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The Best Knives You Can Buy Made with Damascus Steel

Fixed blades, camp chef knives, pocket knives — if they've got Damascus steel, we've got 'em.

collage of three knives
Knife Center, The James Brand, Boker USA

Even in the wide ranging-world of knives, where blade shapes, handle materials and lengths and widths abound, you still run the danger of the carefully-selected selection of knives in your arsenal starting to look the same. Maybe you've unconsciously bought drop points almost exclusively; it could be that you're a fan of carbon fiber handles for your EDC. Whatever it may be, sometimes it's worth switching things up with a new and unexpected twist to your typical taste, and one relatively low-lift way to do that is to pick out a knife made with Damascus steel.

The appeal of Damascus steel goes far beyond its undulating ripples and eye-catching aesthetic, although that's the entry point for many knife enthusiasts. Damascus is undeniably unique, and adding a blade made with this blend of materials is a must for any modern-day blade collector.

What's the deal with Damascus steel?

Centuries old, Damascus steel was once lost to history; it became renowned during the period of Alexander the Great, then fell into obscurity, only to be resurrected in the late 20th century with the help of two Stanford metallurgists — you can read the whole story here. It's safe to say that due to its performance and its history shrouded in mystery, Damascus steel has a unique draw.

The Coolest Knives Made with Damascus Steel

The James Brand The Carter - Damascus Version

The James Brand
Best Overall Damascus Knife

The James Brand The Carter

  • Blade style: Drop point
  • Overall length: 4.0 inches
  • Handle material: Micarta
  • Weight: 3.0 ounces

    The Carter is well-known for being both beautiful and useful, and the Damascus-and-micarta version ups the ante quite a bit. The James Brand built its Damascus knife with a drop point blade, while its handle has micarta scales to cut weight and add durability.

    Additional features to mention include the ambidextrous thumb stud, which makes left or right-hand opening a breeze, as well as the multiple sizes available for large and small hands. The blade is also available in both serrated and straight options, lending flexibility to those with varying tasks.

    Boker Barlow BFF Damast

    Boker USA
    Best Upgrade Damascus Knife

    Boker Barlow BFF Damast


    • Blade style: Clip Point
    • Overall length: 6.0 inches
    • Handle material: Bog oak wood
    • Weight: 2.19 ounces

      Designed by Lucas Burnley, the Barlow BFF Damast is about as handy as they come. The full-tang fixed blade is made with utility and finesse in mind — Burnley designed it to marry the historical roots of the Barlow with more modern sensibilities; details include the Damascus blade made with 150 layers and the bog-oak handle constructed from scales of 5,000 year-old wood. The hollow copper studs at the butt of the knife serves not only as a detail of visual interest but also functions as a lanyard hole. If you’re looking for a handmade fixed blade that will lend a little class and a lot of functionality to your collection, you won’t go wrong with this pick.

      Civivi Elementum

      Knife Center
      Best Affordable Damascus Knife

      Civivi Elementum

      $73.31 (25% off)
        • Blade style: Drop Point
        • Overall length: 6.99 inches
        • Handle material: Carbon fiber
        • Weight: 2.74 ounces

        This knife features a speckled carbon fiber handle that’s arguably as enticing as its Damascus blade — and there’s plenty of substance under its surface. The ergonomic, mid-sized folding knife comes with a stainless steel liner lock mechanism, a contoured handle for excellent grip and a right carry pocket clip and lanyard for easy carry.

        Nagao Higonokami Damascus Friction Folder

        Blade HQ
        Best Classically Designed Damascus Knife

        Nagao Higonokami Damascus Friction Folder

        $219.95 (29% off)
        • Blade style: Reverse tanto
        • Overall length: 6.34 inches
        • Handle material: Folded brass
        • Weight: 2 ounces

          One of the more traditional-looking knives on this list, the Damascus Friction Folder by Nagao Higonokami combines simplicity and elegance into one slim design. The friction folder features a 3.0-inch Damascus blade that, when, folded, is completely covered by its brass handle. There’s also kanji (Japanese lettering) stamped into the side of the folded sheet of brass, which pays homage to its design origin. The reverse tanto blade is an excellent choice for chopping and carving, and for collectors, the overall design is a classic that shouldn’t be passed up.

          Spyopera Carbon Fiber

          Spyder Co
          Most Unique Damascus Knife

          Spyderco SpyOpera Carbon Fiber Thor™ Damascus

          • Blade style: Drop point
          • Overall length: 6.9 inches
          • Handle material: Carbon fiber
          • Weight: 2.70 ounces

            Infusing the classic Spyopera (one of the most beloved EDC knives to date) with refined elements and materials, the Spyopera Carbon Fiber Thor Damascus brings this well-known knife to the next level. The blade is made with Thor pattern martensitic Damascus steel crafted by Swedish firm Damasteel, which uses a proprietary process to blend together layers of RWL 34 and PMC 27 steel into one intricate blade. The handle is made with carbon fiber scales, and the lockback mechanism keeps fingers safe during use.

            Marfione Custom Scarab II

            Blade HQ
            Best Custom Damascus Knife

            Marfione Custom Scarab II


            • Blade style: Dagger
            • Overall length: 9.50 inches
            • Handle material: Aluminum
            • Weight: 5.73 ounces

              If you want the best of the best, consider shelling out for this high-priced knife. Marfione Custom Knives are hand-crafted by multiple members of the Marine family, the knife makers behind Microtech. This particular knife, like all Marfione creations, is custom, but is based on the Microtech Scarab II model — a double-action, out-the-front automatic knife. This custom piece features a Vegas Forge "Vines and Roses" Damascus steel dagger blade, black-anodized aluminum handle with gold ringed titanium hardware and a Bronze-finished pocket clip with DOB, serial number, and the Marfione dagger. If you want something truly one-of-a-kind, this is for you.

              Tojiro Pro Flash Chef Knife 240mm

              House of Knives
              Best Chef's Damascus Knife

              Tojiro Pro Flash Chef Knife

              $226.00 (37% off)
              • Blade style: Chef knife
              • Overall length: 14.5 inches
              • Handle material: Reinforced laminate material
              • Weight: 9.17 ounces

                Thought of as one of the best chef's knives on the market, the 240mm Flash by Tojiro blends together two high-performing steels to create its elegant and unique damascus pattern, while retaining a core of VG10 steel to maintain maximum sharpness. Crafted with utility in mind, you can use this chef's knife for mincing, slicing meat, and other kitchen tasks — and with its lifetime manufacturer's warranty, you can do it all with peace of mind.

                Kansept Knives Convict Liner Lock

                Blade HQ
                Best Sheepsfoot Damascus Knife

                Kansept Knives Convict

                • Blade style: Sheepsfoot
                • Overall length: 7.6 inches
                • Handle material: Micarta
                • Weight: 3.5 ounces

                  Designed by Chris Conaway, founder of Sheepdog Knives, this version of his popular silhouette is a more budget-friendly version than its predecessor — which is great for anyone who wants a quality knife, at a more affordable price. The Convict Liner Lock features a lightweight micarta handle and a super sharp sheepsfoot blade — perfect for slicing. At 3.5 ounces it's right in the middle in terms of weight, thanks to minimal materials and its liner lock construction. If you're looking for a pocket knife that can be useful in both everyday and emergency situations, this is a fantastic choice.

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