Damascus steel has a long and storied history – one that dates back at least as far as 400 CE. And since it first became popularized, it has been renowned for its legendary strength and unique beauty. And, though the manufacturing process was lost at some point, it hasn’t stopped craftsmen and metalworkers from trying to figure out how to make it, through either guess-and-check or reverse engineering.
Whatever the case, Damascus steel is still one of the most coveted materials in the world of everyday carry, especially in relation to knives. And, although it isn’t entirely practical for everyone, there are quite a few worthwhile EDC blades featuring this stand-out metal in their construction. We’ve done some digging and put together a list of what we believe are the 12 best Damascus everyday carry knives you can get right now.
Kershaw Leek Damascus
Designed by renowned knife maker Ken Onion, Kershaw’s Leek is a superb everyday carry knife without the addition of Damascus steel. But it’s still a welcome addition that serves to elevate this blade to the next level. This knife also features the brand’s proprietary SpeedSafe deployment system, a 410 stainless steel handle, and weighs just 3.1 ounces.
Spyderco Endura 4 Damascus
Featuring Spyderco’s signature style, this knife pairs its Damascus steel blade with a high quality titanium handle, making this one of the strongest and most corrosion resistant offerings that won’t completely break the bank. The knife measures up at 8.75 inches over all, folds down to 4.92 inches, and features a sturdy back lock, as well.
CRKT M16-02D Commemorative
Kit Carson was one of the greatest knife designers of all time, but he passed away a few years ago, unfortunately. As a celebration of his life and his work, Columbia River Knife & Tool has released this commemorative edition of his signature knife, the M16, with a gorgeous Damasteel blade and titanium handle. But only 200 examples of this knife will ever exist, so if you like it, act quickly.
SOG Arcitech A03-P
SOG has a long history of making some excellent tactical folders, but they’ve taken a bit of a different approach with this one. For starters it features their Arc-Lock proprietary locking technology housed in a titanium and textured carbon fiber handle. But the highlight of the show is in the 3.5″ Damascus steel blade – which features a VG-10 core and a nickel and stainless steel coating; 15 layers of it, to be precise.
James Brand The Chapter Ti + Damascus
With a knife designer like Ryan Coulter at the helm, it’s easy to see why the James Brand keeps coming out with such swoon-worthy EDC blades. This iteration of their sleek Chapter knife features a sturdy titanium handle with a reliable frame lock paired to a gorgeous wavy-patterned Damascus steel blade. If you appreciate good minimalist design, as well as everyday carry gear, this is the knife for you.
Boker Kwaiken Flipper Damascus
This iteration of the Lucas Burnley designed wildly popular Kwaiken flipper knife took an already stellar pocket blade and imbued it with even more individuality. Along with its stunning Damascus steel blade, it comes equipped with a subtle-yet-reliable liner lock, a sleek titanium handle, and the whole 8.4″ knife weighs in at just 5.4 ounces.
Victorinox Swiss Army Outsider Damast
Victorinox, having been around for more than a century, has a long history of making gorgeous limited edition versions of their knives. But this one, the Swiss Army Outsider Damast, is one of our all-time favorites. That’s partially because of its subtlety – only the main blade is done in Damascus steel, making it feel all the more special – but also because this bladed pocket multi-tool was already such a stellar EDC tool to begin with.
Cold Steel Night Force
With the Night Force, Cold Steel sought to split the difference between a gentleman’s folder and a hardcore tactical knife. And they may have just managed that. In any case, this Damascus-bladed knife is surely formidable, thanks to its carbon fiber handle, reliable back lock, and unique stepped-thumb hole for blade deployment.
Benchmade Axis Stryker II
The entirety of Benchmade’s lineup from top to bottom is superb – so you can imagine the excellence there is to be found in this specialty blade. Made in the USA, just like everything they do, the Axis Stryker II features a singularly stunning red carbon fiber handle – which is equipped with the brand’s signature Axis lock – that’s paired to a gorgeous drop point Damascus steel blade. This is how knives should be made.
Chris Reeve Large Damascus Sebenza 21
The Large Sebenza from Chris Reeve is already one of the most sought-after and swooned-over high-end EDC knives in the world. So, doing one up in Damascus steel and a carbon fiber handle only ups the ante to the nth degree. This 8.335″ knife also features a drop point blade, and extended frame lock, and a filed thumb rest for a positive grip. Pick up this knife and you may never need or want another again.
Microtech Damascus Hellhound
Sure, not everyone can carry around an automatic knife in their EDC. But, if you live in a place where you can, you could do a whole lot worse than this offering from Microtech. Based on their Hellhound platform, this tanto-bladed Damascus steel knife is sleek and slim, but as rugged as they come. It also features a sturdy, yet lightweight carbon fiber handle and a base-mounted window breaker tip. It also helps that it was made right here in the USA.
Strider x Protech Custom SnG
Strider is one of those knife brands that sits amongst the elite. It seems like most of us in the EDC community want one, but so few ever get their hands on them. This offering is a pretty great example as to why. A custom collaboration between Strider and Protech, this automatic version of Striders signature SnG features a “Tiger Stripe” titanium handle mated to a 3.5″ Damascus steel blade. And it operates via a beautiful Mother of Pearl firing button mated to a smooth-as-silk deployment system. Bravo to you, Strider and Protech.
The Ultimate Guide To Damascus Steel
If you want to learn a little bit more about this legendary metal – including its origins, applications, and practicality – check out our ultimate guide to Damascus steel.
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