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Thread: Elmax

  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User catamount's Avatar
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    Elmax

    What i've been reading about Elmax intrigued me, so I got a Kershaw Speedform II to try it out. It's not a , but I'm liking this steel. Lots of Chromium, plus a fair bit of Vanadium, seems to be a good combo.

    I Know the LionSpy is coming, but I'd love to see a less expensive model in Elmax. How about a special version of the forthcoming Lightweight Translucent Manix 2? That would allow more people to try this steel. Regular, or limited, production, rather than a sprint, would be nice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sequimite View Post
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  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Ankerson's Avatar
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    I would like to see the Military and Para 2 released in ELMAX.

    It has the toughness, edge retention and high corrosion resistance that would be ideal for those models.

    I have another Custom coming this week in ELMAX that I will be testing.
    Last edited by Ankerson; 04-13-2011 at 09:13 AM.

  3. #3
    Spyderco Forum Registered User jezabel's Avatar
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    I'd love to try out Elmax too, however the Manix 2's don't agree with me, and I have no enthusiasm for the new version or for the Lionspy.
    I'd much rather go the Millie or Para route. Maybe we'll see a Mule at some stage.
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  4. #4
    Spyderco Forum Registered User bh49's Avatar
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    I am not really steelnut, but would like to try, if Spyderco would make variant of my favorite knives like para2, native5 (Spyderco didn't produce it, but it is already one of my favorites. Is not this funny?) or Navaja.
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  5. #5
    Spyderco Forum Registered User catamount's Avatar
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    An Elmax Para 2 would be great. I wonder if using a non-US steel in a Golden model would be a big issue?
    Tom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sequimite View Post
    I use knives. I collect experiences.

    I'm an admirer of Spyderco's designs. Using them is like immersing yourself in music or studying a painting in a museum. I buy some "fine" art but my preference is for usable art.
    Junior avatar courtesy of dialex

  6. #6
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    I think it would be great
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  7. #7
    Spyderco Forum Registered User bh49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catamount View Post
    An Elmax Para 2 would be great. I wonder if using a non-US steel in a Golden model would be a big issue?
    Spyderco used foreign steels before. Kershaw is using Sweden steel all the time.
    Para2 with Elmax will be a bestseller.
    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf"
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  8. #8
    Spyderco Forum Registered User defenestrate's Avatar
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    Agreed with bh49, at least if it is done as a sprint. My experience indicates that every nonstandard steel variation of Milli and Para seems to claim a lot of demand.
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  9. #9
    Spyderco Forum Registered User apdb90's Avatar
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    I have to be honest....Elmax really didn't impress me at first. I have a ZT/Hinderer 0551. Like just about every decent knife, it came "shaving sharp", but it's just not YOUR knife until you put YOUR edge on it.

    I also recently picked up a Foliage Manix 2 CTS-XHP. The "stainless D2" reputation of the steel intrigued me. I'm a huge fan of D2, and have most of my customs made in D2.

    Tonight, was time to say goodbye to the factory edges, and put "my" edges on them. The CTS-XHP reprofiled very nicely (I sharpen my folders in this size range @ 20/side) it polished up very nicely, and very easily produced a shaving sharp edge, and I'm talking a straight razor shaving sharp edge.

    The Elmax seems a bit more difficult to polish, and seemed a bit more difficult to cut/reprofile. Not huge amounts, but noticeable. While it resulted in a shaving sharp blade, it didn't produce the "hairs jump off your arm when they see the blade coming" edge the CTS-XHP did.

    You know how there is always that other shoe waiting to drop? This is about the time it dropped. As I'm wiping honing oil off the 0551/Elmax, it cut through the rag (which I always have bunched up VERY thick just in case for this very reason), light it was a frickin light saber. The CTS-XHP wouldn't cut the same rag, without a concerted effort to do so. Shaves like no ones business. Does the "paper test" like a razor blade. But it just doesn't have the "oh my GOD" cutting ability the Elmax, or even D2 has...IMHO.

    The Manix 2 is still my primary carry knife. I carry a full sized 1911 (after carrying a sidearm for almost 25 years total, it's hard not to), and the 0551 tends to pinch my leg pretty bad between the holster and knife, plus it feels like it's 10 times as heavy and thick as the Manix 2. It's essentially a sharpened pry bar, but with the Elmax blade, it's a sharpened pry bar that out cuts my Manix 2 by a rather large margin.

    If Spyderco would offer a Para, Millie, or Manix in Elmax, I'd have yet another new carry knife.
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  10. #10
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Ankerson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apdb90 View Post
    I have to be honest....Elmax really didn't impress me at first. I have a ZT/Hinderer 0551. Like just about every decent knife, it came "shaving sharp", but it's just not YOUR knife until you put YOUR edge on it.

    I also recently picked up a Foliage Manix 2 CTS-XHP. The "stainless D2" reputation of the steel intrigued me. I'm a huge fan of D2, and have most of my customs made in D2.

    Tonight, was time to say goodbye to the factory edges, and put "my" edges on them. The CTS-XHP reprofiled very nicely (I sharpen my folders in this size range @ 20/side) it polished up very nicely, and very easily produced a shaving sharp edge, and I'm talking a straight razor shaving sharp edge.

    The Elmax seems a bit more difficult to polish, and seemed a bit more difficult to cut/reprofile. Not huge amounts, but noticeable. While it resulted in a shaving sharp blade, it didn't produce the "hairs jump off your arm when they see the blade coming" edge the CTS-XHP did.

    You know how there is always that other shoe waiting to drop? This is about the time it dropped. As I'm wiping honing oil off the 0551/Elmax, it cut through the rag (which I always have bunched up VERY thick just in case for this very reason), light it was a frickin light saber. The CTS-XHP wouldn't cut the same rag, without a concerted effort to do so. Shaves like no ones business. Does the "paper test" like a razor blade. But it just doesn't have the "oh my GOD" cutting ability the Elmax, or even D2 has...IMHO.

    The Manix 2 is still my primary carry knife. I carry a full sized 1911 (after carrying a sidearm for almost 25 years total, it's hard not to), and the 0551 tends to pinch my leg pretty bad between the holster and knife, plus it feels like it's 10 times as heavy and thick as the Manix 2. It's essentially a sharpened pry bar, but with the Elmax blade, it's a sharpened pry bar that out cuts my Manix 2 by a rather large margin.

    If Spyderco would offer a Para, Millie, or Manix in Elmax, I'd have yet another new carry knife.
    ELMAX will take a highly refined edge, it just takes more time to get there than with XHP due to the higher wear resistance and higher carbide percentage.

  11. #11
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Ankerson's Avatar
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    This is ELMAX, the hair is .001" thick.




  12. #12
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    cut hair, wow, guess the jury`s in its final, best steel ever and the first to accomplish cutting hair, ....oh wait, the ancient egyptians did it with bronze razors. well darn that shoots that theory
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  13. #13
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    If you don't mind me asking, what transpired between here (when the Elmax blade, with some difficulty, was able to be made adequately shaving sharp):

    Quote Originally Posted by apdb90 View Post
    The CTS-XHP reprofiled very nicely (I sharpen my folders in this size range @ 20/side) it polished up very nicely, and very easily produced a shaving sharp edge, and I'm talking a straight razor shaving sharp edge.

    The Elmax seems a bit more difficult to polish, and seemed a bit more difficult to cut/reprofile. Not huge amounts, but noticeable. While it resulted in a shaving sharp blade, it didn't produce the "hairs jump off your arm when they see the blade coming" edge the CTS-XHP did.
    and here (where the Elmax blade now suddenly exhibits superior cutting ability as compared to the "straight razor" sharp CTS-XHP blade)?:

    Quote Originally Posted by apdb90 View Post
    As I'm wiping honing oil off the 0551/Elmax, it cut through the rag (which I always have bunched up VERY thick just in case for this very reason), light it was a frickin light saber. The CTS-XHP wouldn't cut the same rag, without a concerted effort to do so. Shaves like no ones business. Does the "paper test" like a razor blade. But it just doesn't have the "oh my GOD" cutting ability the Elmax, or even D2 has...IMHO.
    I ask only because my first introduction to both Elmax and CTS-XHP steels came by way of the very same blades which you've purchased. The foliage Manix 2 is a slicer through and through. From the thinner blade stock, to the distal taper to the full flat grind to the blade thickness at the top of the primary edge bevel, this knife was conceived and created with cutting efficiency in mind first and foremost.

    The ZT/Hinderer 0551 is a beautiful thing to behold as well. The titanium lock bar handle slab looks like it would be right at home on a $550 custom folder. The knife uses outstanding materials and the fit and finish is first rate. The design results in a strong, durable, reliable and visually appealing knife. The only thing it wasn't designed to do well is cut things*. I have axes with less steel at the primary bevel.

    Like you, I have found the CTS-XHP blade easy to get scary sharp. I have not yet found it necessary to resharpen the factory edge on the 0551 mainly because it doesn't see as much use as my blades that were designed to cut things. In any event, I'm anxious to know more about the true cutting potential of Elmax as the 0551's blade geometry makes it impossible for me to do any apples to apples comparison between it and any other folder I own.




    * Exception noted for those folks who find that their most common cutting chores revolve around the now ubiquitous need to cut yourself out of your own aircraft wreckage.
    Last edited by Bronco; 04-17-2011 at 02:38 AM.

  14. #14
    Spyderco Forum Registered User The Mastiff's Avatar
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    The ZT 551 is for sure a beast. I did my playing with Elmax on a Speedform 2 and I even had to thin out the edge quite a bit to really make a serious slicer out of it. Like S30V it takes a while to remove that steel.

    It does really well with very thin edges. I tested it in various configurations all the way down to a zero grind. From 320 grit up to 8,000 grit with diamond strop.

    It's a very clean steel and it really shows on the edge. No inclusions and very good grain structure give it good stability for a steel in it's class.

    It's a very nice steel and I'd like to see how it performs at higher hardness in a custom. It's already pretty impressive, to be honest.

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    Thanks, Mastiff. Your explanation seems to bear witness to what Ankerson's pictures are vividly illustrating.

    I guess I'll have to wait for an upcoming Spyderco offering in Elmax for a better chance to see the true capabilities of this steel. As it stands now, I honestly think I could take the primary bevel on the 0551 all the way up to the saber grind and it still wouldn't make much of a difference in cutting efficiency.

  16. #16
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Ankerson's Avatar
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    It is a custom that I used.


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    Looks like a beauty, Ank. I'd love to see a pic of the rest of it, though I'm hesitant to ask being respectful of the fact that this is a Spyderco forum.

    In lieu of that, can I ask if there's a technique to doing your hair splitting test? Do you just let the hair dangle and then try to catch the blade edge, or do you put the hair under some tension. It's quite an impressive display regardless.

  18. #18
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Ankerson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco View Post
    Looks like a beauty, Ank. I'd love to see a pic of the rest of it, though I'm hesitant to ask being respectful of the fact that this is a Spyderco forum.

    In lieu of that, can I ask if there's a technique to doing your hair splitting test? Do you just let the hair dangle and then try to catch the blade edge, or do you put the hair under some tension. It's quite an impressive display regardless.
    It's free hanging hair, I just drag it over the edge on it's own weight.

    Being that it's a SPyderco forum I really shouldn't post it.

    It is very thin behind the edge, less than half of what the 0551 is.
    Last edited by Ankerson; 04-17-2011 at 12:32 PM.

  19. #19
    Spyderco Forum Registered User flash900's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apdb90 View Post
    ...the 0551 tends to pinch my leg pretty bad between the holster and knife, plus it feels like it's 10 times as heavy and thick as the Manix 2. It's essentially a sharpened pry bar, but with the Elmax blade, it's a sharpened pry bar that out cuts my Manix 2 by a rather large margin.
    A sharpened pry bar --- best description I've seen of the ZT 0551!

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post
    It's free hanging hair, I just drag it over the edge on it's own weight.
    Impressive. I'm afraid my own hair is still a bit too close to USMC regulation length to allow for the perfecting of such a technique.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post
    Being that it's a SPyderco forum I really shouldn't post it.
    Agreed. Perhaps we can save it for the next time we run into one another over at the "other" place.

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