Benchmade Stryker ATS34 and M2 versions

Jun 15, 1999
looking for a comparison of the 2 variations. I hear M2 rusts somewhat easily, how true is that? Is it that bad to the point ATS is better?
And - what holds a better edge?
Bare M2, which is a tool steel, does rust easier than ATS-34, which is a "stainless" steel. The ATS-34 has a higher chromium content.

However, the Benchmade M2 steel blades are coated with BT2 making them very resistant to rust-from my personal experience. Even when the BT2 wears off it protects it.

I like the M2 better, but you can only get it in black and I find it to be a little more difficult to sharpen, but the dge lasts longer. Many say that the M2 blades are stronger for say- prying, but I have not tested those claims.

Hope that this helps,

My personal experience:
M2 is easier to sharpen, and it gets sharper than ATS-34. It is <u>supposed</u> to be tougher (don't know this personally, as I've never demonstrated ATS-34's lack of toughness to myself).

I keep reading everywhere that it is supposed to rust easier (well, I can believe that), and one guy even described it as a "rust magnet." Ask me in a few months, and I'll be able to tell you for sure, because.... I sanded all the BT2 off my M2 Nimravus Cub. I have put a coat of olive oil on it, but I haven't re-applied the olive oil in about 10 days. In the meantime, I have continued to use it normally. So far, not a speck of stain or rust. To me, especially with the BT2 coating, it is definitely a better choice of steel.

"Absolute safety is for those who don't have the balls to live in the real world."
i just got a gerber A475 in m2 from bladezealot (thanks again). i sat down for about 5-10 minutes with my lansky system and it was sharper than i have ever gotten a knife before. and it didn't take that long. this is high polished, so rust shouldn't be much of a problem. i haven't tested edge holding, but plan on that soon. so far, i've fallen in love.

on the other hand, i have used ats-34 for a while now. i have never encountered rust and it holds an edge great. not near as easy to sharpen though and i have never gotten it as sharp as the above mentioned m2.
Here is an excellent review of the M-2 AFCK.

They go into a little more detail about the steel. M-2 is very impressive. It holds an edge for a long time. Of course ATS-34 is no slouch. M-2 is tougher and holds an edge longer. The only downside is the coating. I generally don't like coatings anyway, but Benchmades seems to come off just by looking at it. Benchmade says that the coating penetrates the steel and protects even when it is scratched off. It just looks like crap. If cosmetics aren't of importance to you then I would get the M-2 version.

Dennis Bible