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Sharpening D2 steel

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by dgc1, May 9, 2008.

  1. dgc1


    Nov 16, 2007
    How do you sharpen your knifes made with D2 steel?
  2. markksr


    Mar 15, 2007
  3. mhawg

    mhawg Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    When you love knives you got to love to sharpen knives. Once you decide on the edge geometry it's just scrape it on that rock 'til it looks right. When that wire-edge comes up it feels so good!
  4. Nakano 2

    Nakano 2

    Jan 1, 1999
    Diamond dust impregnated benchstones by Eze Lap or DMT. Diamond dust cuts aggresively. More so than most any other stone. Key is to not let your edge go too dull. Only light touchups are necessary once you find the correct angle with your new edge bevel. For this, a fine or super fine grit is will do you just fine. I think most find that lining up your knife to the correct angle (consistently) is more difficult than the actual removal of the hard steel!


  5. vic2367


    Sep 15, 2006
    D2 is very difficult too sharpen,,what nakano said is very true,,,dont let it get too dull..
  6. KeithAM


    Dec 15, 2003
    I use an extra course diamond hone or my Edge Pro to establish an edge bevel of 12-15 degrees per side. Diamonds or the Edge Pro 120 waterstone cut D2 without any problem. Then I maintain a micro bevel using a Spyderco Sharpmaker with the rods in the 40 degree inclusive setting.

    I've never thought of any of this as difficult -- may take a little longer than milder steels -- but it's not difficult. YMMV.
  7. The same way I do all the rest, same stones and same ceramic sticks.

    If they get to dull, maybe start with a diamond hone.
  8. KeithAM


    Dec 15, 2003
    I hadn't thought about it that way but you stated it perfectly.
  9. Grampa


    Jan 17, 2006
    Same as I sharpen all my knives:

    On a Harbor Freight 1x30" belt sander.

    Nothing works better! :thumbup:
  10. nozh2002

    nozh2002 Banned BANNED

    Jun 9, 2003
    D2 is not any magic steel. It as pretty easy to sharpen. This is old tool steel as I hear developed in WWII time to substitute expensive high speed tool steels and so pretty cheap. Now days some manufacturers promotes it as a premium steel because it has good properties and very cheap. But there are many steels which are way better. So D2 is actually average steel among good steels.

    So nothing really special about it and nothing really special about sharpening it. Of course it is more difficult then sharpening cheap kitchen knives, but if we are talking about modern pocket or utility knives - nothing special at all, it rather easier to sharpen then average premium steel.

    Thanks, Vassili.
  11. richard j

    richard j

    Apr 1, 2007
    i use cardboard wheels to sharpen all of my knives. i havent ran across a knife that i couldnt get sharp unless the knife was made from junk steel. here is a video of how sharp you can get a knife with these wheels. http://www.myculpeper.com/richardj/MLNA0018.AVI
  12. Dog of War

    Dog of War

    Sep 4, 2004
    Bob Dozier, who IMO is kind of the King of D2, recommends diamond stones and sells DMT hones from his website. That should tell you something. :)

    It's not that D2 can't be sharpened with ordinary silicon carbide (grey Crystolon) or even aluminum oxide (brownish India) stones ... as I understand it, the problem has to due with the fact that D2 contains better than 1% vanadium and can form very large aggregates -- i.e. large particles of vanadium carbide which is much harder than silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, or natural stones like Arkansas. So what can happen on the softer, non-diamond benchstones is that these areas of carbide can't be cut by the stone, and get torn out in the process, leaving a less-than-ideal, weakened edge. Diamond stones or boron carbide are the only common abrasives I know of that are actually hard enough to cut these carbides, and so will give you a better edge.
  13. nozh2002

    nozh2002 Banned BANNED

    Jun 9, 2003
    This is absolute true for CPM S90V:


    And for CPM S30V


    And may be for M2


    But not for D2


    it is just a bit higher then A2


    and O1


    but not to the extent which may make it hard to sharpen even with Ceramic.

    Anyway if you serious about sharpening - DMT is best solution for today.

    Thanks, Vassili.
  14. F3X


    Dec 10, 2006
    I can get a mirror edge on my 1200 and 6000 Japanese Water-stones quite easily from my Queen & Seki/Lum D2 knives.

    I have a Sharpmaker as well and will touch up D2 well but no where near as fast as the WS.
  15. Dog of War

    Dog of War

    Sep 4, 2004
    IMO .9%-1% vanadium is enough that it can be a problem, especially since D2 is known to form unusually large aggregates. Of course if you're not trying to achieve a very fine edge, then it doesn't matter.

  16. Dog of War

    Dog of War

    Sep 4, 2004
    IMO .9%-1% vanadium is enough that it can be a problem, especially since D2 is known to form unusually large aggregates. Of course if you're not trying to achieve a very fine edge, than it doesn't matter.

    Again, not necessarily, Vassili. Diamond stones are great for hogging off a lot of metal fast, or working very hard or high carbide steels, but I don't particularly like them for finish sharpening. I also think many here would argue the merits of waterstones, for example.
  17. smitty0331


    Dec 5, 2006
    DMT coarse stone followed by a med., and then fine Spyderco alumina ceramic stones.
  18. nozh2002

    nozh2002 Banned BANNED

    Jun 9, 2003
    I, have no problem with this, personally. To me this is easy steel to deal with. And I can achieve very fine edge.

    Lets not take it out of context and put different meaning. You bring DMT here saying that Dozier suggested it on his website. Well, I may suggest same and I do not see how it may be related to D2. DMT is one of the best (if you like) sharpening system and if you are serious about sharpening - you have to have them.

    Now I did not say anything about high finish - if you like to know my opinion - I use CrO see other thread for details here.

    Anyway I have first hand experience and I am saying as many here - D2 is easy to sharpen. My conclusion is based on what I have done myself.

    Thanks, Vassili.
  19. theonew


    May 16, 2006
    In my experience D2 can take a very fine edge.

    See this post
  20. Dog of War

    Dog of War

    Sep 4, 2004
    Vassili - I'm not saying that D2's hard to sharpen, just that results depend on the medium used. And we do seem to agree that diamond is the best way to go.

    However you can't realistically compare the vanadium content of D2 the way you have to that of CPM steels which are engineered to permit higher vanadium content without the associated problems in non-CPM steels. Here's a brief reference from Crucible:


    D2 is known for its tendency towards segregation of carbides. While it's true that D2's wear resistance is largely due to the chromium carbides, vanadium levels in D2 are higher than the .15%-.20% needed for grain refinement and hardenability. So much of that .9%-1.1% vanadium in D2 is available for carbide formation -- and again, because it's not a CPM, and due to overall makeup of the alloy, these carbides have the potential to be fairly large.

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