Damascus blend steel is forged from different metals being folded numerous times. Each time the metal is heated then hammer forged as it cools, then reheated and folded in the same manner to obtain multiple layers of molten metal. This is a very labor intensive long slow process, but achieves a very hard blade that shows the hand crafted beauty.
Damascus steel can use different type grades of metal. Our steel if forged out of sheets of grade AISI 1075 and AISI 4340. AISI 1075 is a high carbon steel that contains around 0.75% Carbon. It is widely used to produce various types of springs and cutting tools. AISI 4340 is a low carbon and high nickel steel alloy. It contains 1.65%-2% Nickel, 0.7%-0.9% Chromium and 0.3% – 0.4% Carbon. Each blade is carefully heated to 1560 degree Fahrenheit, where after it is oil quenched and tempered to achieve hardness in the 54-58 Rockwell scale. The hardness is very good for retaining an edge, but you are still able to sharpen when needed without professional equipment. Never use Tungsten steel draw through wedge to sharpen Damascus steel. A high grade fine Arkansas stone with honing oil works very well and diamond dust sharpeners can also be used with good results.
Damascus steel is a “high carbon” steel and does require an occasional application of high grade fine oil to preserve and protect the blade. I recommend Pure Coconut Oil, which leaves no petroleum base residue taste. It is inexpensive and does a very fine job of protecting the steel. Also, it is good for coating and softening your leather knife sheath. It is best to not let the blade be in a dry state, as you can’t over coat the blade. And, always keep the oil on metal parts when in areas with high humidity or wet climate.
Like all fine quality knives, with a little simple care and maintenance… Your knife will last for years as a tool with countless uses. All the while retaining its handmade beauty.