What do you like about AEB-L?

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josemartinlopez

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What do you like about AEB-L? My understanding is, it's an accessible stainless steel for many makers so a number who offer a stainless option offer AEB-L. It can get sharper and is easier to sharpen, but retains the edge for a shorter time (very vaguely like a White2 of stainless). Is this a good way of putting it? Trying to think through how AEB-L compared to other stainless like R2.
 

Nagakin

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At lower hardness (60-62) it also feels indestructible and can live a long toothy life with just a ceramic rod. One of my favorite line knives was aebl.
 

josemartinlopez

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I think I prefer higher hardness stainless which is why I am thinking this way. So is it right that if you feel a AEBL loses its edge too quickly you should try to ask how the heat treat was done, and lower hardness May mean better toughness so some makers might balance those two differently (while some might just not heat treat as well as others)?
 

M1k3

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It's pretty tough (less chippy) also, even at higher hardness.
 

adam92

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I love the steel, easy to sharpen, hold the edge better than white two.
 

jeremysell

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I agree with everybody else as well. It acts like a high carbon steel when sharpening but higher edge retention and better toughness but also stainless, not amazing corrosion resistance but better than the high carbon steels.
 

@ftermath

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but isn’t 62.5 the extreme maximum for AEBL? Who are known to take AEBL to 62 or higher?
Tsourkan takes his AEBL to 62.5-63. I have an AEBL workhorse from him that feels excellent on the board. Haven’t had a need to sharpened it yet so can’t speak to edge retention (limited use) or feel on stones. Marko got it very sharp though so it’ll get there.

I had an Ashi Ginga in AEBL and a Konosuke HD2. Same knife except for the steel and between those two, I preferred the HD2.
 

daveb

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My experience is that aebl is largely maker dependent. I have aebl knives from Devin, Marko, and Haburn (and have used Robin's) that I would compare well to any steel - esp stainless.

As noted it's pretty much available to any maker and I've had/used a couple that were duds. It may well be the next vundersteel for production knives - I wouldn't have one.

Don't put up the "I will buy this" sign unless you know the maker is good with it.
 

jeremysell

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For the 62 max RC that’s also without cold treatment. LN is best but dry ice can improve hardness as well.
 

Ruso

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Nothing really. There are much better steels for kitchen knives.
 

Matt Jacobs

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I love AEB-L. My experience on 1/2 a dozen or so is that it sharpens as easily as white #2 but holds the edge far longer. It is very tough and I am comfortable with guests using it. My wife abuses her knife in a way that I would not be comfortable with most other steels. My only complaint would be good stiction. I know that's not the steel, bust most example I have seen are full flat grind mono steel.
 

spaceconvoy

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I like the A and the B best, but I don’t care much for the L.
The L is the best part! Otherwise it's just stanky AEB-H which no one likes to sharpen.

But in general I like the clean look of the all-letters name, very sensible. Blue and White, those would be good names, but Blue 2? Get it right the first time morans, I'm not interested in sequels.
 

tcmx3

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I think I prefer higher hardness stainless which is why I am thinking this way. So is it right that if you feel a AEBL loses its edge too quickly you should try to ask how the heat treat was done, and lower hardness May mean better toughness so some makers might balance those two differently (while some might just not heat treat as well as others)?
why?

IME hardness from a good smith is only the vaguest of indicators about a knife.

anyway I have two AEBL knives one is amazing (Tsourkan workhorse) and the other is a complete disaster (Richmond laser)
 

daveb

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[/QUOTE]
anyway I have two AEBL knives one is amazing (Tsourkan workhorse) and the other is a complete disaster (Richmond laser)
[/QUOTE]

Me thinks the Richmond has as much to do with maker/vendor as it does the steel.
 

Barmoley

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The L is the best part! Otherwise it's just stanky AEB-H which no one likes to sharpen.

But in general I like the clean look of the all-letters name, very sensible. Blue and White, those would be good names, but Blue 2? Get it right the first time morans, I'm not interested in sequels.
Absolutely correct, it is all in the name. Take crappy AEB-H, that no one likes and call it something sexy like maybe, I don’t know….ginsanko, yes that's it…..sounds mysterious. Now, you have an excellent steel, the “carbon” of stainless, the easiest stainless to sharpen, the best feeling on the stones, the King. The L is the best part of AEB-L.
 
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josemartinlopez

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Don't put up the "I will buy this" sign unless you know the maker is good with it.
Thanks chief. Yeah, this thread was inspired by a maker who I know is pretty good and tried AEBL. So I asked some questions about the AEBL, armed with some notes from Robin and Larrin's articles. What I'm still thinking through is how to gauge when a maker outsources to a reputable commercial treatment for AEBL.
 

Ruso

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Absolutely correct, it is all in the name. Take crappy AEB-H, that no one likes and call it something sexy like maybe, I don’t know….ginsanko, yes that's it…..sounds mysterious. Now, you have an excellent steel, the “carbon” of stainless, the easiest stainless to sharpen, the best feeling on the stones, the King. The L is the best part of AEB-L.
Based on zknives compositon graph, Ginsanko is mor similar to AEB-L than AEB-H for what it worth.
Still a tad different to both AEB though.
 

big_adventure

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I have an AEB-L gyuto made by @The Edge hardened to ~63 and it's a brilliant knife. Crazy-easy maintenance, building a burr takes about two dozen strokes, it's just... easy.
 

Barmoley

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Do you need glasses?
Hmmm. Let’s try to make it simple.
Ginsanko spec is 0.95-1.1% carbon, 13-14.5% chrome 0.6-1% manganese and below some low levels of impurities.
aeb-h spec is 1% carbon, 13.5% chromium, 0.5% manganese.

Sooo, short of 0.1% manganese aeb-h falls within ginsanko spec and so could be called ginsanko. If hitachi made a batch of steel that had the same composition as aeb-h they would call it ginsanko and all the recommendations for heat treat and use would be the same. We would expect both steels to have similar carbide structure and in general perform similarly since they fall within the same spec.

aeb-l spec is 0.67% carbon giving it very fine carbide structure and by extension very different properties, such as high toughness and high edge stability. Larrin’s article I linked to before explains very well what makes aeb-l special.
 

tomsch

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I have a HHH in AEB-L and it's a great beater. Easy to sharpen and keeps an edge for some time. Given that I use it for cutting up stuff like thick skinned squash it's holding up pretty well.
 

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