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Thread: Damascus versus plain steel when cutting ?

  1. #1
    member Des Horn's Avatar
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    Damascus versus plain steel when cutting ?

    Does Damascus cut better than an equivalent plain steel?
    Is damascus tougher than plain steel?

    With the powder damascus DAMASTEEL the one layer is RWL34 the other is PMC27 (non powder equivalent is 12C27)
    If correctly heat treated the RWL34 layer is about 62HRC and the PMC27 layer is about 57HRC!
    Does this make it tougher and more flexible than plain RWL34 ?
    Does the same effect happen with carbon damascus ?
    Does this cut better than the equivalent plain steel ?

    I have my own experiences but will be quiet until there is some fluff flying.

    The specs of the two grades of steel in the DAMASTEEL are below.

    One (RWL34) is effectively the powder equivalent of ATS34 or 154CM , while the other (PMC27) is the powder equivalent of Sandvik 12C27.


    MARTENSITIC STAINLESS DAMASCENE STEEL
    GRADES
    C Si Mn Cr Mo V %
    I. RWL34 1.05 .50 .50 14 4 .2
    II. PMC27 .60 .50 .50 13 .5 - -

  2. #2
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    Damascus today is just for show. A more flexible blade is made by laminating a harder more wear resistant blade between two layers of softer tougher steels such as you find in Fallkniven knives.
    The properties of damascus depend on the types of steel chosen .The properties aren't any different carbon vs stainless.
    The theory according to some is that damascus 'cuts better' because the differences in wear resistance create a 'saw tooth' pattern which will cut better. I haven't seen any definitive tests on that but it would depend on the alloys chosen, number of layers , and orientation of the layers.

  3. #3
    Heretic Tiaan Burger's Avatar
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    I have a cable damascus bowie which I use for a kitchen knife. I use it, the rest of the family abuses it, cutting frozen meat, chopping chickens in half, etc... I sharpen it about once every 10 to 11 months when it stops cutting ripe tomatoes on the first stroke. (It loses the shaving edge within a month.)
    As far as I'm concerned, a damascus blade with lots of layers passing through the edge will outcut most other blades. Then again, it is important to note that superstition is based on the one hit, not on the many misses.

  4. #4
    member Des Horn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mete View Post
    Damascus today is just for show. A more flexible blade is made by laminating a harder more wear resistant blade between two layers of softer tougher steels such as you find in Fallkniven knives.
    The properties of damascus depend on the types of steel chosen .The properties aren't any different carbon vs stainless.
    The theory according to some is that damascus 'cuts better' because the differences in wear resistance create a 'saw tooth' pattern which will cut better. I haven't seen any definitive tests on that but it would depend on the alloys chosen, number of layers , and orientation of the layers.
    Hi Mete,

    To respond to your quote above is that DAMASTEEL consists of two Martensitic Stain resisting steels and if correctly heat treated the PMC27 layer should end up at 57HRC and the RWL34 layer at 62HRC.
    My view after some unintentional accidents in the shop is that a blade like this will actually bend and take a set (I guess of 30 degrees) but have a substantial edge component at 62HRC.
    As to the cutting ability and edge life "I think it is better than plain steel".....

  5. #5
    Knifemaker Member Olivier's Avatar
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    I am of opinion that the Damascus steel would have similar properties as plywood when it comes to tensile strength. I hope it is politically correct to compare steel to wood. The argument of a "micro serrated edge" also makes some sense. 62HRC is awfully hard and most steel would be rather brittle at this point but I have seen a 12C27 blade (supposedly HT'ed to 58HRC) to bend to almost 90degrees before breaking.
    Should we not organize a test of some sort and prove beyond doubt.............?

  6. #6
    member Des Horn's Avatar
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    Great Advertising !
    image001.jpg

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    member James Clarke's Avatar
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    HA! I'm downloading that one and putting it as an appendix to every damasteel knife I sell in the future.
    Age si quid agis - If you do something, do it well

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