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TOPIC: Keeping AUS-8 Sharp

Keeping AUS-8 Sharp 1 year 4 months ago #10579

  • ApexGS
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I've had a titanium CRKT M16 for a while, and it's definitely been jarring to switch to AUS8 from Hogue's preferred 154CM. Seller's remorse aside, I've been less than pleased with results thus far and wanted to kick off this sub-section by asking the operative question when it comes to this type of steel:

What are your tips for keeping AUS-8 blades sharp?

Here's what I've got (also on the database) with the CRKT: 19/side on the WEPS, 1000# diamond occasionally with a bit of stropping to clean it up. Results? Seems like it rolls small sections of the edge a bit and ends up patchy, some spots rolled and dull while others are fine. 19 degrees might be too acute, or CRKT's AUS-8 is a bit soft, I'm not sure.

Before I get too horsey with changing angles I figured I'd get a discussion started, given AUS-8 is a very common less expensive steel. :)
Your friendly neighborhood gunsmith!
- Tom
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Re: Keeping AUS-8 Sharp 1 year 4 months ago #10584

  • PhilipPasteur
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Sharpen it more often...

Not being a wise ass. It is not as wear resistent, as tough, nor as hard as some of the higher end steels. Edge retention is not as good. It gets dull faster, so sharpen it more often.

I do usually use 22 to 25 degrees per side on AUS 8... helps with edge durability, but reduces cutting efficiency. It may also allow the blade to dull even more quickly due to the thickness behind the edge being greater. It doesn't roll as much though... It is what it is. Now I don't think Aus 8 is a bad steel. The Cold steel Spartan uses AUS 8A. The steel works well in that recurve blade geometry. It takes an nice edge and aharpens easily. It cuts like crazy.. It just does not have the properties that allow you to do some of the things you would do with some of the super steels. AND It gets dull pretty quickly...


BUT, I can bring it back to 80-90% (for a few itterations at least) with 20 or so passes per side on a bench strop with 1 micron HA spray on it...
Phil

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Last Edit: 1 year 4 months ago by PhilipPasteur.
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Re: Keeping AUS-8 Sharp 1 year 4 months ago #10586

  • JG
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I have two CRKTs with AUS-8 steel, a M21-14SF and a M16-14T. I'm trying a 18.5 degree angle on the M21 right now. It hasn't rolled yet and is still sharp enough to cut hair with light to moderate use, but not nearly as sharp as it was when it was stropped at 3.5 microns a week ago. The M16 has a chisel ground tanto blade and seems to hold an edge much longer at 19 degrees. I don't know if this is because I've had it longer, and it's been sharpened a lot more or what? I agree that either way, it's a far cry from 154CM or S30V.
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Re: Keeping AUS-8 Sharp 1 year 4 months ago #10594

  • Geocyclist
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I think Phillip said about all I would have said.

It also depends on how hard you use your knife and what you cut with it. In the end you can't really change that so like Philip said it is what it is.

I sometimes carry 2 knives or carry a different knife for specific tasks. I have a smaller, higher quality steel I keep razor sharp an use for light duty cutting tasks. It stays sharper longer. For heavy duty and harder cutting tasks (where I know I will dull it faster), carry a larger knife with a more obtuse angle. I use utility knives for mass cardboard cutting and when I need to do work that I would consider abusive on good knifes (i.e. scraping paint off of steel, etc.)
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Re: Keeping AUS-8 Sharp 1 year 4 months ago #10598

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Phil,

You're absolutely right, I do touch up the CRKT very frequently. I knew AUS-8 had a rep for not holding an edge as long as many steels, but wasn't really prepared to be touching up weekly! Like I said in the first post, coming from 154CM has been jarring and I can't wait until I can get another 154CM blade that will fit my needs better. Finances unfortunately disagree with that :)

@JG - I wouldn't call it chisel ground. I discussed the M16 series of knives in another thread and noted that the "back" side of the blade does have a proper bevel instead of just a deburred chisel edge. It seems mostly for show and is an asymmetrical grind, which perhaps lends to the behavior I'm seeing on mine. The one I have is a 13T I believe, the non-tanto partial serrated.

@Geocyclist - I often do the same, but right now the only thing better than AUS-8 I have is actually the little knife pictured in my avatar pic. I've been utterly spoiled by that 4" Hogue EX-01 I had and absolutely regret selling it... oh well, I'll get things together here and get my hands on some better knives again soon hopefully :)
Your friendly neighborhood gunsmith!
- Tom
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Re: Keeping AUS-8 Sharp 1 year 4 months ago #10604

  • JG
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Your quite right about the proper bevel on an asymmetrical grind :dry:. Although, I have learned through experience that describing it as a chisel grind was more of comprehensible description than trying to explain a 90/10 or 95/5 asymmetrical. It does seem to hold the edge longer than the symmetrical edge on the M21....still nothing like 154CM.
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Re: Keeping AUS-8 Sharp 1 year 4 months ago #10632

  • ApexGS
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@JG - I hear you! I guess some of the sticklers are rubbing off on me when it comes to terminology :) I haven't actually owned a proper chisel ground knife as of yet, oddly enough.

I figured since AUS-8 can't hold up to my usual use (which is medium-heavy duty usually) I might as well make a showpiece out of it for the flea markets and such! If nothing else, it does polish up really well :silly:

Your friendly neighborhood gunsmith!
- Tom
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