154CM or M2

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I am looking at getting a Benchmade 710 and was wondering what everyone though of 154CM vs M2 steel. My concerns with the M2 blade are corrosion resistance (or lack thereof) and the relatively scratch-prone coating (from what I have read). Of course M2 had advantages as well. Any comments would be appreciated.

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Marwan
 
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The only M2 blade I have ever seen rust was owned by a person who lived on the Gulf Coast. My father and I both carry an M2 AFCK on occasion, and we don't treat them any different than the other knives we carry with steels like ATS-34, VG-10, Gin-1, ATS-55, 154-CM, etc. Neither of us has had one rust yet on us, so I don't think it will be a big problem unless you completely neglect the knife.

As for BMs coating, I have not had that many problems with it, it scratches up a bit, but not that bad, and if the knife is a user I don't worry about what it looks like that much anyway.
 
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There is an impression among posters that M2 steel will hold an edge better than will 154CM or ATS-34. Actual data are difficult to find on this, however. Perhaps the best are Wayne Goddard's HERE

The problem with actual performance is that blade geometry and the heat treatment of the steel in question probably have more to do with edge holding than the difference intrinsic to the two alloys you mention. Note in the Goddard data how much variation there is between these steels at varying Rc values, and the importance of cryo treating.

I can tell you that when the AFCK came out in M2, the public reacted with a yawn.

I would go with the 154CM, but primarily because I hate coated blades.

Walt
 
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Benchmade's M-2 is my favorite production knife steel. It is great stuff. Takes a fine edge, holds it very well, and is very tough and resilient. When M-2 first came out, I took one on a rainy two day hike, and purposely neglected it, but experienced no rust problems on the edge. The BT2 coating is scratchable being teflon based, but Benchmades are not collector knives after all, they are using knives.

I would say that if edge durability is your priority, i.e. you are looking for a user, get M-2. If a stain resistance is more of a priority, and the knife will be a moderate use, kind of a show piece for you, get the 154CM.

[This message has been edited by Steve Harvey (edited 03-12-2001).]
 
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154CM. I'm not quite sure why, but I'm sure it's 154CM

Or was that M2?

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Brandon
 
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Gerber used to make knives out of M2 and stopped......that must say something, and yes, its rusts quite readily. I would opt for the 154CM......better all around steel.

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Tom! 154CM an all round better steel? I protest good sir!

M2 is tough as old boots, holds a great edge and sharpens to a razor razor edge. Yes it will rust, but here is the surprise. With the BT2 protection and MST Cloth. I have had not a single case of rust with my M2 blades and one case with my MOD CQD In 154CM (on the edge).

In my experience M2 holds an edge twice as long as ATS-34/154CM. It is also a far better steel for the rough stuff and often steels right back into place. Don't get me wrong, 154CM is a fine steel, but is WONT hold an edge as well as M2 nor be as tough with both at the 'standard' levels of hardness. My M2 blades from Benchmade hold an edge that beggers belife!

So the BT2 will mark, ah well for a using knife, who cares? Heck even with a satin finish using MS Tuf-Coat I bet it would hold up just fine.

Trust me get the M2 blade model
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I like M2...

W.A.

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Epigram - Now they produce it in 154 CM.
I had to get one 154 CM blade because of the aluminum handles
smile.gif


As of 154 CM and M2.
My EDC for last several months were BM 940 (154CM) and BM 710 HSSR (M2). M2 blade is sharpened at the lower angle (18 on M2 blade ,22 on 154 CM). I've chipped 154 quite a few times already, while the M2 blade handled the same task w/o any problem.

And about that rust problem. Donno why M2 gets blamed that much, I have 5 M2 blades, 1 of them has no BT2 left on it at all.
3 knives are users, 2 sit in the box so far. No rust for over 1 year
smile.gif
I don't think it's that hard to take care of M2.

IMHO, 154 may be same or a litle bit more wear resistant (when PROPERLY heat treated - which is rare in production knives) than M2 ,but because it's britleness, overall M2 edge lasts longer & at least in my experience M2 takes a better edge.

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[This message has been edited by Gator97 (edited 03-12-2001).]
 
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Yes, Benchmade made the switch to 154CM a few months ago. From what most have said here, the difference between the two steels (154cm and ATS-34) is so marginal that individual differences in heat treat per batch made will have more of an effect. In other words, don't worry about it! IMHO i prefer 154CM if only because its another "new" steel to try! Sad yes?
biggrin.gif


W.A.

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My 710 has the black teflon coating. It looks kinda worn now as this is a usin' knife. The black stuff from Benchmade denifitely....hey, new word... but let's do this in English instead ... definitely scratches easily and just wears off the various edges left on a blade like the 710.

That doesn't bother me much for a beater. It bothers my buddy. To each, his own ... set of folders.

Can't comment on M2's supposed superiority to ATS34/154CM yet. My M2 blade is on the way.


[This message has been edited by rdangerer (edited 03-12-2001).]
 
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If you are going to USE a knife, get M2. If you want a dress or show knife then 154CM
wink.gif


I am sure many will disagree with me on this. But you get the idea!

M2 is a beater. Not that I would beat any knife...
frown.gif


Not what I am about.

W.A.

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General,
Let's assume that Mr. Mayo knows a little tidbit or two about blade steels
tongue.gif
(click on that little link in his sig and get a bowl to catch the drool)

mjoury,
The only advantage M2 has (in my experience) is that it will roll rather than chip.
Whether this matters or not depends on what kind of use the knife is going to see.
My only M2 blade is a 710HS that is used in a very rough environment. I use a knife daily for a wide variety of jobs.
IMO, if you are cutting something that will chip out ATS-34/154CM, you probably shouldn't be cutting it with a knife, anyway.
I've chipped ATS-34 and ATS-55 (and, as of Friday, 420V) by banging the edge into steel or concrete while cutting other material-never from use. But accidents happen when you're working hard and fast+don't always have time to get the proper tool, which is why I normally carry the 710HS. It's alot easier to steel and strop out a rolled edge than it is to regrind a chipped one.
Aside from toughness, I like 154CM better, personally.
The statements that 154CM is more wear resistant, but that M2 holds an edge better are a direct contradiction
rolleyes.gif

M2 has its uses, but it's not some "super steel" like so many people make out. It is great on a knife that's going to be abused.
Note:my experiences and opinions are limited to a handful of knives, but some things, like trade-offs between steels, are pretty universal.

So...what do you normally use a knife for?


 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by OwenM:
General,

mjoury,
....
So...what do you normally use a knife for?


</font>

Thanks to all for the information and advice.

OwenM, I use a knife mainly around the house for cutting up relatively soft objects. Examples would be cardboard boxes, old carpet (in preperation for stuffing into the trash), and the like. On occasion I have used my current edc knife for cutting up those plastic trays that plants come in and for cutting up plastic flower pots to get the plants out. This is probably the hardest material I would use my knife on except in some kind of emergency.


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Marwan
 
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The only reason I don't have an M-2 710 is because, like Walter Welch, I hate blade coatings. Beyond that, M-2 is a no-brainer versus 154-CM, in my opinion. In my tests, it held an edge a tiny bit better than Benchmade's ATS-34, although the difference was small enough that I should call it even. Many other people have reported better M-2 edge holding. More importantly, in Steve's tests, it was way tougher. You can sharpen M-2 at an angle where 154-CM will chip, and the M-2 will hold up fine, in my experience.

Tom knows his stuff, and I usually agree with him. But in this case, c'mon, are we really going to discount a steel because Gerber stopped using it? Hell, they stopped using L-6 also. Both M-2 and L-6 will outperform the crappy 42x stainless they replaced those steels with, in any category but stain resistance. Can we draw any conclusions about 420 and 425 being great steels because Gerber dropped M-2 and L-6 to use them?

Joe
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by OwenM:
mjoury,
The only advantage M2 has (in my experience) is that it will roll rather than chip.
</font>

Hi Owen,

I haven't seen the same thing. I have to draw conclusions from Benchmade's ATS-34 instead of their 154-CM, but ... Sharpened to the same angle, where 154-CM will chip, M-2 won't necessarily roll. It may roll sometime beyond that. M-2 seems to be as strong as Benchmade's former ultra-strong ATS-34. If they're leaving their 154-CM a little softer now, as many think they are, then the M-2 will be that much stronger in comparison. Of course, that also means the 154-CM has probably caught up a bit on toughness.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
My only M2 blade is a 710HS that is used in a very rough environment. I use a knife daily for a wide variety of jobs.
IMO, if you are cutting something that will chip out ATS-34/154CM, you probably shouldn't be cutting it with a knife, anyway.
</font>

I dunno, very small chipping can happen in something as innocuous as cardboard, which we all use our knives on a lot. And using a bit more force -- torquing, etc. -- can make this worse. You may not see huge chips, but you can see significant edge degradation due to near-micro-chipping on many materials. That's why wear resistance does not equal edge holding in all cases!


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
The statements that 154CM is more wear resistant, but that M2 holds an edge better are a direct contradiction
rolleyes.gif

</font>

Okay, here I disagree completely! If the work you're doing causes edge degradation more through micro-chipping than through classic wear, then toughness will be a relatively bigger factor versus wear resistance for edge holding. Cliff Stamp always emphasizes this and I feel he's absolutely right. Regardless, M-2 seems to have at least similar wear resistance to BM's old ultra-hard ATS-34; it's likely that it still has at least as much as their current (possibly softer) 154-CM. And M-2 has greater toughness, so you can either: 1. keep the same edge thickness, but possibly get better edge holding on rough jobs due to the extra toughness, or better yet, 2. thin the M-2 edge for better performance.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
M2 has its uses, but it's not some "super steel" like so many people make out. It is great on a knife that's going to be abused.</font>

I agree, definitely not some super steel. But provides a nice toughness bump over ATS-34/154-CM and its ilk, at the cost of stain resistance. Toughness isn't just for knives that are going to be abused. It's applicable to any knife that's going to be used, where the user cares about performance, IMO.

Joe

 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Joe Talmadge:
The only reason I don't have an M-2 710 is because, like Walter Welch, I hate blade coatings. ...
Joe
</font>

Like Walter and Joe I have taken a dislike to blade coatings. This is completely a matter of aesthetics to me. However, I may be willing to live with the coating if the steel is better.

I am getting two oppinions about which blade I should buy but I don't really see a big disagreement between those two camps. All seem to be saying that they are both good steels, that M2 is tougher and might hold an edge slightly better, that due to it's toughness (M2) it can be sharpened to a finer angle, and that perhaps it is a little more prone to corrosion. For a lot of people it seems to come down to a personal preference -- don't like it because of coating, etc.

So, if this is going to be a using knife for heavy duty use the recommendation seems to be a slight leaning to the M2. If for show defiinitely go with the 154CM. For lighter edc use -- toss up
confused.gif
? Hmmmmmmm..... Lots of info and I still can't make up my mind -- maybe I need one (or two) of each
biggrin.gif
.

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Marwan
 

Danbo

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Gotta throw my 2 cents in here. If I was to buy one of those knives, I would opt for the M2. But then, I dont mind taking care of and wiping down the blades on my knives. I just think M2 takes and holds an edge better than ATS34 and 154CM. Now, for the bad side of M2. The stuff is very hard and will take longer to get sharp. I once had one of those little Gerber bird and trout knives in M2 steel, and dont even waste your time with a wa****a stone. Diamonds are the only way you are going to get M2 good and sharp. All things considered, I would still go with the M2.

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