The Richmond AEB-L laser is a great laser for the price. The Konosuke HD is a great laser, period.
Both HD and AEB-L have excellent edge taking properties. They are close enough (along with the other stainless and carbon alloys used in other lasers) that the knife's "perceived sharpness" -- whether fresh off the stones or after some use -- will be far more dependent on the sharpeners skill and knife and edge geometries than on the identities of the various alloys.
The Kono HD will hold its edge against wear slightly
better than the Richmond AEB-L; so will the Kono White #2; so will other White #2 lasers. Edge holding of the Richmond AEB-L is equal to the other stainless lasers, whether Gesshin Ginga Stainless; Konosuke HH; Sakai Yusuke Swedish; Suisun Inox Honyaki; or Tadatsuna Inox. There's no laser currently on the market with the insane edge holding of -- say -- a Bohler 390 Ultimatum.
Lasers are all so thin, and none is so hard that no one stands out in resistance to impact burrs. None are good candidates for steeling. That means that ordinary maintenance should include at least some "touching up," to true the bending burrs which are an inevitable product of chopping. If you're very critical, figure on truing once a week in a home kitchen, and before every shift in a restaurant. Full Disclosure: I steel my Kono HDs, but unless you combine good skills with extreme pigheadness, you shouldn't.
The differences in edge holding between the stainless, carbon and semi-stainless lasers are not enough to affect an ordinary users sharpening cycle. If you'd sharpen an HD once every two months, you'd sharpen carbon laser and an AEB-L laser once every two months too. The differences are not, in my opinion, sufficiently important to choose a carbon or semi-stainless knife over one of the stainless lasers. At least not standing alone.
If the difference in price between a Richmond AEB-L and a Konosuke HD isn't enough to make you change your meal plans, get the HD.
Last edited by boar_d_laze
on Tue May 07, 2013 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.