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How do you sharpen your D2 tool steel knives?

This is a discussion on How do you sharpen your D2 tool steel knives? within the Knives forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; How do you sharpen your D2 blades? Ceramic or other? Any tips? Thanks!...


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Old May 2nd, 2012, 07:39 PM   #1
 
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How do you sharpen your D2 tool steel knives?

How do you sharpen your D2 blades? Ceramic or other? Any tips?

Thanks!



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Old May 2nd, 2012, 07:42 PM   #2
 
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You can try a diamond stone. It cuts fast on regular knife steel so go slow and light. Use water and don't use oil on the diamond stone.

Mark
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 09:16 PM   #3
 
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I've been known to use the hones and holder from a DMT Aligner kit with the clamp from a Laskey kit to set the bevel on my Queen knives in D2 (most of them come with a barely usable edge and need to be set). The diamonds work pretty fast even on the very abrasion resistant steels like D2. With diamond hones you can go all the way from coarse to fine and you don't need any other stones (unless you just want to use them) and you don't use any oil or water.

I've also set the bevel on D2 blades using a Norton Crystolon (silicon carbide) double sided stone (Course/Fine) freehand. The Crystolon works pretty fast as well but is more coarse so you may want more steps to polish the edge. When I do it this way I finish up on a medium and then fine ceramic benchstones from Spyderco.

For less intense sharpening I'll use a Spyderco Sharpmaker or just go right to the ceramic benchstones, depending on my mood and how much work needs to be done to get the edge right.

Diamonds work for everything, but they're more expensive. I've used the Norton/Ceramics setup for everything from 1095 to S30V and even the more exotic steels such as CPM-M4 and M390 and had good results. D2 seems to respond pretty well to either.

I wouldn't recommend trying Arkansas stones for D2. I've messed around with that before and there really isn't any point - the Arkansas stones just aren't hard enough to cut D2 efficiently. You could grind away for hours and see very little progress. I've not tried Norton India stones with D2 although they work well enough for 440C and AUS8. A lot of "aficionados" use Japanese water stones and report that they work very well for just about everything, but I've never used one so I can't really speak for that.

As far as tips for D2 I can only think of a couple. The first is don't give up. D2 is a very wear resistant steel and it can take a while to sharpen - the payoff is better edge holding but it can be frustrating. You can use a sharpie marker to color the edge and see where you are removing metal to get an idea of how much progress you are (or aren't) making, sometimes it makes it easier when you have that easily visible indicator. The second is don't try for too thin an edge. D2 has some pretty large carbides so its very difficult to get a really thin edge on it because the carbides start tearing out at low edge angles. Keep your angle around 30° inclusive (15° per side) or more and you'll have a much easier time getting sharp, and your edge will last longer because you'll be taking advantage of the strengths of D2 and its large carbides (increased wear resistance).

Hope this helps and good luck!

Last edited by gunsnknives; May 2nd, 2012 at 09:18 PM.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 05:39 AM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunsnknives View Post
As far as tips for D2 I can only think of a couple. The first is don't give up. D2 is a very wear resistant steel and it can take a while to sharpen - the payoff is better edge holding but it can be frustrating. You can use a sharpie marker to color the edge and see where you are removing metal to get an idea of how much progress you are (or aren't) making, sometimes it makes it easier when you have that easily visible indicator. The second is don't try for too thin an edge. D2 has some pretty large carbides so its very difficult to get a really thin edge on it because the carbides start tearing out at low edge angles. Keep your angle around 30° inclusive (15° per side) or more and you'll have a much easier time getting sharp, and your edge will last longer because you'll be taking advantage of the strengths of D2 and its large carbides (increased wear resistance).

Hope this helps and good luck!
I like your D2 advice and use my diamond stones without water or oil either. you can get a good blade alignment at the end with a beer coaster. Run the blade backwards on the coaster, a couple of stokes on each side and you can get the hair splitting satisfaction! ; )
Tony
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 11:59 AM   #5
 
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Is something like a diamond pocket sharpener good for touch ups? I have one by Gerber
and my D2 knife has an edge but it just isn't quite sharp enough yet.

Thanks for all the advice and the tips! I have many carbon steel knives but only one D2 so I was a little lost on how to care and sharpen it.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 01:25 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartan88 View Post
Is something like a diamond pocket sharpener good for touch ups? I have one by Gerber
and my D2 knife has an edge but it just isn't quite sharp enough yet.

Thanks for all the advice and the tips! I have many carbon steel knives but only one D2 so I was a little lost on how to care and sharpen it.
Should be if you keep your angle right.
Tony
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 02:09 PM   #7
 
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Hopefully your diamond pocket sharpener is one with fine grit, 600 grit, not medium or course for the best edge. After using the pocket sharpener you should stoup the edge on leather with polishing compound to remove the burr that the fine grit sharpener created.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 03:40 PM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by hillbilly knifemaker View Post
Hopefully your diamond pocket sharpener is one with fine grit, 600 grit, not medium or course for the best edge. After using the pocket sharpener you should stoup the edge on leather with polishing compound to remove the burr that the fine grit sharpener created.
I didn't think about the sharpener being used on a coarse side, good thought! Have you ever tried the beer coaster method for the burr? No polish, no strop, just a few pulls and it seems to work? If you get a chance, try it and let me know?
Take care,
Tony
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