Is AUS 8 stainless steel good for knives?- [Complete Steel Guide]

aus 8 steel review

If you ever heard about a Japanese Steel, there is a high chance it may be the AUS 8 or AUS-8, it’s trendy stainless steel, and if you’re reading this blog post, I m pretty sure you ant more details about it. Therefore I gathered all the possible Infos about it.

So if you are wondering; what is aus 8, How good the aus 8, It’s chemical composition, its hardness, and if it’s suitable for your knife. You re in the right place, you’ll find all the answers you need in this blog post, have a great read.

Its popular Japanese mid-range performance stainless steel made by @AICHI STEEL, it has a high carbon, vanadium and molybdenum, its very great for knives, scissors, medical equipment, and food machines.

Aus 8 Stainless Steel Chemical composition

  • 0.75 % of Carbon: It improves hardness and wear/corrosion resistance, but a high amount of it decreases strength.
  • 14 % of Chromium: For tensile strength and Edge retention and enhances corrosion resistance and wear resistance.
  • 0.5 % of Manganese: Increases hardness and brittleness.
  • 1 % of Silicon: Increases strength like Manganese.
  • 0.03% of Sulfur: Increases machinability, and decreases strength.
  • 0.3% of Molybdenum: Increase Machinability and strength.
  • 0.25% of Vanadium: Improves wear resistance and hardenability.
  • 0.5% Nickel: Improves toughness.

As you can notice its has 0.75% of carbon, which it’s a high level of carbon compared to low-end steel, this why it’s considered mid-range steel, it also has other material that makes close to premium steel, like nickel, molybdenum, and vanadium.

What is the hardness(HRC) of AUS 8 stainless steel

According to @atm-fukaumi (Japanese steel company), the Hardness of the AUS 8  is 59(HRC).

If you find trouble with the termes HRC or Rockwell hardness, I made a blog post explaining the HRC meaning, check it out!.

What are the AUS 8 Stainless steel properties

According to the chemical composition and the HRC of the AUS 8 stainless steel, it offers the following properties:

Edge Retention: with a 59 HRC, and high carbon steel, the AUS 8 steel provides significant edge retention for your knife, which is close to premium steel.

Corrosion Resistance: 14% of Chromium offers the AUS 8 a high corrosion resistance, but still, it’s not the best, especially if you intend to use your knife in a humid environment, you better take care of your knife.

Wear Resistance: 0.54% of carbon and the little porch of Molybdenum grants the AUS 8 stainless steel a high wear resistance.

Sharpness: the combination of this Japanese steel makes it easy to sharpen with the most straightforward sharpening tools, like a sharpening stone.

Machinability: AUS 8 stainless steel is composed of Molybdenum and Sulfur; they both offer great machinability for the steel.

Toughness: AUS 8 stainless steel is popular tough steel, due to the Chromium in it, and a bit of Nickel.

Is AUS 8 stainless steel Good for knives?

Being a mid-entry steel, the AUS 8 is an excellent combination for your knife, its has the right toughness, hardness, edge retention, wear resistance, corrosion resistance and its perfect for machinability (If you’re a knife maker).

So the answer is Yes, Its perfect for your knife, but it’s still a mid-range knife, you should take care of it (sharpening it and oiling it when it’s needed).

Best AUS-8 Knives

1. CRKT Hissatsu

It’s a great EDC folding knife from CRKT, offers  3.875” Plain Edge Blade with corrosion resistance coating, it has an assisted opening system, with a thumb disk, automated locking liner, comes with a glass-reinforced Nylon Handle and a Reversible Pocket clip.

The knife is designed for tactical situations and self-defence, it can be used for outdoor activities like hunting, camping, but then it will be most effective for army soldiers, law enforcement or police officers, so If you know one, that would be a great gift for them.

2. Ontario Knife. ON8848-BRK Rat-1

I know many fans of the Ontario knives, and the RAT I is the reason (I’m an Ontario Fan too), this knife is so cheap compared to what it offers, it comes with a 3.5” plain edge blade, 4 way clip position, lanyard hole, Nylon handle, and of course the AUS-8 stainless steel, that offers great corrosion resistance and hardness, the knife is a great choice for EDC or even outdoor activities like camping, hunting or fishing. That’s what I call A Good Deal.

AUS 8 Stainless Steel Equivalent

The AUS 8 is a great mid-range steel, but it didn’t reach the high-end steels, like the M390 or the ELMAX, its equivalent in the steel industry would be the 440C and the 8CR13MOV, they have a close chemical composition, and they ‘re in the same price range (between 30 USD and 100 USD).

AUS 8 VS Steel

In this section, we’re going to compare our steel with other steels, and for this, I use four criteria; Edge Retention, Corrosion resistance, Ease of Sharpness, and Toughness, and I use a scale or note from 1 to 10.

AUS 8 VS 440C

AUS 8440C
EDGE RETENTION2/102.5/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS9/107/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/107/10
TOUGHNESS6/105/10

AUS 8 and 440C are very close in terms of in all four criteria.

AUS 8 VS VG 10

AUS 8VG 10
EDGE RETENTION2/105/10
EASE OF SHARPNESS9/106/10
CORROSION RESISTANCE7/107/10
TOUGHNESS6/104/10

VG 10  offers better edge retention and lower toughness compared to the AUS 8, besides that it’s harder to sharpen compared to the AUS 8.

Conclusion

Many Knife users are big fans of the AUS 8, in same time others aren’t, but in general it’s an excellent steel for a knife compared to it prance and what it offers, what I would like to remind is ”Taking care of the knife” part that many users forget, they assume that the steel is immune from corrosion and losing it edge for life just because it’s a mid-range steel or “they paid a lot for it”, so if you intend to buy the AUS 8 steel (which I recommend to do), I invite you to take care of it during the time you use it.

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