What Is AEB L Steel And Is It Good For Knives? 

AEB L steel is considered a hidden gem among steels, especially those that are used for knives.

As you read through this guide and learn more about AEB L steel, you will realize what makes this steel so special.

What Is AEB L Steel and Is It Good for Knives? 

Unfortunately, it is not produced as much as it used to be, but that doesn’t mean that you can never get your hands on a beautiful AEB L steel knife in the future!

AEB L Steel – What Is It?

AEB L steel is stainless steel that is non-powder and produced by the Austrian company Bohler-Uddeholm. This steel has been available since the 1960s and was originally created as a razor steel blade. Some producers refer to it as N611 steel.

Because of its high hardness, good corrosion resistance, ease of sharpening, and great toughness, the steel stands out.

AEB L is still popular among knife manufacturers due to its consistency, ease of workability, and ability to achieve a complete mirror polish finish.

Furthermore, this steel should not be confused with AEB. AEB L has less carbon than AEB and finer carbides, which have no effect on hardness.

Sandvik 12c27 is the equivalent to AEB L steel due to its same chemical makeup. They also have comparable edge retention, corrosion resistance, hardness, toughness, wear resistance, and ease of sharpening.

Both the AEB L and the Sandvik 12c27 are popular among knife producers and are priced similarly.

What Is AEB L Steel Used For?

This steel is most commonly used for knives, although it is also widely used for scalpels and other culinary tools.

AEB-L has a far longer history than the 1960s. Even though this steel was widely utilized in the fabrication of razor blades in the 1960s, it was trademarked by Bohler-Uddholm in the 1920s, specifically in 1928.

AEB-L steel is over a century old and has competed with new stainless steel since then.

The original structure of AEB L steel was compromised of 1% carbon and 13% chromium, and it hasn’t really changed since then. AEB L is low-alloy steel with few additions that impact its performance.

In the market, there is steel by Bohler-Uddehlm that is frequently mistaken with AEB L. This is known as the AEB H. They differ in terms of grain dispersion and carbide content.

AEB L Steel Properties


You must be concerned about sharpening due to the hardness of the steel. The good news is that, despite its exceptional hardness, AEB-L steel is quite simple to sharpen.

This feature is connected with the presence of tiny and fine carbides in the structure. Even with simple sharpening equipment, you will be able to get a sharp edge quickly.

Edge Retention

You’ll be delighted with how long this steel maintains its edge. The finer carbides in AEB-composition, L’s as well as its high hardness, contribute to its exceptional edge retention.

It is worth mentioning that AEB L stainless steel has a lower melting point than 440C stainless steel. However, if AEB L steel is hardened to a hardness level of more than 62HRC, edge retention can be considerably enhanced.

Corrosion Resistance

AEB L has excellent corrosion resistance due it’s having a high amount of chromium in its composition. Steel knives may withstand corrosion even with minimum care.

This is not to say that you should ignore the blades. Proper upkeep improves its corrosion resistance.

What Is AEB L Steel and Is It Good for Knives? 

Furthermore, because they are made of stainless steel, the knives will not discolor. The corrosion resistance of AEB L stainless steel is equivalent to that of Chinese-made 8Cr13MoV steel and Japanese AUS 8 Steel.  

Wear Resistance

Another area where this steel excels is in wear resistance, which is related to its high hardness. This steel can survive ordinary wear and tear due to its strong wear resistance. Even with repeated usage and honing, its blades will not bend.


AEB L stainless steel has outstanding toughness, much above what is anticipated of steel of this hardness category. AEB L’s greater toughness is attributed to the modest amount of extremely tiny carbides that strengthen its grain structure.

The toughness of AEB L stainless steel is among the best available. It has a toughness rating of 9 out of 10. AEB L stainless steel is only surpassed by a few steels, including 8670 steels, 5160 steel, and Z-tuff.


According to the Rockwell hardness scale, AEB-L has a hardness of 61-62HRC. However, specific hardness varies depending on the heat treatment used by the producer.

The hardness of this steel may be increased to 65HRC with adequate heat treatment.

Does AEB L Steel Make For Good Knives? 

For almost a century, AEB L has been a solid choice for stainless steel knives. Its corrosion resistance, hardness, toughness, and, most significantly, wear resistance makes it a knife that can withstand any challenge.

Something about the AEB L knife’s build makes it seem much more solid and durable than another inexpensive modern budget stainless steel on the market.

Most knife makers use AEB L steel because of its simple yet efficient heat treatment method. It’s simple to deal with and provides good hardness when treated properly.

Because of its high content of chromium, AEB L is classified as a stainless-steel blade. AEB L steel does not rust quickly and is an excellent choice for a sword or long knife.

You should still maintain your AEB L blades by having them clean and dry at all times, and if you live in a very humid region, you should oil them.

With such amazing attributes, AEB L is unquestionably exceptional knife steel that will withstand outdoor use in camping, trekking, or hunting settings.

Since this steel is reasonably easy to work with, it is a splendid choice for both novice and experienced knife manufacturers.


Due to its high edge retention, wear resistance, hardness, and toughness, AEB L is one-of-a-kind steel. Steels like the AEB L are no longer manufactured.

We hope you were able to observe what a fantastic steel AEB L is and how well it has performed over the last 100 years.

Tom Bower