How to Care for a Damascus Steel Knife

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Even the most avid knife collectors have some kind of knife that is truly their favorite.

For us, one such knife is the Damascus steel knife.

This knife has an incredible blade along with a unique beauty.

It also has a historical reputation since this metal has been used in the best swords over the last few centuries.

It then becomes reasonably evident that, with its high-end blade and the intricate etching, this knife will need some sort of special care.

If you are looking to learn how to care for a Damascus steel knife, then you have reached the right article.

You can’t just care for a  Damascus steel knife the same way you would a regular knife.

It needs special attention if you want its blade to stay sharper for longer.

Why Opt for Damascus Steel Knives?

Before we even get to talking about the right way to take care of a Damascus Steel knife, let us tell you why this is a great choice compared to a regular knife.

Unique Beauty

Many people tend to invest in a Damascus steel knife due to its attractive design.

These knives have a gorgeous wavy patterned blade, which makes it a perfect addition to any knife collection.


Damascus knives are considered to be sort of an antique piece even if they are newly bought.

This is because it involves a combination of two or more varieties of steel to create a more durable alloy, which is something that dates back to centuries.

While the modern methods may have replaced the traditional ones, the layered forging technique is still considered to be a classic in the knife industry.


Damascus knives are not just ultra-sharp, but its sharpness is guaranteed to last for a long time.

It is considered to be far superior to several production quality knives.

While there isn’t any guarantee that the blade may need no sharpening, it definitely needs far lesser sharpening than most other knives on the market.

As such, this makes Damascus steel knives a great investment.

How to Care for a Damascus Steel Knife

Now that you know why Damascus steel knives are such a great choice, it is time we discuss the correct way to care for them.

1. Lubricate the Blades

The pattern in the Damascus steel knife is forged completely throughout the entirety of its blade.

This unique pattern gets revealed with etching an acid wash during its manufacturing.

The etching has a tendency to cause different levels of oxidation to show dark and light patterns on the blade.

The dark part is the oxidation, while the light part is the part that resists it.

Several of the hand-forged Damascus blades are made from high carbon steel.

This means that they contain a very low amount of chromium in it.

This high-carbon steel knife can rust quite quickly if it is not taken care of in the right way.

You have to make sure that the blade is clean and completely dry so that it prevents any rust or discoloration.

It is essential that after you are done with cleaning and drying the knife, you lubricate it with some wax to prevent any moisture from damaging the blade.

There are several of them in the market, and these will keep the knife rust-free and also maintain the etched beauty.

Speaking of high-carbon steel, several high-end sushi knives are made from these materials, too.

This type of knife can also be an excellent piece to add to your collection.

2. Avoid Any Abrasives

It is essential that you avoid any abrasives, such as metal polishes, rough cloths, and steel wool, when cleaning your knife.

Using any kind of abrasive or metal cleaners will cause the etched oxidation to get damaged.

That will take away the beauty of the blade.

In case you have used a metal cleaner, or some other abrasive material, while cleaning the knife and have damaged the etched portion, we recommend sending the knife back to the manufacturer for a re-etching service.

3. Be Careful With Where and When You Use It

If you use a carbon steel Damascus blade, then you must keep in mind that it is highly susceptible to damage when used on any acidic fruits.

The same is true when you use it in wet and humid environments and for field dressing.

All of these can significantly impact the etching of the Damascus blade.

When you do make use of this knife this way, ensure that you wash it properly and dry it thoroughly right away.

Make sure that you are not rubbing the blade roughly.

Try to make use of a microfiber or cotton cloth to dry it.

The softer the material, the lesser the risk for any damage.

4. Store It Correctly to Keep It Free From Rust

When you are not using the knife, it must be stored in a dry environment.

Make sure that the storage space is not affected by temperature changes or moisture.

After cleaning and waxing your Damascus knife, store it in a box or a padded zipper case.

If you intend to make use of the knife outdoors, ensure that it is not kept in wet environments for a long time.

It is extremely important that you don’t store the Damascus knife in a leather sheath.

This applies to any knife, too.

This is because the chemicals and acids used to tan leather can lead to the oxidation of the blade.

Additionally, you must also keep an eye out for a wet handle.

This is because the moisture from a wet handle could also cause the blade to rust, which is why keeping the entire knife dry is essential.

We also do not recommend making use of a dehumidifier bar to store these knives, especially those with handles made with natural materials.

Extremely low humidity is a hazard for any kind of natural handle material, and it can cause it to separate or crack.


We hope that this article has helped you understand how to care for a Damascus steel knife.

Fortunately, proper care of this knife is relatively easy.

When done regularly, it will maintain the blade and its intricate beauty for a very long time.