We are truly living in a golden age for cutlery. There is a knife out there for everyone. From the working poor to the well-heeled collector, there are worthwhile and useful knives at every price point across the spectrum. Which leads to this question: since we are spoiled for choice, what steels out there aren’t worth your time?
I know my choice. To paraphrase a knifemaker friend of mine, (who shall remain nameless for the sake of keeping the peace) D2 has no business as a knife steel whatsoever.
D2 has a reputation of being difficult to sharpen… a reputation rightly earned. My own experiences have certainly borne that out – most notably when I had to reprofile an uneven edge on a Smith & Sons Pioneer. Rockwell hardness on that knife was admittedly very high, but even with power tools it took me nearly 3 hours to get the job done!
And it just isn’t worth the trade-off. How does the saying go? “D2 takes a crappy edge and holds it forever?” With the steels available to us now, I say “Why bother?”
In the days when 440C was considered a super steel, D2 may have had a place, but today it is just more trouble than it is worth. I truly think the only reason D2 is able to persist the way it has is because of the name recognition.
For all the above, I just have no desire to own another D2 knife.
Are there steels out there that turn you off of a particular knife?