There are many myths surrounding damascus, it makes a superior steel, better cutting, better edge retention. True? Well in my opinion yes and no. Damascus really used to be a superior steel at its time, it was a crucible steel, now known as wootz. It was the best that could be made as an edge steel at the time and still wootz is a great focus of interest and study. What is termed "Damascus" is really pattern welded steel. Two steels which contrast well and heat treat well together. So is it just like a good single carbon steel with different patterns? It depends on the steel choice type of pattern used or overall all construction. The differences in alloying elements between the steels make slight differences in hardness or wear resistance between the layers. As the edge wears you get micro serrations. This can be very beneficial especially on a slicing style knife such as a Sujihuki. As it looses its razor edge it retains some teeth giving extended cutting ability between sharpening. But choice of pattern is of course key to getting the most from this. A high layer feather pattern would be a prime example of a good pattern to use to gain this effect, as the layers all cross the edge.
Next time I will get on to choice of steel for Kitchen knives, in damascus, san mai, (3 layer, hard core) and for mono steel blades.
Many thanks do add comments and opinions. These are mine based on my own readings and experiences with my own Damascus.