AEB-Lwas originally developed for and is still used for razor blades. This steel is made by  Bohler Uddeholm in Austria. These steels are formulated with just enough carbon for the steel to get very hard but not make any chromium carbides. The extremely fine grain makes them easy to sharpen, have good edge holding and excellent edge stability. This is also one of the toughest steels available. This steel performs extremely well at 62HRC. This is the closest you can get to carbon steel blade for sharpness in stainless steel. This is the steel I  recommend for kitchen knives due to its ability to take on an extremely fine and tough edge.

BLADE STEELS

CPM S35VN  is an American steel made by Crucible. CPM S35VN is martensitic stainless steel designed to offer improved toughness over CPM S30V.  Niobium and vanadium have been added to improve toughness and gives it better resistance to edge chipping. Because both vanadium and niobium carbides are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance, the CPM stainless blade steels offer improved edge retention over conventional high chromium steels such as 440C and D2.  Although not considered a "super steel" S35VN is a great choice for an extremely tough camp knife that is still serviceable in the field.  

Carbon Steel  is a traditional steel that does not have the stain resistance of stainless steels.  There are multiple options of carbon steel each with its own benefits. One thing all carbon steels offer is the ability to be sharpened to an extremely fine edge making them the preferred choice by many chef's.   1080 series is a very basic steel that is very tough.  1095 has a little more carbon than 1080 steel and is great for producing hamons but requires a more specialized heat treat.  15N20 is a carbon steel with nickle added for toughness.  This steel is found in bandsaw blades.  All carbon steels steels need to be cared for to prevent concision.  When stored properly, they will develop a natural patina which will help to protect the knife while also giving it a unquiet personality.  

Additional Options - I purchase my steels from multiple suppliers within Canada and the United States.  I have listed 2 types of steel above that I feel will work very well in the kitchen or campsite. I can source many more different types of steels but am most familiar with these steels.  If you would like different steel, I will consider it.  Some steels may have a significant upcharge due to their difficulty to work with and high prices.     If you would like more information on knife steels and availability I suggest you visit Alpha Knife Supply at the following Link:

aks-banner-big-s.jpg