Blade Steel

AUS-6 - Blade Steel

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Steel Composition

carbon 0.65 %
chromium 13.50 %
molybdenum 0.10 %
vanadium 0.10 %
manganese 1.00 %
silicon 1.00 %

The Japanese-manufactured AUS-6 is an mid-grade stainless steel with a higher degree of wear resistance and toughness compared to its sister steels, AUS-4 and AUS-6. However, it doesn’t hold its edge as efficiently as premium steels. It became popular because of its balance between performance, easy sharpening, and affordable cost.

Advantages of AUS-6 as Knife Steel

This steel knife, AUS-6, is an excellent choice for casual EDC users because it provides a well-rounded performance. The steel is easy to sharpen, making it a good choice for beginners. The corrosion resistance, while not premium, is adequate for everyday use, especially if the knife is properly maintained.

Its affordability makes it accessible to a wide range of users. For everyday tasks like opening packages or cutting strings, AUS-6 knife would serve you nicely.

Disadvantages of AUS-6 for Knives

The main disadvantage of using AUS-6 in everyday carry knife is its weak edge retention compared to higher-end steels. This means your knife may need to be sharpened more often, which may be inconvenient for some users.

While AUS-6 is resistant to rust, it might need more maintenance than other stainless steels which can be a downside for some users.

Steel Rating

Steels with good edge retention will stay sharp longer, reducing the need for frequent sharpening

Edge Retention

2/6 Points

Toughness is the steel's ability to absorb energy and deform without breaking


3/6 Points

Corrosion Resistance measures how well the steel can resist rust and oxidation

Corrosion Resistance

4/6 Points

Sharpenability refers to how easily a knife blade can be sharpened to its desired edge


5/6 Points

This is a relative measure based on typical market values. The actual price can vary widel


6/6 Points

A higher HRC number typically indicates a harder steel, which can hold a sharper edge


56 - 58 HRC
Please be aware that this rating should be understood as a comparative measure. It's simply a rough estimation in relation to other knife steels.

Is AUS-6 Rust Resistant?

The AUS-6 steel is stainless which gives it decent rust and corrosion resistance compared to high carbon steels. It's important to note that while it does offer this resistance, it's still crucial to maintain your knife properly to prevent rust from developing.

How Durable is AUS-6?

With an HRC rating of 56 - 58, AUS-6 steel provides a softer blade steel in comparison to upper-level steels. This level of hardness offers the blade a certain level of flexibility, making it less likely to chip on impact. However, this added flexibility comes at the expense of edge retention.


AUS-6 is known as a functional and affordable steel that delivers adequate performance for regular tasks. Its reputation mainly comes from its easy sharpening, decent toughness and corrosion resistance, making it suitable for everyday usage.


To sum up, AUS-6 steel provides good value for money and fulfills the requirements of an everyday carry knife. While its weaknesses lie in the aspect of edge retention and high maintenance requirement, these factors are balanced out by its benefits such as affordability and ease of sharpening.