What is D2 Steel?

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You are looking at a blade with amazing characteristics and good reviews. And it features an edge made from high quality D2 steel. The fact that you are not a metallurgist or you simply have not had any experience with this type of steel in the past, you begin thinking if it is any good for a knife blade.

The truth of the matter is that D2 is considered one of the oldest steel grades, which have been utilized for many years in creating knives or blades. However, that isn’t enough to convince you that it’s superior and high-quality steel for blades.

So, in this article, we will talk about what D2 steel is, the composition, the many benefits, and the top knives available out there made of this material. So, sit back, relax and continue reading!

What Exactly D2 Steel Is?

D2 steel is an air-hardening tool rich in chromium, carbon, molybdenum, and vanadium elements. It is a dying form of tool steel, hence the “D” designation. It boasts superb edge retention and also features extremely high wear resistance characteristics.

The high level of chromium also provides it good anti-corrosion properties once in the hardened condition. On the other hand, it also features machinability and grindibility and is demanding and taxing to work with for the makers of a knife.

D2 isn’t stainless steel as it only has 12 percent chromium, making it fall 1 percent short of the Chromium content required to classify as stainless. And as such, this is termed as semi-stainless.

D2 is a very common type of steel, and it has been utilized in the whole thing from mid-tech industries to custom makers; it’s spreading into the low-priced knife market. It is tool steel which is specifically not stainless. On the other hand, D2 is notorious for being one of the oldest and longer-lasting edge retention steel. That is one of the many reasons why many knife manufacturers include this in the creation of blades.

What Are the Composition of D2 Steel?

  • It has 1.50 percent carbon that boosts hardness and improves wear resistance and corrosion.
  • It has 12.00 percent Chromium that boosts tensile strength, toughness, and hardness. It also boosts corrosion resistance. As it’s less than 13 percent, it makes this semi-stainless.
  • It has 0.90 percent Molybdenum boosts hardness, hardenability, toughness, and strength.
  • It has vanadium that increases toughness, strength as well as wear resistance. It also enhances corrosion resistance.
  • It has 0.45 percent Manganese that boosts wear resistance and hardenability. On the other hand, high quantities of Manganese increases brittleness and hardness.
  • It has 0.40 percent silicon which increases corrosion resistance and strength. 
  • It has 0.02 percent sulfur to assist or enhance machinability 

Benefits of D2 Steel 

Perhaps you are asking what the benefits of D2 steel are. Let’s talk about how we can benefit from this material. 

Wear Resistant 

This is one of the main perks of D2 steel. D2 performs well and excellently in this area, to the extent of being crowned the king of wear-resistant amongst knife makers and users. D2 provides extremely high wear resistance that allows the knives or blades to provide high abrasion resistance, not like most of the usual stainless and carbon steels utilized for making knives at this point. 

Edge Retention 

The ideal recipe for amazing edge retention in the field of steel is high hardness. This is the case with this steel. It has an abundance of carbon which increases its toughness and allows it to maintain a sharp edge for a long time compared to some budget-friendly steel out there. Therefore, if you need a blade that does not bother you when it comes to sharpening, it is highly advisable to choose D2.


As this steel is extremely hard, it has a low score when it comes to toughness. On the other hand, it is not the worst; it provides enough toughness that allows it to survive a lot of heavy duty cutting jobs like light chopping without breaking or chipping. If you are looking for a blade for heavy duty jobs such as batoning, chopping, and many others, it is highly advisable to look into other steels available with improved toughness and durability than D2 steel.


This steel isn’t easy or simple to sharpen. This is due to its high wear resistance feature. However, that does not mean you cannot sharpen a knife made of this steel once it gets dull. You will only need to spend much time obtaining an ultra-sharp edge than you would do with simple to sharpen steel grades. Skilled blade users also recommend utilizing ceramic sharpeners for this steel in order to get the best results.

Corrosion Resistant

Does D2 rust? Yes, but not easily. Once you leave your knife in a wet area for a very long time, then expect to have signs of rust. Ensuring you clean and dry the knife made of D2 steel after using it is a good way to keep it free from rust.

Top Knives Made with D2 Steel

The existence of D2 steel keeps on growing in the industry of knife, particularly due to the low budget, many superior low budget blades are developing their name, this is because of the D2 steel they offer amazing toughness and high wear resistance. 

This type of steel can also surpass or math the notorious S90V and M2 steel; what is more, it is extensively available and can be bought for a low price that providing a great perk to this material. So, without further a due, here are some of the top knives with D2 steel. Check this out!

Cold Steel Leatherneck Sf Tool Knife 

If you plan to expand your collection of Cold Steel blades or just need a good fixed knife for tactical application, a Cold Steel Leatherneck knife is the ideal choice. It has a remarkable set of features for a low price. It has amazing style and is very comfortable to hold and use. 

It also features a D2 steel blade, amazing steel that provides high abrasion resistance while taking and holding an edge for longer compared to other forms of steel with the same price. The blade comes razor-sharp and cuts perfectly without any stress and struggle. 

Never forget that this knife comes with a non-reflective black powder covering to improve its corrosion-resistant features and keep the low location profile as well. This is also ergonomic. It has a profoundly checkered Kray-Ex handle that provides high grip capability and feels comfortable in hands. With a solid steel two-quillon guard, fingers will not glide into the edge when utilizing this blade, providing assurance of utmost safety and security. 

This D2 steel knife also has a versatile and sturdy secure X-sheath that allows you to bring it conveniently and safely. Included in the sheath is a totally detectable and ambidextrous harness loop, thus making it easy to use. 

Kershaw Natrix Copper Pocketknife

This is one of the best everyday knives manufactured by Kershaw. Natrix Copper is available in a very compact style that fits easily in the pocket, and the drop point blade measures 2.75 inches do any daily cutting jobs you throw its way. You can buy this knife for a very reasonable price despite its durability and reliability.

This is made from high quality D2 steel that has remarkable edge retention and wear resistance. It also provides you with good toughness as well as good corrosion resistance, which makes it a perfect option for a daily carry knife. This blade is superbly sharp and has its blade ideally centered.

It has a patented sub-frame lock and keeps a slim profile while offering superb lockup without lock stick problems. It has swift, smooth as well as incredible action.

Perhaps the main attraction of this knife is the copper handle that isn’t just tough but also optimized with scales to provide a comfortable grip. Because of the copper handle, this blade has an amazing solid weight, further boosting the cutting performance of this knife.

Always remember that this blade comes equipped with a deep carry, reversible pocket clip to allow you to attach easily to your coat, jacket, day pack, backpack, gear bag, and duffel bag.

Ontario Rat II Linerlock

This is a preferred EDC for a lot of knife fanatics worldwide. It has a fancy-looking design with great build superiority and has a 3-inch D2 steel blade. The blade of this knife is ideally centered and has a good, even grind; therefore, it will provide great cutting performance.

It comes with a G10 handle that looks amazing and is an exception as most EDCs out there come in black color. With an amazing handle, rest easy that it will feel secure and comfortable in your hand. It measures four inches when closed and can snugly fit in a pocket. It is super lightweight, making it very comfortable to carry.


D2 is the perfect steel for the blade. The highlights take account of superb wear resistance as well as the capability to keep a great cutting edge. Also, it has decent toughness and can be used for many years without sharpening most often. It also provides good corrosion resistance due to chromium content. 


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