This handmade Nebula Damascus Skeleton Knife looks like it was forged by Zeus himself

With that uniquely gorgeous crack-like pattern on its surface, the knife looks positively electric, with bolts of lightning running down from hilt to blade!

I’ve been in the writing business for 9 years, and what I truly love about it is that you still manage to learn new things every day. I pretty much considered myself well-versed in Damascus Steel, but browsing through my YouTube introduced me to this new, gorgeous variant of the marbled metal. Dubbed Nebula Damascus, this steel doesn’t have the signature waves and bands you’d see in conventional Damascus Steel. Instead, it sports a cracked, cell-like pattern on its surface, looking somewhat like a nebula (hence the name). This form of steel is simply created by forging ball bearings together, causing them to compress and condense into a block. The bearings deform and fill the gaps in between them, creating this unique-looking surface that your eyes can’t get enough of.

The knife in question is a beautiful all-metal piece, forged by YouTuber HANS. The procedure gets documented in the video above, and although it looks deceptively simple, there’s a lot (of effort and expertise) that goes behind making any form of Damascus Steel, as most experts will tell you. In fact, it took HANS 7 failed tries before he arrived at this gorgeous piece of art.

Designer: HANS

The Nebula Damascus Skeleton Knife is an all-metal EDC with a fixed-blade design. The highlight of the knife is the material itself, but it gets complimented by a skeletal design which also involves a few strategic cutouts in the blade to help reduce weight while also giving your finger a place to rest/fidget while using the knife. The knife’s dagger-point blade has sharp edges on either side, which culminate in a pointy tip that you can use in a variety of ways. This also gives the Nebula Damascus Skeleton Knife an ambidextrous design, which most people will appreciate.

HANS creates a billet of steel by pouring ball-bearings into a metal pipe and sealing both ends. The pipe then gets hammered, heated, and hammered again into a workable billet of metal, which HANS then cuts his knife shape into. It’s a laborious process that requires a lot of forging/hammering (you need to ensure there are ZERO air gaps between the bearings), but the end result is quite unlike anything you’ll have ever seen.

Once the knife’s shape is formed, it gets a meticulous amount of sanding/polishing to ensure the surface is as perfect as possible. The sanding/polishing is then followed by the final step, immersing the knife in an acid bath to reveal the edges between all the ball-bearings. Notably, most forgers fill the air gaps between the ball bearings with powdered metal, but HANS chose to skip this step. The result is a wonderful faux cracked surface that gives the knife an otherworldly charm. You can follow the rest of HANS’ endeavors on his Instagram page.