any opinions on d2 griptilian..

Dec 14, 2004
Im not all that farmiliar with d2..any pros or cons? actually can i have some info on d2..thanks
Welcome to Blade Forums!!!

D2 is a perculiar (sp)steel. its not carbon steel or's "semi" has @ 12% chromium, and you need 13% to be called stainless

i've always wondered why the manufacturer went to 12% and not all the way to 13%??? Anybody know??

it's a very highly regarded steel on BF...some would say equal to S30v....others would say almost equal

the custom knives i own (Ingram and Dozier) are D2 and i am very happy with the steel (and the knives)

it's not a pretty steel by any means, but for field use its awesome

others who are better informed will add to this little bit of knowledge

BM knives are also very highly regared on BF....especially the axis lock models like the Grip.....all in all you cant go wrong w/ a D2 Grip.

Dont hang around on BF too long, or you will get "hooked" and be spending a lot of money :D

It's super hard with great edge retention. I think BM BT2 coats all D2 blades as well. If you have to sharpen it (not touch up kine) it will take longer because it's harder, of course, but it you keep the edge well maintained, it should serve you very well.

Oh, another thing, supposedly you can get a better cutting edge by having a steeper grind and still have that edge retention value.
The D2 version is much superior to the 440C Griptilian, although you sacrifice the stainless ability. D2 discolors and rusts fairly easily, but it holds and edge twice as long, and can be made sharper.
bill G

D-2 was created as a cold work tool and die steel. The chromium was added to create chromium carbides for high wear resistance at the expense of toughness. Manufacturers had no interest at the time, (1930’s I believe) in rust resistance, and it has only become somewhat common among knives recently. I believe Ted Dowell was one of the first custom makers to use it back in the 70’s. It makes a very good steel for knives, as it does a number of things well. In general, it is not as tough as the less stainless type steels (A-2, O-1, and the plain carbon steels) and not as rust resistant as the 440 series and their clones.


As I mentioned above, D-2 makes a very good knife steel. Your choices in the Griptilian being 440-C, D-2 and if you can live with a different blade shape and more cost, CPM S30V. If rust or discoloration is a serious concern, then I would suggest the 440-C, it will hold a very good edge, albeit not as good as D-2. If edge retention and is more of your concern, then go with D-2. I have yet to have D-2 actually rust, but I have discolored several knives, cutting organic materials with it. It hasn’t hurt the knife, it just doesn’t look as pretty. If you have enough money to spend and like the blade of the Ritter Grip, then S30V apparently offers the best of both worlds. I don’t have S30V heat treated by BM, but I have used a Camillus Dominator quite a bit and have had no trouble with discoloration and the edge seems to hold up just fine. Frankly, I find it difficult to notice any difference in edge retention between the quality steels form makers like BM, Camillus or William Henry. I have no doubt there is a difference when they are measured in a lab under controlled conditions, but in daily, come what may use, I can’t see a difference.

The "semi-stainless" nature of D2 depends a lot on where you live IMHO. I've got a couple D2 bladed Benchmade Bali-Songs, and neither need very much upkeep. In fact, I basically ignore them when it comes to upkeep. But I live in dry-as-an-oven Arizona (although monsoon season might keep me busier).

People often describe D2 as a pain in the ass to sharpen. They're right. Actually, sharpening isn't that bad, since it holds an edge for a long time, but if you have to reprofile, make sure you pencil in several free hours into your day timer. While the 440C on my BM Bali-Songs is very good, the D2 lasts much longer between touch-ups on the Sharpmaker. The 440C has a tendency to microscopically chip (I think it's slightly too brittle at the hardness BM treats it to), but the D2's carbide structure resists it (I read somewhere that the carbides are 15x larger on D2 compared to 440C).

S30V is somewhere inbetween the two steels. I'd give the nod to D2 for edge retention, but S30V isn't far behind. It's easier to sharpen, but less so than 440C. Corrosion resistance is excellent, properly finished.

For a working knife, I'd go with the D2, and make sure to upkeep it. If you only use it ocassionally, I'd go with the S30V.
D2 is probably the steel most impacted by heat treat.

While I am a huge Benchmade fan I am not a big fan of their HT on D2. My experience has been that it tends to be on the brittle side and chips a little more than I like.

With that said the 806d2 is one of my favorite hard use knives for utility work around the house. It holds an edge for a good time and has great ergonomics.

For a true D2 experience check out Bob Dozier, his D2 meets or exceeds S30v based on my non scientific experience. Bob's D2 is the bar for all other D2's to reach IMO.

In my opinion if you are looking for a good EDC type knife and do not have a lot of sharpening experience or skills go with 440c.

Also, with an EdgePro d2 is a breeze to sharpen :)
I have a regular 550 and a D2 556. I love the 556 and am definately going to get a D2 551. Go for the D2 blade, no comparison IMO.
And I reprofiled the blade on my 556 using a lansky and it wasnt hard and didnt take a super long time. Now to resharpen I just lightly wisp it freehand over a 1000grit stone and it brings the razor sharpness right back.
I don't think D2 is worth the trade-off of slightly longer edge retention (if any) for less corrosion resistance and more difficulty in sharpening.

Don't be fooled in to believing that D2 will hold an edge TWICE as long as 440C.

Using Benchmade's heat-treatment, there is'nt much difference between 440C (58-60) and D2 (59-61) when it comes to harness either.

Good luck,
I have the 556 D2, and highly recommend it. I have put it through my standard edgeholding tests against a few other known steels, all with the same edge bevel and edge polish (extra-fine DMT, which is about 1200 grit, IIRC). The 556 D2 is slightly better than my Buck BG-42, which was slightly better than my Spyderco S30V, which came in just ahead of my Queen D2, and Kissing Crane carbon steel (their better stuff, in a standard slipjoint pattern). There was not a whole lot of difference between any of these, but these are a step above my other "better" steels, like my Spyderco VG-10 and older Benchmade ATS-34. My tests involve cutting measured amounts of cardboard and pine. So if edgeholding is your goal, the D2 grip or mini-grip would be a good choice. The other factor to consider is corrosion resistance, since S30V, BG-42, 154CM, and VG-10 will be better at resisting corrosion. And, most importantly, find one that you like and that fits your hand well, with good edge/blade geometry. That is more important in cutting ability than absolute edgeholding.
I have a Ka-Bar Dozier thorn with a D2 blade. After you cut through all the BS, the best way I can describe D2 from my experience is that it holds its edge awesome, but it is hard as hell to sharpen. I have never had any problems with corrosion, and I live in WI were it is pretty humid most of the time. All you have to do is wipe it down with a little oil of some kind before you put it away and it will be fine. Minimal care is all that is needed to keep it from rusting.