What is special about Damascus chef’s knives?

Most high-end Damascus steel kitchen knives are known for their sharpness and ability to maintain their edge well. This is because they are made from a hard steel sandwiched between softer steel. The hard steel creates a sharp edge, while the softer steel acts as protection. Damascus steel was the forged steel of the blades of swords smithed in the Near East from ingots of Wootz steel either imported from Southern India or made in production centres in Sri Lanka, or Khorasan, Iran. These swords are characterized by distinctive patterns of banding and mottling reminiscent of flowing water, sometimes in a “ladder” or “rose” pattern. Such blades were reputed to be tough, resistant to shattering, and capable of being honed to a sharp, resilient edge.

 

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