I'm wondering, how good is the D2 that is starting to come on a lot of the Chinese knives these days? Reason being, as I see Southwire now has a one-hand opening, clip-carry D2 Hawkbill in their "Edgeforce" lineup (which is entirely D2) for about $25. In my opinion, for what I do with a hawkbill (cutting rope, boxes, feed sacks, brush, and any other tough task I can throw at a knife), D2 is the perfect steel for one. Hawkbills don't need to be a razor--they need to just hold a good enough edge to cut. Yet I often quickly dull a carbon steel version with what I do. Or should I just get the AUS-8, Seki-made one from Klein?
In my opinion, the steel itself means nothing. It's the heat treat. Buck can do wonders with 420HC, yet I see all kinds of Chinese knives with 440A and 440C steel that can't hold an edge or get one. Yet, many American makers heavily use that steel, and do well with it. And 8Cr13MOV (which is on the standard Southwire hawkbill) is used on a lot of Chinese knives; and I really like it myself.