AUS 8 Steel Review: Composition, Properties, and Comparison

What’s AUS 8 steel?

AUS 8 steel, a Japanese-made budget stainless steel, is part of the series. It includes AUS 4, 6, 8, 8, and 10. Aus-8 steel can also be called AUS 8A, 8A, or 8A.

It is comparable in performance to other steels such as AISI 440B or the popular Chinese-made 8Cr13MoV stainless. is the manufacturer of Aus 8 stainless steel.

It is a popular choice for knifemakers due to its excellent price, edge retention, corrosion resistance and price. It’s a simple steel to work with, and can reach 60 HRC if treated well.

AUS 8 Steel Composition

Element Percentage composition Function
Carbon C 0.70%-0.75% It increases edge retention, hardness, tensile strength, and hardness. It increases steel resistance to wear and abrasion as well as corrosion.
Chromium Cr 13.00%-14.50% The formation of Chromium carbonide increases the hardness, tensile and corrosion resistance of the blade.
Nickel Ni 0.49% It adds toughness to the blade and improves corrosion resistance as well as resistance to oxidation at high temperatures
Vanadium V 0.10%-0.26% Combining hard vanadium carbide with other elements to improve wear resistance, forms hard vanadium carbonide.
Molybdenum 0.10%-0.30% It increases machinability, hardness, and corrosion resistance of steel.
Manganese Mn 0.50% This improves steel’s strength and hardness. The steel’s hardenability can be improved by adding more manganese to it after it has been heat-treated.
Silicon Si 1.00% It increases strength and resistance to heat.
Sulfur S 0.03% It improves machinability, but it is considered an impurity when used in large quantities.
Phosphorus P 0.04% It improves machinability, hardness, and is considered an impurity when used in large quantities.

AUS 8 Steel Properties

AUS 8 Steel Hardness

AUS-8 steel has a Rockwell toughness between 58 and 59 HRC. Heat treatment is a major factor in determining the hardness of AUS 8. With good heat treatment, it can reach 60HRC.

The heat-treated AUS-8 steel blades of Benchmade knives have proven consistent to be able to achieve 59-60 HRC. Their AUS-8 stainless steel knives are a great budget option.

AUS 8 Steel Edge Retention

Hardness directly affects the edge retention of AUS-8 steel. Edge retention of steel is directly affected by the Rockwell hardness. AUS 8 stainless steel edge retention can be considered excellent, above-average, at a hardness of 59 HRC.

Its edge retention is comparable to the 8Cr13MoV Chinese stainless steel and the Spyderco salt series, LC200N steel. Because it has a little vanadium, it can form hard vanadium carbides. This makes it more edge-retentive than low carbon alloys.

How to sharpen AUS 8 Steel

AUS 8 steel knives can be sharpened easily, and they retain their edge. You can quickly achieve a sharp edge with a standard aluminum oxide abrasive Sharpening Tool. It will last a long time.

AUS8 Steel Wear resistance

AUS 8 stainless steel has a high level of carbon and molybdenum, which makes it wear-resistant. Knives made of AUS-8 stainless steel will last a long time, regardless of how they are used. However, it should not be subject to aggressive sharpening.

AUS8 Steel Corrosion Resistance

The steel AUS 8 contains high levels (up to 14.50%) of Chromium, making it a stainless steel. It also contains Nickel in its alloy, which increases its resistance to corrosion. This makes it one of the most affordable steels with high resistance to corrosion.

The AUS-8 stainless-steel blade steel’s corrosion resistance is similar to that of 8Cr13MoV or 154CM steel. This does not remove the knives from the rusting hook. They must be taken care of and maintained in order to prevent rusting, particularly in high humidity areas.

Is AUS8 steel strong?

The AUS 8 steel’s toughness is superior to most other stainless steels. AUS 8 steel toughness is comparable to most S series crucible blade steels, such as the S30V and S45VN. The steel alloy AUS 8 has a significant increase in toughness thanks to the addition of nickel and molybdenum.

This material is extremely resistant to cracking, chipping, and breaking under pressure. It is similar to 26C3 steel, but less than New Magnacut steel.

AUS8 Steel Machinability

This Japanese steel is extremely machine-friendly due to its high levels of Sulfur, Molybdenum and Molybdenum. This steel is great for knifemakers because it’s easy to cut and can be finished with a professional finish.

The pros and cons of AUS8 Steel


  • It is easy to sharpen and keeps its edge for a long time, making it very convenient to use.
  • It is safe to use for meal preparation because it has anti-corrosion features
  • It retains a good edge, so you don’t have to sharpen as often.
  • It’s tough so it can be used in hard-scraping jobs without fear of breaking.
  • Knives made of AUS-8 steel can be affordable.


  • Consistent use can cause knives to dull quickly.
  • The manufacturer makes adjustments throughout production and during daily use to ensure the knife’s quality.

AUS8 steel vs. other steels

8cr13mov vs AUS 8

AUS8 is slightly better than 8Cr13MoV, but in reality, it’s hard to tell the difference. AUS-8 is a Japanese steel type, and 8Cr13MoV comes from China. It is however claimed that 8Cr13MoV is a carbon copy AUS 8 stainless steel.

A closer look at 8Cr13MoV vs AUS-8 steel will reveal that AUS-8 contains a little more nickel elements than 8Cr13MoV, which could increase AUS-8’s stainless steel toughness and property.

The AUS8 and 8Cr13MoV Rockwell hardness, edge retention and ease of sharpening are identical. AUS-8 can be referred to as 8Cr13MoV stainless steel equivalent.

8Cr13MoV steel AUS 8 Steel
Toughness 6/10 6/10
Edge Retention 3/10 3/10
Corrosion resistance 7/10 7.5/10
8Cr13MoV Steel vs AUS 8 Steel

AUS8 vs. 440C

AUS-8 stainless steel is better than 440C stainless steel for edge retention and resistance to corrosion. AISI 440C steel used to be a premium, high-carbon stainless steel. But times have changed and it is now in the same budget range as AUS 8.

Due to its high carbon content, 440C stainlesssteel has better edge retention than AUS 8. This is because it can achieve 60+ Rockwell hardness.

A large volume of carbon allows for the formation of carbides, which are good for edge retention.

Due to its higher proportion of chromium in its alloy composition, AISI 440C steel has slightly better corrosion resistance than AUS-8.

AUS 8 stainless steel blade has twice the toughness as 440C steel blade. The combination of high carbon steel and chromium can also negatively impact 440C steel’s toughness.

Brittle chromium carides can cause a significant decrease in the toughness and strength of 440C blade-steel.

AUS 8 Steel 440C Steel
Toughness 6/10 3.5/10
Edge Retention 3/10 4.5/10
Corrosion resistance 7/10 7.5/10
AUS 8 Steel vs 440C Steel

AUS 8 vs. S30V Steel

CPM S30V and AUS 8 Steel are different in that S30V is considered premium steel, while AUS 8 is budget steel. The edge retention of S30V steel is twice that of AUS8 stainless Steel. In terms of corrosion resistance, it also surpasses Japanese AUS8 steel.

S30V Steel beats AUS8 steel in edge retention because of several factors. S30V steel has a Rockwell toughness of 61HRC, whereas AUS8 steel’s Rockwell hardness averages 59HRC. S30V’s edge retention is higher than AUS8 steel due to its increased hardness.

Second, S30V steel can be made with a lot of vanadium carbides. Vanadium carbides improve edge retention in S30V blade steel by significantly over AUS 8.

S30V blade stainless steel is also more resistant to corrosion than AUS 8. This is due to the alloy composition that produces vanadium carbides. It still has enough chromium to enhance its stainless steel properties.

Due to its low hardness and absence of large brittle carbides, AUS8 stainless steel is more tough than S30V steel. Sharpening AUS8 knife steel is much easier than sharpening S30V blades.

AUS 8 Steel Steel S30V
Toughness 6/10 4/10
Edge Retention 3/10 6/10
Corrosion resistance 7/10 7.5/10
S30V Steel vs AUS 8 Steel

AUS8 vs. VG10

Popular Japanese stainless steels are VG10 and AUS 8. Both have different alloy compositions. AUS 8 stainless steel has better performance, but VG10 stainless is considered a premium Japanese blade steel because of its vanadium-cobalt fortification.

VG10 stainless steel has a harder surface than AUS-8 stainless steel, which gives it a better edge retention. The HTML10 steel edge retention is comparable to Bohler , and Crucible CPM154 stainless steel.

AUS 8 stainless steel has a lower corrosion resistance than VG10 stainless steel. This is due to the increased amount of chromium and the addition Cobalt to its alloy composition. VG10 stainless-steel corrosion resistance is similar to that of Japanese Super Gold 2.

However, AUS 8 stainless is more tough than VG10 stainless steel. AUS 8 is tough and suitable for knives with demanding applications. AUS 8 Steel is easier to sharpen because it doesn’t contain large amounts of hard vanadium carbides.

AUS 8 Steel VG 10 Steel
Toughness 6/10 4/10
Edge Retention 3/10 4.5/10
Corrosion resistance 7/10 7.5/10
aus 8 vs vg10

AUS8 vs 9Cr18MoV

AUS 8 and 9Cr18MoV are two different types of stainless steel. AUS 8 is Japanese-made, 9Cr18MoV is Chinese-made. Both steels fall within the budget category and offer similar hardness levels at approximately 58-60 HRC.

Both blade steels have almost equal edge retention and a similar hardness, especially when they are sharpened at the same angle.

Both steels shouldn’t be sharpened with a razor-thin edge. They won’t last long. Because 9Cr18MoV is less tough, it will roll edges faster.

Japanese 8 steel is a tougher steel than the 9Cr18Mov. AUS 8 steel is more suitable for longer, larger blades than 9Cr18MoV because it is less likely that they will break or chip.

Because it has more chromium in its composition, 9Cr18MoV stainless Steel is more resistant to corrosion than AUS-8 stainless Steel.

The carbon-chromium ratio allows for the formation of carbides, with some chromium remaining for corrosion resistance.

Based on my experience with both blade steels I would say that the Chinese made 9Cr18MoV fake somewhere between AUS 8 and 440C stainless.

AUS 8 stainless is easier to work with and more tough than 9Cr18MoV. However, it is less easy to sharpen and can retain its edge better if sharpened at the right angle.

Is AUS8 stainless steel good for knives?

AUS 8-stainless is a good budget steel for knives. Although it may not have the same qualities as superior steel grades, its sharpness and edge retention, machinability wear resistance and corrosion resistance make this a great choice for knives.

Is AUS 8 steel good?

The AUS 8 stainless-steel features make it an excellent choice for knife makers. AUS 8 is a great choice for long blades because it offers both edge retention and toughness. It is resistant to corrosion, but you should still take good care of it, especially if you live in humid regions.

About the author

Hi, my name is Jaba Ray. I'm a knife expert and researcher. I am the creator of, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I love people who need suitable steel or knife for their cook because I'm also a food lover. I work with a team of people who've always had a passion for knives and blades on this site.

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