How to Care for Damascus Blades


The pattern is made by the “folding” of stainless steel and softer, high carbon steel. The stainless steel is less corrosive and the high carbon steel is corrosive so when the blade is acid etched, the corrosive metal wears away, leaving the stainless steel behind and creating the unique patterns. We “seal” the blades with a protective coating, Renaissance Wax.  


  • 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 Renaissance Wax 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.

1 comment


First I must say I love your fine knives. I own a few however after reading your article on damascus blade care it had me intrigued. I just bought a new Boker kalashnikov in damascus but it arrived with hardly any of the dark etching and tones of damascus it should have. If I sent the blade into Chris Reeve, would you guys re-etch it for me for a price using your technique and I agree to assume all responsibility if anything should occur?

Thanks much

Ryan January 14, 2019

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