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

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steelcity16
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby steelcity16 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:52 pm

Where does AEB-L stack against Elmax, CPM-154, and S45VN as far as a "tough" stainless blade?
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby bearfacedkiller » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:54 pm

Elmax got a bad name early on kind of like S30V did. There is quite a bit of drama around the whole ordeal and some of the myths/lies that were circulated then still persist today. It was ZTs go to steel and I think they moved away from it partly due to consumer perception. Now it has been passed over by other steels and is just getting left behind. It isn’t great and it isn’t bad. It is just another average stainless steel by today’s standards.
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby Deadboxhero » Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:03 pm

bearfacedkiller wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:54 pm
Elmax got a bad name early on kind of like S30V did. There is quite a bit of drama around the whole ordeal and some of the myths/lies that were circulated then still persist today. It was ZTs go to steel and I think they moved away from it partly due to consumer perception. Now it has been passed over by other steels and is just getting left behind. It isn’t great and it isn’t bad. It is just another average stainless steel by today’s standards.
Cost and availability more than anything.

Just like why cold steel switched from xhp to s35vn.

These companies buy by the lbs/kg and need lots of it. If the schedule of getting the steel doesn't meet the production schedule than that is problematic.

Elmax costs more per lbs/kg and is an import, and is less available massive quantities compared to S30v/s35vn so it's fairly straightforward why we don't see much here in the US.

Meanwhile in Europe, there is a thread like this one in another language asking about why they don't see more Crucible Brand CPM stainless Steels xD
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby bearfacedkiller » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:19 pm

Deadboxhero wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:03 pm
bearfacedkiller wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:54 pm
Elmax got a bad name early on kind of like S30V did. There is quite a bit of drama around the whole ordeal and some of the myths/lies that were circulated then still persist today. It was ZTs go to steel and I think they moved away from it partly due to consumer perception. Now it has been passed over by other steels and is just getting left behind. It isn’t great and it isn’t bad. It is just another average stainless steel by today’s standards.
Cost and availability more than anything.

Just like why cold steel switched from xhp to s35vn.

These companies buy by the lbs/kg and need lots of it. If the schedule of getting the steel doesn't meet the production schedule than that is problematic.

Elmax costs more per lbs/kg and is an import, and is less available massive quantities compared to S30v/s35vn so it's fairly straightforward why we don't see much here in the US.

Meanwhile in Europe, there is a thread like this one in another language asking about why they don't see more Crucible Brand CPM stainless Steels xD
I agree that importing Elmax is a factor but there doesn’t seem to be much of an issue with availability of M390 so I think that there are also other factors at play.

Bladeforums has many many threads going back years about Elmax and ZT and even now in 2019 a thread pops up now and again asking the same old questions. Much like S30V it had/has a stigma that just doesn’t seem to fade away. Again, I don’t think this is the only reason but I just wanted to add another piece of the puzzle. ;)
-Darby
sal wrote:Knife afi's are pretty far out, steel junky's more so, but "edge junky's" are just nuts. :p
SpyderEdgeForever wrote: Also, do you think a kangaroo would eat a bowl of spagetti with sauce if someone offered it to them?

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

Postby cycleguy » Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:00 pm

I don't have any Elmax and would like to get some. I've been waiting for a second release of the BBS Elmax PM2. I would jump on a Delica Elmax; would have to get two of these.

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

Postby ugaarguy » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:30 pm

Elmax is a good steel, but I like M390 better. I wouldn't pay a tariff premium for either since domestically produced CPM 20CV and CTS 204P are available.

I would pay a premium for a Sage 2 Salt with a Vanax Blade. A Native 5 Salt with fluted Ti handles and Vanax blade would be a neat alternative. I'd settle for Native 5 LW Salt with a Vanax blade and still pay a premium for that.

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

Postby Doc Dan » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:38 pm

I would like an Urban in Elmax, but truthfully the only thing this steel has going for it is a cool moniker.
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby wrdwrght » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:10 am

I think the “grass is greener” adage applies here. Whether Elmax is great or not, just wanting and having it is enough for the steel-curious.

But, because the steel is so indifferent, Elmax PM2 owners ought to be dumping theirs...
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby TomAiello » Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:19 pm

Doc Dan wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:38 pm
I would like an Urban in Elmax, but truthfully the only thing this steel has going for it is a cool moniker.
Isn't that something that was already done?

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

Postby wrdwrght » Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:44 pm

TomAiello wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:19 pm
Doc Dan wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:38 pm
I would like an Urban in Elmax, but truthfully the only thing this steel has going for it is a cool moniker.
Isn't that something that was already done?
That model was a British Blades-exclusive (members-only exclusive, if I’m not mistaken). I was lucky to find a Collectors Club version; I have yet to see a non-CC version on the market...
Marc <— a mere data-point, not an Influencer.

RECENT ARRIVAL: 52100 Military Model. ON RADAR: SwayBack; SE Pacific Salt2; S90V Chief sprint-run; Z-Wear PM Shaman sprint-run. IN DREAMS: Elmax Military Model; Lil’ Native slipjoint; 52100 Shaman; Vanax Chief.

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

Postby Ankerson » Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:37 pm

bearfacedkiller wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:19 pm
Deadboxhero wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:03 pm
bearfacedkiller wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:54 pm
Elmax got a bad name early on kind of like S30V did. There is quite a bit of drama around the whole ordeal and some of the myths/lies that were circulated then still persist today. It was ZTs go to steel and I think they moved away from it partly due to consumer perception. Now it has been passed over by other steels and is just getting left behind. It isn’t great and it isn’t bad. It is just another average stainless steel by today’s standards.
Cost and availability more than anything.

Just like why cold steel switched from xhp to s35vn.

These companies buy by the lbs/kg and need lots of it. If the schedule of getting the steel doesn't meet the production schedule than that is problematic.

Elmax costs more per lbs/kg and is an import, and is less available massive quantities compared to S30v/s35vn so it's fairly straightforward why we don't see much here in the US.

Meanwhile in Europe, there is a thread like this one in another language asking about why they don't see more Crucible Brand CPM stainless Steels xD
I agree that importing Elmax is a factor but there doesn’t seem to be much of an issue with availability of M390 so I think that there are also other factors at play.

Bladeforums has many many threads going back years about Elmax and ZT and even now in 2019 a thread pops up now and again asking the same old questions. Much like S30V it had/has a stigma that just doesn’t seem to fade away. Again, I don’t think this is the only reason but I just wanted to add another piece of the puzzle. ;)


Was the same story as S30V, issues with the HT in some production knives until they got it nailed down.

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

Postby TomAiello » Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:46 pm

wrdwrght wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:44 pm
TomAiello wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:19 pm
Doc Dan wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:38 pm
I would like an Urban in Elmax, but truthfully the only thing this steel has going for it is a cool moniker.
Isn't that something that was already done?
That model was a British Blades-exclusive (members-only exclusive, if I’m not mistaken). I was lucky to find a Collectors Club version; I have yet to see a non-CC version on the market...
I remember seeing them on eBay for a while. Someone had a bunch on there--maybe British Blades ended up with extras?

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

Postby Albatross » Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:50 pm

In my opinion, there are better steels, BUT everyone has different preferences, and for some, Elmax is that perfect, "Goldilocks" steel. To each their own.
sal wrote:
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...But in general, I'm all about high performance, Ergos, safety. That's why I've been accused of "deigning in the dark"...

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

Postby Doc Dan » Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:22 pm

TomAiello wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:19 pm
Doc Dan wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:38 pm
I would like an Urban in Elmax, but truthfully the only thing this steel has going for it is a cool moniker.
Isn't that something that was already done?
I see wrdwght beat me to it. I would not mind at all to have a Sprint Run for the rest of us. Of course M390 would be even better.
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby Skidoosh » Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:53 am

I recently started carrying a ZT knife with Elmax, I like it quite a bit. Some of the qualities I like, keen edge, takes a polish, good edge stability I also find in steels like CTS-XHP and CPM-20CV or M390. With other steels out there I like better (K390) I would not gravitate to elmax because of the steel alone but I would not shy away from it either.

I have a question about the "toughness" of elmax. I thought I have seen studies that its impact toughness is not much higher than D2. I don't want to perpetuate myths but I also have not found much info.

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

Postby jasonstone20 » Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:26 pm

I wonder which mid-high carbide steel (CPM 154 CM, CTS XHP, S30V, S35VN, S45VN, ELMAX) is the easiest steel to get a good production HT of around 60-62 HRC, closer to 61-62HRC if possible.
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Re: Why the lack of Elmax options -- are any on the horizon?

Postby jasonstone20 » Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:31 pm

steelcity16 wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:52 pm
Where does AEB-L stack against Elmax, CPM-154, and S45VN as far as a "tough" stainless blade?
AEB-L is far tougher than any of those steels you listed, since it has a lower carbide volume, while the others have a pretty high carbide volume. Toughness is overrated as a necessary quality for a pocket knife.
"Gotta love living in 2019 baby, (63rc too soft on a production knife)"
--Shawn Houston

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage."
--Cliff Stamp

"Cause geometry cuts, .....steel determines the level and the duration"
--Roman Landes

"But in general, I'm all about high performance, Ergos, safety. That's why I've been accused of 'designing in the dark' "
--Sal Glesser

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

Postby mugwump867 » Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:40 pm

olywa wrote:
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.
Same here. I have a few small fixed blades in Elmax and I really like the edge retention on them but I feel like that scratches my Elmax itch just fine and wouldn't go chasing a folder or even a larger fixie in that steel. It's funny how you can start to categorize specific steels as belonging to particular knife categories based solely on your own usage patterns.


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