D2 sharpness vs. sharpening medium

knarfeng

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Howdy,
I have read that some folks find they can only get a toothy edge on D2.
I have read that some folks find they can get an extremely fine edge on D2.

I'm wondering if the difference is due to differences in the sharpening mediums being used.

I've held back from buying any D2 blades because I currently only have Silicon Carbide and Aluminum Oxide sharpening media, and they are softer than the Vanadium Carbide found in D2. Sharpening media work better if it is harder than the material being ground, of course. So, I want to see if I'm going to have to buy some diamond before I buy a D2 blade.

So,
If you have a D2 blade, how fine an edge can you put on it compared to, say VG10 or 440C? And what kind of sharpening medium do you use to do it?

Thanks for your help,
Frank R
 

SOLEIL

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I usually use a wet grinder to reprofile D2. Then hit it with diamond, followed by ceramic, finished by strop. My D2 blades are mostly Queen fixed blades. The other is a CPM D2 Kershaw JYD II CB. I have finished them off with both smooth and toothy. Toothy works better for the Queen. Smooth works better for the Kershaw CPM D2 as they are different animals grain wise. It may just be the Queen HT, as other makers will probably show different results with similar methods. Still love the D2 steel overall.
I can always get a longer lasting edge with D2 than with 440C or VG10.
 
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Maybe I'm not the best person to answer because I'm not terribly motivated to get my blades uber-sharp like some of the videos on youtube. That said, I put a quite sharp, usable edge on my D2 knives with a Lansky sharpener (no diamond stones). If you're going to re-profile an edge, you might like to find another method. If you're maintaining a nice edge, I see no problem using it. Don't fear D2. It's great steel.
 
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I also highly recommend D2. It is very forgiving to sharpen freehand.
I like to profile a new blade first with a fine 600 diamond stone,
and then maintain it to a decent edge with hard Arkansas stones.

Norton also has some nice combo waterstones that work well on D2.
Once you get a proper edge on D2 it noticably outlasts most other steels.
 
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I don't think all D2 is created equal. I have 2 D2 knives that will take an extremely sharp polished edge, and a few others that will only take a toothy edge.
 

me2

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I though D2 had a lot of Chromium Carbide. When did they start putting VC in there? No wonder my belt sander had trouble with the 806D2 blade. That could have been user error on my part as well. Remove and replace nut behind wheel and all that.
 

knarfeng

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I though D2 had a lot of Chromium Carbide. When did they start putting VC in there? No wonder my belt sander had trouble with the 806D2 blade. That could have been user error on my part as well. Remove and replace nut behind wheel and all that.
http://www.crucibleservice.com/datash/ACFC3C.pdf?CFID=2091552&CFTOKEN=31390823
AIRDI
® 150 Issue #12

(AISI D2)
Carbon 1.55%
Chromium 11.5%
Vanadium 0.8%
Molybdenum 0.9%

Latrobe lists 0.9% Vanadium
http://www.latrobesteel.com/assets/documents/Sheets/Knife/LSS_D2.pdf
 

knarfeng

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Thanks for the responses. Very enlightening.
Broos, you had the most interesting comment of all.

Looks like I might have to try some D2, and then get some sparklers if I must.
 
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I use DMT hones. Red (medium) puts a great toothy edge on, 10 strokes on either side or so, and the green produces a very fine edge but that takes a considerable amount of time... maybe 20-50 strokes to get that micro-burr off. Then, watch out... hairs fly! As far as variations in D2, I have a Benchmade 710 and a Dozier K1, and can't tell the difference between the two as far as edge holding.
 
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D-2 has large carbides which lends itself to a micro-serrated edge.CPM D-2 has smaller carbides and is better in general. Many of our best blade steels are better sharpened with diamond and ceramic.The fine diamond can easily be used alone. Course diamond is used for rough shaping and of course bearing down hard on any diamond will quickly wear out your knife !!
 
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I use DMT diamond hones and then finish on a paper wheel. My D2 blades are among the sharpest and most are smooth (I like smooth, not toothy).
I just bought a D2 Fire Ant from Charles May, and it was the sharpest knife ever. Give him a call and see what he uses!
Greg
 

sodak

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I haven't noticed a difference between the edge that D2 can get and others, just the effort, depending upon the geometry.

I like using DMT red/blue, puts a screaming edge on my Doziers. If I want a bragging edge, I use an Edgepro - waterstones up to 600 grit, then 3000 grit tape.

D2 can polish up beautifully, and it can be a real edge holding "gold standard" by which you can judge other steels. I've had bad luck with Benchmade's D2, good luck with Dozier and Queen. The Doziers are the most consistent and have the best edge geometry for D2, IMO. YMMV.
 

Vivi

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Easily get hair whittling sharpness on my D2 Queen with my DMT fine stone.

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

I've been very happy with the Queen's steel. It hasn't shown any rust (The high polish they use helps), holds an edge great and obviously takes a good edge. My only gripe is the factory edge was terrible. Not just obtusely ground like most factory edges, but some of the blades were actually dull. Not able to slice paper, and I never slice paper to test sharpness, only push cut.
 
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Well my D2 blade is custom made, couple of years old, never been retouched and still shaves the hair off my arm...seems like good stuff to me.
 
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I use DMT diamond hones and then finish on a paper wheel. My D2 blades are among the sharpest and most are smooth (I like smooth, not toothy).
I just bought a D2 Fire Ant from Charles May, and it was the sharpest knife ever. Give him a call and see what he uses!
Greg

My May scandi 5-3/8" OAL knife (fire ant?) will tree top arm hairs, while the couple BOS treated D2 knives I've tried will not take a polished edge to tree topping sharpness, and I tried with water stones, sandpaper, and diamond loaded strops - I ended up taking them both back to a 20 degree/side 600 DMT toothy edge, because it just worked better. D2 is a great steel for a slicer.
 

knarfeng

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Still reading. "all contributions greatfully accepted"
Thanks,
Frank R
 
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