18% HSS Made in England 10" x 1 1/8" x 1/8" Planer Blade

May 28, 2000
I have been trying to get some D2 but all I found is the above and a varient 22% HSS. Tried getting more info but the guy that sells them cant and wont give me anymore details. He makes a living selling and resharpening planer blades. Any of you guys know what kind of steel that is? Please remember my location before asking me to buy from US suppliers. I would like to get local if possible. Thanks for the help guys!!
They are probobly m-2 (or something along that line) and if you're into cut and grind they make a fine knife. I've had no luck forgeing them. the steel was designed to be "hot hard". at bright yellow they shater at white they splater. there was no in between. (If you want to play with jointer/plainer blades look for a cabinet or mill work shop and ask them for their ruined ones, for heaven's sake don't buy knew ones)

as for a supplier of D-2 I'd try McMaster-Carr but I don't know if that will help you
HSS is NOT M2.......its the same stuff they make low end drills and end mills out of.......its a decent Hardenable steel.....but no where near as good as D2, M2, or any of the higher carbon tool steels that we use to make knives.....If you cant find anything then get some 440C (its relatively cheap- $4 per lb) and it makes a GREAT KNIFE>
Most if not all planer blades are a " type" of D-2 Usually with about .68% carbon and about 12% chromium. It is not rust resistant like 440-c or ats-34 but is far better than M-1 which has only 4% chromium and if M-1 were used in a planner mill would rust like crazy with all the moisture in the wood. Frank.
Hi Kevtan
Welcome to the forums!
I have a few old planer blades in my shop right now. They are the hardest material I have ever worked with.
After annealing twice, I still cannot even drill a hole for a bolster pin.
They grind OK is you go slow and keep them cool, but they sure aren't soft enough, even after annealing, to do much with.
I was going to make a draw knife, but after trying three different pieces they are off my materials list.
The gentleman earlier was correct- don't pay for them. Cabinet makers throw them out when they get dull, and most are happy to give you as many as you want.
Good luck!

Dave Evans
Tenino, WA
Thanks for the info. I think Windancer hit the nail on the head. The planer blades usually dont rust if kept dry, but the spot tuoched by fingers will rust. The rust will scrape off though. I plan to use a 4" grinder to saber grind and profile the blade. Using a wet rag under the blade to keep from burning the blade. Also will wrap the handle with mil spec cord strider style.

Dont plan to buy the blades as they cost quite a lot:
3pcs of the above mentioned size for about $55.00

Also dont have a sample to try weather the hand grinder will bite into the blade. The guy who sells them says they use either diamond or carborundum stones to grind them.

Got my eye on the Dozier reverse tanto in D2. Money or lack thereof is the problem. The exchange for Malaysian RM is $1 = RM3.87 by Visa.

Anybody else do good work with D2 that I can contact?

Thank you.
guys I am a cabinet maker and I may not have the numbers right but I know this steel. It will dress 1000 bd ft of 1in rough rock maple to a lovely clean 3/4 today and be ready for 2000 more tomarrow. It's tough!!!

If you want some to play with talk to the people who use it .
a 24 inch blade that is broken is useless in the woodworking shop.but you can have a lot of fun with it

cut it by scoring "v"s on both sides on the edge of the grinding wheel. then snap it off(wear gloves use vicegrips, be safe)

I grind it on an old 12in rockwell disk sander. (the start capasitor went out so you have to start it by hand. but it will go either way now this is a goood thing) over the years I've used just about everything to work it.

I recomend getting some to play with, but see if you can scroung it your supplier is to expencive.
Planer blades are really not "that" hard but of course are up above 56 rockwell. They are brittle and because of their course grain structure are difficult to sharpen but have edge holding about 20% less than properly done 440-C with crogenic treatment. Planer blades can be ground with good sanding belts-- ceramic ones work the best of course. You can drill holes in planer blades with cement drills which have silicon carbide tips. Silicon carbide spade bits will of course also work but care must be taken because of the thickness-- 5/32" is standard for saw mill use. Knives made from this material are quite useable but because of the edge holding and brittleness are in my opinion well done the line as a good blade steel. Freeze treating the planer blade does help to improve its overall qualities. This certainly reminds me of my problems years ago when I couldn't seem to find any 44o-C or get the heat treating done. I did make quite a few hunters from this steel and people seemed to be pleased with it but then in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king. I even made a folder with this stuff for a planerman. Frank.
I regularly grind on all sorts of HSS and Carbide, as I do tool & cutter grinding on the side.

You can grind on most types of HSS using a standard aluminum oxide grinding belt, or wheel. I use the belts on a regular basis to bark off heavy damage, then to the T & C grinder to finish the job. The belt sander minimizes the heat build up in the tool, and removes the most material quickly. (Of course, all you experienced knifemakers know this)

The wheels I use are mostly CBN (Cubic Boron Nitride) for grinding the HSS, but when I re do the ends on end mills, or sharpen drills, and sharpen hog end mills, I use an aluminum oxide wheel for the best results. Of course, Carbide gets the PCD wheels (Poly Chrystalline Diamond), or depending on the type of carbide too, I will use a SiC wheel. (Silicon Carbide)

In short, almost all HSS will make a decent knife. It is tough enough, impact resistant, and abrasive resistant, and holds an edge quite well. Just use some sort of protectant, as it WILL rust!!!

I'm currently 'working' on a knife project using a chunk of M-42 HSS (high cobalt content), and I'm doing it on a belt grinder. So far, so good. I'll finish it someday, I hope!!!

Also, before I forget, don't try to forge or heat HSS that already has been heat treated. Eric already has learned that you cannot forge already hardened HSS.
read in the Busse forum that Infi does not lose temper at 400deg, so I was thinking that HSS may be of the same stuff. I have seen HSS being used for lathe bit. What do you guys think?
In my limited experience, HSS can be almost anything, but the one property all of these steels seem to have in common is that they're air hardening, so our normal annealing methods usually won't get them much lower in hardness than where they started. They have to be heated to their criticial temps and ramped down over days. Rather expensive, and not doable at all for those of us that don't have HT ovens. I've made all of two knives out of a D2 planer blade, one forged and one stock removal. Came out with two entirely different knives. The forged one took a better edge, but corrosion resistance was WAY down. The stock removal one had the limited rust resistance that we've all come to expect from D2, and took the standard edge. Both held their edges for an obnoxiously long time.
The big lesson that I've learned from this is that planer blades are great for making knifemaking tools out of. I've got a few of unknown steel (M2, I think) and I'm going to make a new sen out of one. I doubt that I'll be making too many more blades out of them unless I start getting my belts and bits for free, though.