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Damascus Steel: Beauty and Brawn

Damascus Steel OTF Knives

Well-known for its aesthetic qualities, the sleek-looking Damascus steel is easy to spot even from a distance. However, its unique pattern etched on the blade isn’t just for show. It’s a durable blade, and it is hard enough for most field applications and practical uses.

Falling In Love With Damascus Steel OTF Knives

We have been collecting knives for years. We had little to no knowledge of any history or reason behind blade types, material, style, etc. We just thought specific knives looked incredible and worked well. Then we discovered Damascus steel, and it changed our lives forever.

If that sounds dramatic to you, then you might not have the same burning eternal flame of both love and curiosity about knives as we do. Damascus steel took us on a wild rabbit hole ride that still hasn’t ended. There are plenty of things to like about Damascus steel knives.

The Fine Characteristics of A Damascus Steel Knife

For starters, once you learn what a Damascus steel knife is, you will always recognize it because of the unique patterns on out-the-front (OTF) knife blades. The three most common designs on this knife include the following:

Random Pattern

There is no set design on this kind of pattern, hence the name. Stacking layers of alternating types of steel produces intricate patterns. Once forged and welded together, the billet can be stretched and folded repeatedly to create multiple layers. This technique adds to the blade’s overall aesthetics, which knife enthusiasts appreciate in a Damascus steel OTF knife. 

Ladder Pattern

Alternating steel plates are stacked, forged and welded together. After that, steelmakers cut grooves in the billet at varying depths and widths. These grooves control the pattern that you often see on the blade. After this process, the billet can be made flat and finished, or knife makers can stretch, fold, and add more grooves into the Damascus steel. 

Rain Drop Pattern

This pattern follows almost the same process as the ladder pattern described earlier. Again, as before, you use alternating steel plates layered and forge-welded. The next step in the process takes the design process further.

First, artisans drill holes in various diameters and depths throughout the billet. After that, it is either made flat and finished or can be stretched, folded, and have more holes drilled into it. The drilled holes in the billet are responsible for creating the raindrop pattern you see on the knife’s blade.

Replicating The Original Damascus Steel Knives

What was so fascinating to us was that no one has replicated the original way of making Damascus steel. No One. Damascus steel was initially made from wootz. What is wootz? Great question, glad you asked. Wootz was a steel type made in India over two-thousand years ago, and unfortunately for us, the art of making wootz died in the year seventeen hundred.

Many steelmakers have come close through reverse engineering and research. However, no one has ever replicated the original metal alloy wootz. This means today’s Damascus steel is not the original Damascus steel produced eons ago. Instead, what we have are steel replicas that are as close a copy of the original as far as we can deconstruct them.

Different Ways of Making Damascus Steel OTF Knife Blades

When you see Damascus Steel for sale, what exactly are you buying? It could be two different things. First, you could be seeing a blade that has been surface treated to create the appearance of Damascus. This process creates those beautiful water-like patterns of dark and light steel.

Another option is that you can get a pattern-welded Damascus blade. Pattern welding refers to forging iron and steel together to create billets. The billets are then stretched out and folded. This step is repeated upwards of a hundred times to produce those familiar patterns on this type of alloy.

The Top Damascus Steel for Sale

Here’s a breakdown of some popular Damascus steel knives in our collection. A fan favorite with a four and a half star rating is the TacKnives OTF Double Action Safety Knife Out-The-Front Military Camo Damascus Style MTU1 With KYDEX.

You can go over the specific details about this knife by clicking here.

MTU1 has been our best-seller for as long as TacKnives has been in business. MTU1 is a large OTF. It measures about 9′ in total length when the blade is fully extended. As a result, the knife feels incredibly balanced in one’s hand.

With a five-star rating next on our list is the TacKnives Medium-Size OTF Double Action Safety Knife Out-The-Front Damascus Steel MD1DE.

You can find all the details about that knife by clicking here.

This blade is one of the favorite highly rated Damascus steel knives in our collection. The total length of the knife measures 7.0 inches. It looks a bit hefty when you hold it, offering a double edge and drop point blade style. The handle is machined designed for grip and style. Its handles are coated in Dura-Tech rubber for a much better grip. Additionally, the MD1 is equipped with a ballistic window break at the end, further adding to its overall capabilities.

The next knife on our list is a bit pricier than the other two—the TacKnives OTF Double Action Safety Knife Out-The-Front MTU 18 DDE.

You can find the details about this knife by clicking here:

MTU18 is categorized as a medium/large size OTF knife. The knife’s body is made from aircraft aluminum and carbon fiber. As a result, this knife is extremely light at 3.35oz. In addition to using two different materials for the handle, the screws are made out of carbon fiber, making them more durable.

Finally, because we love a tanto, the TacKnives OTF Double Action Safety Knife Out-The-Front Damascus Tanto Blade MTU5TK With KYDEX.

The details about this tanto blade can be found here:

This tanto knife’s body is black with a window breaker at the endpoint. The OTF Assist Finger Actuator is located on the main body of the knife. The actuator offers spring-assisted opening action that flies the blade open at the push of a button.

Get The Finest Damascus Blades With TacKnives

Damascus steel knives don’t just carry a pretty-looking blade. It is a work of art for sure, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Today’s Damascus steel may not be the exact replica of the original ones centuries ago. However, the ones available today are close enough to the original in form, shape and durability.

Are you interested in getting top-rated Damascus steel OTF knives? To shop all the Damascus Steel blades that Tacknives offers, head to our Damascus knife collection on our website and find the knives that are right for you. If you need more information or have any questions, you can call or fill out this contact form.

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