Nimravus in ATS34 or M2?

Aug 8, 2000
Hey you guys,
I am new to the forum but must say I am really enjoying the discussions. I believe it is an excellent source of information and I appreciate it. I would like the forum's comments on my most recent purchase of a Nimravus cub in ATS 34. I chose this steel because I may use the knife spearfishing a few times a year in saltwater. After reading the forum and learning more about M2 I am wondering if I should exchange mine. I am a certified knifeaholic with emphasis on all arround utility type knives. That was my thinking on the ATS34 with corrosion being a real problem only a small percentage of the time. Look forward to your comments.
This is a hard question that you are going to have to answer.

I have a Nimravus in ATS-34 and a Cub in M-2, and I am more than pleased with both. The ATS-34 is more rust resistant, easier to sharpen, but needs sharpening more often. The M-2 is less rust resistant, more difficult to sharpen, but holds it's edge longer.

Pick the qualities you want and go for it!

Hey thanks MNH
If you had it to do over would you get the Nimravus in M2
Please, pull yourself together. Exchanging your ATS for M2 will mean spending more money for questionable gain. Sure, the M2 is the "high-end" steel but do you think you'll notice the difference? It's main advantage, as best I can gather, is that it is tougher- in other words, its edge is more likely to roll than chip. IMHO, this is important for a hard-use knife, a knife that will encounter high stress from either forceful impact (chopping) or from cutting hard materials. From what I have read, it does not hold an edge any better than ATS-34.
So save your money for your next knife.
Originally posted by AF:
Exchanging your ATS for M2 will mean spending more money for questionable gain.
I have to disagree on this one
I've had 2 different knives from Benchmade, 710 Axis Lock & Nimravus in ATS-34 & M2 blade steel. For both cases M2 would hold the edge longer, at least on cardboard + would deform much less on the staples.
Obviously M2 was harder to sharpen

Have Fun,
Um, what's this with M2 being hard to sharpen? Yeah, each pass removes less metal, so it takes more time to sharpen, but I love the feel of M2 on a stone. I don't know; I can't quantify it; I just love how it feels.


Phil, welcome to the Forums

I'm great BENCHMADE fan so have some BM knives (for ex. Model 710 Axis Lock, Pinnacle, AFCK) in ATS-34, Ares is 154CM and Nimravus Cub in M-2 (which I'm going to review soon).
Honestly I can't assume noticeable difference in performance, sharpening easily and edge holding.
AFCK is my daily carry knife for more than year, I use it for all tasks knife should be used and so far I have not experienced any problems with blade chipping or something like it. So I can't to affirm clearly than M-2 outperforms ATS-34 if knife is used for cutting tasks only.

M-2 can outperform ATS-34 if knife is used for chopping because it is more impact resistant. But it is really hard for me to imagine little Nimravus Cub in chopper's role

On the other hand, ATS-34 is stainless steel and M-2 is not. If your knife is intended to use in contact with salt water higher rust resistance of ATS-34 might be more important property than it's lower impact resistance.
Anyway do not strip your blade out of BT-2 coating, it may look somewhat ugly when is scratched but even in this case it continues to protect steel against corrosion. And do not forget to rinse your knife in fresh water and when apply oil after each contact with salt water. Be aware that salt can accumulate under handle scales so clear this area frequently and apply corrosion inhibitor here.

Sergiusz Mitin
Lodz, Poland

I think if I had it to do over I wouldn't do anything different. I have a number of knives in ATS-34. It is a very good steel, and I am well pleased with it. The Cub in M-2 is the only M-2 knife I own. I bought it primarily to so I would have a knife in this steel to play with. See what I was missing so to speak.

Sergiusz is certainly correct when he says that the cub is not a chopper, it isn't. Nether is the full size model.

I don't know that I will ever use the Cub hard enough to fully appreciate the value of the M-2 steel. I don't think that 5 people in 100 who buy the M-2 models need the steel, and I'm not sure that they could tell the difference between the two if the blades were not labeled.

This is what I like about the forum. You have a subject that's kinda eating at you and you toss it out to see if there are guys out there who have already experienced some of this. Your replys are much appreciated and definitely lending insight to a novice.
Thanks again
If you already have the ATS-34 model, I'd say just keep it. When you decide to get the second one, though, I'd definitely go with M2. In my experience, I can tell the difference between the two, in edge-holding, and in sharpening. The M2 may be more difficult to sharpen, but I haven't seen it that way. I've seen it to be easier than the ATS-34, and needing it less often. But, the difference is not so great as to require immediately spending more money. IMO.

It looks like from everything that I can gather that for some it is a toss-up, but for those who may have a bit more harsh usage or like myself maybe the potential for harder use, that the M2 might not be a bad choice. I don't have any first hand experience with the BT2 coating, but it sounds like it is pretty protective, as long as it stays on the blade. I might have to give the M2 a try, if not on this particular blade, perhaps on an Axis lock or other daily carrier. Any suggestions on a good all arround method of sharpening for utility type use blades?
Originally posted by pkd3:
the BT2 coating, but it sounds like it is pretty protective, as long as it stays on the blade.
WHen untouched IMHO it loks cool
THough very easy to scratch. Also BT-2 is being promoted or being said that it helps cutting since the teflos is one of the most slippery materials. And finally, according to Benchmade, even when the black coating is worn out the pores in metqal still have it, inside thus providing the protection...

Any suggestions on a good all arround method of sharpening for utility type use blades?

Depending on the use & the blade Edge Pro Apex ( Rulezzzz ) or DMT benchstones... I have spyderco sharpmaker but use it mostly for touchup & kitchen knives. Too slow otherwise...

Have Fun,