n690 vs D2 Comparison

in this article you will find out that everything you should know about N690 and D2 and as well the comparison between the two.


n690 vs d2 comparison

  1. First you should note that the N690 will be preferable if your main concern is about corrosion, because the N690 steel has a higher corrosion resistance than D2 steel.
  2. This is due to the fact that N690 has a higher chromium content, and this important content (Chromium)
  3. protects the material from rusting or corroding.
  4. Again the N690 is known to have a very higher wear-resistant capacity than what you will get in D2
  5. But when it comes to hardness you have to give it to D2. in fact D2 steel has a higher hardness value of up to 58 HRC, while N690 has a hardness value of up to 55 HRC

choice between N690 and D2 steel depends on the intended use of the knife and personal preferences

n690 Steel

N690 is a high-performance steel. it is commonly used in knife blades. the N690 steel is produced by Bohler, an Austrian steel company and has a hardness of 60 HRC

The n690 is very high in chromium (Cr) which means the steel will be able to resist any form of corrosion. while the N690 is high in Chromium on the other hand it is low in vanadium (V)which means it is not a tough steel. the N690 is quite easy to sharpen with TSPROF sharpeners.

The N690 stainless steel is best known for the following:

  • corrosion resistance,
  • toughness
  • excellent edge retention,
  • and toughness.

it will interest you know that what makes the N690 what it is; is the content which are made of high amounts of carbon, chromium, and Vanadium. all this three elements makes the N690 to be able to withstand and resist wear and tear.

Not only that the N690 is known to resist rust and stain. like we have said before, the N690 is mostly used to make knives and used in making folding knives because it could resist rust and ductility.

the n690 is also good in making camping and hunting knives.
Please note that the N690 is not well suited to be used in complex task because this steel does not have a high retention of Sharpness.
another important thing we like you to know about the N690 is it ability to withstand rust most especially under moderate climate.


  • 8 = Maximum Toughness
  • 48 = Maximum Edge Holding

can be heat-treated to 60 HRC and retains high impact toughness
N690 is inferior in sharpness retention when compared with D2

n690 Steel composition:

  • carbon (C) content : 1.08%
  • chromium (Cr) : 17.30%
  • molybdenum (Mo): 1.10%
  • vanadium (V): 0.10%
  • cobalt (Co) :1.50%

D2 steel

D2 steel on the other hand, is a high-carbon, high-chromium steel. this steel has an excellent wear toughness and resistance.
the D2 has a hardness of 55-62 HRC

D2 steel has various names such as Japanese designation SKD11, German designation 1.2379, Hitachi SLD, Uddeholm Sverker 21 etc.

it will interest you to know that D2 contains 1.5% carbon and 12% Chromium. the D2 steel is also known to contain molybdenum, Vanadium plus other elements.

D2 Uses:

You might ask “what is D2 steel use for?” well the D2 is efficient in cutting hence it is used to make cutting tools such as saw, knives and it is also use to make medical equipment because it has a very high resistance to corrosion.

All because the D2 does extremely well in maintaining a sharp edge even when used to cut a heavy object.

it will be bad if we fail to remind you that the D2 should be use in room temperature. actually it is designed to be used in such a temperature. which means it is a cold work tool steel
It is air-hardened, which means it is cooled in air rather than quenched in oil or water, and has a high level of dimensional stability after hardening.

However, D2 steel is a difficult steel, in fact it can be difficult to work with and hence D2 requires a careful heat treatment so as to achieve the desired properties.

Note: while D2 is a steel that can do well in terms of wear , edge retention, toughness etc. this particular steel is certainly not the best choice when looking for a steel that is highly resistant to corrosion or steel that is easy to sharpen.

Advantages of D2 Steel:

the D2 steel has the following advantages that have been listed below:

  • durability,
  • toughness,
  • ability to hold an edge well

D2 steel has a chemical composition

  • Carbon: 1.40 – 1.60%
  • silicon:0.60%
  • Magnesium:0.60%
  • Cobalt:1.00%
  • chromium:11.00 – 13.00 l%
  • Molybdenum: 0.70 – 1.20%
  • Vanadium:1.10%
  • Phosphorus: 0.03%
  • Nickel:0.30%
  • Copper:0.25
  • Sulphur:0.03%