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8Cr13MoV vs. AUS-8 Steel: Find Your Perfect Pick

8Cr13MoV vs. AUS-8 Steel Find Your Perfect Pick

Diligent examination of the blade’s steel is essential when choosing between two knives. In the world of knives, two highly favored steel garnered significant attention: 8Cr13MoV and AUS-8. Understanding the differences between them can help you make an informed decision.

8Cr13MoV is a Chinese stainless steel known for its balance between toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance. It provides reasonable hardness for everyday use. On the other hand, AUS-8 is a Japanese stainless steel with similar qualities, but offers slightly better corrosion resistance and toughness.

We’ll discuss the two steel further in detail below. Including their composition and specific properties in the following sections. We’ll also help you decide which steel to choose from, read till the end to find out! 

What is 8Cr13MoV and AUS-8 steel?

It’s important to understand the compositions of steel first. Knowing what the steel consists of can help you partially explain some of its properties. For example, more chromium means better rust resistance. 8Cr13MoV and AUS-8 are no exceptions. 

8Cr13MoV steel

Composition

  • Carbon: 0.80%
  • Chromium: 13.00 – 14.50%
  • Manganese: 1.00%
  • Silicon: 1.00%
  • Molybdenum: 0.30%
  • Vanadium: 0.25%
8Cr13MoV Clad Steel Rosewood Wa Handle Nakiri

8Cr13MoV steel, often dubbed as a “budget-friendly” steel, has gained significant traction in recent years. This Chinese-made steel offers commendable performance. It’s impressively cost-effective when compared to pricier options. Initially developed for industrial applications, it has since found its way into the consumer market, particularly in the realm of knives and tools.

The steel is known for a good balance of performance and affordability. Although technically considered high-carbon stainless steel, 8Cr13MoV has a rather medium carbon content compared to other steel like D2.

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AUS-8 steel

Composition

  • Carbon: 0.70 to 0.75%
  • Chromium: 13.00 to 14.50%
  • Silicon: 1.00%
  • Manganese: 0.50%
  • Nickel: 0.49%
  • Molybdenum: 0.10 to 0.30%
  • Vanadium: 0.10 to 0.26%

Developed by Aichi Steel Corporation, AUS-8 steel was designed as an improvement over the popular AUS 6 steel. It quickly gained recognition for its enhanced attributes, making it a preferred option for a wide range of applications. As word spread about its reliability and cost-effectiveness, AUS-8 steel garnered positive feedback. Both from professionals and enthusiasts within the industry.

AUS-8 steel is a stainless steel alloy that falls into the category of high-carbon, high-chromium steels. Its combination of elements provides AUS-8 with notable hardness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance.

8Cr13MoV vs AUS-8: side by side comparison

8Cr13MoV and AUS-8 are both popular stainless steel options for budget knives, particularly in the EDC (everyday carry) category. They share some similarities in terms of composition and performance but also have some differences. 

Hardness

The hardness level between 8Cr13MoV and AUS-8 is close. Both typically range from 58-60 HRC (Rockwell hardness scale). However, AUS-8 steel is often heat-treated to achieve slightly higher hardness, around 60 HRC.

Edge retention

the edge retention between 8cr and aus8

Edge retention refers to a blade’s ability to maintain its sharpness after extended use. AUS-8 steel generally has better edge retention compared to 8Cr13MoV, mainly due to its higher carbon content (around 0.75% compared to 0.7% in 8Cr13MoV) and slightly higher hardness. However, the difference is not significant, and both steels provide decent edge retention for everyday use.

Corrosion resistance

Corrosion resistance is the ability of a steel to resist rust and other forms of oxidation. Both 8Cr13MoV and AUS-8 are stainless steels with a moderate amount of chromium (around 13-14%). This rate is sufficient enough to deem them corrosion resistant.  

While they are not as corrosion-resistant as some other stainless steels, they offer adequate protection for everyday use, especially if properly maintained. Between the two, AUS-8 has a slight advantage in corrosion resistance due to its slightly higher chromium content.

Toughness and strength

Toughness is a material’s ability to absorb energy and resist fracture. AUS-8 steel is considered to have better toughness than 8Cr13MoV steel. 

This is primarily due to its higher nickel content, which enhances the steel’s ductility and improves its resistance to chipping and cracking. However, both steels are considered to have moderate toughness levels, making them suitable for everyday use.

Wear resistance

Wear resistance is a material’s ability to withstand wear and abrasion during use. AUS-8 steel typically has better wear resistance than 8Cr13MoV, thanks to its higher carbon and molybdenum content. The higher carbon content contributes to the formation of more carbides, which offer increased wear resistance. However, both steels provide decent wear resistance for general use.

Budget and availability

Both 8Cr13MoV and AUS-8 steel are known for their affordable price points. In general, you’ll find that knives made from these materials come at a relatively low cost when compared to premium steels. But 8Cr13MoV is in general cheaper to come around, thus making them more in demand in the market. 

Table 

Properties8Cr13MoV SteelAUS-8 Steel
Hardness58-60 HRC58-60 HRC
Edge RetentionModerateModerate
Corrosion ResistanceModerateGood
ToughnessGoodGood
Wear ResistanceModerateModerate
Budget/AvailabilitySlightly more budget-friendlyBudget-friendly, widely available

Which steel should you sell in your store?

8cr13mov vs aus 8 which steel should you sell in your store

As a store owner, it’s essential to consider the properties of 8Cr13MoV and AUS-8 steel before deciding which one to stock in your store. The two steels have similarities, but they also differ in various aspects that could significantly impact consumer choice and satisfaction.

What expect from 8Cr13MoV steel

8Cr13MoV is a popular choice for budget-friendly folding knives, kitchen knives, and multi-tools. Its balance of properties, including toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance, makes it suitable for everyday use. Additionally, it’s relatively easy to sharpen, which can be an attractive feature for customers who are not experienced in knife maintenance.

What expect from AUS-8 steel

AUS-8, on the other hand, is commonly found in mid-range folding knives, hunting knives, and tactical knives. One of its main advantages is its higher corrosion resistance compared to 8Cr13MoV. Furthermore, AUS-8 offers better edge retention, which means the knives will stay sharper for longer periods of use.

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In summary

When deciding which steel to sell in your store, assess your target customers and their preferences. If your customer base consists mainly of budget-conscious shoppers, 8Cr13MoV might be the better choice for you to stock. However, if your customers are more inclined towards higher-quality knives with better rust resistance and edge retention, AUS-8 might be the more suitable option.

Keep in mind that stocking both steel types could also be an excellent strategy. Depending on the size of your store and your business model, you can cater to a broader range of customers.  Just ensure that you communicate the differences between the two steels effectively. Letting your customers make informed decisions when purchasing knives from your store.

Sourcing with LeeKnives

8Cr13MoV or AUS-8, we can help you create the best knife in your vision. LeeKnives is a reputable knife factory located in Yangjing, the knife capital of China. Contact us today to request a free quote and see what we can offer.

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