Since its introduction, AUS 8 steel, created and positioned as a competitor and qualitative replacement for blade steel 440C. Unlike 440С predecessor, AUS 8 steel has less carbon but contains more molybdenum; Besides AUS 8 has vanadium (to provide more hardness). This composition provides very good resistance to corrosion and an optimal hardness-elasticity ratio. Nonetheless, with rare use, a knife made from AUS 8 steel still prone to pitting in a humid environment (In daily use does not require any special maintenance)
AUS 8 stainless steel keeps cutting edge quite well for steels of its level, it also has good wear-resistant characteristics and with good resistance to accidental impacts. Well processed, easy for sharpening. In simple words AUS 8 the biggest bang for the buck.
Composition of AUS 8 stainless steel: Carbon 0.7-0.75%; Chromium 13-14.5%; Vanadium 0.1-0.26%; Molybdenum - 0.1-0.3%; Nickel - 0.5%; Manganese - 0.5%; Sulfur - 0.03%;
Analogues: X70CrMo15 (Germany), 440B (USA), 8Cr15MoV (China).
The usual hardness of AUS 8 stainless steel is around 58-59HRC.
For the better performance cryo-treatment is highly recommended (improves edge resistance and strength)
For sharpening AUS 8 steel (rough, medium, and finish grind) we recommend using a ceramic whetstone.