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  • How much do you charge for shipping?
    $0 if your order is over $50, otherwise we have to charge $10 to cover some of the shipping cost.
  • What is the wait time for an order?
    There is none! All of our steel is on -hand and most of the time ships the same day! At most it may be a week total until the billet arrives at your door.
  • How fast does the Damascus steel ship?
    All products listed for sale on our site are in stock and ready for immediate shipment within the USA. Experience the quickest lead time in the market.
  • How do I order a billet of Damascus steel?
    Start your journey by visiting our shop at Here, you can choose from a variety of Damascus steel types, such as carbon, stainless, or one of our unique historical varieties. After selecting the steel type, choose your preferred dimension and pattern, then specify the desired billet length in inches within the Quantity field. Upon completion, you can either add your selection to your cart or directly click on 'Buy Now'. If you encounter any difficulties or have special requests, don't hesitate to call or email us to place an order. We're here to help get everything sorted for you!
  • Do you offer Mokume-Gande, Tri-Mascus, or Carbon Core?
    Yes! Please contact us for more information!
  • What is your return policy?
    Simple: Return the steel in 30 days for a full refund, no questions asked. Your satisfaction is important to us.
  • In what state is the steel delivered?
    All of our products are delivered in a soft annealed state, with a hardness of 22-27 HRC. They are un-etched, and precision flat-ground.
  • How is Damascus steel made?
    The exact process of making Damascus steel has been lost to history, but it is generally believed that the steel was made by combining two or more types of iron or steel, then repeatedly folding and forging the metal until it had the desired properties. This is how we make our Damascus steel, no powders or printers here.
  • What makes Damascus steel special?
    Damascus steel is known for its unique patterns and its superior strength and durability. The repeated folding and forging of the metal creates a very fine grain structure, which helps to prevent cracks and other flaws from forming.
  • What is Damascus steel?
    Damascus steel is a type of steel characterized by distinctive patterns of banding and mottling. It was first produced in the Near East over 2,000 years ago and was highly prized for its strength, durability, and beauty.
  • How does Damascus steel compare to other types of steel?
    Damascus steel is generally considered to be superior to many other types of steel, particularly in terms of its strength, durability, and beauty. Its fine grain structure and unique patterns make it highly sought after for use in high-quality knives and swords.
  • What are the different types of Damascus steel?
    There are many different types of Damascus steel, each with its own unique patterns and characteristics. There are stainless and high carbon varieties and some of historical origin. It all just depends on which steels are combined. Some of the most popular patterns include the Twist pattern (torsion), Basketweave pattern (herringbone), Firestorm pattern (leopard), Ladder pattern (band), and Raindrop pattern (small roses).
  • How do I care for a Damascus steel ring or knife?
    Maintaining your Damascus steel ring or knife involves a series of careful steps. It's essential to clean your item after each use, gently removing dirt or oil with a soft cloth; if it's a knife, rinsing with warm water and mild dish soap will help remove food particles and oils. It's crucial to dry the item thoroughly to prevent water spots and rust while avoiding abrasive cleaners to protect the unique finish of the Damascus steel. Regular oiling, with mineral or gun oil, helps maintain the luster and prevent rusting; although if it's a ring, oiling may be less frequent but is still necessary, especially when it starts to look dull. Proper storage is also key, keeping your Damascus steel item in a dry, safe place, like a knife block or jewelry box, to ward off dampness or humidity, which can accelerate corrosion. Limit exposure to harsh environments like those containing harsh chemicals, saltwater, or extreme humidity, which can also hasten corrosion; if exposure occurs, ensure prompt cleaning and oiling. Depending on your usage, occasional re-etching of your Damascus steel item might be required to bring out the distinctive patterns that can fade over time; it's advisable to have this done professionally if you're inexperienced. Ultimately, treat your Damascus steel rings and knives with respect, as they are as many works of art as they are functional items, and with proper care, they can last a lifetime.
  • Can this steel delaminate?
    In short, not ours. While Damascus steel can delaminate or separate into layers, this is not common and generally only happens if the forging process is not correctly executed. Delamination can occur if the layers of steel are not properly heated, cleaned, or hammered together during the forging process. Delamination is more likely to occur if a skilled artisan does not make the Damascus steel. High-quality Damascus steel is characterized by its well-forged layers, making delamination highly unlikely unless it is subjected to extreme abuse. We have yet to have one of our billets delaminate!
  • What are some issues I may run into when working with Damascus Steel?
    Dealing with Damascus steel, whether in shaping, etching, grinding, or maintaining its appearance, can present several challenges. Uneven etching can result in less visible or striking patterns, often due to inadequate cleaning before the process, using an unsuitable etchant, or not giving the etchant sufficient time to work. To rectify this, the steel should be thoroughly cleaned before etching to remove any oil or other contaminants, a suitable etchant should be used depending on the type of Damascus steel (stainless or carbon), and enough time should be allocated for the etchant to work effectively. Shaping high-quality Damascus steel can also pose difficulties due to its inherent hardness. Using the correct tools and techniques for shaping and considering heat treatment to increase the steel's malleability can aid this process. Grinding presents its own challenges, as it can diminish the visibility of the Damascus pattern and potentially overheat the steel, jeopardizing its temper and leading to hardness loss or warping. To mitigate these issues, consider using a softer grinding wheel and less aggressive techniques, frequently cool the piece in water during grinding to prevent overheating, and think about re-etching the piece after grinding to restore the pattern visibility. Finally, while high-quality Damascus steel may be more resistant to corrosion and rust, these issues can still manifest, particularly with carbon Damascus steel. Regular cleaning, oiling, and proper storage can help prevent such problems. Moreover, stainless Damascus may be a more appropriate choice if the Damascus steel piece is intended for use in a humid or marine environment.
  • What is the Carbon Damascus Steel steel composed of?
    These billets are forged from 1.2842 / 1.2767 by BALBACHDAMAST® in Germany.
  • Should I deep freeze or perform a cryogenic treatment on this steel?
    Deep freezing, or cryogenic treatment, is a procedure that subjects steel to exceptionally low temperatures, typically around -196°C (-320°F), over a defined duration, followed by a slow return to room temperature. This process is performed after the steel undergoes heat treatment, where it is heated to a high temperature and rapidly cooled, enhancing its hardness and strength. Deep freezing can lead to multiple benefits, including improved hardness and wear resistance, as the process aids in converting more retained austenite into martensite, a phase of steel that is harder, stronger, and exhibits greater wear resistance. Consequently, the material's properties are significantly enhanced, making it more apt for applications such as knife-making. The process also refines the steel microstructure, resulting in a more uniform and fine carbide distribution, reducing brittleness and thereby improving toughness and resistance against chipping or cracking under stress. Furthermore, deep freezing aids in relieving internal stresses within the steel, introduced during forging and heat treatment, thereby increasing dimensional stability and mitigating risks of warping or distortion in the finished product. While not strictly necessary for Damascus steel production, deep freezing is usually recommended due to its potential benefits in hardness, wear resistance, toughness, and dimensional stability. Nevertheless, it's crucial to manage the process diligently, using appropriate temperatures and durations to avoid any damage to the steel.
  • Who makes this Damascus steel?
    Master blacksmith Markus Balbach crafts all our Damascus steel using his patented manufacturing process for stainless Damascus steel, developed over many years of research and refinement. All our Damascus steel is made with the finest source materials, resulting in exceptional quality. BALBACHDAMAST® has been a specialist in Damascus steel since 1991 and has trademarked various types of Damascus steel at the German Patent and Trademark Office.
  • How many layers does the Carbon Damascus Steel have?
    160 layers
  • Where is this Damascus steel made?
    At BALBACHDAMAST® in Germany
  • How is this Damascus steel made?
    Each piece is handcrafted using a traditional weld bonding process, ensuring pure and contaminant-free steel with seamless welding. The result is a knife with exceptional cutting performance, combining hardness, ductility, and low brittleness.
  • Where can I see how the steel is made?
    Click here to see how the steel is made: Video
  • Do you offer a stainless Damascus that doesn’t require heat treatment?
    No we do not, however, we can put you in contact with someone who can heat-treat the steel for you!
  • What pattens do you offer?
    Wild, Small Roses, Ferus, Band, Large Pyramids, Large Rhombi, Leopard, Torsion, and Herringbone.
  • What Damascus steels do you offer?
    We offer both carbon and stainless Damascus billets, as well as various historical sourced varieties.
  • Why am I getting spots on my Damascus after etching?
    Certain issues can result in undesirable etching outcomes when working with Damascus Steel. For instance, residual oil or grease can resist the etching acid if the steel isn't thoroughly cleaned before etching, resulting in unetched spots. Make sure to clean and degrease the steel thoroughly before etching. Spots can also form due to minor oxidation or rust present before the etching process, as these areas can react differently to the etching acid. Furthermore, minor inconsistencies in the metal's composition can become visible after etching, and contamination in the etching acid can lead to inconsistent etching results. Suppose you're not satisfied with the etching outcome. In that case, you can neutralize the acid, clean the steel, and re-etch it, but ensure you use appropriate safety measures when handling acids, including gloves, eye protection, and working in a well-ventilated area. To avoid these issues in the future, ensure that your steel is well-cleaned and free from rust before etching, use an uncontaminated and appropriately concentrated etching solution, and apply the etchant uniformly to avoid uneven etching results.
  • What historical Damascus is there?
    We also offer multiple historical varieties, such as Leo-Damast I and IV damascus steel, made from the barrel of a Leopard tank. Meteoroids, G3 rifles, and M-48 tank barrels have also supplied steel for our damascus steel.
  • What is DSC® inox?
    A stainless, martensitic composition damascus steel
  • Will the Damascus pattern change during forging?
    Creating a knife or ring from a piece of Damascus steel involves shaping, grinding, and polishing, which can somewhat affect how the pattern is displayed. Also, the pattern can appear to change when the knife or ring is etched, a process that involves applying an acid to the surface of the steel. The acid reacts with the different types of steel in the Damascus blend to varying degrees, creating a characteristic pattern. If the item is re-etched later in its life, it may bring out the pattern slightly differently, but the underlying pattern in the steel will remain the same. In terms of significant pattern changes, if you were to reforge the Damascus steel (i.e., heat it to a forging temperature and hammer or otherwise deform it), then the pattern would indeed change because the layers of steel would be deformed and displaced. But the pattern should remain relatively constant under normal circumstances of use and maintenance.
  • What is DSC® carbon?
    A non-stainless, high-carbon composition damascus steel
  • How many layers does the Stainless Damascus Steel have?
    120 Layers
  • What sizes is your Damascus steel available in?
    Our Damascus steel is available in various sizes, with a minimum width of 20mm (approx. 13/16 inch) and a maximum width of 60mm (2.36 inches). The thickness options range from 2mm (1/16 inch) to 10mm (over 3/8 inch). If you require custom sizing, please visit our contact page.
  • What is the Stainless Damascus Steel composed of?
    These billets are forged from 1.4034 / 19C27 by BALBACHDAMAST® in Germany.
  • How do I hot work the Stainless Damascus steel?
    For forging our stainless Damascus steel, the recommended temperature is 1742-1922°F.
  • How do I anneal the Stainless Damascus steel?
    To process DSC inox Damascus steel after hot working, it's necessary to carry out a soft annealing process. This procedure involves a series of steps. Initially, heat the steel in an oven up to 1526°F. Following this, maintain this temperature for a minimum duration of 4 hours. The next step involves a gradual cooling process inside the furnace. The final stage of the process requires you to remove the steel at temperatures less than 752°F. By meticulously following these steps, you can effectively process the DSC inox Damascus steel post hot working.
  • How do you rapidly quench steel with air?
    Rapidly quenching steel with air, also known as air quenching or air cooling, is a process that involves cooling the heated steel quickly in ambient air or forced air to achieve desired mechanical properties like hardness and strength. Compared to other quenching methods like oil, water, or brine, air quenching is slower but can provide more control over the cooling rate and minimize the risk of cracking or distortion. Place the steel in a well-ventilated area or use a forced-air system like a fan or an air blower to rapidly cool the steel. Position the steel in a way that allows for even cooling on all sides and ensures that the air flows uniformly around the piece. The cooling rate may vary depending on the specific alloy and the desired hardness and mechanical properties. Air quenching is often used for steel alloys with high hardenabilities, such as tool steels and some stainless steels. These alloys can achieve the desired hardness and mechanical properties without needing more rapid quenching methods like water or oil. However, air quenching may not be suitable for low-alloy or low-carbon steels, which typically require more aggressive cooling rates to achieve the desired properties.
  • Can I cold work the Stainless Damascus steel?
    No. Cold working is typically not recommended for our Stainless Damascus steel.
  • How do I etch the Stainless Damascus steel?
    To achieve an ideal finish and etching on your hardened stainless Damascus steel, follow these steps: Bring your steel to a 400-grit finish, then refine it up to 1200-grit, based on your preference. After sanding, avoid buffing the steel. Clean the steel next, washing and drying it with a clean cloth. To ensure an even etch, remove any residual substance on the steel with denatured alcohol - acetone is not recommended for this purpose. Remember to prioritize safety and wear protective gear when handling acid. You can use a 15-20% solution of Muriatic, Hydrochloric (HCL), Nitric, or Sulfuric acid. Heat the selected acid solution to a temperature of 122°F (50°C) in a water bath. To achieve an even and effective etch, it's advisable to conduct five or more shorter etches rather than fewer longer ones. Brushing proves to be the most efficient method for this process. Using an old toothbrush, brush the steel in the acid solution during each etch. Once the etching is completed, thoroughly neutralize the steel using baking soda to prevent any further corrosion. One key aspect of stainless steel is that etching does not impact one of the layers within the steel. If you wish to create a dramatic contrast, consider using high-grit finishing sandpaper (ranging from 1200 to 2000 grit) to gently buff the top of the slightly raised steel layer after the etching process.
  • How do I harden the Stainless Damascus steel?
    While not mandatory, deep freezing after hardening is advised for Damascus steel. The maximum corrosion resistance of the steel is achieved only once it has been hardened. The hardening process should ideally be carried out in a vacuum or under protective gas, following these steps: firstly, heat the steel in an oven to temperatures between 1922-1976°F. Next, maintain this temperature for a duration of 15-20 minutes. Then, rapidly quench the steel in the air, following which it should be immediately subjected to deep freezing. The process of deep freezing is commended for its potential advantages in terms of hardness, wear resistance, toughness, and dimensional stability. Nevertheless, it's critical to meticulously regulate this process meticulously, ensuring the correct temperatures and durations are used to prevent any potential damage to the steel. If the concept of air quenching seems confusing, please refer to the specific question addressing that topic.
  • How do I temper the Stainless Damascus steel?
    Tempering after the hardening process is necessary to transform the steel structure into tempered martensite and adjust its hardness. It's recommended that tempering is done for at least two sessions of 1 hour each, with an optional repetition of the deep freezing process before the second tempering. For knife blades, the tempering process should involve two sessions of 0.75 hours each at temperatures ranging between 356-374°F. This procedure would typically yield a hardness of 60-61 HRC. For decorative items, the tempering should be done for a duration of 2 hours at a temperature of 572°F, resulting in a hardness of 56-57 HRC. Following these guidelines will ensure that the Damascus steel is tempered appropriately to attain the desired hardness and structural characteristics.
  • Can I cold work the Carbon Damascus steel?
    No. Cold working is typically not recommended for our Carbon Damascus steel.
  • How do I anneal the Carbon Damascus steel?
    Adhering to a specific soft annealing process is necessary to prevent cracks or breaks in DSC carbon Damascus steel after hot working. First, heat the material in an oven to a temperature of 1328°F (720°C). Then, keep it at this temperature for a holding time of 2 hours. Subsequently, lower the temperature to 1202°F (650°C) and again maintain this for a holding time of 2 hours. Following this, allow the material to cool slowly within the furnace. Finally, remove the material from the furnace once the temperature has fallen below 570°F (300°C). By carefully following these steps, you can effectively prevent cracks or breaks in DSC carbon Damascus steel after it has undergone hot working.
  • How do I etch the Carbon Damascus Steel?
    The process of refining Damascus steel begins with sanding. Sand the hardened Damascus steel to a 400-grit finish; if you prefer, you can go up to 1200-grit. Give it a hand-satin finish, but refrain from buffing the steel after sanding. Once sanded, wash the steel and dry it using a clean cloth. Ensure to remove any remaining residue using denatured alcohol, avoiding acetone. Moving onto the etching process, it's imperative to observe safety precautions and heed warnings when handling acid, so don't forget to wear protective gear. For carbon steels, create a solution by diluting ferric acid with distilled water at a 50/50 ratio, then heat it to 122°F (50°C) in a water bath. It's recommended to perform five or more shorter etches instead of fewer longer ones. To achieve an even etch, brush the steel with an old toothbrush during each etching session. Lastly, thoroughly neutralize the steel with bicarbonate soda once the etching is complete to prevent further corrosion. You can effectively and safely finish your Damascus steel by following these steps.
  • How do I temper the Carbon Damascus steel?
    You should carry out tempering to transform the steel structure into tempered martensite and adjust its hardness after the hardening process. This procedure should be performed for a minimum duration of 2 hours at a temperature of 356°F (180°C). By following these precise steps, you can successfully achieve a hardness of approximately 62 HRC in your Damascus steel.
  • How do I harden the Carbon Damascus?
    To begin refining your Damascus steel, heat it in a furnace to 1544°F (840°C) and hold it at that temperature for 4 minutes. Subsequently, rapidly quench the steel in oil. It's important to note that while deep freezing, also known as cryogenic treatment, following hardening is optional, it's generally recommended due to its potential benefits. These include improved hardness, wear resistance, toughness, and dimensional stability. However, caution must be exercised during this process. It's crucial to control the process carefully and adhere to the correct temperatures and durations to prevent any potential damage to the steel.
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