What's the difference between Damascus steel and stainless steel?

Posted by Sam Haigh on

When you’re looking for knives for your kitchen, the material of the blade is an important consideration. After all, different blades have different properties, and your cooking needs are unique to you. Find out more about the difference between stainless steel and Damascus steel, and some of the benefits of each type of knife.

What is stainless steel?

Stainless steel is a family of different types of steel that are designed to be highly resistant. This means that stainless steel doesn’t rust over time, and is easier to clean as various oils and foodstuffs don’t penetrate the surface. This corrosion resistance comes from a higher proportion of chromium in the blade, protecting the surface of the knife from whatever it cuts through. Stainless steel is an increasingly common material in a modern kitchen thanks to this high level of utility.

What is Damascus steel?

Damascus steel is a material with an incredibly storied history. Known for the wavy pattern flitting throughout the blade, Damascus steel originated in around 500 BC, with a name derived from the Syrian city of Damascus. Although the original method of producing Damascus steel was lost in the 18th century, modern manufacturers have established a good approximation of the original techniques.

Key factors

There are a few major differences and similarities between Damascus steel and stainless steel that separate the two materials in the kitchen. These include:

Metal uses

The two metals have different uses. Stainless steel is one of the more versatile metals, with manufacturers using the material for pans, knives and even cooking surfaces in sterile restaurant environments. On the other hand, Damascus steel is only used for knives due to the unique texture and characteristics of the material. This makes stainless steel ideal for a uniform look in your kitchen, with Damascus steel working better as a statement piece.


Both types of metals are highly durable. Stainless steel benefits from its high levels of chromium when keeping contaminants out, whereas Damascus steel’s alloy contains high proportions of carbon and nickel, which offers excellent toughness, reducing wear and preventing the blade from cracking or fracturing.


The unique formula of Damascus steel is ideal for retaining sharpness, with the hard material having a long-lasting edge that keeps your blade in the best possible condition for longer. Whilst stainless steel tends to be less hard, it is easier to sharpen than a Damascus alternative. Both can be as sharp as one another with the right care, but Damascus steel requires less sharpening in the early stages of using the blade.

Find a blade that suits you

Whether you’re looking for a Damascus steel blade for your home cooking or a stainless steel option that suits your existing collection, take a look at the Chefs Edge range of knives today. With everything from stainless and Damascus steel to wrought iron knives, you can find the perfect knife for your cooking needs.

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