Apart from being one of the oldest tools of the human race and the favourite weapon of choice for psychopaths and serial killers across the board, surprisingly there are just as many varieties of Damascus steel knives as there are myths about its usage and care. A lot of the so-called “facts” about knives are not facts at all, but rather myths that people have believed to be true. This tends to occur mainly due to the advertising and product branding by the respective companies. Here are some hard facts that should clear the mist: –
- If the knife is more expensive, it must be better in quality: Not the case at all. Ultimately it’s about the brand name and you will find enough instances of costly antique pieces hardly being of any real use whereas the high quality knives remain useful on an everyday basis.
- Certain knives don’t require sharpening: There have been enough ads about this one. Just because the knife is serrated and still possesses the same clean cut properties does not necessarily mean that they will cut just as well as they did when they were brand new. Finally, any knife will benefit greatly from regular sharpening and maintenance.
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- The harder the blade, the sharper it will remain: The hardness of the blade does not determine or define its sharpness. On the contrary, there have been many instances of such blades becoming brittle thus leading them to lose their edge and chip easily.
- Dull knives are not dangerous: Quite the dangerous misconception. While this does appear to hold true on the surface, you cannot overlook the simple fact that by having to use more force to accomplish cutting, there is a much higher chance of the knife user loosing control and injuring himself/herself.
- Lack of sparks indicate a bad sharpener: This is mainly because a lot of people tend to have a cliched image of knives being sharpened on a grinder. While that is true in some cases, a lot of the times it can be an indication of a damaged blade as well.
- Forged knives are much better than the usual breed: This is simply not true. Of course in spite of the fact that enough number of legends, mythological and historical accounts have done enough to further this cause, the simple fact of the matter still remains that this itself is not an indication of overall strength.
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- The type of steel is proportionate to the hardness of the blade: The type of steel has no influence on the ultimate hardness of strength of the blade whatsoever and what makes the actual difference is the heat treatment of the steel. The Rockwell scale is the one that determines the hardness of a knife with most of them falling between the range of 54-60 Rockwell, but instead of basing your purchase only on the Rockwell scale, it would be more insightful if you find a knife that strikes a good balance between hardness and quality.
Because of their historical value, one needs to keep in mind that some of the myths concerning knives may have actually been true at a certain point in the past and due to that reason, it simply became a hardened fact regardless of all the advancement in technology from that point onwards. Clearly knife enthusiasts need to test out each of the myths for themselves so that they ultimately have a better overall understanding of how the mechanics behind knives actually work.