Polished Damascus

Jammer Six

Well-Known Member
Is it possible to polish damascus to a mirror finish?

I'm thinking about making a Damascus chisel. Wood chisels want a mirror polish on the back of the blade.

What would happen to the pattern?


"The Montana Bladesmith"
If you polish damascus to a "mirror finish" it's just going to look like any other piece of mirror polished steel.

It's possible to get many different "looks" with Damascus, based on the depth of etching, and the level of "polish" you apply. If you're thinking of what most folks would call "mirror finish", the majority or all of the "pattern" would be erased.

In general, the words "Damascus" and "Mirror Finish" are mutually exclusive. One thing that I think bears mentioning is that if you wish to achieve a "good" patterning in Damascus, stay away from buffing it....buffing damascus more or less "smears" the surface, creating a terrible looking etch/finish. Instead of buffing, damascus looks best when finely hand sanded to a 1200+ grit finish, then thoroughly cleaned before etching.

All that being said, there are a lot of different directions a person can take when finishing damascus, often times it just takes some time and experimenting for find what you like best.

Jammer Six

Well-Known Member
I see, thanks.

I think I'm just going to live with minimal polishing on the back of the blade; maybe even a Japanese pattern chisel.