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Heat Treating AEB-L

Rob Thomas

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Properly heat treated this steel is great! It cuts very well. It has good contrast and is easy to etch. I know many knife makers who prefer to work with this steel! This is how we heat treat our stainless steel Damascus when the layers are AEB-L and 301.



  • Preheat furnace to Austenizing temperature
  • Place blade in furnace​
  • Allow furnace to cycle back to Austenizing temperature
  • Soak for 15 minutes
  • Quench in oil
  • Temper 2 times for 1 hour each time
  • Quench in liquid nitrogen for 4 hours and re-temper 1 time




Stainless 1925F 350F


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I've heard that AEB-L gets it's best performance when the "snap" tempers are skipped and go straight into the cryo treatment, tempers following cryo. Just what I have heard, not personal experience (oven won't do stainless temps). In other words...don't interupt Mf.

Edited by stuart davenport
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I was going to mention that Stuart,

The caveat is that the breakage will go up if you do not flash temper...as it is a drastic temp change even when introducing the cold slowly.

Having untempered martensite hang around for hours is not a fun thing.



Richard Furrer

Door County Forgeworks

Sturgeon Bay, WI

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  • 4 weeks later...

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