Video: What is Damascus steel anyway?

Will Wood’s treatise “Ask a Knifemaker: The Truth About Damascus” is our all time most read post with more than 52k views. The topic engenders a great deal of unnecessary controversy, with contrarians calling modern incarnations of pattern-welded steel fraudulent Damascus.

Knifemaker Walter Sorrells sets the record straight in his latest video. In it, Walter discusses the difference in crucible Wootz steel, and “modern” pattern-welded steel. I put modern in quotation marks because the technique for forge-welding steels originated with smiths on the Indian sub-continent in the 1400s. In all cases dating back hundreds of years, pattern-welded steel in cutlery and firearms has been referred to as Damascus steel. “Pattern welding” is a term that is of modern origin and has never been historically used.

Visit Walter’s YouTube Channel. On it he has uploaded a tremendous selection of well-made instructional videos. If you are at all interested in knifemaking, grab some popcorn because you could be watching for  a while.


  1. Sam L. says:

    Tshkaanahkts! (Damascus thanks.)

  2. Jacob Littlehorse says:

    Now we use carbon graphite crucibles. Clay crucibles are inferior for the high melting temperatures of steel not to mention dangerous if they crack.

  3. Laurie Kidd says:

    Steel made or sold at Damascus.

  4. Mike izatt says:

    Can a pure carbon steel be found on a hunting knife? I’ve heard they hold their edge much better than stainless steel. Also much easier to sharpen.

  5. pxl.Fm says:

    Yes! Finally something about sleep sounds baby.

  6. Steve says:

    Is water used at all in the forging process of making Damascus Steel knives?

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Video: What is Damascus steel anyway?

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