Steel is the most important component in making a good knife. There’re many steel grades found in today’s words that are used in the manufacturing of knives; Japanese steel is one of them. Some of you may already know about AUS-8 steel.
If you’re not aware of AUS-8 steel, this article will help you know what AUS-8 steel is, the chemical composition of AUS-8 steel, the properties of AUS-8 steel, and almost everything about AUS-8 steel. Let’s start with the AUS-8 steel.
What is AUS-8 steel?
AUS-8 is a high-chromium Japanese stainless steel used for making knives, scissors, food machines, medical equipment, and other tools. This steel is widely used for making knives due to its excellent resistance to rusting. AUS-8 steel possesses a perfect balance of quality, price, and features.
AUS-8 steel is tough and capable of acquiring a razor-sharp edge to satisfy any knife-maker. AUS-8 knives are razor-sharp and have excellent quality. These knives are also easy to sharpen, and you can easily sharpen these knives with the help of a simple sharpening tool. Moreover, these knives are long-lasting, which means you can use these knives for a long time.
AUS-8 steel chemical composition
The elements help the steel to reach a high level of hardness, wear/corrosion resistance, toughness, and edge retention. Each element is used for different purposes and has different features.
The elements which are included in the AUS-8 steel grade are:
It increases the strength, hardness, and edge retention of the steel. Moreover, it also increases wear resistance and corrosion resistance.
It increases the steel strength and hardness. Moreover, it gives the steel a great stress resistance.
Carbon increases the hardness and wears resistance, but a high amount may decrease the steel’s strength. It also increases the hardenability and brittleness of the steel.
It increases the brittleness and hardness of the steel. Moreover, it is helpful for easy sharpening and easy welding of a knife or any other tool.
Nickel increases the toughness of the steel and is also good for welding ability.
It increases the machinability, hardness, and strength of the steel. Moreover, it also offers the AUS-8 steel a bit of wear resistance.
Vanadium improves the hardenability and wears resistance of the steel.
It increases the resistance to corrosion in steel and the strength of the steel.
Sulfur increases the machinability of the steel.
What is the Rockwell hardness of AUS-8 stainless steel?
The high-chromium Japanese stainless AUS-8 steel is considered as mid-range steel and often considered as upper-range steel. It has great composition and a combination of elements, and because of this, it possesses great hardness.
AUS-8 steel meets the standards of a true quality stainless steel. The hardness of the AUS-8 steel is around 58 to 59 HRC.
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AUS-8 Stainless steel properties
As you know, this steel has a great chemical composition and has a great hardness; it offers some amazing properties, which are as follows:
Sharpness: AUS-8 steel is easy to sharpen with simple sharpening tools. You can sharpen AUS-8 knives or tools with a whetstone or with any other sharpening stone.
Edge Retention: As you know, this steel offers a high hardness which is around 59 HRC; this means AUS-8 steel provides significant edge retention for a knife.
Toughness: No doubt AUS-8 steel is popular tough steel. This is because of the high percentage of chromium and a bit of Nickel in it.
Machinability: AUS-8 steel contains Sulfur and Molybdenum; both these elements offer great machinability for the steel.
Wear Resistance: AUS-8 steel contains Carbon and Molybdenum, and both these elements offer the AUS-8 stainless steel a high wear resistance.
Corrosion Resistance: This steel contains a high chromium percentage, which offers the AUS-8 steel high corrosion resistance. However, AUS-8 steel is not good if you intend to use a kitchen knife or any other tool in a humid environment.
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AUS-8 stainless steel Good for knives
AUS-8 steel offers amazing hardness, toughness, edge retention, corrosion resistance, rust resistance, and excellent machinability (If you are a knife-maker). These features make it an excellent choice for making knives.
As you know, AUS-8 steel is mid-range steel, so you have to take care of it. This means when your knife needs sharpening and oiling, do these timely.
AUS-8 Best Knives
Most of the knife makers are using AUS-8 steel to make knives. There’re many knives available in the market that are made with AUS steel. Some of the popular and best knives of AUS-8 steel are:
1. CRKT Hissatsu
CRKT Hissatsu comes with a 3.875-inch plain edge blade that is finished with a non-reflective black coating. The shape of the blade is a classical Samurai clip design that gives sharp residual power as well as exceptional slashing performance.
This knife features an assisted opening system, automated locking liner, glass-reinforced Nylon handle, thumb disk, and a reversible pocket clip. CRKT Hissatsu is designed to last a lifetime.
This knife is perfectly designed for self-defense and tactical situations. Moreover, it can be used for many outdoor activities, like fishing, hunting, and camping. This pocket knife will be the most effective for army soldiers, police officers, or law enforcement and will be a perfect gift for them.
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2. Ontario Knife
This knife features some amazing features. It comes with a 3.5-inch AUS-8 stainless steel blade that offers good hardness and great corrosion resistance. This knife features a lanyard hole and 4-way clip position that makes it a great choice for carrying.
The spine jimping and a Nylon handle create a good design with great control. This knife comes with a liner lock locking mechanism for safety and a thumb stud for easy one-handed opening. Moreover, this knife features an open post construction that helps you in cleaning a knife with ease.
Ontario Knife comes with a Rockwell hardness of 55 HRC to 56 HRC. Furthermore, this knife is a perfect choice for Everyday Carry (EDC) or even outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, or camping. If you are a hunter, this knife may be the perfect choice for you.
Pros & Cons of AUS-8 steel for knives
In this section, you’ll get to know some of the Pros and Cons of AUS-8 steel.
Comparison with the Other Steel
In this part, we will compare the AUS-8 steel with some other steels. For this, we will make comparison tables so that you can easily understand which steel is better than other steel.
AUS-8 vs. 440C
|Ease of Sharpness||9/10||7/10|
|Rockwell Hardness||59 HRC||58-60 HRC|
AUS-8 steel and 440C steel are very similar in almost all aspects.
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AUS-8 steel vs. D2 steel
|AUS-8 steel||D2 steel|
|Stainless steel||Yes||Semi – stainless|
|Ease of Sharpness||9/10||4/10|
|Rockwell Hardness||59 HRC||55-62 HRC|
AUS-8 steel has better corrosion resistance and toughness, while D2 steel is better in terms of edge retention. Moreover, AUS-8 steel is easy to sharpen compared to D2 steel. However, in terms of Rockwell’s hardness, both are almost the same.
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AUS-8 steel vs. 8cr13mov steel
|AUS-8 steel||8cr13mov steel|
|Rockwell Hardness||59 HRC||58-59 HRC|
|Ease of Sharpness||9/10||6/10|
8cr13mov steel has the best in terms of edge retention and corrosion resistance. On the other hand, AUS-8 steel is better in terms of toughness. Furthermore, AUS-8 steel is easy to sharpen compared to 8cr13mov steel.
AUS-8 vs. VG 10
|Rockwell Hardness||59 HRC||62+ HRC|
|Ease of Sharpness||9/10||6/10|
|Ease of Sharpness||9/10||6/10|
VG 10 steel is better in terms of edge retention, corrosion resistance, and Rockwell hardness. On the other side, AUS-8 steel has better toughness, and AUS-8 steel is easy to sharpen compared to VG 10 steel.
Knife steel composition chart
In this section, you will find the most commonly used elements in steel production with the percentage of each element.
|Elements||AUS-8 (%)||D2 (%)||VG 10 (%)||8cr13mov (%)||440C (%)|
|Rockwell-Hardness||58-59 HRC||55-62 HRC||62+ HRC||58-59 HRC||58-60 HRC|
AUS-8 steel is mid-range steel and sometimes considered upper-range steel. This steel is better from some of the low-range steels, but not the best from top-range steels. AUS-8 steel possesses a perfect balance of price, quality, and features.
In general, AUS-8 steel is an excellent choice for making knives and other tools. AUS-8 steel has amazing features, which makes it a perfect choice for knife-makers. AUS-8 steel is widely used for making knives and other tools due to its excellent resistance to rusting.
Knives with AUS-8 steel are easy to sharpen; you can easily sharpen these knives with the help of a simple sharpening tool. Moreover, AUS-8 knives are long-lasting, but you have to keep in mind that you’ve to take care of these knives if you want to use these knives for a long time.
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