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Is AEB-L Really A Stainless Carbon?

Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:53 am

This is a companion post for my first in the sharpening Q&A.

I'm looking to invest in a few good knives and stones with a focus on improving my sharpening skills. I have a few carbon knives, but now I'm looking for a stainless blade so that my wife won't be so adverse to using it. AEB-L is always recommended as being easy to sharpen and I've heard it called a "stainless 52100" many times. I'm just writing now to get some clarification on that. I have many stainless knives, kitchen and otherwise, some of them in premium steels, but I always find non-stainless easier to sharpen. Is AEB-L really as easy to sharpen as everyone says? Does it truly behave like a carbon steel?

Re: Is AEB-L Really A Stainless Carbon?

Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:14 am

Yes go get one of the Richmond artifex knives, they are just to affordable not to go try it out. Aeb-l has become my preferred steel and I don't have to worry about it with girlfriend. I have the Richmond fanatic cleaver aebl and the Richmond laser aeb-l, but I started with Richmond artifex 240mm Aeb-l. All of these knives were used in professional kitchen with TONS of prep work and at home , I also own some other carbon knives but I pretty much stick with good hard stainless, and a yes they are extremely easy to sharpen. And if you personally don't like it at least your wife will have a nice knife that you won't have to worry about rusting

Re: Is AEB-L Really A Stainless Carbon?

Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:17 pm

If properly heat treated, AEB-L is as easy to sharpen as any carbon I've ever tried.....yes.

Re: Is AEB-L Really A Stainless Carbon?

Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:33 pm

One more yes, nothing else needs to be said.

Re: Is AEB-L Really A Stainless Carbon?

Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:38 pm

And the crowd chanted:

A-E-B-L !

A-E-B-L !

A-E-B-L !

Re: Is AEB-L Really A Stainless Carbon?

Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:10 pm

The only thing I have seen on my aeb-l artifex is a tiny little rust spot where the engraving for "Artifex" is on the blade. Came clean immediately with a little BKF though. This was after it was washed and set to air dry. I have washed it the same way since then and never had the problem again..

Re: Is AEB-L Really A Stainless Carbon?

Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:27 pm

Yes, in my experience I find that AEB-L is just as easy to work with as carbon steels. My Richmond Laser AEB-L is super easy to work with and due to its stainless nature, it has become my girlfriend's favorite. It sounds like your wife will appreciate it.

Which AEB-L knives are you considering?

Re: Is AEB-L Really A Stainless Carbon?

Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:45 pm

AEB-L Rules. To me, it behaves a lot like a carbon steel on the stones. It's very easy to sharpen and it takes a great edge. I bought a few Artifex knives, one of which was in 52100. I gave the carbon knife away and kept the AEB-L one. I have a soft spot for carbon steel, but I liked AEB-L so much that I abandoned the 52100 knife.


I had such good experiences with Mark's AEB-L Artifex knives that I purposefully bought my newest pocket knife in steel as close to AEB-L as I could get.


Just do it, dude.
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