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ZDP-189 is a powder metal die steel developed by Hitachi Metals of Japan. This stainless alloy achieves an unprecedented hardness of HRC 67, translating into superlative sharpness, edge holding, and wear resistance.
William Henry worked closely with partners in Japan to develop a laminate that captures a 'core' center layer of ZDP-189 within softer layers of 420J2 stainless steel for our blades. The ZDP creates the razor sharp edge, while the softer layers offer tensile strength and support. The layers are revealed in heat treating and polishing, showing an elegant seam in the blade that mimics the traditional 'temper lines' seen on Samurai swords.
Black Coated ZDP-189
Black (Tungsten DLC coating) This is a surface coating that has a molecular bond with the ZDP blade. The coating has a hardness of about 88 HRC, even tougher than our blade steel, and wears beautifully over time and use.

Wave Pattern ZDP-189
William Henry's patent pending Wave Damascus features a ZDP-189 core clad with alternating layers of stainless steel and nickel silver. The billet, 45 layers in all, is patterned with a custom die to create the undulating waves that emerge across the bevels of the blade. This material can be dark-etched for contrast, or etched and re-polished for a more subtle pattern.

Copper Wave w/VG 5 core
This William Henry exclusive blade steel (patent pending) incorporates copper and stainless steel into a 45 layer Wave Damascus that features a core of VG-5 stainless steel. This steel attains a hardness of HRC 59, excellent by any standards, at the cutting edge.
We use a wide range of custom-forged damascus billets to make blades. Mike Norris is one of our principal suppliers - he uses Sandvik 19C27, D2, and 302 SS to create tapestries in stainless damascus. Typical hardness for this material, when finished into blades, is HRC 58-60. Among the patterns we offer from the forge of Mike Norris; Raindrop, Ribbon Lace, and Hornet's Nest.

William Henry also uses steel from Devin Thomas, hand-forged from stainless alloys to the highest standards. Sandvik 19C27 and 302 SS are forged into fine 120 layer (or more) billets for our blades. We use patterns from Devin that include Typhoon, Dot Matrix, Herringbone, and Twist.
Dot Matrix
- Devin Thomas
Hornet's Nest
- Mike Norris
- Mike Norris
Ribbon Lace
- Mike Norris
- Devin Thomas
- Devin Thomas


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3200 NE Rivergate Street, McMinnville, Oregon 97128 | 888.563.4500 | 503.434.9700

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