Devin Thomas Damascus Steel for Knife Blades

Devin Thomas Damascus Steel

Manufacturer: Devin Thomas

Considered by many to be a legend in forging damascus steel, Devin Thomas has been making knives since 1979. His damascus steel is used by numerous production knife companies and custom makers for making bolsters, blades and anything else they might need out of damascus.

He makes several different kinds of damascus steel including all-stainless damascus, which is very popular for knife blades. William Henry and Chris Reeve Knives are only a couple of Devin Thomas' prestigious list of clients, and his website also claims that no one in the world has made more damascus steel than Devin Thomas. Whether that's true or not, I don't know, but I wouldn't doubt it!

There are many debates as to whether or not Damascus makes a better cutting steel than monosteel blades, and everyone has their own opinion and preference. Devin Thomas Damascus stainless steels that are designed for knife blades have very acceptable performance, and take a very keen edge and will stay sharp quite long. They might not hold an edge as long as S30V, but it certainly compares very favourably to straight 440C. The bottom line is that Pattern-welded Damascus steel blades are used for their Aesthetics more than anything else. Devin Thomas also makes some double high carbon damascus as well which uses two types of high carbon steels, which is an excellent cutter, exceeding the performance of his stainless damascus.

Devin Thomas produces several types of Damascus: All Stainless, High Contrast, Composite Bar, Double High Carbon, Exotic Stainless and Exotic High Contrast. I have described a few of them below but have not mentioned high contrast damascus as it is better suited for bolsters and can be found in the materials section. Please keep in mind that Mr. Thomas makes many many different types of damascus with many different types of steel that are not even mentioned on this page. This is just a sampling of what he has available and has mentioned on his web site.

All Stainless Damascus

Patterns: Ladder, Raindrop, and Twist.

Devin Thomas uses AEB-L and 304 Stainless Steels to make his all stainless Damascus. It is nice stuff and has very good contrast. I have owned several peices made with this type of steel and it is an excellent cutter. For your reference, AEB-L is the same steel as Sandvik 12c27.

In addition to the compositions listed, Devin Thomas makes reference to some stainless damascus combinations like AEB-L/154CM and 3V/CPM-154. His ordering page does not give any information on how you can get these types of Damascus, as they may be special order.

All Stainless Damascus Composition

Two types of steel are used, so both compositions are listed.
  C Co Cr Mn Mo Si S P Ni
AEB-L 0.68 - 12.8 0.65 - 0.4 <0.015 <0.025 -
304 0.08 - 18-20 2 - 0.75 0.03 0.045 8-10.5
Values are shown in percentages.

Exotic Stainless Damascus

Patterns: Spirograph, Vines and Roses, Sharkstooth, and Firestorm.

Devin Thomas also makes more Exotic patterns of stainless damascus which use different combinations of stainless steel such as 440-C and 302 or AEB-H and 302. His exotic stainless uses a slightly higher carbon hard steel than his normal stainless damascus, possibly resulting in a better blade. I have owned peices using his exotic stainless, however have not actually cut much with them so I cannot attest to their performance. AEB-H is the same steel as Sandvik 19c27.

Exotic Stainless Damascus Composition

Two of three types of steel are used, so all three compositions are listed.
  C Co Cr Mn Mo Si S P Ni
AEB-H 0.95 - 13.5 0.65 - 0.4 <0.015 <0.025 -
440C 0.95-1.2 - 16.5-18 <1.25 <0.75 <1 <0.4 <0.04 -
302 <0.15 - 17-19 <2 - <1 <0.03 <0.045 8-10
Values are shown in percentages.

Double High Carbon Damascus

Patterns: Firestorm, Sharkstooth, Multi-Bar Turkish Twist, Spirograph, Vines & Roses, Ladder, Raindrop, Twist and Composite Bar.

Devin Thomas' highest end Damascus steels are made with two or more types of high carbon steel. He uses a combination of 1084, O-2 or some other high carbon steel along with 15N20, which contains 2% nickel for the etching, to make his double high carbon and composite bar damascus steels. His composite bar Damascus is a bar that uses two or more different patterns in it, and is some pretty amazing looking stuff.

Double High Carbon Damascus Composition

Two of three types of steel are used, so all three compositions are listed.
  C Co Cr Mn Mo Si S P Ni
1084 0.8-0.94 - - 0.6-0.9 - 0.15-0.3 <0.05 <0.04 -
O2 0.87 - 0.2 1.78 0.03 0.29 0.01 0.027 0.2
15N20 0.75 - - 0.4 - 0.3 <0.01 <0.02 2
Values are shown in percentages.


Here is a sampling of his Damascus Patterns:





Banded Ladder



Composite Bar