View Full Version : ATS-34 (revisited)

Bill Vining
07-25-2004, 05:08 PM
I had read on several threads that some people were having problems with ATS-34 from Admiral. The issue was small flaws in the steel itself that were too deep to be sanded off. While reading these threads I was telling myself how lucky I was not to run into this problem with the batch I received from them. Well, not so lucky after all. Four of the 8 blades I had returned from heat treat have these flaws. The strange thing is, I cleaned these knives up real nice before sending them out to heat treat and did not notice any flaws whatsoever. Bummer...........................

Looks like my next order will be D2.

RJ Martin
07-26-2004, 08:23 AM
Cigarman: Bummer.....
I don't use ATS-34, and, I'm not aware of the particular issue with Admiral steel, but, I have seen this condition occasionally. It may just be a bad batch of steel...
How much material did you remove, per side, from the hot rolled bar?
Were you grinding "hot and heavy", with coarse belts, in the areas where the pits showed up?
The reason I ask is that, I have experienced fractured abrasive grains being imbedded in the surface of the steel (you can't see them!). These grains burn out during heat treat, leaving a nasty pit.
Don't know if that's what happened in your case, but, you can generally reduce or eliminate that possible condition by lightly regrinding with a new, 220 grit belt on all your surfaces before HT. Try it and see if it helps!

07-26-2004, 01:07 PM

There's a long thread about it started by Dusty.

Consensus seems to be it's caused by the cold rolled stuff admiral gets. It develops a grain pattern in the process. Doesn't effect performance, and there's no way to remove it (unless you leave a coarser finish).

I polished 'em up and told the customer you can see the grain if you hold the blade just right. He loves it.


Mr Mike
07-27-2004, 12:07 AM

This problem isn't just limited to ATS from Admiral. . . I buy my steel from a well known maker here in the greater Phoenix area, who does NOT get his steel from Admiral, and guess what, it has the same flaws!!

I've started using BG42 and 154CM as well as more and more D2 so that I don't have to deal with this type of crap. ESPECIALLY at the price of steel these days. :confused:

-Mr Mike

Bill Vining
07-27-2004, 05:49 AM
The grain effect I can live with. A nice satin finish seems to cover that up. It's the pitting in the steel that is killing me. After I get the cold rolled, I don't really take much more off than the scale and a few thousands on a surface grinder. I wish it had shown up then instead of after a few hours of work and heat treat. I am going to take these blades down some more on the surface grinder to see if I can get past the pits. I may end up with a few small fillet blades.

I have some D2 on order. Seems many here like it and I'm going to give it a try.



Dusty Moulton
07-27-2004, 07:40 AM
Hello Bill.
I was going to tell you what I found out from Hitachi about the bad ATS 34 I got. But after reading your last post about the pitting it sounds like some other problem. I had no pitting at all just that the carbides were showing up and making a wierd pattern in the steel that went all the way through. A by product of how they are double rolling the sheet stock and not able to keep the heat as precisely controlled I would guess. I haven't had that problem with the bar stock. I ocassionally get some very minor pitting in the ATS bar stock after heat treat. Maybe one on a blank but I just work on down past it.

RJ Martin
07-27-2004, 08:15 AM
Cigarman: I agree with Dusty-There are two different problems here. How much material did you remove from each side and what was the grit suze used before HT?

Bill Vining
07-27-2004, 05:40 PM
I ran the blades through the surface grinder this afternoon and the pits came out. I took about 8 thousands off before they were gone. I guess I must take care in grinding before heat treat.

I had a few peices that had the patterning in them. Those blades got bead blasted.

Thanks for the tips guys.