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Queen D2 Vs. Case CV

Dec 25, 2006
I read a lot about different steels on this forum, so I thought I'd share my experience with a couple of knives I recently acquired.

Some background... I think I can sharpen anything... and I prefer to use a regular india stone - aluminum oxide or whatever it is - and sharpen freehand. I have a lansky diamond kit and have used it a lot, but on a blade that is fairly easy to sharpen, I will use the stone & sharpen by hand. Sometimes finish on a little piece of fine ceramic I got somewhere - or a strop.

I got a Case amber bone canoe in CV, a steel which I have sharpened many times, and feel I can do well with on the stone. The same day I got a Queen carved stag bone canoe in D2. Having read everything I could here about D2, I was prepared to have to work on it a lot.

Out of the box, the Case was much sharper - I made a few passes on an extra fine DMT hone, and it was done. The Queen needed work - it was pretty dull.

So I got the lansky and went to work on the queen - I used an extra coarse diamond hone in the 25 hole and ground on it for what we in the south call "A WHILE" before I got down to the actual edge. Finished up with a lansky medium hone, and then the extra fine dmt freehand. Seemed pretty sharp, but not razor sharp like a Case CV will get.

SO I carried it a day or two, cut some sausages up with it... (incidentally, ANY trapper would be better to poke a frying sausage with - longer blades...) Used the case a little bit too... and ended up down at a coffeeshop with some time to kill so I got one of those wooden swizzle sticks and started whittling on it with the queen, and then with the Case... no contest - Case still much sharper.

That ticked me off, so I came home and got the lansky out again and ground on it in the 20 hole for A WHILE. Finished up the same way, and now the Queen is pretty doggone sharp. Now if it will hold that edge for A WHILE I will say I like it a lot better than the Case. But I sure hope it don't need that much to maintain it - a Case CV is pretty quick & easy to sharpen up.

By the way, fit & finish is a little better on the Queen. Case has twin backsprings, and the Queen has one. The case springs feel stronger, but the main blade rides over too far, and gets in the way of closing the little blade if you are holding it wrong. Truthfully, though, I like both of them. I'll probably carry both regularly.

I have a spyderco delica in VG10 and the D2 seems a lot like it - but harder. The edge will polish down nicely on both, but quicker on the VG10. I think the D2 seems a little better if you don't polish it down all the way on a ceramic or strop.
Great comparison, thanks. I have a Canal Street trapper in D2 that shows a D2 blade can come from the factory well edged and sharp. The rest of the knife doesn't impress me, so I'm not much for carrying and using it a lot. I would like to see how long a well edged D2 blade keeps its edge compared to CV and 1095. If, as so many have said, it does last MUCH longer than the carbon blades, then it might be worth a little "while" longer to resharpen. Still, my carbon and my stainless blades whip back up to a fast edge. Often I just make a few strokes on the back of my belt. If it needs more, then a few licks on a fine Arkansas stone seems to do the trick.

I have been impressed so far with what that slightly toothy edge on the D2 trapper can do. It does fine cuts yet rips through 1/2 inch manilla rope agressivley. Then again, my CV Peanut does the same. So user comparisons like yours are much appreciated on this end.
Hey Zip,

I found your breakdown of the Queen D2 & Case CV very insightful and useful thank you for taking the time to share that it was much appreciated..


Great review on these two Canoes my man!. Thanks very kindly for the information. I was just bidding on the exact same Case CV Canoe two weeks ago on the bay. That sucks about the Case Canoe having two backsprings. WTF, the whole reason I carry a Canoe in the first place is because of its slim profile with one backspring and double blade option!. If'n I had prevailed and won the auction I would have been sorely disappointed after I received the knife to find it had twin backsprings.:( :grumpy: :mad: :thumbdn:

As for the Queen Canoe with their D-2 the jury is still out for me.. Perhaps you could be kind enough to post here again on this thread after you get a little more road time with her and can let us know whether or not she held that latest edge you just gave her??. The only D-2 I have to compare your Queen D-2 to is my Bob Dozier's. And that is just not a fair comparison to make, because of coarse I am spoiled on those. Bob's heat treat and finish quench method along with the way he grinds his blades so ultra thin is the winning combination!! I put any of my Dozier's on my set of large Smiths Diamond Micro-Tool Sharpening Pads. First one is 325-Coarse and the second is 750-Fine. The result is arm hair shaving sharp in 10 minutes total. But again, I realize that Dozier's D-2 and Queen's D-2 are two very different critters.

BTW, Welcome Home to the Traditional Folding and Fixed Blade Forum..:) Hope you like it here.
About the springs, the case's two are very narrow - so the whole knife is actually slimmer than the queen. I think they are the same width, but the queen scales are a little fatter. Bolsters on the case are a little slimmer. It's a good Knife.

The biggest difference in the two other than the steel, is that the Queen blade opens up dead in line with the handle, and the case sort of stops short of straight in line, giving it sort of a drop point feel, which is alright. The case's blade is thinner on the back than the Queen too.
Exellent post, Zip. I only have a single D2 blade, a queen country cousin, and it does hold a very good edge but once it gets to needing a touch up I noticed it is harder to sharpen than my Case sodbuster of the same size, or my Eye-brand soddies. Not too much, but as you say, it takes "a while".
I think it's a shame Case focuses so much on the collector stainless stuff. Their CV is so nice for a using knife. At the hunting camp a couple of weeks ago I brought my stone and sharpened every knife there - the old yellow handle CV trappers were the easiest to sharpen by far.
I have almost half a dozen Queen's in the D2 steel, and while they are the very devil to reprofile a thick blade down to the angles I like, once there, they are simple to resharpen on mere ceramic crock sticks. I like the two angle edge, with the primary bevel at the 17 degrees setting from my Lansky, and the "microbevel" at 22 degrees. It does take that "while" with a coarse diamond hone to reprofile from the factory edge bevel IF the OEM blade grind is too thick. That Queen D2 is hardened to about 60 on C scale, as compared to approximately 55-57 on the Case CV, so that about the magnitude of difference you'll find in both sharpenability and edgeholding, the difference of 3 to 5 points of hardness. Never touched a Dozier, so I have no clue as to how much harder the D2 is on his knives. BTW, my Queens in D2 are the "mini folding hunter" (copperhead liner lock) CSB, copperhead stag, 39 folding hunter CSB, 74 fixed blade CSB, and 92 fixed blade CSB. Never been a big fan of the canoe pattern, but Queens single backspring muskrat is a nice knife, wouldn't mind having one. I have one ATS 34 Queen, the S&M F&W Mountain Man, and it didn't seem quite as hard as the D2 knives, for comparisons sake. I've never managed to dull any of these working them as small game hunting tools. I did dull the copperhead liner lock one day at work, cutting up mud crusted wet polyethylene sheeting to cover brick stacks with. A few minutes on the crock sticks, back to shaving hair. I had so much dirt in that knife that I had to slosh it around in a bucket of water before I could close it. Mistreatment maybe, but it was a pretty mean test on the edgeholding of the D2. It was still cutting the cruddy poly just fine at the end of the day, but wouldn't shave hair any longer. I have one Case in the CV, a 75 stockman, but I've never had the opportunity to put it to any harsh uses as of yet.
Great report Phil, I also have used both Queen D-2 & Case CV in pretty harsh situations, and I can't say anything bad about either one. While the D-2 was a tad longer in the initial sharpening IMO it did retain it's edge maybe 25% over the CV. But the CV was quicker to get back to the "hair shaving" edge. It's a trade off, the finer an edge you require the easier it is to dull.
Both are a good user steel IMO, just as good `ol carbon steel is.
.. About the springs, the case's two are very narrow - so the whole knife is actually slimmer than the queen. I think they are the same width, but the queen scales are a little fatter. Bolsters on the case are a little slimmer. It's a good Knife..
You are right of coarse in your observation here. Case makes a fine twin backspring Canoe in CV. I was looking at it from my point of view when I said I would be very disappointed, because I have been EDC'n a very thinly ground bladed Case from the middle 1970's knife with thinner, rounder bolsters, and one backspring when you compare the two different vintage Case Canoe's side by side.. See the pictures
(sorry for the crappy photo's) below and you will see the entire knife has a much slimmer profile all around. Top knife in brown bone is my more vintage EDC, lower knife in red bone is a middle 1980's example of a Case Canoe with twin backsprings and the thicker ground blades and thicker, more squared shaped bolsters. Additionally, the newer twin backspring Canoe has a lot more weight as well!

.. The biggest difference in the two other than the steel, is that the Queen blade opens up dead in line with the handle, and the case sort of stops short of straight in line, giving it sort of a drop point feel, which is alright. The case's blade is thinner on the back than the Queen too..
This is a good observation that I have always taken for granted and never really gave much thought too over the years. All Case Canoes have that 'drop point feel' as you put it. I first noticed this when skinning rabbits and squirrels after going small game hunting in my much younger days in north Florida. Case stock knives have that same slightly slanted feel when you use the spay blade for the same purpose.

Thanks again and looking forward to seeing you post again after your Queen in D-2 goes threw more of the rigours of your every day carry for a while.:cool:
The thickness of the blade makes a lot of difference I would think... the small D2 blade on my Queen is very thin and very easy to sharpen up with an india stone and WD40. It is too thin to fit in a lansky. The big blade is a lot thicker than the Case's big blade.

I have been carrying the queen for a while, and since I am not easy on knives in general, of course I have dropped it a time or two already. main blade has a little play in it, but not that noticeable.

I had to cut up some cardboard boxes, which hardly fazed the D2 at all. Today I took a box that a remington 870 came in that had been riding in the back of my truck for a while and cut it half in two - styrofoam inserts still in it. Pretty decent for a little blade. Wouldn't shave anymore, but still workable sharp. So I was sharpening another knife, and took the Queen out and made about 6 passes on a norton stone, and stropped it, and it's right back to shaving sharp.

I think I like the D2, except for a couple of things - The main blade on this knife is ground pretty thick, and the smaller blade is a lot easier to sharpen up on a stone. In fact, I think that in the canoe style, My Case's thin CV blade is a better fit. BUT... I think I am going to order either a Queen big trapper or a large stockman. I think the D2 would be the bees knees for a little heavier duty pattern. Thinking about all the old timer stockmans I abused as a kid... D2 would be the ticket there.

One thing about sharpening it - if you screw up a case on the stone, you screw it up pretty good. If you screw up the D2 it just doesn't get sharp. I kinda like the way it takes an edge. It does hold it pretty well too. Look and feel is real nice. The only bad thing I can say about it is that for a canoe, maybe the main blade could be a bit thinner.
You should look at the 1095 Queen Canoes. They have a much thinner blade than the D2 version. Not sure how they compare to the Case as I don't have one of those.
Does anyone know what Case knives are available in CV? I'm looking for a CV Peanut, and the only one I can find is the yellow handled one.
Besides yellow handles Smokie Mountain has CV Peanuts in Dark Red jigged bone and Damascus with Peachseed Jigged Burnt Amber Bone.

Granted it's been easier to find stainless steel models, are SS blades still good for everyday use?
Granted it's been easier to find stainless steel models, are SS blades still good for everyday use?

In my opinion, yes. While I prefer Case CV to thier SS, I have used their SS enough to think for most folks it is a perfectly good day to day steel.

I wish they would slightly improve their heat treating though!