you are paying for the workmanship.
This.

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 03-24-2017, 11:09 AM
#5
  • u2u
  • Senior Member
  • GTA
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(03-05-2017, 11:38 AM)Jamie Mahoney Wrote: Just pretty certainly not harder or better I've owned and honed many Damascus razors, you are paying for the workmanship.

This is my experience with knives and razors. High carbon tool steel is excellent. The nature of damascus does not let it take the edge a straight shaver needs. For a knife it is a great cutting edge with built in micro serrations. Not good for a smooth shave. That is why many razors are damascus clad with a steel core/non-damascus cutting edge. That way you get performance, good looks, and the pleasure of using a well crafted tool.

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 03-24-2017, 12:35 PM
#6
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Damascus steel is - technically speaking - a misnomer in this day and age (the original method of producing Damascus steel from wootz steel is a lost art, and modern attempts to duplicate the metal have not been entirely successful due to differences in raw materials and manufacturing techniques). It's worth nothing however that a great many modern steel outperforms the original Damascus steel by a not insignificant margin.

What is commonly refereed to as "Damascus steel" is technically either a laminate of iron and steel that is heated, folded, heated again and so on or a pattern weld . Done well it combines the hardness of steel with the ductility of iron - but as a general rule it's more prone to oxidation than either. If you look after it it'll last a lifetime though, so it's not something to worry about - and both laminated and pattern welded blades are plain awesome to look at Biggrin

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 03-24-2017, 01:53 PM
#7
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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I have several Damascus steel straights. They don't seem to hold an edge any better than most of my carbon steel razors, and less so than my stainless steel and Japanese razors, but they sure do look cool. When I have the choice, and cash, I always go for the look of Damascus.

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 03-24-2017, 04:28 PM
#8
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(03-24-2017, 12:35 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote: Damascus steel is - technically speaking - a misnomer in this day and age (the original method of producing Damascus steel from wootz steel is a lost art, and modern attempts to duplicate the metal have not been entirely successful due to differences in raw materials and manufacturing techniques). It's worth nothing however that a great many modern steel outperforms the original Damascus steel by a not insignificant margin.

What is commonly refereed to as "Damascus steel" is technically either a laminate of iron and steel that is heated, folded, heated again and so on or a pattern weld . Done well it combines the hardness of steel with the ductility of iron - but as a general rule it's more prone to oxidation than either. If you look after it it'll last a lifetime though, so it's not something to worry about - and both laminated and pattern welded blades are plain awesome to look at Biggrin


Dear Warrior;

I thank you for taking time to answer. Your knowledge is vast. The damascus i am expecting is a mix of 1080 and 15n20 steels. Any insight into that?

Best regards,

Pepe Peña


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 03-24-2017, 04:32 PM
#9
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(03-24-2017, 11:09 AM)u2u Wrote:
(03-05-2017, 11:38 AM)Jamie Mahoney Wrote: Just pretty certainly not harder or better I've owned and honed many Damascus razors, you are paying for the workmanship.

This is my experience with knives and razors. High carbon tool steel is excellent. The nature of damascus does not let it take the edge a straight shaver needs. For a knife it is a great cutting edge with built in micro serrations. Not good for a smooth shave. That is why many razors are damascus clad with a steel core/non-damascus cutting edge. That way you get performance, good looks, and the pleasure of using a well crafted tool.


Dear 2u2;

What if the razor maker was so crafty that he is able to align one of the steels along the entire edge? Is this posible? Could this eliminate the micro serrations you mention?

Best regards,

Pepe Peña


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 03-24-2017, 04:37 PM
#10
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(03-24-2017, 01:53 PM)evnpar Wrote: I have several Damascus steel straights. They don't seem to hold an edge any better than most of my carbon steel razors, and less so than my stainless steel and Japanese razors, but they sure do look cool. When I have the choice, and cash, I always go for the look of Damascus.


Dear Mr. 72;

I take "any better" any day of the week. I dont own any stainless. My kamisori is white steel. We will see, i guess. I thank you all for your comments.

Best regards,

Pepe Peña


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 03-25-2017, 06:30 AM
#11
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(03-24-2017, 04:28 PM)carlospppena Wrote:
(03-24-2017, 12:35 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote: Damascus steel is - technically speaking - a misnomer in this day and age (the original method of producing Damascus steel from wootz steel is a lost art, and modern attempts to duplicate the metal have not been entirely successful due to differences in raw materials and manufacturing techniques). It's worth nothing however that a great many modern steel outperforms the original Damascus steel by a not insignificant margin.

What is commonly refereed to as "Damascus steel" is technically either a laminate of iron and steel that is heated, folded, heated again and so on or a pattern weld . Done well it combines the hardness of steel with the ductility of iron - but as a general rule it's more prone to oxidation than either. If you look after it it'll last a lifetime though, so it's not something to worry about - and both laminated and pattern welded blades are plain awesome to look at Biggrin


Dear Warrior;

I thank you for taking time to answer. Your knowledge is vast. The damascus i am expecting is a mix of 1080 and 15n20 steels. Any insight into that?

Best regards,

Pepe Peña


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Not per se, no. Most of my experience with pattern welded blades are hand made knife blades of the "rail road track and truck spring" variation Tongue

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 03-25-2017, 06:33 AM
#12
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Quote:Not per se, no. Most of my experience with pattern welded blades are hand made knife blades of the "rail road track and truck spring" variation Tongue

Dont know if you are joking, but it sounds great, joke or not!!! The best for you mon!!!


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 03-25-2017, 08:38 AM
#13
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(03-25-2017, 06:33 AM)carlospppena Wrote:
Quote:Not per se, no. Most of my experience with pattern welded blades are hand made knife blades of the "rail road track and truck spring" variation Tongue

Dont know if you are joking, but it sounds great, joke or not!!! The best for you mon!!!


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No joke; pieces of of cast rail road track and leaf springs from old trucks are - or at least was - popular raw materials for the DIY knife smithing crowd in Norway. Old rail road tracks was made of wrought iron (these days various steel alloys are used), and leaf springs tends to be quite high quality steel.

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 03-25-2017, 09:20 AM
#14
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(03-25-2017, 08:38 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote:
(03-25-2017, 06:33 AM)carlospppena Wrote:
Quote:Not per se, no. Most of my experience with pattern welded blades are hand made knife blades of the "rail road track and truck spring" variation Tongue

Dont know if you are joking, but it sounds great, joke or not!!! The best for you mon!!!


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No joke; pieces of of cast rail road track and leaf springs from old trucks are - or at least was - popular raw materials for the DIY knife smithing crowd in Norway. Old rail road tracks was made of wrought iron (these days various steel alloys are used), and leaf springs tends to be quite high quality steel.
damm! now i want a razor made out of junk yard damascus!!! ;-))) i just love the idea.

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 03-25-2017, 09:25 AM
#15
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[Image: 0qu64Rj.jpg]

this is more or less what i have in mind, but with a french point.

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 03-28-2017, 02:27 PM
#16
  • u2u
  • Senior Member
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(03-24-2017, 04:32 PM)carlospppena Wrote:
(03-24-2017, 11:09 AM)u2u Wrote:
(03-05-2017, 11:38 AM)Jamie Mahoney Wrote: Just pretty certainly not harder or better I've owned and honed many Damascus razors, you are paying for the workmanship.

This is my experience with knives and razors. High carbon tool steel is excellent. The nature of damascus does not let it take the edge a straight shaver needs. For a knife it is a great cutting edge with built in micro serrations. Not good for a smooth shave. That is why many razors are damascus clad with a steel core/non-damascus cutting edge. That way you get performance, good looks, and the pleasure of using a well crafted tool.


Dear 2u2;

What if the razor maker was so crafty that he is able to align one of the steels along the entire edge? Is this posible? Could this eliminate the micro serrations you mention?

Best regards,

Pepe Peña


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Aligning the steel along the edge is done with a core so the core is not Damascus. The cladding on either side of the core may be.

There are many sources and samples are scattered throughout different forums. They can get pricey as they are a specialized item.

Here is an example from a Canadian maker selected only because I am in Canada:

http://cosmoknives.com/straight-razor-2/

Enlarging the image will show the concept.

Here is an American maker with some interesting items:

http://edsonrazors.com/Store/Store/customrazors.html

I am sure Mastro Livi has done a few.

I use this in my rotation:

[Image: OslW5KC.jpg]

It is an example of a nice modern "Damascus" in stainless that shaves well but is limited by hundreds of serrations along the cutting edge. It will never be a great performer.

I have several Devon Thomas Damascus bladed Sebenza knives in my folder rotation that I count as my best daily users due to their beauty, robustness, and all round performance from the hand forged Damascus steel with resulting micro serrations on the edge. 

Playing with google can provide a wide of products and views. I have dabbled in these for a couple of decades but my personal collection is very modest.

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