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Damascus 1670

Newbie Posts: 19
Damascus
« on: May 28, 2014, 01:15:58 AM »
Does anybody know how Victorinox damascus comes about? Where is the stock steel made? Is it cut into blade blanks by the supplier, or supplied to Ibach on a roll like their regular stock?

How good is it? Does anyone use one as their regular knife? How does it compare to the high-grade steels used by other manufacturers?

I'm intrigued by it, but never having used it I'm curious as to whether it's a genuine choice for a working knife or more a prestige statement.
Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,658 SAK Surgeon
Re: Damascus
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2014, 01:49:37 AM »
Its swedish made stainless damascus called Damasteel.  Very expensive steel and very awesome.

The 2 Stainless Steels used to make Damasteel

1) RWL34 (C)1.05 (Si).50 (Mn).50 (Cr)14 (Mo)4 (V).2 Bright Color
2) PMC27 (C).60 (Si).50 (Mn).50 (Cr)13.5 - - Dark Etching

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Newbie Posts: 19
Re: Damascus
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2014, 02:38:13 AM »
Its swedish made stainless damascus called Damasteel.  Very expensive steel and very awesome.

I did NOT need to hear that...  :facepalm:
Sr. Member Posts: 475
Re: Damascus
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2014, 05:45:52 AM »

Its swedish made stainless damascus called Damasteel.  Very expensive steel and very awesome.

The 2 Stainless Steels used to make Damasteel

1) RWL34 (C)1.05 (Si).50 (Mn).50 (Cr)14 (Mo)4 (V).2 Bright Color
2) PMC27 (C).60 (Si).50 (Mn).50 (Cr)13.5 - - Dark Etching

Bob, so this is really a good material? I mean, we have a lot of different opinions related to the Vic damascus, some say it is not damascus and some say it is damascus, to summarize, it is not damascus but a good and expensive material. Is that correct? Thanks!
Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,658 SAK Surgeon
Re: Damascus
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2014, 06:08:14 AM »

Its swedish made stainless damascus called Damasteel.  Very expensive steel and very awesome.

The 2 Stainless Steels used to make Damasteel

1) RWL34 (C)1.05 (Si).50 (Mn).50 (Cr)14 (Mo)4 (V).2 Bright Color
2) PMC27 (C).60 (Si).50 (Mn).50 (Cr)13.5 - - Dark Etching

Bob, so this is really a good material? I mean, we have a lot of different opinions related to the Vic damascus, some say it is not damascus and some say it is damascus, to summarize, it is not damascus but a good and expensive material. Is that correct? Thanks!

I know blademakers that use RWL34 for blades and its an excellent stainless. 

There are only 2 sources for stainless damascus that I know of, the swedish powder based and there is a source in the US as well, though I dont know what type of stainless it is. 

Traditional Damascus was carbon steel only and as far as im concerned this stainless version is way better.  All the cheap damascus on ebay is non stainless.

The damasteel I bought was $200 for enough to make about 6 sak blades.  I still havent been brave enough to cut into it yet.

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Full Member Posts: 129
Re: Damascus
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2014, 02:15:15 PM »
True Damascus steel has not been produced for several hundred years, and nobody understands it well enough to be able to replicate it, even today.
The modern so-called 'Damascus'/damasteel alloys are pattern-welded from alternating layers of different grades of steel. In the knife industry, this is called Damascus, even though it only resembles the look of the medieval Damascus swords. So the Vic blades are as much Damascus as any other knife you'll see today.
No Life Club Posts: 1,679 Straight Silver!
Re: Damascus
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2014, 06:38:24 PM »
?eter, thank you for the derivation why we are not talking about Wootz steel here....  :facepalm:

 :b2t:

Brewer, as Syph007 said Victorinox uses the powder-metalurgical steel from the swedish company DamaSteel. On http://www.damasteel.se/products/ you can find some data-sheets for it as well as the offered packages.

As far as I know, RWL34 is loved by a lot of blade smiths. I don't know how Victorinox uses the product, but I can't imagine they would forge it further.

And now I am wondering how the PMC27 get's it's dark colour  :think:
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 18,830 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over.
Re: Damascus
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2014, 06:47:37 PM »
?eter, thank you for the derivation why we are not talking about Wootz steel here....  :facepalm:


Ok, you lost me here......
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No Life Club Posts: 2,204 Yersinia Pestis & Campylobacter Jejuni!
Re: Damascus
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2014, 07:11:05 PM »
My current EDC knife is a custom Pioneer with Damasteel tools. Technically the same Damasteel as the Vic limited editions, but with another pattern. Technically is a big word here, what it means is the source materials are the same. The end product quality and look can greatly vary depending on the etching, and on how the steel is hardened. My custom is if not the sharpest pocket knife I ever had. I only need to strop it every once in a while (no stones for these so far), Great performance and great looks.
As to the Damasteel variant Victorinox is using, I have used the Carl Explorer for months in a row, and I can say the same here: very good performance, keeps a good edge, and very good looks. My second fav SAK ever. The Swedes know a few things about great steel.
Some pics of Damasteel:


And the 2010 Pioneer. I never used it (I am not allowed to say I used it :-) ) - just to expensive, but it is a very similar version as the Explorer.

Once you go black you never go back
@blackdiamonds_42
No Life Club Posts: 2,204 Yersinia Pestis & Campylobacter Jejuni!
Re: Damascus
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2014, 07:36:31 PM »
True Damascus steel has not been produced for several hundred years, and nobody understands it well enough to be able to replicate it, even today.
The modern so-called 'Damascus'/damasteel alloys are pattern-welded from alternating layers of different grades of steel. In the knife industry, this is called Damascus, even though it only resembles the look of the medieval Damascus swords. So the Vic blades are as much Damascus as any other knife you'll see today.

What makes Damascus steel? Steel that comes from Damascus?
In my opinion, Damascus steel is the combination of more then one type of steel with the purpose of increasing the combined properties over the singe steel properties, if that is achieved by welding, or forging, is just a technicality that depends of time and economical factors.
As to the original Damascus steel from Damascus, for it's time, it was probably one of the best steels due to those combined properties. But we cannot deny that any steel from those days is way inferior to the current high tech steels and high tech hardening techniques. Damascus from Damascus is what started heroic steel, current Damasteel is the improved and better version of it. Stronger, harder and stainless.
I am not advocating all current Damascus steel is great, a lot of money is made on crap products with fancy names, and that goes for Damascus to. But put Damasteel in an experienced knife maker's hands and you will get a mighty fine blade.

Once you go black you never go back
@blackdiamonds_42
Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,658 SAK Surgeon
Re: Damascus
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2014, 08:39:57 PM »

(Image removed from quote.)


That is such a nice SAK I dont get tired of seeing pics!

There are lots of damasteel patterns.  Vic seems to prefer vinland.



I bought form Brian Tighe and he he only has twist in stock, so I bought that.



Oh and you are right, heat treating RWL is tricky.  Brian suggested muractic acid for etching, but another maker has better results with sulfuric.  So thats something I have to learn later.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2014, 08:41:45 PM by Syph007 »

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Full Member Posts: 129
Re: Damascus
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2014, 09:19:33 AM »
?eter, thank you for the derivation why we are not talking about Wootz steel here....  :facepalm:

 :b2t:

The difference between wootz and pattern-welded steel is moderately obscure knowledge, and having spent some time understanding it myself, I though I'd share, in reply to this question:

...I mean, we have a lot of different opinions related to the Vic damascus, some say it is not damascus and some say it is damascus, to summarize, it is not damascus but a good and expensive material. Is that correct? Thanks!

I don't think it was massively off-topic, but luckily pixels are free  ;)
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 18,830 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over.
Re: Damascus
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2014, 11:22:14 AM »
Didn't seem off topic to me.

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No Life Club Posts: 1,593
Re: Damascus
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2014, 12:19:36 PM »
Wootz I believe was the ore from the persian/indian region which was used to make the original damascus.

From my reading, one of the things which gave damascus steel its fabled properties, was that they think the ore was not pure, it contained a degree of organic matter, which during the steel processing and sword making process made something akin to carbon nanotubes.

I remember reading an article, where following the 'discovery' of carbon nanotubes, they compared how it looks at the microscopic level with a cross section of a damascus blade, and noted the similarities.

So the pattern of the damascus was only one part of it, it was the ore that was 'special' as well.


I find it interesting we claim modern day swords or knives are superior, is that based on evidence? I would hesitate to claim any sword or blade we currently make is superior to a Japanese blade from the time of the samurai.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,821
Re: Damascus
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2014, 11:59:33 PM »
Just a couple of comments in passing.

154CM was originally developed for use as turbine blades in aircraft jet engines. That's a use I would hesitate to subject any old steel to, and it and its close Japanese equivalent, ATS-34, are turned out by the ton.

With regard to older swords and other antiques it pays to remember that the good quality stuff survived. The poor quality stuff, which was probably the majority, generally didn't.
Newbie Posts: 19
Re: Damascus
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2014, 08:59:30 AM »
Thanks to all for the great info. At least I think thanks  >:D

I could no longer resist the call of the 2012 Damascus Soldier. What's worse, I intend to actually use it  :ahhh

A huge extravagance, I know, but I've been looking for a really nice camping and bushwalking companion knife for a while. When I first stumbled on this model I thought it was stunning, and had a great combination of tools. Damascus wasn't something I had previously paid much mind to, but it's hard to resist a high grade of steel once it winks at you  ;)

I'm not buying it for a shelf queen though, so the blade will have to earn its keep and those handles better stay stuck on!

I'll post some pics when it arrives.

 

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