What is ATS 34 Steel?

What type of steel is it? ATS 34?

ATS 34 steel is stainless steel made by Hitachi, a Japanese company. It is rich in chromium and carbon thus, it has excellent wear and corrosion resistance. It shares the same chemical properties and composition as the 154CM made by Crucible Industries.

When Crucible ended production of 154CM, Hitachi was approached by a famous manufacturer of knives Bob Loveless to supply similar steel. That’s the way ATS 34 came into existence. It’s a variation of 154CM that has been boosted with features.

ATS 34 steel Composition

  • Carbon C 1.05 percent: Enhances strength, edge retention, and tensile strength. It also improves the resistance of steel in the face of wear, friction, and corrosion.
  • Chromium Cr 14.00 percent The formation of Chromium carbides. It increases the hardness of blades and tensile strength. It also increases corrosion resistance.
  • Manganese Mn 0.40 percent: Increases the hardness and strength of steel. If the steel is treated with heat the hardening ability is enhanced due to the increase in manganese.
  • MolybdenumMo 4.00 percent Increases toughness and hardness. It also increases hardenability and creates carbides for wear resistance.
  • Silicon Si 0.35 percent: Increases the strength and resistance to heat.
  • Phosphorus P 0.03 percent: Considered to be an impurity, but it can increase the strength and enhance the mechanical properties of steel.
  • Sulfur S 0.02 percent: Increases machinability but is considered an impurity in large amounts.

Properties of steel ATS 34

ATS 34 Hardness

The ATS 34 steel has a Rockwell toughness range of 60 to 61 HRC. With such high hardness, you are assured that you will get excellent edge retention from knives made of this steel however, you’ll need to exert more effort while sharpening.

The ATS 34 wear resistance

As mentioned earlier, ATS 34 is high Carbon steel. Because of this reason, it provides outstanding wear resistance. Blades made of this steel remain in great shape for a long time, regardless of the routine applications that could result from wear.

Alongside the carbon content, the hardness that this iron has is enhanced due to the high chromium components and the molybdenum carbides that are added to the composition.

ATS 34 Toughness

The majority of steels provide toughness or hardness. Since it is a hard metal, we might think ATS 34 to be very fragile. But this isn’t the case since it has adequate toughness. ATS 34 steel does not offer the same level of toughness as other premium steel, but it’s not the worst.

ATS 34 toughness is similar to the steel toughness of 440C and 154CM. Due to its toughness, ATS 34 can be utilized for tough applications without chipping or breaking, this makes it an ideal choice for pocket knives.

ATS 34 Edge retention

Edge retention is yet another area of strength for ATS 34 steel. Due to its superior hardness, it can hold edges for a long period of time. Knives made of this steel don’t require regular sharpening.

ATS edge retention of 34 is comparable with VG 10 steel as well as CPM steel 154. This characteristic is due to the high amount of carbon in the composition. This is why, if looking for knives that will not get duller, check out the various kinds available ATS 34 knives.

ATS 34 Resistance to corrosion

ATS 34 steel contains high quantities of chromium. This makes it stainless steel and, consequently, great resistance to corrosion. Due to its ability in resisting rust, it’s perfect for knives for camping and cooking.

ATS 34 steel is stainless steel, but it’s not totally non-corrosive. The steel can still get rusty if left unattended or in highly corrosive environments, for instance, salty water environments. In this case, proper maintenance and care are essential to prevent this steel from becoming rusty; make sure you don’t place the steel in water for too long.

ATS 34 Sharpening is easy

We’ve already mentioned the fact that ATS 34 holds an edge for a long period of time, but how long will it take to get back the edge? As a hard steel cutting, ATS 34 steel is not an easy job. It’s not to say that it won’t get sharp once dull, but you need the correct sharpening tools and expertise.

ATS 34 vs 154CM (ATS 34 Steel Equivalent)

There isn’t any difference in performance in performance between ATS 34 and 154CM. They are both interchangeable. ATS 34 steel is the Japanese version of 154CM steel. It was brought into the US market to replace 154CM because of the lack of availability in the supply of 154CM in the industry of cutlery in the past few decades. This is why 154CM steel is thought of as ATS 34 Steel equivalent.

ATS 34 vs 440C

The 440C stainless steel with high carbon content with better alloy composition and superior performance over ATS 34 when it comes to the area of corrosion resistance. It has a higher Chromium content of 17.00 percent compared to ATS 34 steel’s 14.00%. This Chromium content confers more resistance to corrosion than ATS 34 steel.

There isn’t any significant distinction in the performance of ATS 34 or 440C when it comes to edge retention. Both blade sheets of steel are equally effective. Steel 440C with a Rockwell high of 58 HRC could have more toughness than the ATS 34. The 440C steel is more suitable for outdoor knives because of the greater resistance to corrosion and slightly more quality.

ATS 34 vs D2 Steel

ATS 34 steel is stainless, whereas D2 is not stainless steel due to its low levels of chromium. ATS 34 steel can be described as a stainless steel, with 13.5 percent or 14% chrome, as compared D2 steel’s 11% to 12 percent. ATS 34 steel knife provide better resistance to corrosion than steel knives made of D2.

D2 steel is more carbon-rich at 1.5 percent to 1.6 percent, in comparison with ATS 34 steel’s 1.05%. Carbon gives it a higher Rockwell hardness as well as better wear resistance and also improves the properties of its edge retention.

ATS 34 steel knife, with a Rockwell 60 HRC hardness is more durable over D2 steel. The ATS 34 knives are less likely to break or chip when exposed to high-impact situations.

ATS 34 vs S30V Steel

S30V steel can be described as a powder-metallurgy steelwith superior alloy composition and higher performance over ATS 34. It is more carbon-rich at 1.45 percent compared to steel’s ATS 34 steel’s 1.05 percent. Carbon elements provide it with an increased Rockwell durability and resistance to wear, while also enhancing the edge retention properties of ATS 34 steel.

CPM is a process of Crucible Particle Metallurgy (CPM(r)) process produces a finer microstructure that has a uniform distribution of carbides which improves S30V’s durability compared with ATS 34 steel. This results in less chance of chipping in high-impact applications. CPM process also enhances the ability to grind S30V steel and makes it easy to polish S30V knives.

ATS 34 vs VG10

Steel VG10 is stainless cobalt steelwith approximately 1.5 percent cobalt content. It also has Vanadium-containing elements of 1.1 percent that ATS 34 doesn’t have. This Cobalt and Vanadium provide it with greater hardness and wear resistance, while also enhancing its edge retention properties when compared with ATS 34 Steel.

The two VG 10 as well as ATS 34 are Japanese steel however VG10 steel is the most popular for outdoor and kitchen knives, whereas ATS 34 steel is more sought-after for pocket knives. In the past, ATS 34 steel has been replaced by modern PM steels, like CPM 154 as well as S30V used in pocket knives.

Is ATS 34 steel good knife steel?

ATS 34 steel has all the qualities of a high-quality knife steel. It provides excellent edge retention and decent toughness, as well as excellent wear resistance and corrosion resistance. The only drawback is that it’s difficult sharpen, yet it provides a great combination of edge retention as well as the ease of sharpening.

There is also a better model of this type of steel referred to by the name of RWL34 stainless steel It is a powder-metallurgy steel made by Damasteel. Its performance is comparable to RWL 34 stainless steel is very like CPM 154 steel which is the powder metallurgy version of the 154CM steel.

About the author

Hi, my name is Jaba Ray. I'm a knife expert and researcher. I am the creator of thesandwichknife.com, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I love people who need suitable steel or knife for their cook because I'm also a food lover. I work with a team of people who've always had a passion for knives and blades on this site.

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