Opinions on AEB-L steel

Jan 23, 2013
I will be making my first knife by following bladsmth's tutorial. I am trying to decide which type of steel to use. I have seen AEB-L advertised "easy" to grind/drill etc. As i only have minimal tools (files,a hacksaw, and sandpaper etc) and this knife will not be seeing any hard use, a steel that is easier to file/work with would be welcome. Does anyone have experience working with AEB-L or have any other recommendations on steel for a first timer.
I think AEB-L is an excellent steel if you want stainless but you will have to send it out for heat treatment unless you have advanced equipment. Its easy to work, cheap and takes a great edge. Depending on the type of knife you are making, you may not want to grind the edge too thin though.
Many experienced makers will tell you they love this steel for the machineability and ability to take an edge. Darin Sanders on this forum can probably help you with the HT.

Good luck and be sure to keep us posted on the progress. Also welcome to BF.

Yes, AEB-L, CPM-154, ATS-34, and 154CM all make good stainless blades for beginners working by hand. They are all comparable steels in the quality of the final blade.
AEB-L has very fine carbides, and about .7% carbon. CPM-154 has particle metallurgy to keep the grain size small, and more carbon.
AEB-L is an excellent cutting steel, as it is made to take a very fine edge and still hold up. I think a lot of the razor guys use it for that reason.