Damascus, big fake with kitchen knives

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Damascus from Asia and knives pretending to be made of Damascus steel.

False promises of perfect kitchen knives made of real damascus. The market is flooded with Chinese and East Asian knockoffs. A sacrilege to the craftsmanship of Japanese and European blacksmiths. 

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Producing good layered steel for kitchen knives is a masterpiece.

For a chef’s knife suitable for the kitchen, you have to choose carefully from the different steels. Steels that result in an elastically tough but hard steel.

Steel grades that simultaneously create a strong contrast between the gray tones during etching.
Forging heat and cooling times must be observed individually.
Forge-welded layered steel without the corresponding layered steel is never homogeneous and really hard on the cutting edge.

What is mass-produced in small quantities here and in Japan today is mostly of high quality.

The forging and hardening processes are finely tuned and automated. The fire-welded layers are homogeneous, the steels are mostly stainless.

Of course, this is reflected in the price. Top class damask kitchen knives have to be made by hand; Complex manufacturing processes and quality control always have a high price.

Cheap Japan-style chef’s knives are not forged. And not made in the classic damask process. They come from the rolling mills of large steel processors.

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Traditional Japanese and European blacksmithing.

Traditionally, stacks of two different steels are welded together. This is done under high heat and intensive forging with a hammer.
Forging drives the flux, borax or quartz out of the steel package. This is the only way the weld  Oxide free and homogeneous.

The package is forged and folded.

The contact surfaces are in turn welded together using an anti-oxidation agent.

The folded package is then forged into a blade. This is traditionally done by hand or with the assistance of a mechanical hammer, air, or spring hammer.

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Industrial steel is far removed from the Japanese or European forging tradition

What the experienced blacksmith conjures up from the forge and anvil in long manual work and imagination and experience, the industry tries to imitate cheaply in automated processes.

The steels are welded using the rolling process, or joined together under pressure and heat in the absence of oxygen.

The folding is done by a bending machine. The twisting is done with machines. All of this in large quantities and without any manual work.

This makes the steel cheaper to produce. But the dream of the old, wise blacksmith who traditionally produces super steel with his knowledge passed down to him is over here.

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Cheap fake Damascus knife steel from Asian production.

In the last few years, online suppliers have flooded us with cheap Damascus knives.

The small number of layers of the individual steel layers is striking and important for the customer to recognize this.

Overall, the knives are too thin and unstable for proper use in the kitchen. We have seen knives whose layers are not welded through, where corrosion forms or small sharp edges that can cause injuries.

Or the flaws in the pattern were subsequently welded, which creates small bright spots in the image.

Some of these knives follow the classic models from Japan, Santoku, Gyuto, Nakiri or Yanagiba in design and shape. But most of them are bad compromises, concessions to the European hype.

More of a compromise hybrid than a suitable knife shape.

As already mentioned, the classic Japanese grip only makes sense and is permanent if it follows the Japanese tradition. That means seamlessly inserted blades in absolutely moisture-resistant wood.

Indispensable, stable clamps on the handle.

The Asian epigone knives usually cannot guarantee this.

It’s a pity that the enthusiasm for Japanese, traditional cutting miracles is awakened and then is to be satisfied with this third-rate fake, mostly from China, India or Pakistani blade production.

In this case, it is better for us to buy a good, European kitchen knife, or to do justice to the claim of real Japanese knife art and dig a little deeper into your pocket for both.

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East Asian fake knives, Damascene imitations and striped wallpaper on the blade.

Cheap knife in a so-called damask look.

Scammy dealers with the designation damask optics or looks etc. try to catch customers. Even more perfidious is three-layer damask in a damask look.

You would have to assume you are looking at something great that somehow corresponds to the much-praised properties of layered steel. No, that’s more of a scam. On the contrary. This look is like imitation precious wood on pressed cardboard.

There are several methods to get a purely visual image resembling the Damascus pattern on the surface of a kitchen knife, and all of them are short-lived.

The stripe pattern can be etched onto blades using a screen printing stencil. This is the same process that knife manufacturers use to put their logo on the knives.

It’s not rich in contrast, it’s dark gray at most and doesn’t last very long.
After coating it with special paint, you can burn the pattern into this paint with a laser.

This corresponds to burnt-on paint, holds up better, but is questionable in kitchen use. Since the rubbed-off color also ends up in the food.

There are knives on the market that are titanium-coated Titanium can be colored from light yellow to dark blue. A light line pattern is subsequently applied to obtain a pattern reminiscent of damask.

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Still the best method is to laser the pattern correctly using the annealing process, which is abrasion-resistant and durable.

Provided that you have a laser that can mark such large areas and that TYPEMYKNIFE® has the experience and background knowledge for this process.

That is very doubtful.
And it remains fake.. purely optical and has nothing to do with composite steel pattern.
Three-layer – forge-welded steel?

The wording three-layer steel sounds like real Damascus steel. Because the number of layers is a certain quality criterion for this.

But there is no such thing as three layers of Damascus.
Watch out Damascus look Three layers of steel is so misleading that we can assume bad intentions behind it!

I would like to say that you can tell bad knives by their cheap price. But obviously a huge business is made with a knowledge. The customer recognizes the quality by the price. So the better you ask high prices for the bad knives, so that it is not noticed. That makes the fraud perfect.

So pay close attention to everything that is offered to you as high-quality damask kitchen knives on the internet. We are currently seeing a brutal glut of cheap and bad material, which is being advertised in social media in particular with beautiful little pictures and snobbish promises of quality.  

Be particularly careful if only a few knives are offered, especially currently with very special colored handles made of wood-acrylic resins or other unusual handle materials.

We at TYPEMKYNIFE® do not offer you knives with this type of steel, because our specialty is the individual laser design for kitchen knife blades of European blade production in our 3D engraving configurator. 

If you need technical expertise on kitchen knives made of Damascus steel, please feel free to contact us.


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