Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

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Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby AccountDeletedUserRequest » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:14 pm

Recently I asked for a C95 sprint run. Some members were confused why I'd want to bring back the heavier version, with its thicker handle and 4mm blade stock. This post will compare the two versions of the Manix, and attempt to explain the magic of the C95 to those who have never handled one.

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Note: If I say "Manix," I am referring to the full sized versions, not the Manix 2 or Mini-Manix

C95 Manix - https://www.spyderco.com/catalog/detail ... roduct=165
C95G2 Manix XL - https://www.spyderco.com/catalog/detail ... roduct=711

There are lots of great knives, lots of great Spydercos. Why the Manix? What's the appeal?

The best ergonomics in Spydercos line-up, extreme lock security, extreme grip security and incredibly efficient slicing abilities in a package compact enough to EDC.

Looking at the two models, there are many differences:

- Lockback VS Caged Ball Bearing Lock
- Subtle spine jimping VS jimping all over the handle
- 4mm blade VS 3.2mm blade
- Satin finish PE or CE VS PE in satin or DLC
- 4-way squared clip VS tip up hourglass clip
- 95mm blade VS 98mm
- More subtle thumb ramp VS sharper thumb ramp
- Thick G10 slabs VS thinner G10
- 6.1oz VS 5.2 oz

There are a few other minor differences, but nothing of note.

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The XL has a slightly longer blade in a thinner, lighter handle.

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The pocket clips reflecting the different eras of release.

In most cases I welcome weight reduction. It's one reason I prefer the Police 4 to the 3. However, I don't think every knife necessarily needs to be thin and light. The C95 won't be my choice for summer IWB carry in lightweight shorts, but I already have that role filled with the Pacific Salt.

Both types of knives have their place. Both the Chap and Shaman exist for a reason. Sometimes you want thin and light. Sometimes you want a thick, meaty handle.

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The thing is, when I carry any Manix, a big, meaty handle is what I want. The extra width enhances the design. The Shaman wouldn't be the same knife with thinned out scales either. While I do prefer the trimmer weight of the XL, the thick handle on the C95 is ergonomically superior.

I would go as far to say that the C95, for my grip, is the most comfortable folding knife I have ever used. Any era, any price, any company or maker, any size.

Image

Today I received a C95 in the mail, after not owning one for a decade, and the instant I held it I understood why I missed it so much.


Comparing the C95 to the XL, here's why I find the former more ergonomic:

1. Handle thickness. As I recently learned comparing the Police 4 to the Police 4 LW, adding a little extra thickness to the handle makes it more ergonomic. The extra width of the C95 makes it more palm filling.

2. The lack of jimping. The jimping is pointless given the U shape of the grip. Your hand will not be at risk of slipping without it. Both knives have an ergonomic shape, but the C95 feels luxurious while the XL feels mildly offensive due to excessive jimping.

3. Superior thumb ramp. It's wider. The horn of the ramp is more rounded. It is set at a more subtle angle. The overall result is less strain on my thumb. The thumb ramp on the XL always felt off to me in an otherwise ergonomic masterpiece. The C95 did it better.

4. Steel back spacer. While the open back construction of the second generation was instrumental in achieving a nearly 1oz weight reduction, I find closed back knives more comfortable.

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Comparing the thumb ramps. NOTE: there was a CQI C95 that had finer jimping.

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Comparing the jimping.

To the best of my knowledge, the Manix was the strongest lockback when it was released, and to the best of my knowledge, it still is. Spyderco developed a machine to break locks and record how much force is required to break them. Sal reported that the lockback found in the original Chinook, which the C95 is built similar to, broke their lock breaking machine!

Look at how the C95 makes my Tasman Salt look like a toy when you compare their lock bars:

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That is a stout lockback!

Here is a look inside:

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Here is the C95 lock release compared to a Police 4 G10, Pacific Salt, and the Tasman Salt:

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Let's talk about the locks.

Regulars here know I refuse to carry detent based locks. I only carry locks with a self close. The lockback and Caged ball bearing lock are two examples of locks with self closing action.

I enjoy both locks. Both are smooth, easy to operate one handed, and I feel confident they will stand up to anything a folding knife should.

Here are GIFs of how I operate both locks:

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NOTE: Currently I am more fluid with the XL since I have carried it the past few weeks, and I haven't operated a C95 in a decade, but in time I'll be equally proficient

Both locks have their pros and cons.

I find the lockback has a smoother arc of travel, stronger self close, and the lack of CBBL release tabs make the handle a touch more comfortable. However the necessity of steel reinforcing the lockbar spring means the lockback adds to the weight, and there is mild lock rock.

The CBBL is easier to open (Con for me, plus for most), has a slightly weaker self close, exhibits zero play, and will appeal to the fidget crowd more. It can be fun pulling the tab back and swinging the blade open and shut.

Image

Two concerns members here brought up in my C95 sprint thread were the weight and blade stock thickness. Let's discuss weight first.

Everyone has their own idea of what is too heavy for EDC. If I'm wearing a belt, my limit seems to be around 6.5-7oz. I find my Szabo Folder (7oz) and Leatherman Wave+ (8.5oz) too heavy to want to carry every day. I don't find my Manix XL (5.2oz), the C95 (6.1oz), or Police 3 (4.9oz) to be too heavy to carry daily.

For my preferences, the C95 is as stout as a folder can be without feeling cumbersome. It strikes a great balance.

The C95 features a 4mm full flat ground blade of S30V with a full distal taper. I don't have the tools to give you specific BTE numbers, but I can tell you the knife cuts well. Both versions slice very efficiently, and I say this as a fan of thin blades and extra thin reprofiled edges. There has never been a time I've tried to cut something with either model and found their performance lacking. You have to consider how tall the blades are. Coupling the blade height with a full flat grind means the cutting edge terminates to very thin dimensions.

Despite their thickness at the spine they'll still cut circles around most large one handed folders. In fact, my first Spyderco, a saber ground Delica, cut much worse. There's more to blade performance then one measurement may suggest.

For the record, I love both versions of the Manix. They each do certain things better than the other. But if I had to choose one, it would be the C95 hands down.

If I could mix features from each model, I'd have a C95 with a DLC option, the modern clip, and shave 1mm width from the blade while widening the G10 to keep the overall width the same (Assuming it doesn't increase the weight).

In conclusion, the appeal of the C95 Manix for me is that it is the most comfortable folding knife, with the strongest implementation of my favorite lock, in a package that cuts efficiently and carries comfortably. It is a knife that makes no comprises while not demanding you make any.

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I sure would like to see a sprint!
Last edited by AccountDeletedUserRequest on Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:36 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby AccountDeletedUserRequest » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:15 pm

This space reserved for a video comparison

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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby Spydergirl88 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:36 pm

For real Spyderco, get this man a sprint C95 already
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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby Enactive » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:37 pm

Thanks, Vivi. I've been eager to see this comparison- you give a thorough analysis as usual. I'm still digesting it, in fact.

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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby Enactive » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:37 pm

Spydergirl88 wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:36 pm
For real Spyderco, get this man a sprint C95 already
No kidding. :cool:

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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby wrdwrght » Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:47 pm

Glad you got an original C95 back in your possession, Vivi.

To be clear, are you looking for a latter-day sprint of the original, or the original (foliage green) sprint of the original?
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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby AccountDeletedUserRequest » Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:05 pm

wrdwrght wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:47 pm
Glad you got an original C95 back in your possession, Vivi.

To be clear, are you looking for a latter-day sprint of the original, or the original (foliage green) sprint of the original?
My sprint requests here are for a new sprint of the C95. No modifications to the original design, just a C95 in a new color and steel combo.

But, if anyone has a lead on the FG C95, I'd appreciate a PM. Been watching ebay the past month.

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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby Pancake » Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:32 pm

Vivi wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:14 pm
Recently I asked for a C95 sprint run. Some members were confused why I'd want to bring back the heavier version, with its thicker handle and 4mm blade stock.
...
If I could mix features from each model, I'd have a C95 with a DLC option, the modern clip, and shave 1mm width from the blade while widening the G10 to keep the overall width the same (Assuming it doesn't increase the weight).
You can say it loud, one Pancake was confused :D

To be honest, I like your mixed Manix the best, thinner stock, backlock, modern clip.
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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby Wartstein » Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:39 pm

Pancake wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:32 pm
Vivi wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:14 pm
Recently I asked for a C95 sprint run. Some members were confused why I'd want to bring back the heavier version, with its thicker handle and 4mm blade stock.
...
If I could mix features from each model, I'd have a C95 with a DLC option, the modern clip, and shave 1mm width from the blade while widening the G10 to keep the overall width the same (Assuming it doesn't increase the weight).
You can say it loud, one Pancake was confused :D

To be honest, I like your mixed Manix the best, thinner stock, backlock, modern clip.
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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby TomAiello » Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:54 pm

It strikes me that the C95 might be nice with contoured scales, like the Shaman. I wonder if I could find one and get some custom scales for it?

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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby AccountDeletedUserRequest » Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:27 am

TomAiello wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:54 pm
It strikes me that the C95 might be nice with contoured scales, like the Shaman. I wonder if I could find one and get some custom scales for it?
It would be an amazing candidate.

I plan to round the edges of the G10 on both of mine. They both need a cleaning anyways.

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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby VooDooChild » Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:34 am

I said it in the other thread, but I would love to get a new c95 manix. Really like backlocks. And keep the blade stock thick.

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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby dogrunner » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:10 am

VooDooChild wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:34 am
I said it in the other thread, but I would love to get a new c95 manix. Really like backlocks. And keep the blade stock thick.
Agree on the blade thickness - Vivi's suggested mod was 1mm less width (across the blade), not thinner stock. He already made the case for the cutting ability of the original with this blade geometry.

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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby Notsurewhy » Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:10 am

As someone who likes thin stock on my folders, I think the 4mm on the c95 manix is good. Some folks just want that super thicc blade and they deserve to have it. Giant overbuilt folders are kind of lacking in the Spyderco lineup right now. Bring it back, call it the manix heavyweight. I think it would be a big hit with folks who put their folders to hard use or just like a thick and heavy knife.

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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby TkoK83Spy » Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:29 am

Wow, what a beast of a knife! Here I was thinking the Shaman was big/thick knife. Would love to see those two side by side. Definitely looks like a great knife for a hardcore user. I hope you get your wish Vivi!
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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby Doc Dan » Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:25 am

Is the grip area of the C95 longer than the XL? It looks like it in the pictures.

I’m all fora backlock xl sized Manix so I’d be up for it.
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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby soc_monki » Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:09 am

I want one...if it's as good as it looks I think I would get rid of my cold steel ad10... Well maybe not, but it would be a nice addition to my big folders!
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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby steelcity16 » Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:14 am

Vivi wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:05 pm

My sprint requests here are for a new sprint of the C95. No modifications to the original design, just a C95 in a new color and steel combo.

I have been asking for the same for a good 2 years now so I am right there with you. 3V or Cruwear with OD Green Micarta preferably. Half of the run in DLC. I'm in for one each. These would be epic!
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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby Brock O Lee » Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:36 pm

Good comparison!

I am curios to see a comparison between the C95 and the new linerless G10 backlock Manix.
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Re: Manix Observations (C95 vs XL)

Postby AccountDeletedUserRequest » Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:29 pm

Brock O Lee wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:36 pm
Good comparison!

I am curios to see a comparison between the C95 and the new linerless G10 backlock Manix.
I know a lot of people didn't like how thick the M2 backlock was. Makes me curious just how thick it was compared to a C95.


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