Any else prefer the lower wear/higher toughness stainless steels?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by jstn, May 21, 2020.

  1. jstn

    jstn Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    I know edge retention is all the rage, but sometimes I get tired of the chippiness of steels like S110V, S90V, and even M390 to a lesser extent. When I'm going to be really using a stainless I find myself often reaching for something in AEB-L, Nitro-V, LC200N (surprisingly tough) and even 14c28n (very underrated IMO). I especially like AEB-L and would love to see it in more folders.

    I realize for certain applications edge retention is important, but I think that oftentimes the trade off of toughness is too much.
  2. Officer's Match

    Officer's Match Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 23, 2013
    I've become very fond of XHP, but have had great luck with S35vn.
  3. jstn

    jstn Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Same here. I really like S35VN and it seems way less chippy in my experience than S30V or M390. I got a Hinderer XM recently in S35VN as opposed to the regular 20CV. Good stuff!
  4. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    AEB-L is absolutely one of my favorite steels. Same with the various Sandvik variants.
  5. CSG


    Dec 15, 2007
    I pay almost no attention to what steel is being used by the major brands that interest me (Benchmade, Victorinox, and Buck). I'm not a heavy user of knives but notice little performance difference other than one might need honing or sharpening a little sooner than another. I've never had a blade chip on me that I can recall.
    allenC, guy g and jstn like this.
  6. Therom


    Nov 13, 2013
    I really like the CRK s35vn in this chapter
    Razor, allenC and jstn like this.
  7. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    I like Vanax, because it's easy to resharpen, takes a really nice edge and holds that edge for a long time. Plus, it's about as stainless as it gets. All good.

    I do have a kitchen knife in AEB-L. The knife is nice, but the steel doesn't hold an edge worth a darn. I gave up on it. Yes, it's tough, but it requires constant attention to the edge.
    anthonycastorena2014 and jstn like this.
  8. fielder


    Jan 25, 2011
    I prefer tougher stainless steel that is easy to sharpen rather than hard, possibly chippy and difficult to sharpen steel.
    The Sandvik steels are great. I've only got one knife in Aebl, I like it so far.
    hugofeynman, Alberta Ed and jstn like this.
  9. Mikael W

    Mikael W Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    If You like AEB-L with a little more of edgeholding, try a knife from Horsewright / Dave Ferry.
    His heat-treatment is over the top for this steel!

    Sonnydaze, jstn and jfk1110 like this.
  10. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    I've not had any major issues with chipping, but I have found that 14c28n is just about perfect for what I actually use a knife for. I'm also extremely comfortable with VG10, N690 and others.
    jstn and Chronovore like this.
  11. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    1. . I’m with you on 14c28n. I’ve have really good experiences with this steel. It’s a nice blend of performance.
    ATJ999, fielder, jstn and 1 other person like this.
  12. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    I've gone the other way towards high strength, acceptable toughness tool steel alloys. I don't need tons of corrosion resistance, but I like not sharpening frequently, so for me what's ideal is something like K390, which will cut for days and shrug off accidental contact with staples or a stone counter way better than stainless supersteels.

    I'm not sure how people here have never experienced a chip, but I've gotten a bunch on stainless steels.
    Razor, Ben Dover and jstn like this.
  13. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 29, 2019
    I feel the same. I've had plenty of good experiences with 14C28N and VG-10. Whenever I see a new knife that strikes my fancy for a reasonable price, seeing either of those steels makes me likely to buy. I'm new to N690 via Kizer but so far, so good.
    Insipid Moniker and jstn like this.
  14. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    14c is a damn good steel and very under rated! I have been in love with Fallkniven 's Lam CoS steel and some pretty tough stuff too. Steel type doesn't even come into play for me until at least 3 other boxes are ticked off! Besides I like sharpening and stropping my knives, I find it therapeutic!!!
    fielder, Insipid Moniker and jstn like this.
  15. jstn

    jstn Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    I need to try some Vanax.
  16. jstn

    jstn Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    I'm right there with you. Love me some 4V and K390.
    Forester_01 and marrenmiller like this.
  17. Velitrius

    Velitrius Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    Wholeheartedly agree. Sandvik has some great stuff going there, and I simply love VG-10 too.

    Hell, I got no problem with AUS-8 myself.
    DocJD, willc, fielder and 2 others like this.
  18. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    AEB-L if heat treated to take advantage of it can be exceptional IMHO and I hope to see more use of it soon ... 14c is very similar to AEB-L and in my limited use I like it quite a bit also.

    Personally I prefer a bit more toughness over a blade with more edge retention that chips.
    hugofeynman, Creaky Bones and fielder like this.
  19. marrenmiller

    marrenmiller Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 6, 2017
    All day
  20. Blowpop

    Blowpop Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 21, 2014
    I definitely agree, for me s35vn has been the sweet spot of durability, ease of sharpening, and edge retention. I am not a fan of m390 since it’s been too chippy in my experience.
    DocJD and jstn like this.

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