9cr18mov vs AUS 8 Steel

Knives and tools often find their way into the hearts of many, but the key to a durable and reliable blade lies in the choice of steel. 

Two popular contenders, 9cr18mov and AUS 8, have been battling it out for supremacy. 

This article will examine these two steels in-depth, comparing their properties, performance, and suitability for various applications, ultimately revealing which one comes out on top.

A Brief Overview of 9cr18mov and AUS 8 Steels

9cr18mov: A High Chromium, Stainless Steel

9cr18mov is a high-chromium, stainless steel originating from China. Known for its high wear resistance and edge retention, this steel is commonly used in knife blades and cutting tools. 

Its high chromium content provides excellent corrosion resistance, making it ideal for use in wet or corrosive environments.

AUS 8: A Versatile, Japanese Stainless Steel

AUS 8, on the other hand, is a Japanese stainless steel known for its versatility and well-rounded performance. 

It features a good balance of toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance, making it a popular choice for a variety of knives and tools.

Key Properties: Strengths and Weaknesses

Hardness and Edge Retention

9cr18mov boasts a higher hardness rating, ranging between 58-60 HRC, compared to AUS 8, which typically falls between 57-59 HRC. 

The higher hardness of 9cr18mov allows for better edge retention and wear resistance.


Toughness and Durability

AUS 8 holds an advantage in toughness over 9cr18mov. AUS 8’s lower hardness rating makes it less prone to chipping or breaking under stress, making it a more suitable choice for heavy-duty applications or knives subjected to impact or lateral forces.

Corrosion Resistance

Both 9cr18mov and AUS 8 are stainless steels, meaning they possess a high degree of corrosion resistance. 

However, the higher chromium content of 9cr18mov gives it an edge in corrosion resistance compared to AUS 8.

Real-Life Applications: Which Steel Shines Brighter?

Everyday Carry (EDC) Knives

For an everyday carry knife, a balance of edge retention, toughness, and corrosion resistance is crucial. In this case, AUS 8 may be the more suitable choice due to its well-rounded performance and superior toughness compared to 9cr18mov.

Kitchen Knives

For kitchen knives, edge retention and corrosion resistance are of utmost importance. In this scenario, 9cr18mov may be the better choice, thanks to its superior edge retention and high chromium content, which provides excellent corrosion resistance.

Outdoor and Survival Knives

For outdoor and survival knives, toughness and durability are critical factors. In this case, AUS 8 may be the better choice, as its toughness makes it more resilient against chipping and breaking under harsh conditions.

Comparison Table: 9cr18mov vs AUS 8

Property9cr18movAUS 8
Hardness58-60 HRC57-59 HRC
Edge RetentionHighModerate
Corrosion ResistanceHighModerate
PriceSlightly higherSlightly lower

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I sharpen both 9cr18mov and AUS 8 steels easily?

Both 9cr18mov and AUS 8 are relatively easy to sharpen, although AUS 8 may be slightly easier due to its lower hardness.

How do 9cr18mov and AUS 8 compare in price?

Generally, 9cr18mov is slightly more expensive than AUS 8, although prices can vary depending on the specific knife or tool being purchased.

Are there other alternatives to 9cr18mov and AUS 8?

Yes, there are several other stainless steel alternatives, such as VG-10, 440C, and CPM-S30V, each with its own unique set of properties and performance characteristics. Your choice will depend on your specific needs and budget.

The Final Verdict

When it comes to deciding between 9cr18mov and AUS 8, it ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. If edge retention and corrosion resistance are your top priorities, 9cr18mov may be the better choice. 

However, if you require a versatile steel with excellent toughness and ease of sharpening, AUS 8 may be the more suitable option.

Remember, the perfect steel doesn’t exist; each type has its strengths and weaknesses. By understanding the properties of each steel and evaluating them in light of your intended usage, you can make an informed decision and select the best steel for your blade.

I'm Justin, co-founder of AllofKitchen and your knife and steel specialist. My extensive experience ensures accurate and hands-on advice on every topic. Turn to me for insights on selecting the best knife or maintaining your steel tools to perfection. Knives aren't just tools; they're an extension of the chef, and I'm here to guide you to the perfect fit.

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