There is proof that items and fashion that where once considered “in style” many, many years ago will eventually come around and be popular once more. You need only look at the styles being worn today and see how the vinyl LP is once again being embraced to see living proof of that theory. This is not a trend you would expect to see with something like steel, but it is in fact happening, up to a point. Steel production has evolved immensely over the years, with new processes invented to that are cheaper yet still produce a decent product. That said, it is still a far cry from the Damascus steel made centuries ago, which is why it is making something of a comeback.
We say “something of a comeback,” not because Damascus steel isn’t growing in popularity, but because the methods being used to make it today are not what they were when it first began. The process, which includes the use of wootz steel, was used to craft swords and knives of the strongest steel and the sharpest blades. It started in the Middle East and eventually made its way to Japan, where the samurai used Damascus steel to create beautiful pieces of art for their legendary swords.
It is believed that the process of making Damascus steel was eventually given up around 1750, with the exact method laid to rest with that generation. The pieces that survived gave clues as to how the process may have been completed, but it wasn’t until swords and knives once again came into fashion that steel makers began to tinker with the idea of creating Damascus steel pieces using methods that would get as close to the original as possible. The fact that the new pieces being created were sharper and stronger than the forged steel methods of modern times meant that people saw a need for Damascus steel that went beyond the ornate and collectible.
In essence, the steel makers of today had to find a way to reverse engineer the process of making Damascus steel, and what they came up with was as close to perfect as it gets. Not only does the modern version of the product, which we can call Damascus steel 2.0, look more stunning than it modern descendants, it also delivers on quality, with sharp edges that simply will not buckle under the weight of rugged use.
It is that strength and sharp edging that has made the new Damascus steel such a big hit with hunters, chefs, and anyone else that requires a knife that will work in the toughest conditions. Damascus steel 2.0 may fall a little short of the blades that were brandished by the samurai, but you can also bet that it is still better than any of the cheaper, forged steel pieces that are out there today. If you need a knife that will last and not be considered a disposable item, Damascus steel is the way to go.
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