ATS 34 is available in stock sizes useful for blade makers. Originally, blade makers used very similar steel developed for aerospace engines. When engine makers turned to titanium, the steel supply dried up. Frustrated blade makers took the formula overseas to find a manufacturer who would put out a chemically identical metal. Targeted to the quality blade making market, it experienced some quality problems in years past due to low volume. Those issues have long since been resolved, leaving quality steel available for custom blade making and other applications requiring hard, long wearing steel. It is abrasion resistant, sufficiently hard and corrosion resistant for knife making.
LIMITATIONS OF ATS 34
ATS 34, although stainless, is not as corrosion resistant as some other alloys. It is not an ideal selection for applications where long exposure to wet or salty atmospheres can be anticipated. On the upside, it makes superb custom blades. The alloying elements require that it be heat treated at higher temperatures than other blade steels. But if the heat treating process is carried out correctly the steel will take an excellent, long wearing edge.