D2 Steel Review – Is It Good For Knives?

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Steel knives are a staple in every kitchen. As a homeowner, you must have heard of D2 tool steel knives. But does this material make a good cutting tool? With this D2 steel review, you can find some useful information about this aspect.

We are confident that with the following source of information provided, you will be able to arrive at a sensible decision before buying a new knife. Now, let’s get started!

What Is D2 Steel?

People also call this steel “semi-stainless” because it doesn’t have enough 13% Chrome to resist rust. But it can live up to excellent edge retention and corrosion resistance. 

D2 is harder than 154CM and ATS-34 steels, holding sharp edges that are slightly better. You must have a certain skill and technique to sharpen due to its hardness.

D2 comes in a wide variety of types and is produced in many places such as the US, Germany, Austria, Taiwan, and China. 

Bohler and CPM’s D2 steel uses powder steel technology, so in general, the quality slightly outweighs it. The ratio of fine powder steel is even, so the powder D2 is sharper, and the grain texture is firmer.

Chemical Composition

Image: @zknives

Standard hardness for small knives is 60-61HRC, and D2 fulfills this standard with 57-62HRC. Although it is semi-rust steel, D2 tool steel is also difficult to rust if kept dry, and rust is also easy to clean.

It is a versatile high-carbon, high-chromium, air-hardening tool steel with a high hardness capacity and strong wear resistance. It is made up of the following elements:

  • Carbon content of 1.5%
  • Chromium content is 12%
  • Molybdenum content is 0.9%
  • Vanadium with a concentration of 1.10%
  • 4.5% Manganese
  • Silicon at 0.40%
  • Phosphorus content is 0.03%
  • 0.02% point Sulfur

As you can see, it’s high-chromium steel, which offers hardness and excellent corrosion resistance. In terms of composition qualities, it’s practically stainless steel. All in all, D2 is good steel for knives.

Related: 8Cr13MoV Chemical Composition

D2 Steel Properties

The D2 blade is built to cut – that’s for sure. When it successfully completes that task, people will be interested in the three main properties of this knife.

Edge Retention

Edge retention is the parameter that helps your knife to stay sharp during use. The higher the grade, the better the blade retention, and vice versa. 

This feature is true for the D2 tool steel. It has a high carbon content, enhancing its hardness and retaining a sharp edge for far longer than other low-cost steels. So, if you want a knife that doesn’t require much sharpening, get the D2.


The harder the steel, the more resistant it is to bending, twisting, and deformation when used. It has a hardness range of 57-61 HRC. Increased wear resistance and edge holding qualities arise from such a high hardness level.

Ease Of Sharpening

One of the most important aspects of a knife is how easily it can be sharpened when needed. However, in the case of D2, this task is not that easy. 

Due to the high wear resistance, you will need to spend a lot of time achieving an ultra-sharp edge than you would with easy-to-sharpen steel grades.

Related: S30V Steel Properties

So, Is D2 Steel Good For Knives?

With our review above, our answer to this question is definitely “yes”. Due to its exceptionally high wear resistance and great edge retention, D2 is an ideal choice for manufacturing knives. 

Furthermore, it has good hardness and sufficient toughness. Because of its high chromium concentration, it is also corrosion-resistant and may be used in damp and humid environments.

However, because of its exceedingly high abrasion resistance, the steel is exceptionally difficult to sharpen. However, a decent diamond sharpening will suffice. It also lacks hardness and will not withstand heavy-duty use such as chopping, batoning, and so on.

In general, if you want a knife that performs well and is affordable, you can’t ignore a D2 steel knife.


Now we’ll help you find the answers to problems you might be wondering about. Here are some frequently asked questions that are related to this topic.

1. Is D2 tool steel easy to sharpen?

It is an air-hardened tool steel with a high chromium concentration. It’s simple to work with and has a good appearance, but you can’t easily temper the blade-like other high-carbon steel because of its hardness. 

Therefore, sharpening might sometimes be challenging, as mentioned.

2. Does D2 tool steel rust?

D2 is corrosion resistant, and if you maintain it well, there won’t be any rust problems. D2 is resistant to corrosion in water, and it doesn’t require oil for moisture repelling like higher-carbon steel. Make sure you stay D2 knives away from saltwater and wipe them clean after use.

3. Can you sharpen D2 with ceramic?

Any excellent hard stone may be used to sharpen D2 tool steel. However, because of the hardness of the steel, a diamond stone will cut quicker. 

Some softer stones will require a long time to obtain a nice edge, which is difficult to perform by hand. The ideal materials would be diamond or ceramic.

4. Is D2 better than 440?

D2 has much more carbon than 440C. Therefore, it is typically tougher. Sharpening D2 takes more time. Yes, it is a little more difficult, but the edge retention is better than on 440C. 

440C is stainless steel and should not rust; it has far more chromium than D2, which helps avoid corrosion. D2 is one of our favorite steels to work with when properly handled.

5. Is D2 tool steel better than 1095?

D2 is tool steel, which means it is harder, holds an edge better, is more difficult to sharpen, and is more brittle. 1095 has a high carbon content, is softer, simpler to sharpen, does not retain an edge as well, is more flexible, and rusts more quickly.

If you seek a knife for simple kitchen tasks, 1095 will satisfy you. But a D2 knife will get the job done with more heavy-duty work.


After reading through this D2 steel review, you completely comprehend the advantages and drawbacks and can easily determine if it is appropriate steel for your knife. 

The steel’s features include outstanding wear resistance and the ability to keep a razor-sharp edge. You will benefit from this fantastic steel, which has a plethora of exceptional features.

After all, thank you for reading!

Further Reading: Speedy Metals Information for D2 Tool Steel


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