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Pocket Knife - Damascus Blade?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm in the market for a small pocket knife, more specifically a pen knife. I like the classic look of Case, but have a question regarding blade choice. Is a Damascus blade worth the extra expense? It seems to be about double the price of the regular blades. I'm just looking for a "gentleman's knife" to carry. The Damascus blade looks very cool. Is it sharper, or easier to sharpen?
post #2 of 23
I've got a Damascus blade by Purdey. It looks very very nice but from my experience (which is fairly limited I must admit) I can't notice any difference from a standard blade.

Don't forget that these days, Damascus blades aren't anything like their namesake from hundreds of years back.
post #3 of 23
I'm no expert, but my impression is that the ripples on modern "damascus" steel are largely cosmetic, and probably not worth paying double for. Last Christmas my dad gave me his old Laguiole shepherd's knife, which I like a lot--J. Peterman carries a similar one, though with a wooden handle instead of bone. It's a little more than a pen knife, if that's all you're looking for. But which do you do more often--sharpen quills, or open wine bottles?
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
That's a nice knife, but those types always seem to be a bit long to carry in one's pocket, at least in my mind.
post #5 of 23
The sharpness of the blade is dictated by how you sharpen more than the quality of the steel. If you go to a packing plant you are going to find men there that can get regular steel blades fine enough to split a hair.

For your purposes, the advantages of a Damascus steel blade are purely cosmetic. If you are using this knife for the usual pocket knife duties you won't be able to do anything easier or better with Damascus that you can do with regular steel.
post #6 of 23
Quality will depend on the manufacturer. In general, Damascus can be aesthetically pleasing, but can also rust.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by July View Post
Quality will depend on the manufacturer. In general, Damascus can be aesthetically pleasing, but can also rust.

actually, i believe you're thinking of carbon steel blades. you can "damascus" stainless as well. and, yes, these days it's purely cosmetic.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomDiggs View Post
For your purposes, the advantages of a Damascus steel blade are purely cosmetic. If you are using this knife for the usual pocket knife duties you won't be able to do anything easier or better with Damascus that you can do with regular steel.

+ 1

I do have a Damascus wedding band though

post #9 of 23
Depends on what you want to use your knife for, if you want to use it at all. Damascus is beautiful, but you probably won't use it for much and it's kind of expensive. I've got the Scallion from Kershaw. It's a good price, very functional, and aesthetically pleasing. They've also got the Leek and the Chive if you want a different size. As for a pen knife... I can't really help you there, but they have those as well.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinW View Post
+ 1

I do have a Damascus wedding band though


Never seen a ring made from Damascus before. That's really nice.
post #11 of 23
Just as with clothing, there's many levels of quality when it comes to Damascus steel. There are many crappy companies out there capitalizing on the popularity of it by putting out very substandard knives.

If your budget allows, look for a small simple Damascus blade made by a custom maker. You wont be doing yourself any favors spending $100-250 on a mass produced Damascus blade. But for a little more, or less depending on how patient and how well you search, you can find an amazing collectors piece without breaking the bank, but still have a very functional knife.

Look for different patterns and styles and find what you like. You will quickly be able to distinguish between good and bad. The crap stuff has fewer folds and little character. It just looks like thick altering layers of black and white.

A great pattern is rain drop, another is some of the ladder twist or pattern welded styles.
post #12 of 23
Pick up a copy of "Blade" magazine and check out some of the custom Damascus knife makers. Beautiful works of sharp art and priced accordingly.

Twotone

http://customknifegallery.com/ckgc_home.html
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twotone View Post
Pick up a copy of "Blade" magazine and check out some of the custom Damascus knife makers. Beautiful works of sharp art and priced accordingly.

Twotone

http://customknifegallery.com/ckgc_home.html

COVET D:
post #14 of 23
grayland,

I wanted a very specific pocket knife, and had it made for less than 200 bucks. not damascus, but that was an available option for more money. I would go custom on this.
post #15 of 23
I have the Kershaw Double Cross by Kai and I'm very happy with it. Aesthetically pleasing, well made, and a blade that stays sharp.
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