ATS-34 is okay in blades without points or actual tips. Tanto blades are okay with this steel because of the reinforced heavy duty so called tips they support. I as well as my late departed friend have busted the tips off of our knives more than once that have ATS-34 steel blades. Even chipping the edges has happen a numerous amount of times, too. Not being abusive, just hard work has done it. I have only had a problem with ATS-34 doing this, none of the others.
I like a blade steel like has very good edge holding abilities, no brittleness, and good rust resistance as well. ATS-34 only has good edge holding ability as far as I am concerned.
BM AFCK, busted tips and chips in blade, but my Micro Tech SOCOM M/A with the 154CM blade steel and basically the same blade shape and style, never had this type of damage to it. To tell you the truth, the SOCOM with the 154 CM has been worked harder than the AFCK ever has, and I might have even been a little abusive with the SOCOM as well. Still perfect blade.
An older Spyderco Police Model, had a titanium handle and ATS-34 blade, broke the tip and put a chip in the edge. Dropped knife and hit a hard wood floor, busted the tip. Stripped electrial wire, chipped the edge. I used my Lightweight Goddard with ATS-55 to strip wire until I am blue in the face, no chips there. I dropped it off of an 8' ladder and it landed on it's tip, no breakage there. Granted the tip isn't quite as pronounced as the BM AFCK is, but I would be willing to bet if it would have been made out of ATS-34, the blade would have broken for sure.
ATS-55, I have a few of these knives, the first being the Spyderco Goddard Lightweight, talk about using a knife hard! Most knives don't even get close to the hard work this one has seen. Again, blade is still perfect.
CPM-440V, a monster to sharpen, but it is long in between sharpenings, that's for sure! Blade, I feel practically impossible to damage. I rate this number 1 because it holds an edge very long, is not brittle at all, and has a high rust resistance to it.
Another late friend of mine had a Spyderco Miltary with ATS-34, two chips in the edge of his knife. I have the Spyderco Military with the CPM-440V, blade still looks new even though it has seen better days.
Yes, I hate brittleness. I like knives that work hard and can even take some abuse! There is nothing more disturbing to me than spending good money on a knife that breaks down under normal use. ATS-34 steel on blades with tips, I have no faith in it anymore.
Well, you asked ....
[This message has been edited by Mark W Douglas (edited 09 March 1999).]