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Both D2 tool steel and stainless are steel alloys that have some common properties. They are similar metals, but each has a different alloy composition and they have different uses.
D2 Tool Steel
D2 tool steel is semi-stainless because it has a high chromium content. D2 also has high carbon content that makes it hard. D2 doesn’t abrade and scratch easily, and wears well. It is used to make tools. D2 tool steel is used to make dies that requires close tolerances, cutting properties and long life.
To qualify as stainless steel, the chromium content must be at least 10 percent. Stainless steel commonly has nickel and other elements added for other characteristics. This alloy has low carbon content. Stainless steel classifications have several different grades, depending on the alloy composition. The major uses for stainless steel are those that require corrosion-resistant material.
D2 vs. Stainless
The main difference between the two materials is the higher amount of carbon in D2, which increases brittleness. Because stainless steel has nickel in its composition, it will resist corrosion better than D2 tool steel.
- “Machinery’s Handbook”; Obert, Jones, Horton, Ryffel, et al; 2008