How to Care for Damascus Blades


Damascus patterns are made by forging or "folding" stainless steels and softer high carbon steel. To bring out the pattern, the blades are placed in an "acid bath." During this process, the more corrosive high-carbon steel is eaten away, leaving behind unique patterns. We then “seal” the blades using a museum-grade wax coating. 


  • Keep Damascus clean and free of moisture.  Damascus blades will require more attention, since the higher carbon metals that help create the pattern present a higher risk of corrosion. We recommend cleaning the blade after it has come into contact with moisture and especially acidic materials like apples, steak, or fingers.
  • Spot clean rust.  If your knife is in a humid environment, it will rust.  The best way to quickly address rust is to spot clean your blade with Soft Scrub and a q-tip when you first see it appear.  If you can see pitting on the blade, it is especially important to keep those spots clean so that more material is not removed.
  • Protect the pattern.  Apply a small amount of WD-40 or a quality oil when the blade is completely dry to help protect against fading and moisture.  Our Damascus is chemically bonded with stainless steel and several different softer metals, so there is no need to worry about chipping or flaking, but the pattern may still wear over time from regular use.
  • Maintain the edge.  Damascus will maintain its edge for quite a while, but it will dull faster than our standard S35VN blade.  We recommend maintaining the edge with the Spyderco Triangle Sharpmaker.

We can usually re-etch the pattern on a blade to bring back its definition. However, we recommend caution when choosing this route. Re-etching can only be done a few times and will shorten the life-span of the blade since the process involves removing material.
Note: We cannot re-etch discontinued models with Damascus blades since we would be unable to replace the blade if damage were to occur during the process.
If you would like to request re-etching or you are facing issues with your Damascus blade, please send your knife into our shop for service.