Damasteel Implements Nitrogen Steel in Damacore DC18N

Damasteel is pushing out a new product, Damacore DC18N, to custom and production makers this year. The new formulation is a stainless damascus that incorporates a nitrogen-based steel as its cutting core.

Stainless damascus patterns are the mainstay of Damasteel’s catalog, the product they’ve built their reputation on. DC18N marks the first-ever stainless damascus product with a powder metallurgy core. Rather than incorporate more commonly-seen PM steels like S35VN or CPM-154, Damasteel chose a formulation it calls N11X . This is a follow-up to Damasteel’s Nitrobe 77 steel. The presence of Nitrogen increases corrosion resistance and reduces the need for Chromium, and according to Damasteel users will not be disappointed in its cutting performance, even in today’s hyper-competitive market. “[It] compares with the very best powder metallurgy-made knife steels on the market concerning outstanding corrosion resistance and cutting ability,” says the company’s Per Jarbelius.

Like most Damasteel products, DC18N is available in multiple patterns, including Odin’s Eye and Hakkapella. The premium look and the unique cutting core make Damasteel envision DC18N as a premium material for now, mainly used in custom knives. Its cost and the additional work it takes to maximize its visual appeal mean that it will be best-suited to custom makers, who are able to lavish time on each individual knife. Early adopters of DC18N include Frank Fischer, Michael Burch, and Tony Karlsson.

However, while the market for high-end and small batch production models remains strong, there may be occasional implementations of the material on a non-custom scale. Reate, We Knife Co., and others have produced short runs of Damasteel-bladed knives and that could also happen with DC18N. “We believe custom makers are the prime customer for this kind of high end knife steel, but we will most probably see it in limited edition production knifes too,” Jarbelius explains.

He goes on to tell us that DC18N will be the proving ground for the N11X steel. If makers and end users take to it, the steel could see implementation in other Damasteel products. The company is famous for its RWL-34 steel, and it takes its time testing any new addition to its lineup. “We are continuously working with product development. If N11X in this composition DC18N turns out to be a success, we will consider it in future products.”

Damacore will be available for purchase by the end of the year.

Knife featured in image: Burchtree Blades Damacore Knife

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