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M2 in the long run....

Now that the M2 AFCK's have been riding in your pockets for a while, any comments on how they really compare to ats34 in long haul?


Oct 5, 1998
I have an 812HSS and an 800HSS. They are exceptional knives. The 800HSS has metal inserts in the handle, the 812HSS does not. I haven't noted any problems with corrosion but I use a hard black Arkansas for sharpening and this usually leaves some oil on the edge. I have never owned a knife that will take a "better" edge. But realize I can't exactly define better if you know what I mean. The M2-AFCKs are just super. The edge really holds up. I often carve walking sticks out of some really hard dry wood and no other knife has ever performed as well with regard to sharpness and edge holding ability. While ATS-34 is good a good knife steel I feel that for me M2 is much better. It has been mentioned several times that it appears that M2 blades do not form a wire edge readily. This is true in my experience also. I would love to find a plain edge mini-AFCK in M2. I know Northwest Cutlery has a few but I will wait a decent length of time before I get another. If you are thinking of buying one, do it. Your only regret will be in retiring your other AFCKs.

[This message has been edited by NHW (edited 10-05-98).]
Just an aside comment: Doctor Walt Welch used his AFCK M2 to try to shave a bead off of a slab of talonite he bought to have a knife fashioned from. Result: 3 nicks on his M2 blade. Interesting no?

Go to Darrel Ralph's area and check out the posts about this new alloy.

Great stuff for mid-priced production knives. Holds an edge very well. Benchmade's heat treat offers good toughness for M-2. My concern over time was whether the edge would fade without use due to corrosion from body moisture, but I haven't noticed any tendency like that at all.

I would rank Benchmade's M-2 much better than their ATS-34, even with BG-42 but for corrosion resistance, and almost even with Spyderco's CPM440V. CPM440V should have better edge holding and stain resistance, but the Benchmade M-2 is tougher and serves well with BT2 coating.