A Damascus steel kitchen knife seems a bit odd to me. I can't imagine any circumstances in the kitchen where one would need the properties of a Damascus knife unless you were attacked by a sword wielding assailant and had to use your chef's knife to parry his blows. Commercially made knives like the Shuns are not damascus. They are factory made from pattern welded bar stock. Handmade Japanese knives are not damascus either. They are either hand finished from pattern welded bar stock, or are made using some variation of the same techniques that are used in traditional Japanese swordmaking (i.e., forge folding of iron using a carbon bearing flux between the layers). Folding of steel in Japanese blademaking is not intended to impart any special properties to the blade--it was done because it is the only way to make decent steel from the low quality iron ore found in Japan. Whether you are using a factory forged Japanese blade or a handmade one, the folded steel does not accomplish anything that cannot otherwise be done in homogenous steel. Except that the folded steel is prettier, and if hand forged is a work of artisanship.