Aus 8 vs D2 Steel

Picture this: you’re in the market for a new knife, and you’ve narrowed down your choices to two popular steel types: Aus 8 and D2. But which one should you choose? 

To help you make an informed decision, we’ll explore the differences between these steels, their characteristics, and their best uses. 

So, let’s dive in and find out which steel comes out on top!

Overview of Aus 8 and D2 Steel

Aus 8 Steel: An Introduction

Aus 8 steel, also known as Aichi 8A, is a Japanese stainless steel that has gained popularity for its impressive balance of toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance. 

It’s a reliable option for various knives, from EDC to kitchen knives.

D2 Steel: An Introduction

D2 steel, on the other hand, is a high-carbon, high-chromium tool steel that offers excellent wear resistance and edge retention

However, it sacrifices some corrosion resistance in exchange for these qualities. D2 steel is a favorite among knife makers for heavy-duty applications.

Aus 10 Vs Vg 10 Stainless Steel

Comparing Aus 8 and D2 Steel Properties


Aus 8: Aus 8 steel is known for its toughness, which is essential for a knife that may experience impacts, like survival or hunting knives.

D2: D2 steel is slightly less tough compared to Aus 8, making it more prone to chipping or breaking under extreme stress.

Edge Retention

Aus 8: While Aus 8 offers decent edge retention, it doesn’t quite match the performance of D2 steel in this category.

D2: D2 excels in edge retention, allowing knives made from this steel to maintain sharpness for longer periods.

Corrosion Resistance

Aus 8: Aus 8’s stainless steel composition provides it with excellent corrosion resistance, making it suitable for humid environments or tasks that involve exposure to water.

D2: With less chromium content than Aus 8, D2 steel sacrifices some corrosion resistance, meaning it may require more maintenance to prevent rust.

Sharpening Ease

Aus 8: Aus 8 steel is relatively easy to sharpen, even for beginners.

D2: Sharpening D2 steel can be more challenging due to its hardness and edge retention properties.

Comparison Table

To provide a clear side-by-side comparison, here’s a table that highlights the differences between Aus 8 and D2 steel:

PropertyAus 8 SteelD2 Steel
Edge RetentionModerateHigh
Corrosion ResistanceHighModerate
Sharpening EaseEasyChallenging
Best UsesEDC, kitchen, outdoor knivesHeavy-duty, tactical, industrial knives

Best Uses for Aus 8 and D2 Steel Knives

Aus 8 Steel Knives

  • EDC (Everyday Carry) knives
  • Kitchen knives
  • Outdoor knives (hunting, camping, etc.)

D2 Steel Knives

  • Heavy-duty work knives
  • Tactical knives
  • Industrial cutting tools


Q: Can I use D2 steel knives for food preparation?

A: Yes, D2 steel knives can be used for food preparation. However, due to their reduced corrosion resistance, it’s essential to clean and dry them thoroughly after use to prevent rust.

Q: Are Aus 8 steel knives good for bushcraft activities?

A: Aus 8 steel knives are suitable for bushcraft activities, thanks to their toughness and corrosion resistance. However, they may require more frequent sharpening compared to D2 steel knives.

Q: How do I maintain a knife made from D2 steel?

A: To maintain a D2 steel knife, clean and dry it thoroughly after each use. Applying a thin coat of oil or a corrosion inhibitor can help prevent rust. Regularly sharpen your knife to keep it in optimal condition.

Final Thoughts

When comparing Aus 8 and D2 steel, the choice ultimately depends on your intended use and personal preferences. 

Aus 8 is better suited for those looking for a tough, corrosion-resistant steel that’s easy to sharpen, making it ideal for EDC, kitchen, and outdoor knives. 

D2, on the other hand, is perfect for heavy-duty applications where edge retention and wear resistance are top priorities.

In summary, consider Aus 8 steel if you value toughness and corrosion resistance, and go for D2 steel if you prioritize edge retention and wear resistance. 

No matter which steel you choose, proper care and maintenance will ensure your knife serves you well for years to come.

I'm Justin, co-founder of AllofKitchen and your knife and steel specialist. My extensive experience ensures accurate and hands-on advice on every topic. Turn to me for insights on selecting the best knife or maintaining your steel tools to perfection. Knives aren't just tools; they're an extension of the chef, and I'm here to guide you to the perfect fit.

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