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Thread: Sharpening D2 steel

  1. #21
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    sharpmaker with Diamond rods, with Grey stones, with white stones. No worries.

  2. #22
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    I find that DMT hones work best to put a scary sharp edge on my Dozier K1. It takes longer to achieve that than with most other steels, however.

  3. #23
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    I've got one D2 knife that will take a fine polished edge, and a couple others that absolutely will not take a fine edge (they cut much better at a 600 grit finish). Not all D2's are the same in my experience, though I'm happy with them all.

  4. #24
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    I'm going to jump in real quick about diamond stones...

    On my S30V Spyderco, I sharpen exclusively on DMT. Typically the extra fine stone; 3-5 passes once a week is typically enough. If for some reason I let the edge go, and its gotten pretty rough a few times, the dmt fine stone is aggressive enough to clean it up. I also will sharpen more traditional steel like my sak's and my old Imperial's on the dmt. They come out great with a nice fine edge but still some good micro serrations.

    That said, on the finer-grained steels like sak's I typically finish on either my arkansas medium or at about 1200 grit wet-dry paper backed with leather.

  5. #25
    I always have difficulty sharpening D2 to shaving sharp. My Ontario TAK D2 (Rat Cutlery RC-4 Knockoff [copy]) seems to never get scary sharp no matter how much I try. I can get it moderatly sharp but thats it. I also have a queen cutlery D2 knife, the same story.

    My Benchmade axis D2 and the Benchmade small Balisong both come with a shaving sharp edge from the factory but they don't feel like it, when I lightly touch the edge with my fingertip (that D2 feel) I am afraid to attempt further sharpening due to my experience with the Ontario.

    On my Ontario (mediocer factory edge) and my Queen cutlery (plain crap factory edge might as well have no edge) I have used free hand method with both Razor edge stones, also freehand on spyderco rods both brown and white (I wont use the white on D2 anymore too fine). I even bought an Edgepro Apex with D2 in mind I used the 124 grit and the next finest. Although it somewhat reprofiled my improperly ground Ontario Tak (toward the front) I didn't get it scary sharp. I also tried a DMT coarse diamond rod before all of above but I am afraid I used it improperly and ruined it (I used hard pressure when sharpening) and it has never sharpened the same since.

    The diamond rod did however give the D2 edge more bite, it felt like it, but not anyware near hair popping and flinging razor sharp nor that gritty cut through anything coarse shaving sharp edge of my Billy Potter handmade O1 knife.

    Maybe I'll get another diamond rod and use gentle pressure when sharpening along with patience.

    My dozier NY Special came shaving sharp and does seem to have adequate bite more so than all my other D2 knives, but it still has that D2 dull feel to it (feeling edge with finger tip), which is strange to me because the Dozier despite that feel, is truly indeed hair flinging sharp (very sharp) so my tactile sense is not the end all.

    Also my TAK's front portion, although better, is still not quite as good as I would like. Reprofiling that is a PITA.
    It seems that others here have more luck with D2.

    Maybe I should send my duller knives out to someone who specializes in sharping to reprofile and sharpen the edges (some one with power grinders.) I don't find D2 to be an easy steel to work on. That is my take on D2. Any opinions?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broos View Post
    I've got one D2 knife that will take a fine polished edge, and a couple others that absolutely will not take a fine edge (they cut much better at a 600 grit finish). Not all D2's are the same in my experience, though I'm happy with them all.
    If you're happy, great. But what is the benefit of having large vanadium carbides ripping out from a polished edge? Given that lots of maker's can produce D2 without that happening, I would consider it to be a substandard heat treat.

  7. #27
    I usually use a combination of both extra rough and extra fine DMT diamond stone. When my D2 Stryker loses its edge, I usually sharpen it with the extra rough stone, and finish it with the etxra fine stone. And an addition of stropping the edge with white canvas cloth (comes with leather strop) to create a shaving sharp edge. However, I usually stop at the extra fine. A General Utility Knife (we got SUVs for cars, gotta have GUTs for knives, right ?) should have a toothy kind of edge to be a more effective cutter.

  8. #28
    I think greater said it best. My Dozier's came shaving sharp and are still sharp after quite a bit of use. So it would seem the best way to sharpen D2 is to buy a Dozier.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozh2002 View Post
    D2 is not any magic steel. It as pretty easy to sharpen. This is old tool steel as I hear developed in WWII time to substitute expensive high speed tool steels and so pretty cheap. Now days some manufacturers promotes it as a premium steel because it has good properties and very cheap. But there are many steels which are way better. So D2 is actually average steel among good steels.

    So nothing really special about it and nothing really special about sharpening it. Of course it is more difficult then sharpening cheap kitchen knives, but if we are talking about modern pocket or utility knives - nothing special at all, it rather easier to sharpen then average premium steel.

    Thanks, Vassili.
    I disagree absolutely. D2 is cheap (relative to something like S30V, it is still a very expensive steel) because it is produced in large batches (for the tool and die industry) in plants that have been producing it for decades. The new "super-steels" are expensive because they are new and they are made in smaller batches for more specialized uses such as jet engine bearings. D2 is a wonderful steel that unlike many steels shows it true colors at very high hardness. I have to be disappointed with D2 in any knife that I use. I find it to hold a decent edge for a very long time, and choose D2 above 154CM and S30V.

    As for the original question: I keep all my knives sharp and touch them up on a Spyderco white benchstone. If it dulls, I strop it a few times on some 400 grit sandpaper first.

  10. #30
    Well, I did not done formal testion of D2, only Friction Forged D2, but even this 68HRC blade performs worse then any CPM S30V and of course CPM S60V.
    http://playground.sun.com/~vasya/Man...e-Results.html
    It keeps 80g sharpness for 220 cuts, while CPM S60V keeps it up to 800 cuts.

    I doubt that D2 will do better then FF D2.

    Thanks, Vassili.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by theonew View Post
    If you're happy, great. But what is the benefit of having large vanadium carbides ripping out from a polished edge? Given that lots of maker's can produce D2 without that happening, I would consider it to be a substandard heat treat.
    I do not understand what you are saying. I haven't had any trouble with chipping or edge retention (though I haven't used them hard) with any of my D2 knives. I was just making the observation that in my experience, all D2 is not created equal when it comes to taking a polished edge. To me that is really not surprising.

    Quote Originally Posted by nozh2002 View Post
    this 68HRC blade performs worse then any CPM S30V and of course CPM S60V.
    http://playground.sun.com/~vasya/Man...e-Results.html
    It keeps 80g sharpness for 220 cuts, while CPM S60V keeps it up to 800 cuts.
    No offense, but I am not ready to accept that your testing is proof of this - especially in light of the methodology used in the CATRA testing released in the FFD2 threads.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broos View Post
    I do not understand what you are saying. I haven't had any trouble with chipping or edge retention (though I haven't used them hard) with any of my D2 knives. I was just making the observation that in my experience, all D2 is not created equal when it comes to taking a polished edge. To me that is really not surprising.
    Does the D2 that won't take a polished edge offer some other benefit, such as greater toughness or edge retention, than the D2 that will take a polished edge? If the answer is no, then I would consider the former to be substandard production for that type of steel.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by theonew View Post
    Does the D2 that won't take a polished edge offer some other benefit, such as greater toughness or edge retention, than the D2 that will take a polished edge? If the answer is no, then I would consider the former to be substandard production for that type of steel.
    Fair enough - though I do not think I agree with you completely, since there are a lot of people swear by their D2 Doziers (and other makers) that have that aggressive and toothy edge. I also prefer polished edges generally, but the toothy type edge has its place. I think they require more work to make almost any cut versus a very sharp polished edge, but in some respects I can see why some prefer it, because a really sharp polished edge can under some circumstances cut too fast, while the toothy slicing edge cuts only when sliced, and I could argue that it offers more cutting control than the polished edge.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broos View Post
    because a really sharp polished edge can under some circumstances cut too fast, while the toothy slicing edge cuts only when sliced, and I could argue that it offers more cutting control than the polished edge.
    That is an excellent point!

    Nevertheless a toothy edge can be had with any steel providing you stop sharpening at a coarse enough grit.

  15. #35
    I sharpened a Dozier D2 folder with a Dan's black arkansas stone with very good results. It didn't take too long. Ordered a DMT stone though.

  16. #36
    I have a Queen Copperhead in D2 steel. I have been very disappointed with the D2. I cannot get the sharpness that I want. The blade will just barely shave after much work on a fine oil stone and will lose that level of sharpness with minimal use. Recently I have went back to a Case stockman with CV steel. While it does take a little extra care with the carbon steel, it is so nice to have a really sharp knife in my pocket!

  17. #37
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    Why is any steel with high wear resistance considered hard to sharpen?

    It takes more strokes, that is all. More time consuming, but more difficult? I think not.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=SrknF_Uwo8w

    My Queen stockman is one of my sharpest knives. I too sharpen D2 like anything else.

  18. #38
    Nice video Vivi. I just got a Queen Canoe D2 bone in trade and can't wait to get it in shape. Great feeling knives.

  19. #39
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    I sharpen D2 the same as any other steel. Like Vivi said, it just takes longer, but that doesn't make it more difficult.

  20. #40
    I have no problem sharpening D2....even using a 30 year old stone where the fine side of my benchstone is runs across it like glass. It always comes back to razor sharp with very little effort.

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