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Thread: Mule Team HRc Information

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User JNewell's Avatar
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    Mule Team HRc Information

    I got tired of continually searching for information on the Rockwell C ranges for Spyderco Mule series blades, so I thought I'd collect the information in a single post and edit it as new blades are released and tested. The information below comes mostly from posts by JLS and Ankerson here and at BladeForums (many thanks to both and to all others who've posted information). Please feel free to post additional information or questions below. I'm only playing editor here rather than an expert authority, but I'm sure that forum members can field just about any question.

    For information on the Mule program generally, note that Spyderco has posted a very useful page with information on the Mule series and the individual blades here: http://spyderco.com/edge-u-cation/index.php?item=13

    MT01P - Mule Team 52100 - January 2008 (US)
    From the Spyderco Edge-u-cation sheet: "Oil quenched and drawn to Rc 62"
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    Good thing you said no pressure! Otherwise I'd be worried about the repercussions of waiting this long.

    I finally stopped in at my old work last week and I have some additional results.

    MT01 - 52100 - 3 tests; 63.1 HRC average
    MT08 - Super Blue - 3 tests; 62.5 HRC average
    MT13 - ELMAX - 3 tests; 58.3 HRC average

    I still haven't found the test results for MT06 and MT10. If they're not in some old spreadsheets, they're lost and I don't know that I want to know the hardness bad enough to tear the handles off (once they're epoxied on, they stay that way...at least how I do it).
    MT02P - Mule Team CPM-M4™ - October 2008 (Crucible/US)
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    Well, I still haven't found my spreadsheet with the actual numbers on the M4. But my memory isn't too bad and here's what I can recall. The others are from either notes at my desk at work or posts here.
    MT02-CPM-M4 - 62.5 HRC
    MT03-CPM-S90V - 59.2 HRC
    MT04 - ZDP189 - 66.4 HRC, this is the average of 6 readings that ranged from 65.2 to 67.1 HRC
    Hope this helps.
    MT03P - Mule Team CPMS90V™ - February 2009 (Crucible/US)
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    Well, I still haven't found my spreadsheet with the actual numbers on the M4. But my memory isn't too bad and here's what I can recall. The others are from either notes at my desk at work or posts here.
    MT02-CPM-M4 - 62.5 HRC
    MT03-CPM-S90V - 59.2 HRC
    MT04 - ZDP189 - 66.4 HRC, this is the average of 6 readings that ranged from 65.2 to 67.1 HRC
    Hope this helps.
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    Ok, so I finally took the time to test my new Mule and my Military 2nd that I have on hand. All these are averages of 3 tests. The calibration just before was an average of 56.1 on a 56.4 HRC test block. Since that's within tolerances, the numbers below are straight reporting, no adjustment in numbers due to the calibration error.
    Mule - 59.2 HRC
    Military - 58.8 HRC
    Keep in mind some of the earlier comments about accuracy of calibration blocks and of the test itself and you'll see that this is right where it needs to be.
    MT04P - Mule Team ZDP-189 - July 2009 (Hitachi/Japan)
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    My first one tested at 67 HRC average.
    I haven't unboxed the second to take it to work for testing yet. If I ever do, I'll report on that.
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    Well, I still haven't found my spreadsheet with the actual numbers on the M4. But my memory isn't too bad and here's what I can recall. The others are from either notes at my desk at work or posts here.
    MT02-CPM-M4 - 62.5 HRC
    MT03-CPM-S90V - 59.2 HRC
    MT04 - ZDP189 - 66.4 HRC, this is the average of 6 readings that ranged from 65.2 to 67.1 HRC
    Hope this helps.
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    Gunmike inspired me to take my Mule to work and hardness test it. My 6 readings ranged from 65.2 to 67.1 HRC. It's definitely the hardest steel I've ever tested.
    I'll be interested to see the readings from others.
    This definitely takes it out of the EDC category, but should work real nice on my workbench.
    MT05P - Mule Team 9Cr18Mo - October 2009 (China)
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    Average of 6 readings was 58.0 HRC, with a high and low of 58.6 and 57.7.
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    I'm really not trying to hog the thread, but it's seems I am anyway.
    I've hardness tested 6 of the blades so far and here are the results.
    59.3
    58.9
    59.1
    59.1
    59.1
    58.9
    All but one of those numbers represents an average of 2 tests. If you're not familiar with heat treating and hardness tests, that is amazing consistency.
    As I was doing the hardness tests after work, two more guys found me and want Mules. For $20, it's hard to refuse.

    MT06P - Mule Team CPM-S35VN™ - January 2010 (Crucible/US)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post
    Updated HRC ratings on S35VN and ATS-34.
    Both came in at 59 HRC.
    MT07P - Mule Team Damascus VG-10 - October 2010 (Japan)
    [No test data found yet]

    MT08P - Mule Team Aogami Super Blue - December 2010 (Hitachi/Japan)
    Quote Originally Posted by sal View Post
    Hi Charlie,

    They're running about 62. 61.5 on the low side 63 on the high side.

    sal
    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post
    John,

    The Super Blue was 61.5 HRC.

    Jim
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    Good thing you said no pressure! Otherwise I'd be worried about the repercussions of waiting this long.

    I finally stopped in at my old work last week and I have some additional results.

    MT01 - 52100 - 3 tests; 63.1 HRC average
    MT08 - Super Blue - 3 tests; 62.5 HRC average
    MT13 - ELMAX - 3 tests; 58.3 HRC average

    I still haven't found the test results for MT06 and MT10. If they're not in some old spreadsheets, they're lost and I don't know that I want to know the hardness bad enough to tear the handles off (once they're epoxied on, they stay that way...at least how I do it).
    MT09 - Mule Team Cobalt Special - February 2011 (Takefu/Japan)
    [No test data found yet]

    MT10P - Mule Team CTS-BD1 - June 2010 (Carpenter/US)
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    I have hardness testing for two more.

    I found a MT-10 BD-1 Mule on Ebay for a decent price and removed the scales when it arrived as they were nearly 1/2" thick each. It tested at 57.2 HRC, which seems a little low, so I'd like to put the disclaimer that it was used of unknown origins. Other than that, the blade was clean and flat and the machine was freshly calibrated.

    I also tested the CTS-XHP Mule and it was 60.3 HRC. Now to get some handles on it and start seeing what this steel is capable of.
    MT11P - M390 Mule Team - June 2011 (Böhler-Uddeholm/Austria)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post
    Update.
    M390 Mule came in at 60.5 HRC..
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    I finally ordered my M390 Mule last week and received it yesterday.
    I brought it to work today, did a fresh cal on the hardness tester and got 60.9 and 61.2 HRC for the two samples. I think I'm going to like this one.
    MT12P - Cru-Wear Mule Team - September 2011 (Crucible/US)
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    I posted this in the MT12 re-release thread, but I figured that inquiring minds wanted to know.

    I no longer work where I have a hardness tester in the next lab, but I left on very good terms and I stopped in to test my Cruwear mule this evening. I checked calibration before testing and I like the results. Please keep in mind, these were 3 tests on a single Mule. But I like the direction they point.
    In case my writing is illegible, the numbers are 62.1, 62.2 and 62.8 HRC.
    MT13 Elmax Mule Team - February 2012 (Böhler-Uddeholm/Austria)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post
    Updated info in the MT-13 Elmax Mule Team - February 2012

    I have one here that is 58.5 ave HRC.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Glesser View Post
    Hi Dan. I believe we're running 59/60. I'll check for sure on Monay.

    sal
    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Glesser View Post
    Hi Dan,

    The one I checked was 58.2.

    sal
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    Good thing you said no pressure! Otherwise I'd be worried about the repercussions of waiting this long.

    I finally stopped in at my old work last week and I have some additional results.

    MT01 - 52100 - 3 tests; 63.1 HRC average
    MT08 - Super Blue - 3 tests; 62.5 HRC average
    MT13 - ELMAX - 3 tests; 58.3 HRC average

    I still haven't found the test results for MT06 and MT10. If they're not in some old spreadsheets, they're lost and I don't know that I want to know the hardness bad enough to tear the handles off (once they're epoxied on, they stay that way...at least how I do it).
    MT14 CTS-204P Mule Team - "Coming Soon" 2/12 (Carpenter/US)
    [No test data found yet]

    MT15 CTS-B75P Mule Team - September 2012 (Carpenter/US)
    Quote Originally Posted by sal View Post
    Target was 62/63. Mine Rc'd at 62.5.

    sal
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    One more test to add. Stopped in at my old work yesterday and I think the results on the MT-15 CTS B75P Mule will be encouraging. I did a fresh calibration and tested my blade 3 times. 62.7, 62.2 and 62.9 for an average of 62.6 HRC.
    MT16 - CTS-XHP - December 2012 (Carpenter/US)
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    I have hardness testing for two more.

    I found a MT-10 BD-1 Mule on Ebay for a decent price and removed the scales when it arrived as they were nearly 1/2" thick each. It tested at 57.2 HRC, which seems a little low, so I'd like to put the disclaimer that it was used of unknown origins. Other than that, the blade was clean and flat and the machine was freshly calibrated.

    I also tested the CTS-XHP Mule and it was 60.3 HRC. Now to get some handles on it and start seeing what this steel is capable of.
    MT17 - K390 Mule Team - July 2013 (Böhler-Uddeholm/Austria)
    Quote Originally Posted by sal View Post
    The one I tested on the handle was 62/64.

    sal
    -> CONTINUES IN NEXT POST <-


    7/20/13 - Added MT-17
    Last edited by JNewell; 09-07-2013 at 08:17 AM.

  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User JNewell's Avatar
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    Continued from post #1:

    MT17 - K390 Mule Team - July 2013 (Böhler-Uddeholm/Austria)
    Quote Originally Posted by sal View Post
    The one I tested on the handle was 62/64.

    sal
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    Finally tested my K390 Mule.

    63.8-64.1 HRC spread over 3 tests. This should be good!
    MT18 - CPM-S110V Mule Team - July 2013 (Crucible/US)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Glesser View Post
    60-61

    sal
    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    Just wanted to share hardness test results on my S110V Mule that I feel very lucky to have snagged on Monday.

    For some background, calibration on a Rockwell hardness test machine is verified on a test block that normally has a +/- 1HRC tolerance on it. These test blocks come in various ranges and it's important to verify calibration as close to the expected range as possible. The test block was a 55.6 HRC test block. The calibration was at the lower end of acceptable (54.7 HRC) on the test block, but still in tolerance so I'll report the raw numbers. I got measurements between 58.7 HRC towards the butt end of the tang to 59.4 HRC just behind the plunge line. That's very good consistency, but perhaps not as high as I would've liked to see. It's still going to be a beast of a knife with regard to edge holding, but it may be some of the reason it didn't rank as high as I might have expected in Jim Ankerson's testing. I know he said he'd be sending his out for hardness testing as well; it'll be interesting to see those results as well.

    Cliff Notes version - MT18, S110V hardness test results, average of 5 tests on one blade, 59.1 HRC
    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post
    I think it would be safe to call it 60 RC given the variation [between the test block and the results].

    That puts it right on the money of what Sal stated.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post
    The hardness data came back as 60 RC.
    9/6/13 - Updated MT-17
    1/27/14 - Added MT-18
    2/22/14 - MT-18 updated
    3/1/14 - MT-18 updated
    Last edited by JNewell; 03-01-2014 at 01:16 PM.

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User JNewell's Avatar
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    This space also for future posts

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User JNewell's Avatar
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    One more blank...

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User jabba359's Avatar
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    Thanks for putting this together. I used it to update some of the Spydiewiki data that I hadn't found yet. Sal posted his Rc test findings for MT08:


    Quote Originally Posted by sal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dbcad View Post
    I'm still curious about what the HT will be, but decided to order one anyway. If Japanese knife makers value it, it must be for a reason, probably those stated in previous replies. Looking forward to the Super Blue
    Hi Charlie,

    They're running about 62. 61.5 on the low side 63 on the high side.

    sal
    -Kyle


    On the Fence: Tuff, Techno
    Latest arrivals: Super Blue Delica, G-10 BlackHawk, S110V Mule

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    JNewell, thank you for your efforts. I particularly like the fact that you also provide sources for your figures. I think this should be a sticky because the Mules are an on-going project.

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    JNewell, thanks for putting this together. I've thought about it a couple of times, but just never did it. I don't think we'll ever see good hardness test results on MT07 or MT09 due to the laminated construction of each.

    I do have a spare MT01 and MT08 blade here that I can test before I put a handle on each. I also did test my MT06 and MT10 (they each have the dimple), but don't have the numbers handy. I'll try to look them up and get them posted. It'll probably be at least a week and a half until I do because I'm heading out for business and won't be back for a week.

    I hope Sal and company don't mind me posting the test results. I try to caution everyone that these tests are merely representative of my blades. It doesn't mean your blade is exactly the same, but it does give a ballpark idea for most people. We also need to remember that hardness alone without a proper heat treat cycle or parameters is worthless. I trust Spyderco to work up a proper heat treat because they have yet to disappoint me. I've hardness tested older blades when they used to advertise the hardness and every single one was in spec.

    I've been very enthusiastic about the Mule Team project since I heard of it. I missed the debut of MT01, but picked up 2 after they were sold out. I've been pretty quick on every other one since and enjoy using them daily. To truth, the Mule Team project is what brought me back after a hiatus of a few years. I haven't bought many folders since coming back, but I've really liked the fixed blades.

    As long as I can still get in the door at my old work, I'll keep providing test results. They don't seem to mind me coming back, so that should be for quite some time.
    42 Spyderco fixed blades and counting...

  8. #8
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    This thread is a great idea. I look forward to seeing the data trickle in on all the mules. Thanks for doing this.

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User toomzz's Avatar
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    Thanks for you efforts! Looking forward to the Elmax, and.....MT14 in CTS 204P later this year.
    Even in times of peace a gentleman still keeps a sword by his side

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User xceptnl's Avatar
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    Thanks a ton JNewell. This data will prove very helpful to all in the future. I agree with bchan, this should be a sticky thread!
    My 's:
    Native, Manix 2 (BD1,154CM,S30V,M4,XHP), Delica 4 (White,Red,Brown,Blue,BRG,G-10), Spyderhawks, D'fly (H1,G-10), Police3, Volpe, Military (S30V[2],XHP,D2,M390,BG42,440V,Cruwear), Superleaf, Forager, D2 Para, Kopas, Caly (JR's,3,3.5-SB), D3, Para-2 (XHP,204P), Stretch (SS,FRN's,CF), Rescue, Dyad Jr, Pingo, Southard, AIR, Jess Horn, Forum N5, Lil Matriarch, Barong, Superhawk, Chinook II
    Mules> MT05,08,09,12,15,16,17, 18

    *Landon*

  11. #11
    Spyderco Forum Registered User JNewell's Avatar
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    JLS, all - glad this is helpful and a big thanks to JLS, Jim Ankerson and the whole group for the data we have now and the data that will be contributed as the Mule program continues.

    JLS, any additional testing data would be really welcome, and would be a great update! No pressure, of course...

    John

    Quote Originally Posted by JLS View Post
    JNewell, thanks for putting this together. I've thought about it a couple of times, but just never did it. I don't think we'll ever see good hardness test results on MT07 or MT09 due to the laminated construction of each.

    I do have a spare MT01 and MT08 blade here that I can test before I put a handle on each. I also did test my MT06 and MT10 (they each have the dimple), but don't have the numbers handy. I'll try to look them up and get them posted. It'll probably be at least a week and a half until I do because I'm heading out for business and won't be back for a week.

    I hope Sal and company don't mind me posting the test results. I try to caution everyone that these tests are merely representative of my blades. It doesn't mean your blade is exactly the same, but it does give a ballpark idea for most people. We also need to remember that hardness alone without a proper heat treat cycle or parameters is worthless. I trust Spyderco to work up a proper heat treat because they have yet to disappoint me. I've hardness tested older blades when they used to advertise the hardness and every single one was in spec.

    I've been very enthusiastic about the Mule Team project since I heard of it. I missed the debut of MT01, but picked up 2 after they were sold out. I've been pretty quick on every other one since and enjoy using them daily. To truth, the Mule Team project is what brought me back after a hiatus of a few years. I haven't bought many folders since coming back, but I've really liked the fixed blades.

    As long as I can still get in the door at my old work, I'll keep providing test results. They don't seem to mind me coming back, so that should be for quite some time.

  12. #12
    Spyderco Forum Registered User JNewell's Avatar
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    Great find, and first post updated! Thanks so much for finding that one!

    John

    Quote Originally Posted by jabba359 View Post
    Thanks for putting this together. I used it to update some of the Spydiewiki data that I hadn't found yet. Sal posted his Rc test findings for MT08:

  13. #13
    Spyderco Forum Registered User JNewell's Avatar
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    Updated with preliminary information from Sal on the Elmax MT-13.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Glesser View Post
    Hi Dan. I believe we're running 59/60. I'll check for sure on Monay.

    sal

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Glesser View Post
    Hi Dan,

    The one I checked was 58.2.

    sal
    Last edited by JNewell; 04-24-2012 at 05:51 PM.

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    Why is the rockwell so low on s90v? I thought it was the cats meow

  15. #15
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    could you get the elmax re heat treated to say 61 HRc instead of 58.2 HRc it is said to be LOVE THE KNIFE.just expected at least 60-61HRc

  16. #16
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Ankerson's Avatar
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    Updated info in the MT-13 Elmax Mule Team - February 2012

    I have one here that is 58.5 ave HRC.

  17. #17
    Spyderco Forum Registered User JNewell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post
    Updated info in the MT-13 Elmax Mule Team - February 2012

    I have one here that is 58.5 ave HRC.
    Thanks, Jim!

    John

  18. #18
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Ankerson's Avatar
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    John,

    The Super Blue was 61.5 HRC.

    Jim

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User bh49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post
    Updated info in the MT-13 Elmax Mule Team - February 2012
    I have one here that is 58.5 ave HRC.
    Don't you think that is little soft?
    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf"
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  20. #20
    Spyderco Forum Registered User JNewell's Avatar
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    Thanks, Jim - added.

    John

    Quote Originally Posted by Ankerson View Post
    John,

    The Super Blue was 61.5 HRC.

    Jim

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