If you enjoy this review, please help keep Storm Gods on line.

Zwilling 8-Inch Euroline Stainless Damascus Chef’s Knife

title stars
title stars
title stars
title stars


Bob Kramer has a cool day job. He makes knives, and then he makes big bucks selling them through his web page. He’s a master blade smith – not an honorary title – and he’s spent years learning how to make knives that stay sharp.

Making steel from which edged weapons are crafted – or edged kitchen implements, in this case – is an art that dates back several millennia. Discussions of serious knives usually get around to something referred to as Damascus steel… which is more or less what Bob Kramer and other master knife makers create. The “more or less” aspect of Damascus steel arises from few experts on the subject being able to agree exactly what it is, or exactly how it was made.

The original process of creating Damascus steel has been lost in the dust of ages, although a number of contemporary researchers and craftsmen claim to have rediscovered it.

In its simplest sense, Damascus steel is formed by heating billets of iron, folding them in half with plant material interposed between the layers, hammering the resulting billet flat and repeating the process until your arms fall off. German researchers in 2006 discovered that surviving examples of historical Damascus steel include carbon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers, materials that are impressively leading-edge today.

Damascus steel is fabulously hard and strong, allowing it to keep an edge without being brittle. It also has a distinctive appearance – its surface is an intricate maze of teeth, as illustrated in the picture at the beginning of this posting.

The only real drawback to Bob Kramer’s superb hand made knives is that you’ll probably never actually own one. His auctions run to four and five figures for a single knife.

In the entirely likely event that you don’t have a large cask of money in your basement to be spent on a kitchen utensil, you might find some comfort in knowing that several years ago, Bob Kramer entered into a business relationship with Zwilling, the purveyors of the ubiquitous Henckels kitchen knives. He arranged to have his blade-making techniques employed by Japanese craftsmen at a Zwilling factory in Seki. Japan has a history of expert steel-making every bit as storied as that of Damascus… and they still remember how their traditional processes work.

The result of all this international back-slapping has been a series of reasonably affordable chef’s knives that look like they could be authentic Damascus steel, and more to the point, behave like it. They’re based on hundred-layer folded steel blades, with differential hardness to ensure that the center of the blade – effectively the part that gets an edge – is hard enough to stay sharp. The blade has a core of 63° Rockwell hardness steel.

The Zwilling eight-inch Euroline Damascus chef’s knife will prove to be the ideal general-purpose chopping and slicing knife for most chefs. It’s large enough to grip comfortably and to do significant damage to vegetables and meat, but it’s not long enough to become unwieldy. It’s also flawlessly balanced, and fitted with a handle that all but fuses with the hand of whoever wields it.

The Zwilling Damascus knife is remarkable to use, especially if you’ve hitherto contented yourself with its many cheaper and less well-made cousins. It can be employed for extended periods of time without your hand and wrist feeling like they’re about to catch fire or run screaming from the room. While it’s lethally sharp, it’s a good deal safer than less vicious knives owing to the control its edge imparts to its user.

Apparently you do need to sharpen these things in time, and the procedure for doing so is somewhat involved. This said, after a year of doing battle with all manner of foodstuffs, ours doesn’t appear to have lost a molecule of its edge.

If there’s a drawback to the Zwilling Damascus knife, it’s that it does require somewhat more attention and care than lesser blades. Ideally, it should be oiled frequently, preferably using a care kit which is marketed by Zwilling and to date, which appears to be permanently out of stock everywhere we’ve shopped. In practice, there are a number of species food grade mineral oil that can be used to care for it.

Sharpening this knife, at such time as it becomes necessary, entails a set of variable grade stones, also sold by Zwilling.

Another issue inherent in the Zwilling Damascus knife is its unique size and shape. We’ve yet to find a knife sheath or a block that will accommodate it. Ours continues to reside in its original box, which is starting to look a bit ragged.

Finally, while the Zwilling Damascus knife is decidedly more affordable than a genuine Bob Kramer blade, plan on parting with anything up to five hundred dollars for one of these knives. Long after your credit card stops screaming, the knife will still be flawlessly sharp.

Both engaging to look at and a treat to use, the Zwilling Damascus chef’s knife is a unique accessory for any serious domestic warrior. With two or three thousand years of steel making behind it, it arguably qualifies as a mature technology.

Our Zwilling Damascus chef’s knife came from Williams Food Equipment in Windsor, Ontario – shockingly, they had the knife in stock when all around them maintained it was a special order with delivery times best expressed through carbon dating, and they shipped it for free.

Comments (1)

LoriDecember 7th, 2015 at 5:45 pm

Thank you for your review. I just purchased one of these beauties for my partner for christmas. The knife felt good from the minute I picked it up. I’m sure he will be pleased.

All the best,