Is AUS 8 Stainless Steel Good for Knives?

The steel used to make a blade is very vital for its functionality and it will determine how long a knife serves you, how well it works, and how much work will be required to maintain it. These are the aspects that should guide knife users before getting a knife.

Stainless steel is a common choice mostly due to its requirements of low maintenance and its ability to last longer without rusting. The AUS 8 steel is a popular choice when it comes to quality steel.

If you are curious about its properties and what makes it rank high in the steel world, you have come to the right place. We will cover more details about the knife and maybe you may want to pick it up for your next purchase. Keep reading.

What is AUS 8 stainless steel?

AUS 8 stainless steel is made in Japan. It is a mid to high range quality type of steel. AUS 8 is stainless due to the high percentage of Chromium in it. It has a 14% level with the required minimum being 10.5% for steel to be stainless. The steel is very tough, hard, has good resistance to corrosion and wear, and is easy to sharpen. It has been used in the making of a variety of tools from scissors to knives and swords due to its quality and machinability.


Chromium at 14% Chromium enhances the strength and edge retention of steel while increasing the wear and corrosion resistance.

Carbon at 0.75% Carbon increases the hardness and resistance to corrosion and wear, but in large quantities, it decreases the strength.

Silicon at 1% Silicon improves strength that gives the steel great resistance.

Nickel at 0.5% Nickel increases the toughness of the steel making the blade stronger, improves its structure, but in high quantities, it can lessen the corrosion resistance.

Manganese at 0.5% Manganese adds to strength and corrosion resistance while improving the grind-ability making it easier to sharpen.

Molybdenum at 0.3% Molybdenum improves the machinability, strength of steel, and wear and corrosion resistance.

Vanadium at 0.25% Vanadium enhances tensile strength, resistance to wear, the hardness of the steel, and improves the functioning of other components.

Phosphorus at 0.04% Phosphorus increases the strength.

Sulfur at 0.03% Sulfur enhances machinability, but lowers the strength when in high amounts.


AUS 8 steel has a hardness of 59 HRC according to the Rockwell hardness scale which measures how hard steel is.


The elements of steel determine how well the steel will function under different circumstances. Varying quantities of the components will affect how a knife functions.

For instance, if a blade has high amounts of Carbon, it will be harder and this will make it harder to sharpen. So each component is added depending on the purpose of the knife.

For AUS 8 steel, its properties are:

Edge Retention

The steel has great edge retention due to the high amounts of Carbon in it.

Corrosion Resistance

AUS 8 stainless has great corrosion resistance because it has a lot of Chromium but the knife needs good care still.

Wear Resistance

The wear resistance of AUS 8 steel is very high due to the combination of Chromium, Carbon, and Molybdenum.


AUS 8 steel is very easy to sharpen and can be sharpened with something as simple as a sharpening stone to attain razor sharpness.


The steel has great machinability due to the presence of both Sulfur and Molybdenum.


AUS 8 steel ranks very high in toughness.

Is AUS 8 stainless steel Good for knives?

AUS 8 steel is good for knives. It is of good quality with great features like good hardness, toughness, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and edge retention.

The steel is used in the making of everyday carry knives, camping knives, hunting knives, fishing knives, swords, and even machetes due to its great toughness quality. The knives are mainly designed for self-defense as tactical and survival knives and they are perfect for police officers, the military, soldiers, fishermen, and the like.

Performance of AUS 8 steel

Various tests are performed on steel to know how good the steel is from its performance on toughness to its strength. AUS 8 steel has fared very well on the tests making knives made from it garner several awards like the:

  • Outdoor Life’s 2010 Editor’s Choice for Survival Knives.
  • Gear Patrol’s Best Gear on Earth Award 2013.
  • Blade Show’s 2007 Collaboration of the Year Award.
  • NTOA Tested And Approved 2007.


The AUS 8 is a good quality type of steel but there are still other alternatives. Let’s look into them:

440C Steel AUS 8 steel and 440C are very much compared due to their close similarities. They have similar and very close prices, corrosion resistance, edge retention, and toughness, but AUS 8 stainless is a bit easier to sharpen.

VG 10 Steel Though they have similar corrosion resistance, VG 10 has better edge retention and it’s easier to sharpen while AUS 8 offers more toughness.

AUS 4 Steel AUS 4 steel and AUS 8 steel are both made by the same companies but AUS 8 is definitely better. AUS 8 has better edge retention, hardness, toughness, strength, and more resistance to wear and corrosion. AUS 8 would be your best bet when deciding on which one to purchase among the two.


AUS 8 stainless steel is a great steel for its price. It offers good edge retention, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and it’s very tough while still being easy to sharpen. It’s very great for survival knives as it can withstand hard use.

However, though it’s not cheap, the knife can still get corroded and it requires good care for it to last longer and function well. You will have to sharpen as well as oil it regularly.

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