Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

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JMM
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Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby JMM » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:45 am

I am something of a novice when it comes to all of the real gnarly super technical details of blade steels, but I have been learning from reading & trying first hand, the ones that interest me has been something of a growing passion over the last couple years, and I'm at a loss based on everything I've read (and bought) as to why Elmax is so difficult to come across in the Spyderco line-up... Why? Aside from a single BBS exclusive PM2 that seems to be impossible to find, (oh I've tried) there seems to be ZERO options in the most popular models and easy to buy (Para3, Manix2, Military, etc...) Yes, I know there are the urban, ping, squeak, and the 2 Lion's (which I have been considering)

I really have done what I consider to be due diligence regarding educating myself on the high-end > premium > steels available and now have m4, 4v, m390, k390, maxamet, rex45, cruwear, s110v, that I really love enjoying owning, using, sharpening .... and a dozen or so more that I like to varying degrees.... WHY, why oh why is there such a shortage of available Elmax options, can anyone fill in the blanks for me??

Thank you for your wisdom & time....

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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby BornIn1500 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:54 am

If you noticed, all those models with Elmax you listed (urban, ping, squeak, and the 2 Lion's) are made in Italy. Elmax is made by Böhler-Uddeholm, which is an Austrian company. Maybe it has something to do with it being expensive to export it out of the EU countries?
Last edited by BornIn1500 on Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby elena86 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:59 am

I love Elmax ! It's an awesome steel given it's heat treated by the book. I would kill for a Millie in Elmax :eek:
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby steelcity16 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:07 am

BornIn1500 wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:54 am

If you noticed, all those models with Elmax you listed (urban, ping, squeak, and the 2 Lion's) are made in Italy. Elmax is made by Böhler-Uddeholm, which is an Austrian company. Maybe it has something to do with it being expensive to export it out of the EU countries?

But we have M390 and K390 knives being made in Seki and Golden, so it is definitely possible. There was an Elmax PM2 as well. Obviously cost will be higher, but it can be done. I would love an Elmax Delica and Dragonfly.
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby wrdwrght » Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:57 am

I still can’t explain to myself how I missed the Elmax PM2 exclusive. :mad: And my Urban and Pingo don’t really compensate because of niggles I have about them. :(

I’d go for an Elmax Military in a heartbeat, and a PM2 in two. And a C95 midlock or Manix2 XL would command my attention.

ETA: Given Sal’s comments below, I won’t hold my breath for new Elmax releases. Instead, I’ll just start bad-mouthing the steel so Elmax PM2 owners second-guess their purchases and put them up for sale. :cool:
Last edited by wrdwrght on Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby TomAiello » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:05 am

I don't really think I need Elmax. I have a couple Elmax Spyderco knives, and a custom in Elmax that I love, but in general I prefer M390 to Elmax when I'm going with stainless. I'd rate Elmax as a s30v/s35vn/XHP tier of steel, with some decent variation in the toughness/edge holding/stainless scales that make it valuable there. But I don't think it can compete with s110v/s90v/M390 (et al). Maybe I'm just a snob, but Elmax doesn't really excite me.

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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby jdw » Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:20 am

TomAiello wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:05 am
I don't really think I need Elmax. I have a couple Elmax Spyderco knives, and a custom in Elmax that I love, but in general I prefer M390 to Elmax when I'm going with stainless. I'd rate Elmax as a s30v/s35vn/XHP tier of steel, with some decent variation in the toughness/edge holding/stainless scales that make it valuable there. But I don't think it can compete with s110v/s90v/M390 (et al). Maybe I'm just a snob, but Elmax doesn't really excite me.
To me, Elmax is fun because it is different, but I am not overly impressed performance wise either.
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby sal » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:09 am

Hi JMM,

Welcome to our forum.

As mentioned, Elmax is expensive to import and more so now with additional tariffs. We're not convinced that our customers are so thrilled with Elmax that they would pay the additional costs for the steel. I guess we can watch this thread for opinions.

sal

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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby steelcity16 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:22 am

sal wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:09 am
Hi JMM,

Welcome to our forum.

As mentioned, Elmax is expensive to import and more so now with additional tariffs. We're not convinced that our customers are so thrilled with Elmax that they would pay the additional costs for the steel. I guess we can watch this thread for opinions.

sal

I'd guess you would have no problems selling a run of Elmax Dragonflies in a non-black FRN. Delicas as well. It's been awhile since we've had a new CQI Military and I've seen many people ask for this combo. I'd be a buyer of any of these. A Manix LW would be interesting as well.
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby bearfacedkiller » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:39 am

I like it but I don’t think we need it. Between XHP, S30V and M390 we have a good spectrum of stainless to choose from and Elmax falls in the middle of them.

That said, I would buy a foliage green Elmax Military.
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby Deadboxhero » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:19 pm

Elmax is overrated.

The new S45VN folks will like better
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby The Mastiff » Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:23 pm

I've had a few Elmax knives and can't find anything special or different about it. It mostly became a high demand item because people were convinced that it was the toughest stainless steel available. That of course isn't true leaving it just another good stainless in the S30V/S35Vn up to M390 range performance wise.

I wouldn't pay more than S30V for it to be sure.

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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby JMM » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:36 pm

Thank you all for the welcome & the informative perspectives, @ Sal, Thank you for all of this -- @ BBB Your videos & posts are flargin' awesome

It sounds like cost aside, the Elmax hype may not be all that deserving -- and for the last few months I have been pretty stuck on k390 & cruwear... perhaps it would have been an uphill battle for Elmax to really impress

So of the currently accessible models/steels how does s45vn fit into the high-end? > premium? > ultra-premium? array of options available to us...

Thank You!

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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby dogrunner » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:23 am

No interest in elmax. It is a nice, mid-tier stainless, but there are better performers that are already available.

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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby olywa » Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:42 am

I feel the love for Elmax in small to medium fixed blades. It's been an outstanding performer for me in those configurations. Takes a screaming sharp edge without too much effort and holds it well. My latest is a Bradford Guardian 4.5 FFG and it really hits the sweet spot for a general purpose woods/camping/outdoor knife. Don't know that I'd go out of my way for it in a folder though. There's plenty of other choices that work well.

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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby NickShabazz » Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:54 am

Elmax got a bad reputation early on in its time in the community due to some issues with a sub-par heat treat from another company, so I've heard a few makers say explicitly that they've steered clear of it from a public perception standpoint. This is silly, but given how much of 'super steel' is marketing anyways, I kind of see their point.
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby Ankerson » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:36 am

I would much rather see something in CPM 154 personally.

A Military in CPM 154 would be nice.

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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby ChrisinHove » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:39 am

I reckon another Elmax Urban would be well received. Being Maniago made, might it not avoid the steel tariffs, as well?

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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby Deadboxhero » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:18 pm

NickShabazz wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:54 am
Elmax got a bad reputation early on in its time in the community due to some issues with a sub-par heat treat from another company, so I've heard a few makers say explicitly that they've steered clear of it from a public perception standpoint. This is silly, but given how much of 'super steel' is marketing anyways, I kind of see their point.
The biggest problem is that it was hyped by folks as the finest structured, toughest PM stainless.

Recent micrographs and charpy tests done by Larrin revealed it is not. Seems 3rd gen PM is hype if folks are thinking it's finer. Bohler Uddeholm does make a clean product that I do enjoy, but buying from them purly from the myth that 3rd gen PM itself is finer is bogus.

Another reason Elmax is overrated is that that Vanadium is not doing as much as people think. Elmax is mostly chromium carbide due to the C and cr balance and the higher volume of chromium soaks up most of the carbon AND the vanadium for CrV7C3 carbides and only a very small fraction is left for badass vanadium carbides.

So the behaviour folks observe about it sharpening better etc has nothing to do with being finer structured but softer structured.


Seems folks are drawing conclusions based on it being easier to sharpen and shape a chromium carbide rich apex rather than a vanadium carbide rich one. If using better techniques and abrasive it becomes irrelevant though.



Elmax is a good steel, I have some pieces but there is a lot of hype surrounding it since there are myths that are repeated over and over about it.


The new S45VN will be a superior product.

I've been enjoying the heat treatment, processing and edge performance more than Elmax.
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby Ankerson » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:29 pm

Given the choice as in say a Military was available in all of the mid range steels at once I would take one in CPM 154 over the rest every single time.

That's given a choice. :)

But that's me. ;)

Still one of the best kept secrets out there except for a few production knives made in it, very few over the years.

The custom makers and those with knives in it know.

Those with the RWL-34 Mule Teams have a good idea... :)


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