GIN-1 sharper than ATS-34?? (or something else wrong?)

Feb 22, 1999
I have noticed such irregularities before, but I will take an example from my two most recent purchases:

I have a Spyderco Pegasus (plain edge, double beveled) in GIN-1 and a BM Mini-Stryker (plain edge also, and double beveled also, not chisel edge like so many "tactical" knives) in ATS-34

Why is it that I find the GIN-1 blade just a little bit sharper, no matter how I sharpen both knives? (Both are very sharp, sharper than average, they can both shave hair, but there is a slight difference between them)

Another thing: why is it that I cannot make the secondary edge (the "tanto point") of the Stryker to cut as well as the primary edge of the same blade?


P.S. I really love Spyderco, but in praise of BM, I have to say that the Stryker is their first knife I buy, and the workmanship and the quality and fitting of the handle is unbelievable! So, top value for $$ for both of these knives!
Costas, I to have noticed that my afck does not seem to get as sharp as some of my other ats blades (Military, Sebenza) I also have a Kershaw,ats, that refuses to get as sharp. If you read the threads from Thadius on the ATS BLADE magazine article, you will understand why some blades behave this way..It has to do with the blade edge,tempering,bevel and hardness..Anyway hope this helps..Joe Talmadge, is very knowledgeable on these topics in his reveiws.
I have quite a few blades from BM, in ATS-34, and a couple from Spyderco, in G-2. The Spydies were REMARKABLY sharper from the factory, and seem to stay 'feeling' sharp for a long time. I can't complain about the edgeholding of the G-2 of my Native's blade, that's for sure.

costas, on my two Strykers (full sized and Mini) I usually get the tanto point edge even sharper then the rest. maybe I'm just to lazy to *really* sharpen the bigger egde when just touching it up...

just my $.02

Your's fraternally
I must say that I have too noticed that GIN-1 (G-2) gets a tad sharper than ATS-34 does, but ATS-34 will hold it's edge a little longer. I prefer GIN-1 over ATS-34 not because it seems to get sharper, but it is less brittle than ATS-34. Now if you include ATS-55, that gets just as sharp as GIN-1 and holds it's edge just as long as ATS-34, but it is less brittle!

Just throwing in my couple of cents worth, too.

Hey all!! I've noticed that, with my Native, no matter how I sharpen it, it stays sharper longer and cuts better than my BM Ascent!! Just my observation though!
Long live!!
I have noticed the same thing, that ats34 just don't get as sharp as other steels. Alot of this I think has to do with the really obtuse edge bevel on benchmade knives. I have gone so far as to take my Ascent and my Axis to the beltsander at work. I can now get then (and my Cetan) sharp enough to shave facial hair, but it isn't the same level of sharp as I can get my aus8 blades. Of course the aus8 blades will start to dull if you stare too hard at them.

Next on the list is a carbon steel blade. I had no idea what sharp was till I played with a knife made by a local maker, it was a home made damascus knife made from an elevator cable. I did my normal sharpness test on it, just touching the edge with my thumb, instead of the normal "tacky" feeling I get when touching the edge on a stainless knife, I was surprised to feel the edge effortlessly cut through the outer layer of skin. Freaking sharp..not just hair popping sharp, scalpel sharp....slice through your skin without no resistance sharp..I want one....


It is not a matter of whether or not you are paranoid, it is am matter of whether or not you are paranoid enough.
I've had much the same experiences folks have related already. I have an AFCK and even with attention from the belt sander it never gets terribly sharp; I know early AFCKs have a bad rep in this area, and I think it's justified. I've sharpened a lot of other Benchmades and all have a gritty, crystalline feel and are a pain to get sharp, but many do take a better edge than my AFCK. I think it's the heat-treat, because the knives I've made in ATS-34 (treated by Texas Knifemaker's Supply) are easier to sharpen and take a scary edge.

G-2, on the other hand, is a real favorite. It's easy to get sharp and will bend and twist where ATS-34 will snap (I know from unpleasant experience). Yeah, edge retention isn't as good, but it's still better than most.

Yekim, you are right on about carbon steel (when it's done right); it's in a totally different class. My Blackjack Model 5 takes an edge in seconds and holds it for ages (barring oxidation)...and it's my personal definition of "sharp."


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
I have an older style Military and a Simanich Cetan (both ATS34) that are absolutely "Oh my goodness!" sharp. These knives scare me. Just plucking the edge gives me the willy's. My ATS34 AFCK on the other hand, will not get this sharp. It will shave hair, but not like the Cetan or Military.

I went and played in the yard the other day with the kids and my Cetan. We were cutting everything in sight. Flowers, sticks, baby newborn tree limbs, even cut a cardboard box for the mama cat and 4 new kittens. The knife still shaves hair.

Is this and example of the performance you'll get from the proper heat treating of ATS34? And if yes, why can't EVERYONE get this down?

I haven't been overly impressed with my GIN-1 or my AUS8 (except for the Viele!) blades that I have owned. I have yet to purchase a CPM440V blade. I would like to compare.
I feel my edge feels sharper than my ascent and may hold the edge almost as long if not as long. Hard to say and to be fair, I no longer carry the ascent and use it as much except at home. I think the native has a better grind than the ascent.

However, my KFF's ATS34 edge seems sharper than my BM sentinel or Stryker. I used to rotate the latter two before getting the KFF for daily carry. And, for the life of me I can't seem to get the BM's to the same level of sharpness. Again, if may be the differences in the grind But I suspect somewhat it may be a difference in the treatment of the ATS34.

BM and SpyderCo are two companies whose product I buy the most. Increasingly, I lean more towards SpyderCo products because the edges always seem better on Spydies than BM's.


I think that some companies ATS-34 performs better sometimes, way better.Like stated above about Kershaws ATS-34.I had one and it just would not get sharp and seemed to stain faster than my other ATS blades.My mini AFCK got sharper than my small Acent(820 I think).I think that has to do with the grind and blade thickness.My Axis seems to get pretty sharp.I have'nt experianced GIN-1 enough to comment but I know my Spyderco AUS-8 gets very sharp.I try to be very selective when I buy knives with ATS-34 because not all of them work.
scott w