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5160 vs D2 steel knife.

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by angi, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. angi


    Apr 28, 2011
    im interested in something 6-7 inches long bayonet/bowie style military. hows 5160 compared to D2 when it comes to toughness, edge holding and rust resistance?
    You can recommend me some good bowie/bayonets ~7 inch blade with kydex sheath?
    one guess is ka-bar d2 extreme /kydex but what about Ontario Spec Plus Fighter or the spec plus 2 sp 43 BUT ontario dont carry kydex sheaths...
    Any other suggestions besides ka-bar d2 extreme w/ kydex sheath?
  2. DennisStrickland

    DennisStrickland Banned BANNED

    Jun 24, 2009
    i have one of the ka-bar d2 issues from about 8 yrs. back, it's a good performer.---dennis
  3. Thomas Linton

    Thomas Linton

    Jun 16, 2003
    There are better people to answer.

    D2, a tool and die steel, has almost enough carbon to be "stainless." Unprotected and unmaintained 5160 rusts but does not pit. Hence it's use in vehicle springs.

    A D2 knife will probably have better abrasion resistance (so harder to sharpen). A 5160 knife will probably be less likely to micro-chip or crack. 5160 is routinely used by knowledgeable smiths and makers for large chopping tools - large, heavy knives; swords; and khukuris. Either can be sharpened to very good sharpness.

    A bayonet, with some exceptions, is made to stab and not to bend before breaking in the process. A good tool if you are looking to stab vs. cut or need an extra tent stake.

    What knife you buy should be based on your needs, skills, and actually seeing if the tool feels "right" to you. Irrational factors often enter into choices - the "cool" factor (whatever is "cool" to you.). I know what is "cool" for me. I have no idea about you.

    Welcome to Blade Forums and happy hunting.
  4. angi


    Apr 28, 2011
    so means the d2 will pit ? any other knives to recommend in bowie/bayonet style that have a kydex sheath?
  5. The Mastiff

    The Mastiff

    Apr 21, 2006
    D2 has better corrosion resistance than 5160. It has better wear resistance as well. 5160 is much tougher and is used in the cutlery world for chopping, or large tough knives and even swordmaking. It is a spring steel by design. It sharpens easier than D2, and will corrode quicker depending on things like finish and coatings.

    Both are excellent steels and , like all steels have their niches where they are very useful, and are very good at what they are good at.

    I have the D2 Kabar Extreme and in my opinion if it broke from anything it would be prying type stuff first. The handle/grip area would be the next area to break after the tip. It's not weak or delicate at all and would only break if exposed to forces or uses not designed for. It is an excellend knife.

    I also have several Ontarios in 5160 and like those as well. They have everything from light'ish .1875 inch stock up to .250 inch in their ranger line ( .3200 ish of S7 in their Ranger signature line). The Spec plus 43 is 8" long, 1875 inch stock which makes it a light, good feeling knife with strength probably not that much greater than the D2 Extreme. Not enough to cause me to chose one over the other. I'd go by feel, and projected uses more than any other attributes as both knives are competent, well built with the D2 Extreme probably having the edge for me in a self defense knife with the training I'm most familiar with. Just as a chopper, slicer either would do it with the Spec plus having the very slight edge in slicing stuff. I'd want a smaller knife than either for detailed work.

    Good luck.

    BTW, the 5160 really comes into it's own with the big Ranger 9 inch, .250 inch ( quarter inch thick) choppers. The Big , super thick .330? S7 signature knives in S7 are kind of indestructible feeling knives that have the ergonomics of a railroad spike. :)
  6. sasquatch1


    Mar 16, 2011
    .330 s7 tool steel, hmmmm i think i might want one
  7. nozh2002

    nozh2002 Banned BANNED

    Jun 9, 2003
    You are talking on low end inexpensive knives and steel quality depends on how good heat treatment is. In this case I doubt
    manufacturers have heat treatment which brings best out of one or other steel. So to choose knife in this context you better
    ask if anybody had any problem with this or that particular model or manufacturer.

    Choosing steel like you do make sense if you are ordering custom from high rated knife maker and sure that he do best HT
    for your knife. In this regards 5160 may be better steel in terms of toughness then D2, but this does not mean that D2 is
    unacceptable brittle. It is depends on what are you going to do with knife you are looking for.

    My recommendation for you based on sample you use would be one of Swamp Rat models - RatManDo. It is not 5160, it is
    52100 with very good HT (which is more important).

    Regards, Vassili.
  8. The Mastiff

    The Mastiff

    Apr 21, 2006
    I have to agree with Vassili if the OP has the money. The Ratmandu in particular should fit any needs you have in this class of knives. The SR101/52100 is an excellent steel. It takes great edges, is pretty tough and the knife is built well. If you need to choose between the two knives asked about good luck. They are both good knives and should give good service.

  9. Charlie Mike

    Charlie Mike Sober since 1-7-14 (still a Paranoid Nutjob) Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 1, 2000
    I've had a DDR custom 5.5" Maxx in D2 oxidize from pocket and waistline carry. I EDC a 5.5" forged fixed blade in a leather sheath and have had no oxidation besides the gradual and inevitable patina.
  10. angi


    Apr 28, 2011
    thank you guy for all the good replies now i know even more about steels. now i have in mind some good knives ( imo) : fallkniven a1 , tops marine heat, ka-bar extreme d2 bayo, zt 9 bayo, ontario spec plus sp50 and entrek survivor. i wanna get all of them
  11. The Mastiff

    The Mastiff

    Apr 21, 2006
    This place can have that effect on most of us. If you bought every one of those knives this week you would still find knives you wanted by next week. :)
  12. Thomas Linton

    Thomas Linton

    Jun 16, 2003
    It can be hard sometimes to remember that the objective was to cut something(s).
  13. angi


    Apr 28, 2011
    true that

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