154cm vs. D2 Steel Compared

The comparison between 154cm and d2 steel is going to be an interesting one. Let me tell you why. Well, d2 steel is significantly tougher than the 154cm steel variety and most people even consider it to be the better one out of the two. 

I, for one, have different thoughts in this regard, especially when considering these steels for knives. Anyway, I’d rather save my opinion for later and take you through a quick comparison between the 154cm and d2 steel. 

What is 154cm Steel?

154cm is a high-quality stainless steel variety which is known for its toughness, excellent sharpness, and slick performance. 

The name of this steel doesn’t mean anything in particular. However, the ‘cm’ stands for ‘Climax Molybdenum’, the original manufacturer of the 154cm steel variety. Later, this steel was sold to ‘Crucible Industries’ which continues to be the 154cm steel manufacturer till date. 

In short, it is a versatile steel variety that finds its application in both tough and day-to-day tasks.

What is D2 Steel?

The D2 steel, on the contrary, is a remarkably tough steel variety. It is usually used as a tool steel, as it is an air-hardening, high carbon steel variety with exceptional wear-resistant properties. 

Unlike the 154cm which is stainless, the d2 variety doesn’t qualify as stainless steel. Instead, it is semi-stainless although tougher than most common stainless steels. 

Due to its wear-resistant properties and tough nature, the D2 steel made its way in cutlery applications, particularly knives.

Hardness Level


As per the Rockwell’s Hardness Scale, the 154cm steel boasts an HRC of 60 to 61 which is quite fantastic. This suggests that the 154cm steel is easily harder than most usual knife steel varieties. 

The 154cm steel owes its exceptional hardness to carbon, vanadium, and chromium in its composition. Therefore, this steel variety is also used for hunting knives in addition to its other uses.


The D2 is often heated to reach a desired amount of hardness. It is a deep hardening steel that can reach up to 62 HRC on the Rockwell’s Hardness Scale after receiving adequate heat treatment. 

A typical hardness range for the d2 steel falls between 55 to 62 HRC. The D2 steel gets its characteristic hardness due to the presence of high carbon content in its composition. 


Is 154cm easy to sharpen?

After continuous use, your knife is bound to lose its sharpness and razor-like edges no matter what steel is used. 

However, with steel varieties like the 154cm, you can easily re-sharp the edges of your steel. Although it is amongst the harder steel varieties, it will not give you a tough time as you sharp it again. 

“I would take the 154cm any day”, says this user:

So you can quickly restore the razor-like edges of your 154cm by re-sharpening it.  

Is D2 hard to sharpen?

The d2 steel is among those varieties of hard steel that is difficult to sharp. The d2 steel is a lot tougher than the 154cm variety and it is also significantly harder to sharp. 

While you can restore the sharpness of your 154cm within no time, doing the same for the d2 steel will be quite challenging. 



The 154cm steel is composed of amazing components that make it a high-end steel variety. It contains the following contents:

  • 1.05% Carbon
  • 14% Chromium
  • 4% Molybdenum 
  • 0.5% Manganese 
  • 0.8% Silicon
  • 0.03% Phosphorus 
  • 0.03% Sulphur
  • 0.4% Tungsten
  • 0.4% Vanadium

Each of these components serves different functions. For example, carbon helps improve hardness while vanadium and tungsten increase wear resistance. 


Just like the 154cm steel, the D2 steel too boasts some impressive contents. They are listed as follows:

  • 1.5% Carbon
  • 12% Chromium 
  • 0.9% Molybdenum 
  • 1.1% Vanadium 
  • 0.45% Manganese 
  • 0.40% Silicon
  • 0.03% Phosphorus 
  • 0.02% Sulphur

The d2 steel lacks tungsten and has a lesser amount of manganese, silicon, and molybdenum which is great for strength. However, that’s not a problem because it is rich in other components like carbon and vanadium as compared to the 154cm steel. 

Edge Retention 

The d2 steel has a slightly better edge retention capacity. It is a harder variety of steel so it has anadvantage in terms of wear resistance and hence, edge retention. However, it’s not all good news because once it loses its edge, sharpening the d2 again is going to be a tough chore.

Overall, there’s only a slight difference between their edge retention capacities but a lot more hassle with the d2 in terms of re-sharpening. 

Corrosion Resistance 

In terms of corrosion resistance, the edge goes to the 154cm steel. Due to high contents of chromium in its composition in comparison to the d2 steel, the 154cm withstands corrosion better.

Moreover, the 154cm is a stainless steel variety whereas, the d2 is not so it’s bound to corrode. 154cm is a rust and abrasion-resistant variety of steel which is why it serves as an excellent option for cutlery uses.

This person has summed it up all:


The price range of these steel varieties varies according to the quality. In addition to the quality, many other factors like the thickness, width, length or basically, the amount of steel contributes a lot to the price. 

As for the knives made out of these steel varieties, you can easily find them within a range of $50 to $250 or higher depending on the weight and quality of steel used for manufacturing. 

Final Verdict 

Lastly, my verdict goes in favour of the 154cm steel due to multiple reasons. It offers a greater corrosion resistance than the d2 while being almost the same in terms of edge retention. Moreover, it is easy to sharp, unlike the d2 which is a deep hardening tool steel and demands a lot more effort for re-sharpening.

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