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I am planning to get a Benchmade Osborne 960. The blade is D2 steel that is going to hold a edge very well. My concern is will the edge be to brittle for daily use and be any more prone to chip on the edge than any other high grade steel. Anyone have experience with this steel.

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It's a good steel, sort of a middle ground between high carbon tool steel and stainless.

Stainless steels contain a minimum of "about" 17% Chromium in their make up (varying 1 or 2 percentage points depending on whom you ask). It's been a while since I've looked at the info but IIRC, D2 contains about 15% Chromium - so, while it's "technically" a tool steel, it's right there on the border of stainless. The result is a steel that can hold it's edge longer like the high carbons (52100, A2, M2, etc.) without requiring as much TLC to prevent corrosion. It won't retain it's edge as long as M2 (my absolute favorite knife steel) but should outperform most stainless like 440C, 154CM, etc..

I've got a couple examples of Benchmade's D2 and they've performed quite well for me. Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about chipping - that'd be more readily apparent in something like the wonder stainless S--V series (30, 60,90, etc).

Check out Crucible Steel's site for everything you've always wanted to know about steels - it's the Knifemaker's Mecca :wink:
http://www.crucibleservice.com/eselector/general/generalpart1.html

For the absolute ultimate in high performance steel take a look a Jerry Hossom's 3V Tacticals - incredible knives and a true gentleman of the craft. I had the pleasure of speaking with him at length at BLADE a few years ago, the man and his work are amazing:
http://hossom.com/
Jack
 

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I've built a few Bowie knives from D-2 that I eventually traded for guns. Most had 12 inch blades with 5.5 handles. Thickness was 1/4 and 5/16 of an inch. I "zone" heatreated the edge of the blades. These were big knives, meant to be used.

These knives could be thrown and stuck into a tree deep enough that you had to put your foot on the tree to have enough leverage to get it out. For years I used one for camping in the wilderness. I could cut down a tree with it. I never had any of the edges "chip out".

Chipping out is the result of getting the edge too hard. You really dont need it that hard, as it'l lbe tough to sharpen and brittle. The harder the knife becomes the more brittle it will be. The trick is to find a happy medium of heat treat that will hold and edge, be sharpenable, and tough.

Some knife manufacturers do this and some dont. Its really not the fault of the steel, its the fault of the one that heat treats it...
 

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D~2

D-2 sharpens best with diamond sharpeners.
It will rust...keep a light coat of paste wax on the blade.
It holds an edge really well.
I like D-2
It IS tough to machine & tough to work but, it makes for a nice blade.
 

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Speaking of metal grades. My knife has 440 stainless. Is this why I can't seem to keep a decent edge???? Or do I just need to learn how to sharpen?
 

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440 stainless is just "OK" for a blade. Its not meant for hard use, rather things like pocket knives that only get used occasionaly that you dont want to rust. When it came out many years ago it was an improvement over the steels back then as it could take a fine polish, take a workable edge and not worry so much about rust. Its also cheap.

Now, there are much better steels. 440 will take a fine edge, it just wont hold it long, even if you can sharpen it reasonably well.
 

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Jarhead:
Is the blade 440A or 440C? 440A is IMHO worthless as a knife steel. 440C, when the HT is done right, can yield a pretty decent knife for the price - it won't hold it's edge as long as 154CM or S30V, or get quite as keen of an edge for that matter but it can be useful. Especially in harsh environments like fishing knives that won't get much upkeep.
Jack
 

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440

440 needs a diamond sharpening system.
You need to maintain the EXACT same Angle through all of the sharpening stages from coarse to fine & remake the entire edge.

Actually I think 440 gets the best working edge by not going too fine on the honing & sort of leaving a micro serrated rougher edge.

BUCK was terrible to get a truly sharp razor edge on...& that is why I dumped BUCK & my Buck folder.

I'm spoiled now...I won't go back to any knife with a 440 blade.

Just my opinion on that.

I love the AUS 8 steel.
 
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