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Spyderco Native – Maxamet

Recent Forums Main Forum Knife Specific Discussion Spyderco Spyderco Native – Maxamet

This topic contains 19 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  wickededge 08/15/2017 at 11:11 am.

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  • #40404

    wickededge
    Keymaster

      Someone mentioned Maxamet steel recently and I realized that I’d picked up a little Spyderco Native with a Maxamet blade while I was at Blade Show this year:

      C41PGY5

      I decided to take it camping with me for its first outing this weekend and I really fell in love with it. It’s light and slim and feels well constructed. The blade and handle design is very ergonomic and it’s really sharp right out of the box. I haven’t sharpened it yet since it’s performing so nicely. I was curious about the way it was sharpened so I examined it this morning. Here’s what I found:

      It’s sharpened at 15.5° with a final angle of 16.5° (measured by goniometer and then verified in a sharpener with the DXL360S angle gauge) and has been stropped, creating a very uniform edge that is slightly convex. The grind marks are perpendicular to the edge and are easily visible to the naked eye.

      At 200x magnification, it’s easy to see the curvature of the very edge. The convex portion of the bevel is 4µ wide. The scratches measure between 1µ and 5µ with the majority in the 3µ range.

      Spyderco-Maxamet

      The image above was adjusted within the microscope software to highlight the scratch pattern.

      I really like the way this little knife is performing and I’m curious to learn how well this factory edge holds up. Anyone else have a Native or any other Spyderco knives in Maxamet?

      -Clay

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      #40407

      tcmeyer
      Participant

        Clay:  Do you have a ZDP-189 blade you could compare it to?  When you get around to replacing the factory bevel, that is.

        The ZDP has almost no vanadium, while the Maxamet has 6%.  On the other hand, the Maxamet has only 4.75% Chromium, while the ZDP has 20%. Both elements are used to increase hardness and toughness.  Interesting.  The Chromium likely is the element that drives the ZDP into being a stainless steel.

        Spyderco used to post the hardness range for each of their knives, but I don’t see that anymore.  I recall that they listed ZDP as being HRc-64.  Any idea what the hardness is for your Maxamet?

        I think Rockstead claims to harden their ZDP to HRc-67.

         

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        #40408

        wickededge
        Keymaster

          I do have Spyderco in ZDP, probably some others as well somewhere. I’ve never had much difficulty sharpening those and they are wonderfully hard. I think I have a Kershaw in ZDP, many things to cbwx34! It was easy to sharpen and polish and holds its edge really well. I’ll get my Spyderco in ZDP out for comparison when I go to sharpen this new little Native. Here’s what I found on KnifeNews.com:

          Maxamet is made by Carpenter Technology, a company best known among steel snobs for its CTS-XHP, which made appearances on the Spyderco Techno, Slysz Bowie, and Chaparral among others. Maxamet’s distinguishing metallurgical characteristic is the high carbon content (2.15%) and the inclusion of 10% Tungsten. In an alloy, Tungsten contributes to the harden-ability, and with this much Tungsten it’s no surprise that Spyderco hardened Maxamet up to 67-68 RC. Few steels can approach this level of hardness while remaining usable in cutlery applications.

          Here’s a review of the steel on Spyderco’s forum by Ankerson (he’s a pretty smart guy that knows knives and sharpening very well): https://www.spyderco.com/forumII/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=71455&sid=2a63df9d85329dc9a4c565edfc61fb1a

          -Clay

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          #40409

          Mark76
          Moderator

            Wow, looks like a great steel. And affordable for such a steel. A pity it isn’t available in Europe, yet. Thanks for your investigations, Clay!

            Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge
            Japanese Knife Reviews: my blog about Japanese kitchen knives

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            #40444

            Phil Pasteur
            Participant

              I have a Manix 2 light weight  in Maxamet. Nice knife. It is light an carries well. I used it about a month with the factory edge which was quite sharp and stayed that way. I have not put it on the WE yet, but I did sharpen it using my Kalamazoo belt grinder.  It took a different technique and considerably longer than  most other knives. But I did get a decent edge on it. It would tree top arm hair. Anyway, that was around two months ago. It still will shave and I have been carrying it and using it about 90% of the time.  I do the typical urban stuff with it, Opening boxes, breaking down boxes, cutting twine and rope, opening packaging, etc. It will still easily shave arm hair. Most of the knives that I carry in S30V or even S90v would have required sharpening at least a couple of times.

              I think Spyderco hardens their Maxamet to 68/69.  (maybe 67/68 still very hard).

              Cliff Stamp writes on the Spyderco forum:

              “Maxamet is an extreme alloy, for comparison, it is to 10V what S90V is to 420J2. Maxamet is used when HSS like M4 fail because they are too soft or wear too fast – just consider that for a matter of perspective”…   “possessing properties intermediate between conventional high speed tool steels and cemented carbide.”

              “Wear Resistance:
              The wear resistance of Micro-Melt Maxamet alloy is better than that of conventional powder metal high speed steel grades and is equivalent to AISI A11 cold work powder metal tool steel.
              A11 is K294 and CPM 10V”

              Carbon 2.15 %
              Manganese 0.30 %
              Sulfur 0.070 %
              Silicon 0.25 %
              Chromium 4.75 %
              Cobalt 10.00 %
              Vanadium 6.00 %
              Tungsten 13.00 %
              Iron Balance

              One may notice that the chromium content is too low  for it to be considered a stainless steel. I try to keep mine clean and wipe it down with  a Tuff Glide cloth occasionally. It has some patina spots on it, but no sign of corrosion other than that. I really like this steel!! The Manix 2 light weight is a good platform for it too. It makes getting a knife in this steel actually affordable. They also made one of their “Mules” in the steel. I picked up one of those too. This makes an even cheaper way to get a blade of Maxamet to play with.

               

              I got a Gen 3 (2016) WE recently. I am itching to get the time to chuck this thing up and see what kind of edge I can put on it with that.

              I am interested to hear more about your experience with your knife in Maxamet Clay.

               

              Phil

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              #40447

              wickededge
              Keymaster

                Hey Phil,

                Welcome back. I also have the Manix 2, but in some other steel. I love the design of the blade but it doesn’t have great edge retention. I think I’d love it in Maxamet. So far, my Native has been excellent and I love the small size for a knife to carry to work. It’s cut everything I’ve asked of it so far, mostly cardboard and other packaging but I did use it to trim out some small saplings that were growing under my hammock. Even after doing that (in the dark, behind my back, in the rain, meaning that I probably drug it through the dirt, got it wet, put tons of lateral stress on it) it still shaves arm hair easily. I’m itching to sharpen it to see what kind of edge it will take, but I also want to wait it out to see how long the factory edge lasts. I suppose I could just cut a bunch of stuff until it stops shaving 🙂

                -Clay

                #40448

                Mark76
                Moderator

                  I am very impressed by the results of the Maxamet and considering to get a knife in it. Hower, there are more “super steels” like M4, S90V (and S110V), M390  and ZDP-189.

                  What would you recommend, not only based on hardness and toughness, but also on daily use? (I assume that sharpening is not problem with the WE.)

                  Regards,
                  Mark

                  Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge
                  Japanese Knife Reviews: my blog about Japanese kitchen knives

                  #40449

                  Phil Pasteur
                  Participant

                    I have been a bit of a steel junkie over the years. I have blades in all of the steels that you mention. The only two I would put in a class with Maxamet are S100V and ZDP-189.  The Maxamet keeps me impressed with its edge retention though. Noticeably better than any of those.. at least for the single example that I have played with extensively. I really have not done anything with the mule… So far I have not had the chipping problems that I have had with both S110V and ZDP-189, which is a positive.

                    The one downside, and it is relative to your usage  patterns and ability/desire to spend a little extra time in maintenance , is the corrosion resistance. If you want something that you can use, give it a quick wipe and put it in your pocket, maybe you are looking for something with a higher chromium content. Oh and it is expensive as well. I was looking at Spyderco knives just today. The same knives in S110V are listed about 30% cheaper  than the Maxamet knives of the same model.  No matter for me. I was curious to have first hand experience with this steel. I am glad that I  bought this one.

                    All of the steels that you mention are great knife steels, and they all are super steels, they just are not quite a super as Maxamet. (from my limited experience and the specific design goals for this formulation.)

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                    #40450

                    Mark76
                    Moderator

                      Thanks Phil. What is your experience with edge angles on ZDP-189? I am used to edge of +/- 15 degrees on my pocket knives (sometimes with a microbevel), but I also read ZDP-189 has a problem with that. And now I’ve delved into “super steels” for pocket knives, I also encounter Super Blue. Do you happen to know whether this is the same as Aogami Super, which is used a lot in kitchen knives (in mine, too) and I think is Japanese for super blue. This is truely a carbon steel, by the way.

                      Molecule Polishing: my blog about sharpening with the Wicked Edge
                      Japanese Knife Reviews: my blog about Japanese kitchen knives

                      #40469

                      Phil Pasteur
                      Participant

                        I looked at my logs. I used 17 degrees for my ZDP knives.  This is a compromise for sure, but seems to work. I still find that the primary edge degradation seems to be micro chipping.  With 17 they are plenty sharp but seem to hold up a bit better. For the things I use pocket knives for 17 is fine.

                        I think the Aogami Super is the same steel as Super blue. It seems the names are used interchangeably. Honestly though, I have nothing in that steel and have not done extensive research on it. Spyderco did a mule in the steel and Called it Aogami Super Blue.

                         

                        I did a quick search and found these notations:

                        Aogami Super Blue (AS)   I think the AS is for Aogami Super.

                        Aogami Super (Blue Super) is Blue #1

                        Hope that helps. Though I know it is not definitive.

                         

                         

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                        #40471

                        Phil Pasteur
                        Participant

                          Mark, you may find this interesting.. though we have strayed a bit from the topic of the thread.

                           

                          https://www.hocho-knife.com/about-steel-qualities/

                           

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                          #40472

                          Phil Pasteur
                          Participant

                            Here is another one… good info here. Scroll down. Apparently the Aogami is not necessarily the manufacturer.. but the Japanese name for the “blue paper” steel

                            https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/composition-of-japanese-white-blue-steel.243804/

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                            #40481

                            MarcH
                            Participant

                              I been reading this thread on the Maxamet knives.  I did a search to see if there are any kitchen or chef’s knives made with that steel.  I came across this knife in that search.  I had not heard of this brand knife or this stainless steel before; rated at HRc 68-69.  I have chef’s knives made of all the steels that were mentioned already, in earlier posts: ZDP-189, SG-2/R2, and, Aogami Super or Super Blue.  This Hitachi made steel rates harder than all of those!  At least on paper.

                              I just got it today.  First thing I do these days is I take USB Microscope (250X) bevel edge photos of my new purchases “right out-of-the-box”.  Then I use the knives a while to get a good feel for them.  This is an interesting knife that I’ll write about in several of the current threads.  It fits right in with several issues and themes we have going on in the WE Forum.

                              Marc

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                              #40514

                              wickededge
                              Keymaster

                                I’ve got a few Takeda knives in Super Blue and I love them. They’re wonderfully thin and agile, beautiful to look at and cut with. They’re also easy to sharpen and keep a very fine edge for a long time.

                                -Clay

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                                #40515

                                wickededge
                                Keymaster

                                  I took the Native in Maxamet as my only knife backpacking this weekend. I used it for regular package opening and also for a lot of whittling. The area where I camped has been receiving daily rain, often multiple times a day, so the available wood was all very wet. I needed to pare it down to reach the dry parts on a big bundle of sticks to get the fire started. I’m happy to report that after all that work, it still shaves arm hair, a little. I’ll keep working with it until it’ll no longer shave and then I’ll duplicate the edge that it initially had and see where it takes me.

                                  Here are some photos from my trip: https://goo.gl/photos/VYk9y8JSXdGpd6aS9

                                  -Clay

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