Damascus knife - The best knife for the kitchen

Our damask knife recommendations. We have been cooking Asian dishes for many years and know knives very well.

Updated 08.11.2022

We present individual knives and damask knife sets .

Tip: With a set of 2, 3, 4 or 5 you get much better value for money!

XXL Damascus kitchen knife – 20 cm blade – 67 layers – incl. Grinding stone

  • Very good workmanship
  • Top price-performance ratio
  • Really sharp knife
  • Long blade

Our favorite – Clear buy recommendation!

“In use in our kitchen for several years. We wouldn’t want to be without the knife.”

Wakoli damask knife set of 4 – 8,5 cm – 17 cm blade- 67 layers – with maple wood handles

  • Top price
  • very sharp blades
  • Gift box included
  • Set contains all relevant blade lengths

Our favorite knife sets

“The knives have accompanied us in our daily work for many years and you are still very sharp!”

Buy damask knives individually or in a set?

If you already have several sharp knives at home, we recommend buying a single knife.

However, if you are equipping yourself with high quality knives for the first time, we recommend you to buy a
Knife set
to buy.

With a set you get much better value for money!

Nakiri knife

Despite its shape, the Japanese paring knife is not used for cutting bones, but exclusively for cutting vegetables.

It is perfect for chopping herbs and vegetables, as it literally glides through the vegetables.

The knife blade is between 45 and 50 millimeters and 15-18 cm long.

What is a damask knife?

With the wavy curved pattern on its blade, the Damascus knife impresses at first sight. Subsequently, the desire to have such a knife in your own kitchen comes forward. 

But what can the damask knife really do? While it looks attractive, in use it is only suitable for a few jobs? Or does it seriously compete with conventional kitchen knives?

Damascus knife on a grinding block

What is special about the damask knife?

The damask knife quickly proves to be a real all-rounder in the kitchen. As fancy as the knife looks, it is a solid chef’s knife. It cuts fruit, vegetables, herbs, meat and fish.

Thanks to its special manufacturing process, the steel blade of the damask knife is elastic and stable. In addition, a Damascus steel knife blade stays sharp longer than conventional blades.

Damascus knives or knives with blades made of damascus steel are also numerous among Japanese kn ives for the kitchen, so as Nakiri knives, Santoku knives or Bunka knives.

Something about the origin of the damask knives

Damascus knives are not a new invention. The exact origin cannot be clearly determined, but there are references to the history of the production of Damascus steel and its use for knives. By the way, because of the special steel of their blades, damask knives are also called damask knives. Conversely, Damascus steel is sometimes referred to as Damascus.

The word part “Damascene” indicates Damascus as the place of origin for the steel grade. However, this has not been proven. It is equally possible that the Syrian city of Damascus was simply an important trading center for the steel and knives made from it.

In fact, it is also known that the Vikings were familiar with the production of the steel now known as Damascus steel about 1000 years ago.

There is evidence that the manufacturing process was used in Europe more than 2000 years ago.

How is Damascus steel made?

Damascus steel is a so-called welded composite steel. Originally, Damascus steel was about improved properties of the steel, not appearance. However, the patterning created during manufacture was welcome as an attractive side effect.

At that time, the Vikings combined different types of iron for this steel, including one containing phosphorus. When the blade was later etched, the phosphorus-containing iron layer appeared shimmering silver. The other iron components formed a darker contrast to this, resulting in a graphic-looking, wavy line pattern.

Basically, the production of Damascus steel is costly. It is somewhat similar to the production of puff pastry. Several layers of hard and soft steel are repeatedly superimposed and joined together. In this way, the knife blade receives the advantages of extra strong hard and elastic soft steel. The resulting pattern shows exactly the boundaries between the two types of steel. The blade of a modern damask knife can be made of 67 layers of steel.

Damascus knife test: How to recognize a high quality damascus knife

People like to copy good things. Unfortunately, this also applies to damask knives. But if you know what is really important in a Damascus knife, you will hardly fall for an inferior imitation.

These are the points you should pay attention to when buying:

Blade pattern

For example, the characteristic blade pattern is often tricked by applying it to a normal steel blade after the fact. This steel then does not have the desired properties of genuine Damascus steel. Since the Damascus pattern is a typical feature of a Damascus knife, counterfeiters target this in particular. In addition to the brazen subsequent pattern application, counterfeiters resort to another counterfeiting method: they create the damask look with inferior welded composite laminates.

Because they are only out for their own financial gain, counterfeiters don’t put any other effort into their fake knives. The fake has served its purpose after being sold to tricked customers.

In addition to the attractive blade design, there are other quality features that distinguish a high-quality damask knife.

Things to know about blade sharpness

In this context, the term “Rockwell” – abbreviated to “HRC” – should be mentioned: “HR” stands for “Hardness Rockwell”, i.e. the hardness or the degree of hardness of the cutting edge of the blade. “C” refers mainly to the angle of the knife edge. Both criteria together determine the blade sharpness significantly.

The higher the number in front of “HRC”, the sharper the knife cuts.

The HRC value for a good knife blade sharpness should be 60 or higher.

What else is important in a high-quality knife

In addition to a sharp and stainless blade, a Damascus knife should have a sturdy finish. After all, in the kitchen work it is subjected to movements under high pressure. A sharp blade already alleviates these stresses. In addition, the leverage effect of a longer blade also has a positive effect. It supports the pressure effect during cutting, ensures beautiful cutting results and counteracts premature hand fatigue. In turn, the knife blade should not be too long, otherwise the knife becomes unwieldy. 16-20 cm is considered the optimum blade length.

Almost as important as the knife blade is the design of the knife handle. As a counterpart to the blade, the handle should be in balance with the blade. Knife blade and knife handle must be firmly and seamlessly connected to each other for a long service life of the knife. Ideally, the knife blade and handle form a single unit formed from one piece of metal. Nevertheless – if firmly connected – even handles made of wood or plastic do not stand in the way of a high-quality damask knife. The grip surface is as smooth as possible to avoid discomfort or blisters on the hands. Metal handles are cool in the hand. People sensitive to cold prefer to choose handles made of wood or plastic. The best is an ergonomically designed knife: in medium thickness, slightly bent down and only slightly longer than the width of the hand.

Most damask knives weigh between 100 and 300 g. Here the right choice from the weight depends mainly on personal preference.

What is important when buying a damask knife?

Damascus knives are relatively expensive. The price scale starts in the lower three-digit euro range and reaches four-digit prices. For 200-300 euros are already good damask knives to have. The examples at the other end of the scale are more likely to be collectors’ items or knives with special features such as expensive handle material or extra elaborate workmanship.

Before making their purchase decision, prospective buyers should read the previous chapter about the features of high-quality damask knives and make a note of the points that are particularly important to them. The purchase should be made in specialized stores, locally or from a reputable dealer on the Internet. As strong as the temptation is to make a bargain by other means: better not! The risk of counterfeiting is simply too great.

Advantages and disadvantages

Is there even one product that has only advantages? After all, the Damascus knife is very close to this ideal, but in addition to its advantages, it also has a few disadvantages:

Damascus knives score with these advantages:

  • super sharp blade
  • fast and accurate work
  • Blade stays sharp for a long time
  • Blade easy to resharpen
  • long life: heirloom quality
  • attractive appearance

Disadvantages of damask knives:

  • high purchase price
  • are fond of forgery
  • Beware of self-injury, as blade extremely sharp

Care and storage of damask knives

Damascus knives should always be cleaned by hand with a little detergent, preferably immediately after use.

Even completely metal and stainless damask knives have no business in the dishwasher, as they will otherwise become prematurely dull.

Because of their sharp blade, these knives should be kept out of reach of children and never loose in the cutlery or kitchen drawer.

It is recommended to use a box or wooden box for storage.

Now directly buy a beautiful knife!