How to Sharpen Damascus Steel in 3 Easy Ways

Damascus steel is a specific type of steel known for its unique patterns and qualities. When it comes to knives, hunting knives, or kitchen knives, many people prefer Damascus steel blades since they are known for being both strong and sharp.

But after a few outdoor trips of kitchen venture, you will look for how to sharpen Damascus steel?

There are three ways to answer how to sharpen Damascus steel. You can use a sharpening stone for a better outcome. Electric sharpeners are convenient but won’t give you that super edges. Honing rods are not for sharpening but are great for getting rid of knicks as regular maintenance.

There is more to tell you. So I’ll explain how to sharpen your Damascus steel knife in the best way possible so it can perform at its optimum level. So read on for all the information you need on this subject.

How To Sharpen Damascus Kitchen Knives?

If you’ve ever used a Damascus steel knife, you know how sharp it can be. But you may not know that these knives must be regularly sharpened to maintain their edge. So here’s a quick guide on sharpening your Damascus steel knife.

1. Whetstone aka Sharpening Stonehow to sharpen damascus steel

To sharpen Damascus steel, you will need a sharpening stone. You may have used it before. But let me tell you how to use a sharpening stone to sharpen Damascus steel (mainly).

First, you need to identify the angle of your knife. The slope is the angle at which your blade meets the edge of the stone. For most Damascus steel knives, the slope will be around 20 degrees.

Next, you need to find a comfortable position to hold your sharpening stone. Again, we recommend holding it in your non-dominant hand to apply pressure evenly.

Now it’s time to start sharpening! Start by using light pressure on the blade and moving it back and forth across the stone. You will notice a black residue on the stone as you do this. 

There are different types of sharpening stones available on the market. I have rounded up the best sharpening stone for Damascus steel for you.

Name of Sharpening Stones Features
Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone Easy to use, use premium quality material. Affordable, durable, and long-lasting
Chefic BearMoo Whetstone Premium Sharpening Stone Usable for various knives, 3000/8000 grit, made of professional grade white corundum
Masuta Natural Sharpening Stone Made from high-quality natural materials. Hence, it produces a razor-sharp edge every time.

It has two sides: a coarse side for grinding away material and a fine side for honing the blade.

King Whetstone Starter Set Durable and long-lasting, it has 2 grits
Naniwa Chosera 3,000 Grit Stone With Base Comes with a base, one of the best quality stones, has a grit of 3000, which is perfect for general sharpening.

2. Electric Sharpener

The next best answer to how to polish Damascus steel is an electric sharpener. Electric sharpeners are a convenient way to keep your knives sharp.

You must choose a suitable electric sharpener for your knives. Next, if you have a rotary sharpener, you must attach the spinning wheel to the sharpener.

If you have a handheld sharpener, you will need to hold the sharpening stone in your hand.

Next, you need to choose the correct grit for your knives. Damascus steel knives are made of high-carbon steel, which is very hard.

For this, you will need to use a fine grit when sharpening your Damascus steel knives. A coarse grit will damage the blade, and a fine grit will provide a sharp edge.

Finally, you need to hold the knife at the correct angle when sharpening. The best way to do this is to use the guide with your electric sharpener. If you do not have a guide, you can use a ruler to help you hold the knife at the correct angle.

Types of Electric Sharpeners for Damascus Steel

If you are looking for an electric sharpener, there are a few things to consider. First, you need to decide what type of electric sharpener you want. There are two types of electric sharpeners: rotary and handheld. Rotary sharpeners use a spinning wheel to sharpen their knives.

Handheld sharpeners use a sharpening stone to sharpen your knives. Both types of electric sharpeners are effective at sharpening knives. However, rotary sharpeners are more versatile and can be used to sharpen other tools, such as scissors.

Electric Sharpener Features
Presto 08800 EverSharp Electric Knife Sharpener Sapphirite wheels and Plastic material, 2 stage sharpening system
Chef’sChoice Trizor XV EdgeSelect Professional Electric Knife Sharpener Designed to sharpen both straight edge and serrated blades, making it versatile, simple to use
Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Double sided stone, Knife guide included
Kyocera Electric Diamond Ceramic Knife Sharpener Able to sharpen knives quickly and easily, made diamond-coated blades, easy to use
Smith’s 50005 Edge Pro Compact Electric Knife Sharpener an adjustable angle knob that allows you to sharpen blades at nine different angles, small and fit for kitchen, easy to use

3. Honing Steel

Damascus steel can be sharpened with honing steel. A honing steel is a type of sharpening tool explicitly made for sharpening Damascus steel blades. You will need to follow these steps:

Start by holding the honing steel in your dominant hand and the Damascus blade in your other hand. Place the edge against the honing steel at a 20-degree angle.

Use your dominant hand to steady the honing steel while your other hand moves the Damascus blade back and forth along the length of the honing steel. Do this for 30 seconds.

Next, increase the angle between the blade and the honing steel to 30 degrees and continue moving the blade back and forth for another 30 seconds.

Increase the angle to 45 degrees and move the blade back and forth for one last 30 seconds.

When You Need SharpeningWhen You Need Sharpening

I know people who wonder about is Damascus steel hard to sharpen. Well, it’s not. You just need to know when to do it.

To ensure that your blades stay in top condition, it’s important to know when you need sharpening. Dull blades can cause all sorts of problems, from making your work more difficult to damaging the material you’re working on. So here are a few tips for when it’s time for a tune-up. 

If your blade feels like skipping across the material or snagging, it’s time to sharpen. Other signs that you need to sharpen your blade include excessive blade wear, difficulty cutting through materials, and uneven cuts.

If you’re not sure whether or not your blade needs attention, bring it to your local hardware store for sharpening services – they’ll be able to tell you if it’s time.

Cleaning Your Damascus Steel

When you get a new Damascus steel knife, it’s essential to clean and oil it properly to keep it in good condition. If you don’t clean and lubricate your knife, the blade could rust or corrode. So it’s important to clean your knife regularly to prevent the blade from rusting or corroding.

You can use a mild soap and water to clean your knife, but be sure to dry it entirely afterward. If you’re not going to use your knife for a while, it’s a good idea to oil the blade to prevent rusting.

Oiling Your Damascus Steel Knife

Once you’ve cleaned your knife, you’ll need to oil it to keep the blade from rusting or corroding. You can use any oil, but we recommend mineral oil or camellia oil.

Apply a small amount of oil to a clean cloth and wipe it onto the blade. Be sure to wipe off any excess oil, which can attract dirt and debris.

Does Damascus Steel RustDoes Damascus Steel Rust

Rust can be a real problem for any metal object, but it can be especially damaging to Damascus steel. Damascus steel is a type of steel that contains high levels of carbon and other alloys.

That makes it highly durable and withstand a great deal of wear and tear. However, Damascus steel is susceptible to rusting if not correctly cared for.

Now, I will share some tips on preventing rust from forming on your Damascus steel blades. I hope it will be very helpful for you.

  • Do not store your knife in a humid environment.
  • If you notice any rust on your knife, you can remove it with a mild abrasive, such as steel wool or sandpaper.
  • Do not allow your knife to come into contact with salt water.
  • Do not leave your knife in a damp place.
  • If your knife does become rusty, you can try using vinegar or lemon juice to remove the rust. Simply soak a cloth in the vinegar or lemon juice and rub it onto the rusty area. Rinse off the knife with water and dry it thoroughly.


Does Damascus steel stay sharp?

Yes, Damascus steel is known for retaining a sharp edge. However, it is still important to regularly sharpen your knife to keep it in top condition.

Does Damascus steel need to be oiled?

It is important to lubricate your Damascus steel knife to prevent the blade from rusting or corroding. You can use any oil, but we recommend mineral oil or camellia oil.

Can Damascus be sharpened?

Yes, Damascus steel can be sharpened. However, using the proper techniques and tools is crucial to avoid damaging the blade.

How often should you sharpen Damascus knives?

It is typically recommended that you sharpen your knife every few weeks to keep it in top condition. However, this will vary depending on how often you use your knife. If you use your knife frequently, you may need to sharpen it more often. On the other hand, if you only use your knife occasionally, you may be able to go longer between sharpening.

Final thoughts

When you hear the word “Damascus, “the first thing that comes to mind is the highly sharp steel used in knife making. And if you’re looking for a knife that can easily make precise cuts, then a Damascus steel blade may be just what you need.

There are many ways to sharpen Damascus steel. Some people use a honing rod, while others prefer to use a sharpening stone. Whichever method you choose, be sure to sharpen your knife regularly to keep it in good condition.

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