Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.

Would you be interested in an AEB-L Military?

Yes
51
53%
No
28
29%
Maybe (explain)
17
18%
 
Total votes: 96

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Surfingringo
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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby Surfingringo » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:10 pm

Image

hoimin
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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby hoimin » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:11 pm

Stuart Ackerman wrote:Thanks for the video Hoimin...

My son is visiting St Johns for three months at the moment...just down the road from Cliff...
No problem! I just happened to be watching it a couple of days ago, and it was fortunately still in my brain RAM.

I hope your son is enjoying the visit, Stuart! There appears to be unseasonably pleasant weather in the forecast this week.

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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby Nate » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:26 pm

Here is a CS quote from an old thread that speaks to lower carbon contents a bit:
If you are looking for a steel and you want it to be able to resist damage from impacts, even harsh ones then what you look for is very simple :

-medium carbon content, < 0.6%
-very little alloy content
-low carbide formers (Chromium, Vanadium, Tungsten)

The reason for that carbon content is that the type of steel (martensite) which forms in the hardening is very different if more than 0.6% carbon goes into solution (is dissolved in the soak / high temperature). At high carbon percentages the martensite forms as plate which is very brittle compared to the lathe martensite which forms under 0.6% carbon. This is why if you are using a high carbon steel like 1095 you want the soak temperature to be very low and the soak times to be very low as ideally you just want to put 0.6% into solution (or less if you are looking for toughness).

The reason you want minimal alloy content is that martensite, the steel which forms as the metal is quenched has almost no solubility to these alloys and they start coming out as it cools. Unfortunately when they come out they collect in chunks and along the grain boundaries in the steel and it leads to embrittlement. This is why some of the very tough steels have nickle in them as it prevents carbides from forming in the quench (like L6 for example which is why it is used for bainite as well as high carbide bainite would be like oprah in a bikini, some things just don't go together).

The reason you want low carbide formers is because carbides reduce the toughness of steels because they are inherently much more brittle than steel so they can crack apart themselves and the steel can break off from them.

However, and this is the critical however, the way people harden steels is just as important or even more so than the steels. This is why you can buy a knife from Buck in 5160 which should be very tough but it isn't. Thus it is very difficult to often judge steels from knives because you are not seeing just the steel but a combination of :


-the composition
-how it was processed in the mill
-the way it is ground
-how it was processed by the knife maker/manufacturer
Source
:spyder:

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WireEdge Roger
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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby WireEdge Roger » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:37 pm

I've been wanting an AEBL and/or RWL-34 Military for a long time!!

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Evil D
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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby Evil D » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:48 pm

I admit I haven't read into it very thoroughly, my understanding was that 52100 behaves very similarly to AEB-L and aside from not having a mountain of wear resistance I've never heard anything but high praise from it. I don't expect it to hold an edge like S110V but I do expect it to be tough as nails and take an extremely fine edge without a lot of work. I've also read (not sure how accurate this is) that it's at least on par with and even a bit better than VG10 in pretty much every category. The super fine edge part is what I'm most interested in but toughness is good also.
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sal
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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby sal » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:09 pm

Hi Evil.

I'd be hard pressed to try to compare it to VG-10. Just from my experience, I would put VG-10 far above AEB-L in all categories. AEB-L might take a finer edge....for a short while.

sal

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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby Ignaz » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:10 pm

Yes, definitely. Very interesting steel. My only problem would be the wrong handed lock of the Military, the only thing which kept me from getting the 52100 sprint run (my grail knife). :(
:)

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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby Surfingringo » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:30 pm

sal wrote:Hi Evil.

I'd be hard pressed to try to compare it to VG-10. Just from my experience, I would put VG-10 far above AEB-L in all categories. AEB-L might take a finer edge....for a short while.

sal
Hey Sal, I think our opinions and perceptions about these comparisons are largely determined by our use and sharpening. The more often we sharpen and the higher range we keep a steel in, the more favorably the finer grained, lower carbide steels will compare. (That's my impression anyway).

As an example, lc200n has become one of my favorite steels for everyday use. I find that it compares quite favorably to vg10 in edge retention...I actually prefer lc200n I think. Its worth noting though that I sharpen early and often and try to keep my edges (especially my fish cleaners) in the upper ranges of attainable sharpness. Given my use and sharpening routine, I find that a steel like lc200n holds an edge every bit as good as vg10, if not better. If I were running my edges longer and using them well into lower levels of sharpness then a steel like vg10 would likely start to pull away in performance...but I don't so it doesn't. :)

It's also worth noting that the edge I'm able to create with lc200n is one of the best that I can get out of any steel. I know a lot of folks like the finer grained steels so they can put highly polished edges on them but I find that I can get an EXTREME amount of aggression out of lc200n on a 1200 DMT. Notably more aggressive than I can get out of vg10, s30v, s90v, etc. More aggressive than a high hardness carbon steel like 52100 too. I can't tell you why but I can tell you that it is a genuine phenomenon. If AEB-L performs anything like a harder lc200n then I will likely find it a great performer.

Anyway, I just was throwing in my two cents on the idea of performance. As with most things in this field..."it depends". :)

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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby mb1 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:43 pm

Surfingringo wrote:Image
Got a laugh out of that one...nice bat signal! Haha
- Mark

"Don't believe everything you think." -anonymous wise man

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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby yablanowitz » Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:22 pm

I can't really compare the performance of my 13C26 custom to any VG-10 knives I own, simply because it is ground so much thinner that it leaves them all in the dust initially and my attention span isn't long enough to...what was I saying? Anyway, full hollow grind 0.010" at the back of the edge bevel gives it too much advantage for any direct comparison to any of the VG-10 Spyderco knives I own. I'd rate its corrosion resistance as good as VG-10 out here in the desert (I've not had either rust here) its toughness higher (it hasn't chipped yet, which I can't say about VG-10) and it seems to hold an edge as long in my use, but the geometry of the particular blade probably makes it seem sharp longer than it really is. I haven't done any scientific testing, just noticed some things in day to day use.

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sal
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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby sal » Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:45 pm

I guess I'll have to get some and test it.

sal

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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby Bodog » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:01 pm

I have to say no. Not because it's a bad steel, but because within the type of knife it is it seems rather moot unless it was taken really hard and you want a knife that doesn't deform easily and is easy to sharpen. Otherwise if left soft I'd think VG10 or even CPM154 would perform better given the limits and general nature of the design. The only real benefit I can see is having a knife in that steel under 62 RC is ease of sharpening. It won't hold its edge as long as cruwear in much of anything. The blade isn't thin enough to go to less than 15 dps without the blade basically being a mini scandi grind. If spyderco, hear me out, did a full flat to zero grind in a sprint run, then I think it'd perform well. I think this steel would've been awesome for the nilakka as it originally came.

The military though, has enough meat in the blade where you don't need to worry so much about what AEBL offers. You can get by with the most carbide packed steel and it won't crumble. I'd suggest 10V or Maxamet for a blade like the military. 4V or M4 next. High hardness cruwear next. If corrosion resistance is a facto you probably won't get much better than M390 at this point.

Unless it's a zero grind (or really a secondary bevel grind at less than 10 dps) and at a hardness high enough to withstand deformation under EDC uses.
Last edited by Bodog on Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Surfingringo
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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby Surfingringo » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:08 pm

Bodog wrote:I have to say no. Not because it's a bad steel, but because within the type of knife it is it seems rather moot unless it was taken really hard and you want a knife that doesn't deform easily and is easy to sharpen. Otherwise if left soft I'd think VG10 or even CPM154 would perform better given the limits and general nature of the design. The only real benefit I can see is having a knife in that steel under 62 RC is ease of sharpening. It won't hold its edge as long as cruwear in much of anything. The blade isn't thin enough to go to less than 15 dps without the blade basically being a mini scandi grind. If spyderco, hear me out, did a full flat to zero grind in a sprint run, then I think it'd perform well. I think this steel would've been awesome for the nilakka as it originally came.

The military though, has enough meat in the blade where you don't need to worry so much about what AEBL offers. You can get by with the most carbide packed steel and it won't crumble. I'd suggest 10V or Maxamet for a blade like the military. 4V or M4 next. High hardness cruwear next. If corrosion resistance is a facto you probably won't get much better than M390 at this point.

Unless it's a zero grind (or really a grind at less than 10 dps) and at a hardness high enough to withstand deformation under EDC uses.
Much truth in this post. I would likely enjoy the way it sharpens but aside from that I think Bodog made some good points here. I'd buy one nonetheless...obviously. :roll eyes:

Actually I voted "maybe" because I would likely buy one but would rather see a lc200n model.
Last edited by Surfingringo on Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby The Mastiff » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:17 pm

No AEBL or 13C millie for me. I've been underwhelmed by the steels when I've used them. It does sharpen easily, no doubt. It's corrosion resistance isn't up to VG10, S30V, S35Vn, CTS 204p standards. Maybe not up to ZDP? It's closer to that anyways.

It makes good knives but it's not up to Sprint run standards IMO.

Joe

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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby RadioactiveSpyder » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:28 pm

Sal,

I'd be more than happy to offer up my AEB-L fixed blade made by Jesse Jarosz for you to beat the life out off for your own testing purposes in-hand. It's roughly a Mule-sized blade at ~62 RC. If you are not impressed by this steel, I'd be flabbergasted.

Please let me know. I can ship it off Monday to Golden to your attention. I have no concerns about you damaging it, losing it, etc. :)

Cheers,
Paul
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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby Bill1170 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:23 pm

I voted maybe because a LC200N Military would excite me more, but AEB-L processed correctly has a powerful reputation for edge stability and the related property of high attainable sharpness.

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Water Bug
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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby Water Bug » Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:00 am

I voted, "Yes." For me, it doesn't matter what steel and/or handle material a Spyderco Military has... I just like the Spyderco Military.
Last edited by Water Bug on Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby Bodog » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:16 am

Bill1170 wrote:I voted maybe because a LC200N Military would excite me more, but AEB-L processed correctly has a powerful reputation for edge stability and the related property of high attainable sharpness.
Edge stability in what type of media and at what hardness with what type of heat treatment and what type of geometry? These are all questions that need to be asked when speaking of edge stability, edge holding, edge retention, or however you want to phrase "a sharp knife."

Cliff is a very technical guy and when speaking of what he likes it's usually a very low edge bevel angle. When you kick it up to 15 dps a lot of what he says goes out the window and is actually incorrect a lot of times if you apply his thinking to edges outside of his normal parameters. He doesn't mention that very often but sometimes he does, that's why he suggested Maxamet which is quite different than AEBL. He prefaced the suggestion with the different uses at different angles and he's right in that regard. People usually just skip over that last part and go right to saying low alloy steels stay sharp longer which doesn't make sense at all if applied to all knives. It makes sense when you define the use and geometry that best matches the need for low angle bevel grinds. Outside of those parameters it doesn't make sense at all.

I think a lot of people will be underwhelmed with the offering unless they recognize it'll only show its true colors if left at a zero grind or really shallow secondary bevel. Unless all they want is easy sharpening, but spyderco offers a lot of those easy sharpening steels already in various platforms that offer some level of corrosion resistance and better "edge holding" at angles greater than 15 dps.

Don't let the tail wag the dog. Understand what's being suggested and why. If it fits, then use it. If not, then don't. I wouldn't ever suggest S110V for a zero grind over AEBL and I wouldn't suggest AEBL over S110V over a knife where you'll probably be using 15 dps or more.

Here's hoping to a unique sprint run military that's a full or nearly full flat zero grind at fairly high hardness and with the spyderco bug on the flats so the blade can be resharpened like a true zero ground. The entire blade rather than just a secondary bevel. That would be really unique and, IMO, cool enough to set it up as a successful sprint run for knife afi's.
Last edited by Bodog on Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby Brock O Lee » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:54 am

I love the fine edge of 52100 and how easy it is to get there. BUT I also notice and miss its lack of lower sharpness edge retention over the higher carbide steels. It keeps its high sharpness for a while, but then the drop-off from sharp to dull is quick.

For an EDC folder that sees mostly light use, I must say I think I prefer the higher carbide steels. For my uses they are strong and tough enough to not dull because of a lack of toughness or edge stability, even with relatively thin edges. For a true zero-grind design like a Nilakka that might be a different story.

If AEB-L has a similar character as 52100, my gut feel is that I will prefer S90V/M390/S30V over it for a Military, but that is an assumption, and we all know what assumptions lead to... So bring it on.
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Re: Would you buy an AEB-L Military?

Postby The Mastiff » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:15 am

Good points Bodog. I have one Phil Wilson custom out of over 200 knives set at around 6 degrees per side. I don't have any use for such angles in the typical chores I'm using my knives for. I have tried many knives that low but never seem to keep it that low and mine are around 30 degrees inclusive. I don't often polish past 2000 grit anymore either.

AEBL has an almost mythical reputation that I haven't seen in my use of it or 13C26. Of course I admit it would be different from my old Kershaws if run at rc 62 in a custom. From my best recollections Kershaw tried to run a batch in their setup with rc 62 as a finished hardness and they had no luck. They never released any of them best I can tell. I'm unsure if Spyderco would have better luck with it. I know many custom makers even state there is no need to Cryo the blades in this steel but I don't know how well all this translates to a large furnace in a batch of good size.

In any event I don't see it out cutting or out performing 52100. That is another steel that has an almost legendary reputation and performance that is impressive when done properly. I've seen it as a mediocre performing knife steel too. I certainly like it but I don't see it as anything other than what it is. If one could make AEBL perform like 52100 at rc 62 then I might be impressed more than I currently am by the steel. It could certainly be possible.

I'm no expert. I've heard about these extremely high performing AEBL knives but never have seen them personally. How much of the performance comes from anecdotes from knifemakers who like the ease of grinding and easy heat treat ( with no cryo) in steels that finish so much easier than the Vanadium Carbide stainless steels? Maybe we'll find out.


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