Lets go back about a decade to the launch of the Paramilitary 2, one of Spydercos most successful models.
Finding a Para 2 when they launched wasn't easy. It was sold out everywhere I looked. In fact I was on a waiting list at a local retailer, and when I got the call I hurried down there, excited to finally own the hottest new Spyderco.
When I got there I was dismayed to find they only had DLC models left. At that point I preferred uncoated knives. I don't recall why - I guess I thought they looked better.
Faced with the option of finally owning a Para 2, or waiting an indeterminate amount of time for a satin finished model, I opted to buy the one in front of me. I still remember one of my best friends and fellow Spyderco collectors telling me if it were him he would have held out. Different strokes I suppose.
Over the years I carried that knife everywhere, from roughly 2010 to 2016. I used it hard year round. It was my dedicated work knife, figuring the smaller blade was less intimidating than my Police or Military. It'd come with me on snowy winter hikes. I even carried it clipped to my waist band on my first cross country bicycle tour back in 2014, carrying it over 700 miles via pedal power. Me and that knife went everywhere together.
After carrying it for a while I noticed a difference between my Para 2 and Police 3. The Police would sometimes get rust on the blade I had to clean off. The Para 2 never showed a speck of rust on the blade, period.
(Same Para 2, five years later)
Now, the Para did get rusty liners, a rusty stop pin and lanyard tube. Thick, caked on layers where I could scrape chunks off with a toothpick. But the blade remained pristine!
So I kept my eyes open for another DLC Spyderco folder because the corrosion resistance impressed me. But this time I had something else in mind - coated liners.
The model I selected was a DLC Manix XL. You can see me beating mine around in the following video:
Now this knife I treated just like a Salt. I carried it everywhere year round and used it for anything I'd use a folding knife for.
Similar to my experiences with the Para 2, the blade remained pristine. But so did the rest of the knife.
This was absolutely unheard of for me outside of the Salt line.
I rust anything that goes in my pockets. Apparently I sweat battery acid. I rust my pocket Leathermans. I rust my split rings on my keys. I rust belt buckles and rivets on jeans. I have rusted every non-salt pocket knife I've carried during physical activities besides that Manix XL.
Seriously. Not a single speck of rust, at all. Anywhere. My mind was blown.
Because of these two knives I've become the most vocal person on the forum in regards to DLC promoting corrosion resistance. A lot of people, including Spyderco themselves, do not share my view. Which is pretty wild to me.
I could put a DLC Manix XL in my pocket for a year and not see rust. I could put a non-DLC Manix XL in my pocket for a single sweaty summer hike and see rust.
The difference seems so crystal clear to me. So I wanted to test it further.
This was one of my biggest motivations for purchasing my M4 Manix XL. I'm the kind of guy that puts his money where his mouth is. I want to really test my theory.
If DLC makes that big of a difference in corrosion resistance, using a high carbon non-stainless blade in a DLC folder with coated liners should be the ultimate test. I know for a fact my sweat will rust uncoated M4 folders within an hour on a hot summer day. So while the weather has cooled off a bit, my area still has plenty of 85F+ afternoons left. My M4 Manix will be joining me on hikes, bike rides, runs and more.
I'm curious to observe my results over time, and I will keep this thread updated with progress. Eventually I'll be sharing more up close photos of the exposed edge, as well as the exposed area that inferfaces with the locking mechanism. I expect rust there before Halloween. I also expect the rest of the knife to remain rust free.
About 4-6 weeks from now I should be getting micarta scales for this knife. When those come in I'll open it up and photograph everything, and we'll get a really good look at how well everything is holding up.
Until then I'll get posted blade shots every week I carry this Manix.
We'll see what happens!