9 Best Damascus Knives in 2021: Complete Review & Buyer’s Guide

Damascus steel is a very well-known type of steel that is famous for its strength and hardness. It has been in use since ancient times as a weapon to fight with.

The process of making Damascus steel is very complex. It involves a number of processes and procedures which are very important to make a good quality of steel. The steel is made by fusing together two types of steel together, which are the hard and soft ones. It is called pattern welding.

Damascus knives are one of the most popular types of knives in the world. They are known for their unique design and a strong blade. Read my Damascus knife reviews to help you choose the best Damascus knife for your kitchen.

9 Best Damascus Knives Reviewed

1. KYOKU Daimyo Series Damascus Chef Knife – Best Overall

In order to become a master chef, you need the proper tools. Japanese knife company KYOKU, which specializes in knives, has such a knife. The KYOKU Damascus chef knife is crafted with superior Japanese VG-10 steel. The blade is made of 67 layers of Damascus steel that protect the valuable VG-10 steel. It is enhanced with cobalt which improves the hardness and makes sharpening the blade easier.

The blade is also cryogenically treated for hardness, flexibility, and corrosion resistance. The handle is made of G10, which is a very strong fiberglass-like material.

The blade and handle are designed to meet with an ergonomic bolster for a smooth and safer cutting experience. The knife is also designed to feel substantial, well-balanced, and light.

2. Zelite Infinity 8 Inch Damascus Knife – Runner-up

Designed in Japan, Zelite Infinity Damascus knife is the perfect tool for the beginner or pro cook. The knife is made of quality materials and has a fantastic feel and balance. It is razor-sharp and will not tire you out even after a full day of use.

The blade is hand-forged from 67-layer AUS-10 steel, and the ergonomic handle is made from G10. This knife provides a sharp and effortless cutting and slicing and is considered the gold standard in the industry.

The knife is made of high-quality steel that is resistant to rust and corrosion and is easy to sharpen. The handle comes with a rounded design, so it is easy to hold and will not strain your wrist. It comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.

3. Enso Large Chef’s Knife – Premium Option

Japanese chef’s knives are made with great care and attention to detail. And this one by Enso is not an exception. It is a chef’s knife, or “gyoto,” that is made with precision and care. The knife is well-balanced with a perfect weight for extended periods of cutting.

It is a chef’s knife made of VG-10 Japanese Damascus steel featuring a hammered (tsuchime) finish stainless steel blade and a black canvas micarta handle. It is handcrafted in Seki City, Japan, with a lifetime warranty and is perfect for those who want the best chef’s knife.

The blade is made of VG-10 Japanese Damascus steel, which provides great edge retention. Being an Enso HD knife, this item is made of 37-layer stainless steel Damascus with a VG-10 steel cutting core for excellent edge retention. It is heat-treated to a 61 on the Rockwell scale.

4. DALSTRONG 10.25″ Chef Knife – Best Damascus Chef Knife With Long Blade

This superbly sharp blade is perfect for slicing through vegetables, meats, and much more with ease. The blade is made with Japanese steel, which has been heat-treated to 62+ Rockwell and has an ultra-sharp edge that will remain sharp for much longer than other knives.

The blade is also made with 66 layers of stainless steel to provide exceptional strength, durability, and stain resistance. The blade has a high-carbon steel core and durable and fine-grained stainless steel cladding. This is a must-have for any professional chef.

The DALSTRONG chef knife is perfectly balanced and precisely tapered and has small rectangular “Rockhollow” divots that minimize surface resistance and enhance non-stick properties.

This knife is not too heavy, but not too light, with a military-grade G10 handle that is impervious to heat, cold, and moisture. The hand-polished handle is ergonomic to promote a natural pinch grip.

5. FANTECK Damascus Chef Knife – Damascus Steel Chef Knife for Professionals

A great chef knife is a cook’s best friend. It is a knife that has not only a great design but also a great price. FANTECK Damascus knife is a super high-quality knife with a hand-sharpened V-edge for a smooth and effortless cutting experience.

The handle is made from quality material, and the blade is made with 67 layers of VG10 Japanese steel. It also includes a mini sharpener and a knife sheath, making it a great holiday gift.

6. MIKARTO Knife Ware Japanese Chef Knife – Sophisticated Design

This Japanese Damascus knife by Mikarto is a multi-purpose 8” chef knife that is an excellent example of high-quality craftsmanship and superior build. It is slip-resistant and has a smooth grip, even during extensive use.

The knife features high-carbon steel with 66 layers of high-carbon metal that gives the knife a Rockwell hardness of 62+ and outperforms many of its competitors. The blade is nitrogen cooled for exceptional hardness, and the handle is slip-resistant.

7. Yoshihiro 16 Layer Hammered Damascus Gyuto Knife

The Yoshihiro Damascus Gyuto knife is an excellent Japanese chef’s knife perfect for slicing, dicing, and chopping and for carving a roast chicken straight from the oven.

The bolsterless, three-layer construction with VG-10 Japanese stainless steel and 16 layers hammered outer steel with Mahogany wood handle offer a stylish yet functional design that eliminates friction and provides a seamless use.

The blade is 100% hand-crafted by skilled tradesmen in Japan that is not mass-produced, so it is a knife that is unsurpassed for entry-level chefs. The knife is hand wash only and should be sharpened on quality whetstones.

8. Sunnecko Chef Knife – A Great Prepping Knife

A prepping knife is a cutting utensil that can be used on a variety of ingredients. Sunnecko Chef knife is an all-purpose knife with a 2mm thin blade.

It is a multipurpose, well-made hand-crafted knife that has a super sharp blade. This knife has a 36-layer stainless Damascus cladding that provides strength and balance and is hand polished on the spine to provide a smooth, comfortable grip.

This beauty is a well-made, hefty knife that is amazingly sharp due to the weight and sharpness of the blade. It can also be used to chop and slice without the need for a food processor.

9. Master Maison Damascus Steel Cleaver Knife Set – Best Damascus Steel Kitchen Knife Set

The Master Maison Damascus knife set is for professional users and aims to be the right tool for almost every job. In the set, you receive an edge guard sheath, drying cloth, and sharpening stone. There is also a gift box that looks so great, so you can make your cook really happy.

It features a 7.5 inch Damascus steel knife that is forged from a single piece of high carbon, AUS-10 Japanese stainless steel.

The steel in this blade resists rust and corrosion and rarely needs to be sharpened to maintain its top-notch performance – the blade slices through heavy pork, beef and chicken, and vegetables with ease.

The blade is thin like a sword with a solid piece of metal running from the tip of the blade through the end of the handle, giving it much more cutting strength. This knife set is sure to last a lifetime.

Damascus Knives Buyer’s Guide

DALSTRONG Chef Knife - 10.25 inch

Damascus steel is manufactured by the process of layering different types of steel. The most common types of steel used for making Damascus are mild steel, high carbon steel, and stainless steel.

How to choose a Damascus knife

What do you need to look for when purchasing a Damascus knife? What qualities should the best Damascus knives have?

Steel type

Steel is the most important aspect to choose when purchasing a Damascus knife. Damascus steel is typically made of a mixture of approximately 80% iron and 20% carbon. This high carbon content gives Damascus steel its strength but also makes it susceptible to corrosion.

The blade should be made from stainless steel to avoid rust. The type of steel will affect the overall quality and durability of the blade. The knife also needs to have a full tang to provide the most support for the blade.

Handle

The handle is the next aspect to consider when selecting a Damascus knife. The handle should be made of a material that is comfortable to grip and can withstand the heat generated by the friction of the blade.
Wooden handles are the most common material for Damascus knives. The handle can also be made of plastic.

The pattern

Damascus steel is known for its decoration of patterns, called Damascus steel inlay. These patterns can be made in a variety of ways, including acid etching, laminating two different types of steel together, and twisting two layers of steel to form a pattern. The pattern will affect the aesthetic quality of the knife.

Rockwell Hardness Points

Rockwell Hardness is a measure of how hard the steel is and can be measured using an instrument called a Rockwell tester. Most Damascus knives have a Rockwell hardness between 60-70. The Rockwell Hardness Points of the blade will affect the durability of the blade and the ease of chopping.

How to sharpen a Damascus steel knife

You can sharpen the blades using any of the following methods:

  • A sharpening stone
  • A whetstone

So, the first method is by using a sharpening stone. It is a hard, smooth, and flat surface. You can use oil to lubricate the stone, but don’t apply too much.

  1. Place the blade flat on a table or a surface where you can hold the blade in a stable position.
  2. Hold the knife’s back firmly and raise the sharpening stone’s edge at a 20-degree angle.
  3. Place the stone’s edge on the blade’s edge.
  4. Use the weight of your body to sharpen the blade.
  5. Continue this process on both sides of the blade until the blade becomes sharp.

The second method is using a whetstone to sharpen the blades.

  1. Place the whetstone on a smooth surface. Hold the knife at a 20-degree angle to the whetstone. Position the sharpening stone to move towards you.
  2. Move the knife blade across the sharpening stone in a back and forth motion. The knife blade should not move in a circular motion.
  3. Check the sharpness of the knife. If the knife is not sharp enough, repeat step 2 a few more times.
  4. If the knife is sharp enough, wipe down the knife to remove any residue and then store it in a safe place.

Damascus Knives FAQ

Zelite Infinity Chef Knife 8 Inch

I’ve written this FAQ because I’ve received quite a lot of people’s questions about Damascus kitchen knives. This FAQ is a work in progress, and I’ll add to it as time goes on.

How to care for a Damascus steel knife?

Damascus steel is a very strong material, but it is not rust-proof. You can clean it with a mild soap, but if you do so, you should make sure that you dry it thoroughly. To store the knife, wrap it in a paper towel and place it in a box. If you want to store it in its sheath, you should place it in a dry environment. Do not store knives in a damp place.

How to tell if a knife is real Damascus?

Look at the pattern on the blade. Real Damascus steel is supposed to have a pattern that forms a swirling or wood grain figure. The pattern that is created is very distinctive and can be recognized by the person who knows what to look for.

The pattern on the fake Damascus seems to be just a random pattern. Besides, the Damascus pattern only exists on the main sides of the blade, not on the back edge or spine.

Forged Damascus steel has a natural appearance and is slightly mottled. In contrast, fake Damascus steel may have a uniform pattern, but it doesn’t have the natural mottling of real Damascus steel.

Is Damascus steel the sharpest?

Damascus steel is highly regarded for its strength, resilience, and sharpness. Damascus steel knives are made by folding and welding steel many times until the desired number of layers has been obtained.
The layers are then ground to make the blade very hard. Most Damascus steel knives with a high number of layers are very hard and can be sharpened to a very fine edge.

Do Damascus steel knives rust?

Yes, Damascus steel knives can rust. However, because of the high nickel content, the rate of rusting is much lower than with conventional steel knives.

How many layers should Damascus steel have?

Damascus steel is made from multiple layers of various types of steel. The layers are created by folding the steel and forge-welding them together. It is this process that creates the layered appearance and the pattern, or ‘Damascus pattern’. It is described as having between 16 to several hundred layers.

Is Damascus steel better than stainless?

Damascus steel is not better than stainless steel. There is no intrinsic difference between the two materials; both can be used to make high-quality knives. Damascus steel has more history and romance than stainless alloy. Among the various knives that are available, Damascus steel knives are the sharpest. They are made by a process that involves folding the metal, which results in a knife with an edge that is more durable than other knives.

Damascus steel knives are known to have a higher toughness level when compared to other knives. A good example of this toughness is the fact that these knives are able to resist bending even when used to cut hard items such as bones.

Conclusion

Damascus steel is a layered material that can be forged and folded over and over again to create patterns and layers. It is known for its strength, flexibility, and beauty.

Now you know almost everything about Damascus knives and, I hope, you have made up your mind about which one to buy. If it is one of the best Damascus kitchen knives I described above, let me know in the comments. I will be happy to hear from you.

Justin Gingrich

Justin is a professional chef with more than 20 years of experience. Knives are his hobby and as a chef, he knows how important it's to pick a decent knife.

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