Damascus pocket knives exude style, success, and taste. Gentleman’s knives and EDC pocket knives: they are all available with a damask steel blade. More than a ‘just a pocket knife, perfect to stand out and show your difference. Luxury and style: that’s why we have a Damascus pocket knife.
Where does damask steel come from?
Originally, damask steel was a forging technique that made it possible to obtain a strong blade from lesser quality steel. Indeed, at that time, there were no luxury alloys. The name damask steel was registered in the city of Damascus, now located in Syria. It was in this city that this steel was forged for the first time. Today, this steel still bears the name inspired by its origin.
Today, the forging of Damascus steel is done primarily for aesthetic purposes. Different components are used and different patterns are created to achieve an incredible result. Damascus steel is something that requires a lot of manual work. Two or more grades of steel are placed against each other and then heated in a blacksmith’s oven.
It is then necessary to alternate: hammering, heating, hammering, heating… And this until the layers form a single piece of steel. The steel is then bent in half and the operation starts again from the beginning. The different patterns are created by manipulating the hot steel block in different ways. Each blade is therefore unique.
The amount of manual labor makes this Damascus steel very expensive. As a general rule, it is up to 10 times more expensive per centimeter than ‘normal’ steel. Add to that the finish of a damask steel blade which requires a lot more engraving and polishing than standard steel. A Damascus steel knife is therefore much more expensive than a ‘normal’ knife.
Types of Damascus Steel
There are a few major producers of Damascus steel. The Swedish company Damasteel for example. It is the only one to produce damask steel from two types of powder-coated steel. This steel is considered the best damask steel on the market with the best edge retention. But the United States is getting into the race: Chad Nichols is also known for his very high-quality Damascus steel.
There is also a difference between carbon and stainless damask steel. Stainless damask steel is much more difficult to create than carbon damask steel. The price of carbon Damascus steel is therefore often lower.
Top 3 Damascus pocket knives
1. Mcusta MC-161D Fusion black
The Mcusta Fusion MC-161D is a high-quality, razor-sharp pocket knife, made in the cutlery capital of Japan, Seki. Its total length of 19.5 cm makes it an ideal size for an EDC knife. The aluminum handle and the colored holes offer a very pleasant grip. Aluminum has the advantage of being very light. The knife is therefore almost imperceptible in the trouser pocket.
The Fusion blade is a real concentrate of Japanese techniques. The core is made of Japanese VG10 steel, a very fine type of steel that can be sharpened very finely. Something they know how to do in Japan when you see how well this knife cuts. The VG10 core is laminated between 33 layers of nickel damask steel. Everything was then hammered using the Japanese technique called Tsuchime.
The opening is done thanks to the double thumb rest. This action is very smooth thanks to the typical Mcusta design made up of nylon washers placed around the pivot. A strong liner lock holds the blade in the open position. This Fusion model is special because it has a steel liner on the locking side. The pocket clip, which is an integral part of this liner, cannot be removed or moved.
Mcusta: luxury pocket knives from Japan
The Japanese brand Mcusta (Machine Custom Knives) manufactures very elegant and quality knives. They are made with superb materials such as damask steel, micarta, anodized aluminum, or with very specific wood species. Mcusta knives are made in Seki, which has been the center of the Japanese knife industry since the 13th century. Mcusta has paid great attention to detail in all of their knives. A lot of manual work goes into the design of these knives. The result is a brand of pocket knives that also manufactures more than charming gentleman’s knives with the so particular Japanese style. Nowhere else can we find knives like those of Mcusta.
- 8 Centimeter
- 95 Gram
kind of steel
- Damascus stainless steel, VG10
2. Laguiole en Aubrac 12 Damast, full buffalo horn handle L0512BULI/LQI1
This Laguiole 12 Damast pocket knife is a modern incarnation of classic Laguiole knives. The buffalo horn handle has no bolsters. The back of the handle features the characteristic Laguiole bee in a very simplistic design. The most particular element of this knife is the blade. This one is made of Japanese damask steel. It gives it a unique look. The damask steel layers provide a nice contrast to the darker steel core.
You open this pocket knife with two hands. A slip joint mechanism keeps the blade in the open position. It is not a locking mechanism but simply a spring that exerts pressure on the blade. When closing the blade, it is important to hold it so that the action is smooth. Closing too quickly means that the blade hits the inside of the handle, which can cause damage.
Laguiole knives from Forge de Laguiole are made with love. The handle of this classic French pocket knife features the characteristic bee. This handmade pocket knife is relatively thin. Because they are handmade and with natural materials, each knife is unique.
Reminder: Natural materials like wood have natural variations. The knife you receive at home may therefore differ subtly from the product photos. However, the model and the material always remain the same. Each knife is therefore a unique piece. That’s what makes them so special.
- 10 Centimeter
- 70 Gram
- buffalo horn
kind of steel
- Damascus stainless steel
3. The James Brand The Duval Damascus KN109111-00 pocket knife
The James Brand The Duval Damascus KN109111-00 is a modern and classy gentleman’s knife. For the design of this knife, the designers of James were inspired by the history behind the Traditionals knives. These are the classic pocket knives worn by our grandfathers. This type of knife is opened with two hands and they do not have a locking mechanism. Something that The James Brand has decided to change for The Duval.
We open The Duval with one hand thanks to the front flipper. This type of opening requires a little practice before being perfectly mastered. Once you’ve found the trick, you open the blade just as quickly as with a conventional pinball machine. The advantage of this front flipper is that it does not protrude on the side of the handle.
The materials used also make it a true 21st-century knife. The blade is made of damask steel. A premium type of steel from Sweden. Forging two types of high-quality powder steel together results in quality steel with excellent edge retention.
These neck pads are made of titanium. A lightweight material used in the aerospace industry. Titanium is known for its extreme strength. Perfect for designing a framework that will be used thousands of times.
The James Brand: knives for those who like to enjoy life
The creators of The James Brand do not come from the world of cutlery. They are skaters, snowboarders, fishermen, barbers, photographers. People who alternate action with work on the drawing board. They do not wait for problems to be solved by others but take the initiative themselves. So they design knives in their way. It is in this state of mind that The James Brand was created, an original brand that thinks outside the box. They thus gave birth to unique and elegant knives. Designed for adventurers and design enthusiasts. For genuine people.
- 6.7 Centimeter
kind of steel
- Damasteel damask
Read More: Best Damascus Steel Knives For Your Kitchen