Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

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emanuel
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Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby emanuel » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:18 am

Hey there Spyderco lovers, I have a big big dilemma as you can tell... I found 3 PM2s from a collector here in my country (Romania) for sale at a very good price, about the same for each, in CPM Cruwear, Rex 45 and Maxamet. I did use Cruwear and Maxamet before, but they weren't my knives so I couldn't really get a very thorough idea about them performance wise. I loved Cruwear (it was a manix I believe?), the edge seemed to get hair whittling sharp very easily and I just loved it. With Maxamet I just cut some stuff didn't get to touch the edge as it already had a good working edge on it put there by its owner (600 grit diamond, very aggressive slicer).

So now I need to chose one, and only one, due to my budget not being great as of now with my wife's birthday being around the corner and whatnot. I wish I could get them all 3, but oh well it is what it is. Which one should it be? I need to mention that I'm interested in a steel good at holding a fine edge, I'm not interested in working edges or low grit stuff that I'm sure Maxamet would beat the other two by far, but I have no idea how it fares with a polished edge. I also want to mention sharpening is not an issue, I own a good progression of diamond plates and the 306uf. Ah yes and corrosion is also a non-issue, the climate is mild and I take good care of my knives, stainless, semi-stainless or not. So people that used all of these or some of them, what can you tell me about your experience that might help me decide?

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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby Pelagic » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:53 am

https://youtu.be/9uJPtm5LX

Maxamet with fine edge.
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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby ferider » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:57 am

Maxamet is brittle. I have broken a blade, and so have others (check on BF).

Rex45 is the hardest steel (outside of Maxamet) that Spyderco makes in folders, CPM Cru-Wear the toughest. Tough choice, I would probably pick CW. Both take a fine edge.

Roland.

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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby Pelagic » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:05 am

Cruwear has better wear resistance than 66RC REX 45???

Also, it's gotta be very close between 4v and cruwear for toughest steel offered by spyderco in folders. Cruwear is getting slightly high on chromium.

On Maxamet being brittle
https://youtu.be/q5o532fjdec
https://youtu.be/KZPKIC8oCbE
https://youtu.be/PEL70quVOMk
https://youtu.be/YVSj59PaBxU

I'm not trying to argue, only playing devil's advocate. I realize high alloy steels at that hardness (67-68rc?) are far from tough.
Pancake wrote:
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Doeswhateveraspidercan wrote:
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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby awa54 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:09 am

If you are looking for the best balance then CruWear combines the best corrosion resistance of the three with decent edge retention, excellent ease of sharpening and very acceptable toughness. REX45 is the next best balanced, with lower corrosion resitance, but better edge stability and edge retention. Maxamet takes edge retention to the extreme, but gives up toughness and corrosion resistance, using diamond sharpening stones you'll be amazed by how easy it is to sharpen Maxamet!

IMO all three colors of G10 look great (though I don't own a Maxamet knife with G10 scales, so I've only seen pics of the dark gray), I'd rate all three as above average at taking and retaining a fine edge and all three steels have useful balances of characteristics on top of that in my experience, so you really can't go wrong with any of them.

I think for me it would be CruWear, but that REX45 might suit you better?
-David

still more knives than sharpening stones...

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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby ferider » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:26 am

Pelagic wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:05 am
Cruwear has better wear resistance than 66RC REX 45???

On Maxamet being brittle
https://youtu.be/q5o532fjdec
https://youtu.be/KZPKIC8oCbE
https://youtu.be/PEL70quVOMk
https://youtu.be/YVSj59PaBxU

I'm not trying to argue, only playing devil's advocate. I realize high alloy steels at that hardness (67-68rc?) are far from tough.
Bad memory on the CW wear resistance, I corrected my post. That being said, hardness and wear-resistance are two very different things. Checkout Ankerson's recent experiments with Rex45.

Regarding brittle-ness of Maxamet:

I was adjusting a Manix 2 Maxamet Pivot applying a little lateral pressure left and right while the knive was stuck in wood. And it went *BING* and broke right across the blade's opening hole. On BF, a PM2 user had the same experience. I have also had to sharpen out numerous chips in Maxamet PM2 and PM3 that I own. Don't need any other's youtube videos to convince me that it didn't happen.

This is collected from various data sources, HRC of course varies even if you only look at Spyderco numbers. Let me know if you want the sources.

Image

As a side-note, which Maxamet/CW/Rex45 knives do you own, Pelagic ?
Last edited by ferider on Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby ejames13 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:30 am

That's hard, because Cruwear and REX45 are my two favorites. Can you get two instead of 3? :)

I've found Cruwear a little easier to get a fine edge on than REX, but REX is better at holding a fine edge. So if you're looking for retention I'd say REX.

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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby Pelagic » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:36 am

ferider wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:26 am
Pelagic wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:05 am
Cruwear has better wear resistance than 66RC REX 45???

On Maxamet being brittle
https://youtu.be/q5o532fjdec
https://youtu.be/KZPKIC8oCbE
https://youtu.be/PEL70quVOMk
https://youtu.be/YVSj59PaBxU

I'm not trying to argue, only playing devil's advocate. I realize high alloy steels at that hardness (67-68rc?) are far from tough.
Bad memory on the CW wear resistance, I corrected my post.

Regarding brittle-ness of Maxamet:

I was adjusting a Manix 2 Maxamet Pivot applying a little lateral pressure left and right while the knive was stuck in wood. And it went *BING* and broke right across the blade's opening hole. On BF, a PM2 user had the same experience. I have also had to sharpen out numerous chips in Maxamet PM2 and PM3 that I own. Don't need any other's youtube videos to convince me that it didn't happen.

This is collected from various data sources, HRC of course varies even if you only look at Spyderco numbers. Let me know if you want the sources.

Image

As a side-note, which Maxamet/CW/Rex45 knives do you own, Pelagic ?
I should really keep my mouth shut instead of try to offer other opinions in an effort to help others. I can see I've struck a nerve, even with the disclaimer I provided.

Admittedly, I've never had a Rex45 knife, and I currently don't own any Maxamet. The mule I used a few times was fine though. I carry a cruwear pm2 daily. I'm not saying what happened to you did not. Does information that represents an opposing view bother you? I just posted a few links. And I don't think it takes much experience to know Rex45 has more wear resistance than cruwear....
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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby ferider » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:41 am

Pelagic wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:36 am
Does information that represents an opposing view bother you?
No. But having a 160$ knife break on me so easily, with a steel that is so widely praised on the intertubes - that did bother me. Might be understandable ?

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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby Pelagic » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:50 am

ferider wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:41 am
Pelagic wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:36 am
Does information that represents an opposing view bother you?
No. But having a 160$ knife break on me so easily, with a steel that is so widely praised on the intertubes - that did bother me. Might be understandable ?
Absolutely. It just seemed like you took some of that out on me, lol. I was holding out for a Maxamet pm2 and now I'm re-thinking it because of your testimony. I value everyone's opinions.
Pancake wrote:
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Are you a magician? :eek:
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You're the lone wolf of truth howling into the winds of ignorance
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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby TomAiello » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:00 am

I've never had any chipping issues with Maxamet (which is my favorite EDC). I have chipped s110v with the same level of use that I put Maxamet through though. I've also never chipped Rex 45 or CruWear. The level of toughness required by different users is different, but for me, Maxamet is plenty tough for a folder.

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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby ferider » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:18 am

This is from BF, https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/par ... t-18679234

Image

Same happened to my Manix 2. Now, by then, my Manix 2 was a Frankenknife with steel liners, so I don't blame Spyderco at all. But I believe there is a reason the two only available Maxamet production knives today are Native and Manix LW models (where the flexible handle can take some of the lateral stress). I am also convinced that 2019 Maxamet production knives will be completely different, there is a good reason why PM2 and PM3 were withdrawn from the sales channel.

In case it didn't come through above, I love both Rex45 and CW. But for different reasons.

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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby TomAiello » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:43 am

Didn't they have blade warping issues in heat treat on Maxamet? Would warping have created weak spots (like fault lines) where breaks could occur?

Have there been any breakage issues on the Maxamet mules? I'd expect that you'd see them most often on a fixed blade--at least I personally torque a lot harder on a fixed blade than I ever do on a folder. Maybe I just have a different mindset about how to use each kind of knife though. I'm sure plenty of people just use whatever they have on hand in whatever way they need to use it. I have the good fortune to live somewhere that it's totally acceptable to open carry a fixed blade in town, so I often have the ability to select my knife for whatever task is on hand right then.

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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby TomAiello » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:45 am

Another thought. Weren't the Maxamet Mules supposedly heat treated to run a lot softer than the production folders? So maybe the Mules actually are tougher?

If that's the case, and your speculation is correct about changes in the 2019 runs, will the 2019 PM2 and PM3 (with less flex in the handles) be run softer, to make them tougher?

Totally speculation, of course, but it seems like that might help with some issues. And (of course) now I want to buy the new runs and check them out in comparison to the old ones.


FWIW, the Rex 121 (another super high hardness steel) fixed blade I've been carrying for the past month and a half hasn't had any chipping issues. It seems to have very similar edge holding to my Maxamet Manix 2, but (in the "doesn't really matter" category) seems to be more stain resistant. I'm very slightly tempted to go torque hard on it, but it was expensive enough that I'm going to resist that urge.

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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby Shooter4321 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:51 am

I’m getting much better wear resistance with Rex45 then I am with M4. Have never used Cruwear, but heard good things about it.

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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby ferider » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:01 pm

TomAiello wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:45 am
Another thought. Weren't the Maxamet Mules supposedly heat treated to run a lot softer than the production folders? So maybe the Mules actually are tougher?

If that's the case, and your speculation is correct about changes in the 2019 runs, will the 2019 PM2 and PM3 (with less flex in the handles) be run softer, to make them tougher?

Totally speculation, of course, but it seems like that might help with some issues. And (of course) now I want to buy the new runs and check them out in comparison to the old ones.
Very possible. Ankerson measured the MT24 to be 67-68 RC, don't know where the PM[23], Manix and Native are at.

Then again, per Sal, Rex 45 averages at 66.5 RC - pretty close.

Note that I still like using my Maxamet knives, but strictly for cutting only .... And I probably will have a hard time resisting buying a 2019 PM2 :) But maybe it's not the right steel to recommend to a new comer.

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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby TomAiello » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:52 pm

Shooter4321 wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:51 am
I’m getting much better wear resistance with Rex45 then I am with M4.
Which M4? Spyderco CPM M4?

I haven't spend enough time with Rex45, but if it's substantially better than my M4 Spyderco's I should definitely make the time to get it into my pocket more often.

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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby abbazaba » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:06 pm

REX45 gets my vote. Its not as easy to sharpen as Cruwear, but the edge retention is excellent and it's easy to maintain a fine edge IMO. I've never quite felt the magic of Maxamet, which seems to lose its high level of sharpness pretty quickly in comparison, but may hold a working edge longer.

I'm still the most familiar with M4 as my baseline, but REX45 and K390 have blown me away the last two years.

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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby emanuel » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:37 pm

The knife will see a lot of day to day work and those stories and images regarding Maxamet scare me a bit. I've seen those videos from BBB awhile back and I don't doubt that maxamet isn't glass, BUT.... now I'm a bit skeptical about pulling the short end of the stick regarding a faulty HT for my model. Am I worrying too much? lol. I'm starting to incline towards Rex 45 or Cruwear after reading all the replies.

Another thing I forgot to ask, how is Rex 45 handling lateral edge stresses? Like when carving wood? Any issues? I know Cruwear is stupidly strong in that regard, similar to how 52100 performs, so no issues there.

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Re: Help needed in steel choice: PM2 CruWear vs Rex 45 vs Maxamet

Postby Pelagic » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:58 pm

I'll go ahead and say you can't go wrong with cruwear. Excellent balance of properties, and you never know when extra toughness could come in handy. I think even the edge retention will surprise you.
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