Is D2 Steel Good For Knives

Knives are fundamental tools for cooking, hunting, fishing, or everyday tasks. Therefore, a high-quality knife is necessary for effective and long-lasting work. The knife quality depends on several factors, including the blade steel. In this blog post, I will talk about D2 steel and whether it is good for knives.

Though it has some dark sides, it may not be the best option for all knives. Before using, it is important to know the pros and cons of D2 steel.

What is D2 Steel?

D2 is a raw stainless steel material made with high-carbon, high-chromium, vanadium, and molybdenum elements, and air-hardening tools. It is comparatively tougher than much stainless steel on the market, and the Rockwell hardness is 55 – 62. 

D2 steel has excellent wear and abrasive resistance. What is d2 steel used for? It is typically used in cutting tools, dies, knives, and sharpeners.

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Properties of D2 Steel

One of the properties of every solid is its density and melting point. The density of D2 steel is 7.7 x 1000 kg/m3, and the melting point is 1421 °C. I have listed the pros and cons of D2 steel to better understand its features.


  • Exceptional Hardness and Edge Retention: D2 steel contains a high amount of chromium and its HC 55-62, which makes it very hard from others. As a result, it can retain its sharp edge for a long time.
  • High Corrosion Resistance: The chromium of D2 creates an extra overlap of the steel that protects it from rust and corrosion. However, this feature makes it an excellent choice for outdoor or humid environments.
  • Durability and Toughness: It has excellent durability and toughness, which makes a knife ideal for use and can withstand heavy use.


  • Difficult to Sharpen: Its hardness feature makes it difficult to sharpen. Always need the best knife sharpener to sharpen it. But I am not recommended for tasks where it needs a razor-sharp blade.
  • Brittle Nature: It is somewhat brittle in nature due to its high hardness.
  • Limited Availability: It is hard to find because it is not as widely available. Which makes it more expensive than other steel.

There are some brands like Cold Steel SRK, Benchmade Grizzly Ridge, and Gerber StrongArm are use D2 steel for their knives. In short, D2 steel is a perfect option for knives that are used for heavy-duty tasks.

Chemical Composition

The chemical composition of D2 steel is below:

ElementVolume (%)
Carbon (C)1.40 – 1.60
Manganese (Mn)0.60
Silicon (Si)0.60
Cobalt (Co)1.00
Chromium (Cr)11.00 – 13.00
Molybdenum (Mo)0.70 – 1.20
Vanadium (V)1.10
Phosphorus (P)0.03
Nickel (Ni)0.30
Copper (Cu)0.25
Sulfur (S)0.03
D2 Steel Knife

Is D2 Steel Good For Knives

Hardness, edge retention, high corrosion resistance, durability, toughness, etc. are some of the excellent properties of D2 steel, that makes it a good choice for knives. However, it has some negative sides, like difficulty in sharp, limited availability, etc., but all are recoverable very easily.

If you decide to buy a D2 steel knife, first you should know the pros and cons of that. In a nutshell, the edge retention, corrosion, and rust-free feature make it a great choice for all environments.

Comparison To Other Knife Steels

When purchasing a D2 steel knife, it is very important to compare it to other common steel knives. Typically, S30V, VG10, and 1095 steel knives can be compared to D2 steel.

D2 Steel vs 1095: Is D2 Steel Better Than 1095

1095 is a high-carbon steel that has fantastic edge retention, toughness, and durability. It may be a great option for a heavy-duty knife. But compared to D2 steel, it is more vulnerable to rust and corrosion.

D2 Steel vs VG10

VG10 is another high-quality stainless steel. But it is more expensive than D2 steel. On the other hand, VG10 steel is very difficult to sharpen than D2.

D2 vs S30v: Is D2 Steel Better Than S30v?

Both steels are very popular for knives. To know the distinction between them, please visit “is S30v steel good for knives“.

Is H1 Steel a Suitable Alternative to D2 Steel for Knives?

When considering the suitability of h1 steel for knives, it is important to compare it to D2 steel. While both steels have their strengths, H1 steel for knives is known for its exceptional corrosion resistance, making it ideal for use in marine environments. However, D2 steel offers superior edge retention and toughness, making it a popular choice among knife enthusiasts. Ultimately, the choice between H1 and D2 steel depends on the intended use and individual preferences.


Is D2 steel easy to sharpen?

Actually, it is not easy to sharpen, but very easy if you are a professional. As it is hard steel, wears resistance, and is high on abrasions, it is difficult to sharpen for beginners. So, if you want a razor-sharp on d2 steel, you should use the right tools or sharpeners.

How hard is D2 steel compared to other steels?

The density of D2 steel is 7.7 x 1000 kg/m3, which is more than other steel. On the other hand, the Rockwell hardness is 55-62. So, it is the hardest steel than others.

Can D2 steel be used for heavy-duty knives?

Of course, yes. Due to its qualities, it is a fantastic option for heavy-duty knives. However, due to its brittle nature, it is not suitable for work that puts a lot of stress on the knife.

Is D2 steel better than stainless steel?

D2 and stainless steel both are better for different properties and applications. D2 steel is excellent for wear resistance and edge retention, whereas stainless steel is better for its corrosion resistance.

On the other hand, D2 is better for high-wear resistance applications like knives and cutting tools, whereas stainless steel is better for corrosion resistance tools like cookware and medical instruments.

Is D2 steel good for the fixed blade?

Yes, D2 steel is good for the fixed blade, but 1095 carbon steel is the best because of its high toughness levels.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, D2 is a perfect steel for making knives. After reading the full article, you can understand that it can keep high-edge retention. And its high-density toughness is remarkable. As a result, the lifetime of D2 is more than others. From the above discussion, it is truly said, D2 steel is good for knives.

To understand more about D2 steel and its properties, you can consult knife-making professionals, or join knife forums and visit knife manufacturers’ websites.

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