ATS-34 vs 154CM


Aug 12, 1999
I have enjoyed the forums very much and have learned a lot. One thing that I can not find is the attributes of 154CM blade material. ATS-34 seems to be the most common in use. MT is using 154CM. Is this any better? What are the advantages?


I am not sure if this is my sanity or my insanity.

Heheh.... they're the same thing...

154 wasnt used for a long time because manufacturing quality went down a while ago. Now that the steel is once again vacuum melted it is suitable for use in knifemaking. The composition of ATS-34 and 154-CM are almost identical. ATS-34 is essentially a copy of 154-cm(154 came first) made in japan. 154 is still being made in the US, I belive by CPM, but i may be wrong.
The heat treating of either metal is the most important aspect of the metal. I've read in other strings that they will get brittle.
That helps clear up a lot of my confusion. With so steels that helps me narrow the field of choices.

[This message has been edited by Bo (edited 21 August 1999).]
Hmmmm.... every steel chart that I have looked at shows the ATS-34 to have a higher content of phosphorus and/or sulphur, two elements that the AGRussell chart says are undesirable. Also, either the AGRussell chart or the Spyderco chart says that, IIRC, phosphorus, in higher concentrations, can lead to brittleness. While I wouldn't say that the concentration in ATS-34 is high, it would seem that the 154CM would be better. Also, I have thought I have heard that the 154CM seems to show cleaner grain structure.

I'm sure several people on this list can correct or refine what I say here, since this will now go back to the top. I had to jump in, though, since I have had the same questions.

Work hard, play hard, live long.

ATS-34 and 154CM are not the same. I am not an expert, but I do take seriously the advice of experts. Mr. Walter Brend told me over a year ago that ATS-34 is NOT the same as it was 12 years ago. He went on to say that it used to be a GREAT metal which he at one time highly recommended and used. He said that nowadays, in most cases, ATS-34 is just not the same as it was. Once they started to mass produce it, the quality took a nose dive. That's why he no longer likes it and he said that is also why Microtech switched over to 154CM.