Olamic’s Damascus Strengthens Unique Take On Fixed Blades

Olamic Cutlery is a well-known presence in the modern, high-end folding knife market. Their Wayfarer, Swish, and Busker models have earned the company legions of fans around the world. But Olamic Founder Eugene Solomonik says the company’s handmade fixed blades are just as deserving of attention.

The defining characteristic of the Olamic fixed blades is the steel, a particular Damascus blend that is made in-house. “Most makers and even companies purchase Damascus to use on their knives,” Solomonik explains. “The purpose here is mostly aesthetics, a nice pattern, and the steel is marketed that way.” But he says Olamic’s special formulation is forged to prioritize performance while still offering the visual flair we expect from Damascus. “We forge our own steel, a proprietary four steel high carbon mix formulated for cutting.”

Olamic garners much praise for the way it blends custom processes into production folding knives. Solomonik says that their custom fixed blades benefit from years of similar outside-the-box thinking. “Over the years we have developed some things that stand out. For example our Ubari Damascus pattern or forge welded bolster/blade fittings.” No matter what sort of pattern Olamic is rolling out, unless a press is needed the craftsmen hand forge their Damascus on anvils. “It’s the combination of traditional methods and creative thinking that makes [the fixed blades] special.”

Fixed blades were where Olamic got its start, and to this day they are made by hand in their Karelia, Russia-based shop. “There are a few ‘old school’ methods that we employ to make our fixed blades,” Solomonik tells us. “All the blades are ground on big stone wheels, not belts, entirely freehand. At times we’ll even forge our own Mokume. And the rest of it is sheer knife-making voodoo…” He says that one of the biggest differences between Olamic fixed blades and folders is their life after the making. “They also don’t get paraded on Instagram or upgraded or re-sold on the secondary market. In fact, I don’t know where most of them go, and they never return home.”

However, he doesn’t think that the lack of a social media presence makes the sale and enjoyment of an Olamic fixed blade more difficult. “Timeless designs, quality, usability are things that transcend the various cliques of the knife community.” All it takes is that single moment of connection in order to turn a folder owner into a fixed blade owner. “If they see something that really speaks to them, like one of our fixed blades, it won’t matter if they’ve only bought folders for the last year. The community also goes much deeper than the internet.”

Knife featured in image: Olamic Cutlery Voykar HT Ubari