Cheap ebay Damascus.

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Beanwagon, Jun 19, 2019.

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  1. Jun 19, 2019 #1

    Beanwagon

    Beanwagon

    Beanwagon

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    Does anyone actually have 1st hand experience with this stuff. Everything i have read on the subject the last few years is to avoid this "trash" at all costs.

    I have always had a curiosity to see if this is the actual case.
     
  2. Jun 19, 2019 #2

    gstriftos

    gstriftos

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    Overpriced Chinese stamped knives, not real ''Damascus'' but etched monosteels with poor heat treat and way lower HRC than claimed.
    Seeing a lot on local shops selling for premium, some can be used as nice display items.

    A simple search on Alibaba will teach you a lot about these.

    FYI, due to my profession (irrelevant to cutlery and knives) I collaborate with a Chinese agent and asked her if she could send me some to test. Her response was ''do not buy these''.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  3. Jun 20, 2019 #3

    M1k3

    M1k3

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    I had an ex-coworker that bought one. My thoughts were... not overly thick, "Damascus" pattern was faint. Metal was soft but not overly (I'm guessing like 55-57ish, harder than Kiwi, softer than Shun). Profile was meh. Kind of short, like a tall Suji. I would of bought a Victorinox or something instead for the price.
     
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  4. Jun 20, 2019 #4

    milkbaby

    milkbaby

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    If you're looking to buy damascus billets for stock removal to turn into knives, you're simply gambling by buying from an unknown seller on ebay. There is a known scammer who sells steel that he claims is 1080/1084 but is actually non-hardenable low carbon or mild steel.

    Most of the scrapmascus sellers on ebay are from India or Pakistan, so if you're in the US and realize it's terrible quality and not even the steel they advertised, the likelihood you get your money back is low. They usually sell a lot of stuff so your negative feedback is just a blip on the radar.

    The cheapest damascus that I would consider buying is the stuff from Alabama Damascus Steel which you can find on ebay under the sellers alabamadamascus and vicecutlery2016. You can also buy directly from their website. Even then you might run into an issue with slag inclusions or cold shuts, ask me how I know... and I also know that I'm not the only maker that's seen those issues.
     
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  5. Jun 20, 2019 #5

    nevrknow

    nevrknow

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    Ahhhhh. The good ole D2 tool steel Pakistani knives.
     
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  6. Jun 20, 2019 #6

    chinacats

    chinacats

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    There are a few good threads here from year's back that a good search should yield. Consensus is they are a waste of any money spent.
     
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  7. Jul 7, 2019 #7

    Dan P.

    Dan P.

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    A friend of mine bought some, it was fine for cladding. In his case it was not a waste of time because the billet was sound. Maybe he was lucky, maybe that particular vendor (maker?) has consistently good billets. I don't know, but I do know that making Damascus is expensive, and buying billets from Pakistan is cheap. It comes down to common sense and a good sprinkling of luck.
     
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  8. Jul 9, 2019 #8

    DanielC

    DanielC

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    I'm rather entrenched in the bladesmith world, so it would seem I am rather biased. However, the price may seem too good to be true, because it is. There isnt a source of ultra cheap steel, ultra cheap labor, and hyper fast means of producing quality pattern weld. This is why you see the prices you see from makers and reputable outlets. It's hard work with expensive materials.

    Usually the crap on Ebay and Amazon and Alibaba, etc...its all made from random junkyard metal. Pakistan is the main source of all of this. Pakistan lacks a commercial cutlery steel industry. It also lacks basic human work rights. I've seen plenty of footage of barefoot sweatshop conditions.

    I've also several friends who have produced videos testing random blades made from this cheap metal. All of them. Every single one was barely harder than mild steel, was riddled with inclusions, and blew apart.

    Its junk. Quality pattern weld isnt cheap. Its artisan produced. Its tough work. Sometimes requires big machinery.
     
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  9. Jul 10, 2019 #9

    Dan P.

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    I have to give respect to my brother smiths trying to earn their crust wherever they are in the world, and I think dismissing the work of an entire nation as "junk" is disrespectful and not particularly intelligent.
    Pakistani Damascus billets are cheap and cheerful, you get what you pay for, sometimes you might even get a real bargain.
    But if you are that naive to steel that you think that s £20 billet of mystery metal mascus from eBay is going to meet your knife making needs, then the chances that you were going to make a good knife to begin with are likely to have been pretty slender. I mean, seriously.
     
  10. Jul 10, 2019 #10

    DanielC

    DanielC

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    These are the same firms that go on Facebook and IG and steal your photos and name, and then scam people out of their money.

    I say these things with years of dealing with the ongoing headaches, not because I choose to be a dick.

    Also, i feel like your post is more or less saying the same thing I am saying, but avoiding the word "junk", when my terminology is probably closer to reality than you realize, while they are visiting scrapyards and sourcing their materials from car bumpers and toaster oven...
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  11. Jul 10, 2019 #11

    John N

    John N

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    My issue with the low cost pattern weld steel is the active misrepresentation of the material its made from, ie, 15n20 / 1080 - 512 true layers etc etc.

    From what I can gather most is recycled soviet rail scrap etc. The muddy etch, even on the 'advert' pieces just looks awful.

    I could crank out a huge amount of patternweld in a day with my power hammer, and a decent sized forge, if I was not bothered by the odd flaw, grain size, pattern composition etc.
     

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