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Thread: AUS8 vs 8CR13

  1. #1
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    AUS8 vs 8CR13


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    OK guys, what are the differences between AUS8 and 8CR13, which is better for an EDC. Looking at a new model knife that offers these steels not sure which is better.

  2. #2
    8CR13mov is a bit better than aus8. AUS-8 is normally softer. My EDC knife is AUS-8, just cause the design fits my hand well and it does what I need it to do.
    I wouldn't worry too much. If you like the 8CR13mov then get it. It's a descent steel.

    http://www.spyderco.com/edge-u-cation/steelchart1.php This is a link to Spyderco's education website.

    I use their steel chart a lot. You'll be able to compare different steels here.

  3. #3
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    Either steel is on the edge of supersteel performance; it takes very careful processing (like heat treating and so on) on behalf of the manufacturer to bring it into its prime.

    An important consideration is that AUS8 is a Japanese steel, while 8CR13MOV is Chinese. I usually go for the Japanese and American steels, but it really depends on the company, and how much they baby their knives. Cold Steel's made-in-China knives are actually pretty good. Byrd's 8CR13 is better than CRKT's AUS8, but then CRKT's AUS8 is better than CRKT's 8CR13. (and I've an inkling that's the brand you're looking at)

    In either case, the difference is not too significant, barring any of those lapses in QC that Chinese products are getting more and more notorious for. If the two knives are from the same company, I doubt you'll notice a huge difference between the steels.

  4. #4
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    Actually I am looking at Myerco's Maxx-Q, hopefully they will be available shortly. Maybe the Lambert designed Myerco Shock Wave also.

  5. #5
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    When hardened to the same Rockwell, AUS8 and 8Cr13MoV have very similar edge retention. So says the Spyderco web site. When I tested two blades each of which measured 59HRC, cutting manila rope in a side-by-side test, I could not tell the difference either.

    Sal Glessar has posted that in salt spray corrosion tests AUS8 performed a bit better than 8Cr13MoV. There have been some comments by various users of similar experiences.
    Frank R

    ... Still looking for a vorpal blade.
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  6. #6
    I have been waiting for a thread comparing these. I have been favoring my ontarion RAT 1 over my spyderco tenacious lately. Rat 1 is AUS8 and Spyder is 8Cr13MoV.

    My RAT has held up better than the Tenacious.

    I dont know much about knives, but I have heard that hard steels can perform worse that soft steels sometimes. The soft steels will hold an edge while the hard steels disintigrate with use because it they are more brittle. -I have never tested that, just something I heard that I thought made sense for some steels.

  7. #7
    hmm, that's interesting!

    I've never quite heard that about soft versus hard steel. However, I must admit, my edc is a SOG with Aus-8 and it does very very well. I know it's not a tough steel, but it's really easy to sharpen and man I can get a serious edge on it.
    But I've got to think that the soft vs hard steel is talking about bending and denting compared to brittle. A real hard brittle blade like on a chisel can chip or break if dropped where a softer metal will flex a bit.

    But I think overall a hard blade will hold a better edge over time as long as you're not using for chopping wood or sword fighting.

    Some Japanese swords are made out of the famous San Mai III steel. It's a layered softer steel wrapped around a very hard steel to produce a very hard sharp edge but some overall flex and bend to the blade when being struck against another blade.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Knivesandgear.com View Post
    hmm, that's interesting!

    I've never quite heard that about soft versus hard steel. However, I must admit, my edc is a SOG with Aus-8 and it does very very well. I know it's not a tough steel, but it's really easy to sharpen and man I can get a serious edge on it.
    But I've got to think that the soft vs hard steel is talking about bending and denting compared to brittle. A real hard brittle blade like on a chisel can chip or break if dropped where a softer metal will flex a bit.

    But I think overall a hard blade will hold a better edge over time as long as you're not using for chopping wood or sword fighting.

    Some Japanese swords are made out of the famous San Mai III steel. It's a layered softer steel wrapped around a very hard steel to produce a very hard sharp edge but some overall flex and bend to the blade when being struck against another blade.

    Besides Bending over breaking I have heard that a soft steel can hold anedge longer because the edge of a hard steel will disintigrate faster because of brittleness, while a soft steel will hold together and stay homogenous.

    It was only something I have heard. I think I got it from "BLUNTTRUTH4U" when he was reviewing knife steels on utube. As far as im concerned it is only a though, and may not be true, but it sounded possible. Here is a link to his two vids if your interested:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXOdO...e=channel_page
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vACYR...eature=channel

    I think the second one he mentions soft vs hard edge retention. Again just a thought, not proven as fact.

  9. #9
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    Pick the one you like best, and don't worry about steel types. You (probably) couldn't tell the difference between the two, regardless.

  10. #10
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    I don't wanna be a smartass, but I'd like to explain some things in terms of edge retention and different steels. First of all, there are no hard or soft steels. Different steels have different potentials for hardness that can be reached during heattreatment, but quite often manufactureres do not make full use of these potentials. Some companies run 8Cr13MoV at 60 Rc, some only at 58 so the differentiation between hard and soft doesn't really work here.
    Secondly, whenever a steel is called 'brittle' (i.e. it's lacking toughness), it doesn't necessarily have to do something with the hardness. For example a S7 steel hardened to 59-60 Rc will be tougher than S90V hardened to 57-58 Rc. It depends on the composition of the steel, though that's not the bottom line. It's not as simple as I would like it to be.
    Finally, edge retention depends on large parts on the content of carbides in a steel not on the hardness. S90V has a lot of very hard vanadium carbides which contribute to the superior edge retention of S90V. So again, the composition of a steel makes the difference.
    But everything that I mentioned is not worth considering if the heatreatment process is all messed up and does not make full use of the steel's potentials.

    I hope that what I've written makes a little sense and helps to understand the performance of certain steels a little better. Now, btt: As long as Myerco does a good HT on both steels, I assume it will be difficult for anyone to tell them apart.

  11. #11
    Thanks morales. I wish I knew more about knife steels.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfeetmageet View Post
    I have been waiting for a thread comparing these. I have been favoring my ontarion RAT 1 over my spyderco tenacious lately. Rat 1 is AUS8 and Spyder is 8Cr13MoV.

    My RAT has held up better than the Tenacious.

    I dont know much about knives, but I have heard that hard steels can perform worse that soft steels sometimes. The soft steels will hold an edge while the hard steels disintigrate with use because it they are more brittle. -I have never tested that, just something I heard that I thought made sense for some steels.
    Not True unless you are chopping or otherwise using the blade in an impact mode. Does not hold true for cutting with the blade.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morales View Post
    I don't wanna be a smartass, but I'd like to explain some things in terms of edge retention and different steels. First of all, there are no hard or soft steels. Different steels have different potentials for hardness that can be reached during heattreatment, but quite often manufactureres do not make full use of these potentials. Some companies run 8Cr13MoV at 60 Rc, some only at 58 so the differentiation between hard and soft doesn't really work here.
    Secondly, whenever a steel is called 'brittle' (i.e. it's lacking toughness), it doesn't necessarily have to do something with the hardness. For example a S7 steel hardened to 59-60 Rc will be tougher than S90V hardened to 57-58 Rc. It depends on the composition of the steel, though that's not the bottom line. It's not as simple as I would like it to be.
    Finally, edge retention depends on large parts on the content of carbides in a steel not on the hardness. S90V has a lot of very hard vanadium carbides which contribute to the superior edge retention of S90V. So again, the composition of a steel makes the difference.
    But everything that I mentioned is not worth considering if the heatreatment process is all messed up and does not make full use of the steel's potentials.

    I hope that what I've written makes a little sense and helps to understand the performance of certain steels a little better. Now, btt: As long as Myerco does a good HT on both steels, I assume it will be difficult for anyone to tell them apart.
    This is true. Great Post.

    As regards the RAT outperforming the Tenacious, aside from possible differences in steel hardness from the heat treats, you have to factor in the geometry of the blades. The Buck folks plainly demonstrated that geometry is more important than alloy in edge retention. That is why comparing steels by comparing two blades from different companies can produce misleading conclusions about the steels. You either have test knives with identical geometries, or you have to perform a very controlled cutting test such that the difference in geometries is negated.
    Frank R

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  13. #13
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    They are the same stuff. Some makers (Spyderco comes to mind) run the HT a bit high on the steel (both AUS-8 and 8Cr13MoV) to get more of an edge out of it. Brings it a bit closer to 154CM performance, and a bit past 440C. Less stainless though.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh K View Post
    They are the same stuff. Some makers (Spyderco comes to mind) run the HT a bit high on the steel (both AUS-8 and 8Cr13MoV) to get more of an edge out of it. Brings it a bit closer to 154CM performance, and a bit past 440C. Less stainless though.
    As tested by whom?

    Spyderco has said 8Cr13MoV has similar edge retention to AUS8.
    My own testing says the same.
    Whose test data have you seen that says that 8Cr13MoV outperformed 440C in edge retention?
    Frank R

    ... Still looking for a vorpal blade.
    (op cit Lewis Carroll)

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by knarfeng View Post
    As tested by whom?

    Spyderco has said 8Cr13MoV has similar edge retention to AUS8.
    My own testing says the same.
    Whose test data have you seen that says that 8Cr13MoV outperformed 440C in edge retention?
    I'm sorry, I have not scientifically tested clones each in one steel, but in my use I find my Tenacious holds an edge a bit longer then my "S."

    I believe I did say that they are the same steel, one's a Chinese copy. I never said they didn't have similar edge retention, I said that instead of running them soft (CRKT does), if you run them a bit hard you get better edge retention with adequate toughness and stainlessness. Both are still good steels.

  16. #16
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    Thanks guys for all the info and opinions about the differences. On a knife that sells online for $35.00 is a $6.00 difference between the AUS8 version and the 8cr13 version going to really show a difference in blade abilities?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by boatsman View Post
    Thanks guys for all the info and opinions about the differences. On a knife that sells online for $35.00 is a $6.00 difference between the AUS8 version and the 8cr13 version going to really show a difference in blade abilities?
    None based on the capabilities of the alloys.
    Frank R

    ... Still looking for a vorpal blade.
    (op cit Lewis Carroll)

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by boatsman View Post
    Thanks guys for all the info and opinions about the differences. On a knife that sells online for $35.00 is a $6.00 difference between the AUS8 version and the 8cr13 version going to really show a difference in blade abilities?
    Nope, but you probably won't get a "China" stamp on the AUS-8 blade. Which models are you comparing?

  19. #19
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    Looking at the Maxx-Q and the Maxx-Q Tatical, also looking at the Shock Wave, micarta and G-10 with 8cr13 for $37.00.

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