Mule Team™ 25 LC200N
In the knife industry a “mule” is a sample knife used for performance testing. Spyderco’s Mule Team Series takes this concept a significant step further by offering our customers an identical fixed-blade knife pattern in different steels. This allows steel-obsessed knife enthusiasts a unique opportunity to test and evaluate various blade steels on their own. These blades are furnished without handles or sheaths and are also excellent “kit” blades for hobbyists and novice knifemakers.
Our twenty-fifth Mule Team installment features LC200N steel—a high nitrogen alloyed tool steel that offers extreme corrosion resistance. This extraordinary material is produced by a combination of the PESR (Pressurized Electric Slag Remelting) process and “smart forging” technology to yield an amazing increase in the steel’s purity and a very fine and homogenous microstructure. LC200N is also a true martensitic steel that achieves its hardness through traditional heat treating, so its hardness level can be precisely controlled to meet the demands of specific uses. Regarded as the material of choice for applications that involve high static and dynamic loads in corrosive environments, LC200N is widely used in the food, chemical, recycling, and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in mirror-polished dies used in the plastics industry. It is best known, however, as NASA’s preferred material for the ball bearings used in their high-performance aerospace equipment.
LC200N’s unique alloy composition includes: 0.3% Carbon, 15% Chromium, 0.5% Nitrogen, 0.95% Molybdenum, 0.5% Nickel, and 1.00% Manganese. When this advanced alloy recipe is translated to knife blades, LC200N provides an exceptional blend of toughness, edge holding, and corrosion resistance.