Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

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vivi
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Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby vivi » Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:54 pm

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The premise of this thread is simple.

I will be posting photos of my M4 DLC Manix XL and we will watch for signs of corrosion.

Here are photos from my first week of carry:

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I will be treating this knife like any other non-salt knife in my collection. I will carry it and use it on anything I'd use a folding knife for, including acidic foods. I will not be oiling the blade, because in my experience it wipes off as soon as you slice through a box or two.

I won't be soaking it in salt water overnight trying to rust it, but I won't be babying it either.

In regards to corrosion, so far the Manix has cut some food, and has been carried IWB on a few hikes where it was exposed to sweat for a few hours. There is zero corrosion visible on the knife after week 1.

For comparison, I rusted my VG10 Police 4 Lightweight carrying it IWB on a bike ride for a couple of hours. Uncoated M4 would definitely be showing corrosion for me by now, no question about it.

Here is a photo of the Police after that bike ride. Zooming in reveals light specks of rust across the blade:

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Here is some rust left near the pivot after wiping most the specks off with an oiled rag:

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One key feature of this Manix is the coated liners.

Blades are trivial for me to keep clean compared to liners, where sweat and moisture easily gets trapped. To illustrate this issue, compare the level of corrosion on my K390 Police 4 blade vs the liners:

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The difference is dramatic.

Same story with the VG10 Police 3:

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I carried this Police 3 since the year they were released, and have taken it apart every year or two to sand rust out of the liners. I have never had to do this with knives that have coated liners.

In the next post I'll tell the story of how I came to appreciate DLC's corrosion resistance enhancements.
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Pacific Salt 2 LC200N | Manix XL M4 DLC | Aqua Salt

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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby vivi » Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:55 pm

Story time.

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.

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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.

Image
(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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl3n-BtLoaI

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!
Last edited by vivi on Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Pacific Salt 2 LC200N | Manix XL M4 DLC | Aqua Salt

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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby VooDooChild » Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:09 pm

I kind of got the impression from one of the dlc discusiion threads that you should give it a preliminary oiling even if you dont want to do it regularly.

It will be interesting to see.
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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby curlyhairedboy » Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:34 am

Eager to follow along. DLC makes keeping steels corrosion-free easier, but it's not foolproof.

I have happily found that barkeeper's friend will take off rust appearing on DLC, however. :D
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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby soc_monki » Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:13 am

I've seen some corrosion on the butterfly logos on my m4 super Freek and custom Griptilian. Nothing anywhere else, and these are cerakote. My m4 manix xl also doesn't show any corrosion. I like the coatings, and even got my first hinderer (m390 slicer in battle black dlc) partly because of the coating (black and blue looks awesome together!)

I have seen corrosion on my S30v shaman, stop pin especially which I have coated with tuf glide and it seems to work. Even had a few spots on the blade that rubbed off. Maybe I sweat battery acid too... Lol!

Will be interesting to see where this leads!
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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby abbazaba » Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:30 am

Glad to hear you're doing this. My experience with DLC has been amazing.

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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby Evil D » Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:57 am

I think the only real issue you may have long term is if you manage to scratch through the DLC, the underlying steel can then rust. Edge degradation could be an issue but if you're using and sharpening the knife often you may never notice it enough to worry about it.
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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby carrot » Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:17 am

Looking forward to your test results.

I think that coated blades get a bad rap. Yes, the coating can wear off, but the way Spyderco does it, it's ridiculously tough, and it still looks pretty awesome when it does.

I'm definitely team DLC, although I don't always like springing the extra $10-15.

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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby Cambertree » Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:54 am

VooDooChild wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:09 pm
I kind of got the impression from one of the dlc discusiion threads that you should give it a preliminary oiling even if you dont want to do it regularly.

It will be interesting to see.
Yeah, there was a great rundown on the structure of DLC by one of the members here in one of those discussion threads.

The way I recall it, DLC has kind of micro fissures running all through it, like three dimensional crazy paving. The wiki article describes it as like multiple layers of cobblestones on top of each other.

So that would explain why the coating would actually hold protective oils and even fats from cutting food like sausages very well. And the oils would even be retained somewhat after cutting abrasive materials, because the DLC surface is not smooth at all.

Vivi, I recall seeing you slicing up sausage quite a bit in your videos, so this might contribute to the corrosion resistance of your DLC blades?

And blades which have never been oiled, or used to cut up oily or fatty foodstuffs may then respond differently when they have acidic or corrosive fluids working their way down into the micro fissures in the DLC.

Obviously Spyderco have a basis for their belief, as they must see some warranty claims for DLC coated blades which have rusted under the coating.

I’ve personally never seen any corrosion on my one DLC coated blade, the 52100 Manix, although it gets lightly oiled fairly frequently when being used.

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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby Doc Dan » Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:35 am

I'll be interested to see where this goes. I do not rust things, ever, with my body. I can handle unfinished carbon steel and it will be fine. But, I have known others like you, Vivi, who could seemingly look at something and it would rust.
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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby vivi » Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:21 am

Cambertree wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:54 am
VooDooChild wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:09 pm
I kind of got the impression from one of the dlc discusiion threads that you should give it a preliminary oiling even if you dont want to do it regularly.

It will be interesting to see.
Yeah, there was a great rundown on the structure of DLC by one of the members here in one of those discussion threads.

The way I recall it, DLC has kind of micro fissures running all through it, like three dimensional crazy paving. The wiki article describes it as like multiple layers of cobblestones on top of each other.

So that would explain why the coating would actually hold protective oils and even fats from cutting food like sausages very well. And the oils would even be retained somewhat after cutting abrasive materials, because the DLC surface is not smooth at all.

Vivi, I recall seeing you slicing up sausage quite a bit in your videos, so this might contribute to the corrosion resistance of your DLC blades?

And blades which have never been oiled, or used to cut up oily or fatty foodstuffs may then respond differently when they have acidic or corrosive fluids working their way down into the micro fissures in the DLC.

Obviously Spyderco have a basis for their belief, as they must see some warranty claims for DLC coated blades which have rusted under the coating.

I’ve personally never seen any corrosion on my one DLC coated blade, the 52100 Manix, although it gets lightly oiled fairly frequently when being used.
I remember the thread you're talking about. It was a very interesting read!

Funny you mention the sausage cutting, as I used the Manix on some last night. I usually clean my folders off with hand soap and hot water after any sort of food prep, otherwise they'd probably perpetually smell like onions :rolleyes:

I'm going to be using the Manix for food prep in many cases where I'd reach for the Victorinox chef and paring knives I typically use. Its an easy way to test corrosion resistance a bit every day I carry it.

The blade shape of the Manix XL is really good for food prep as far as conventionally sized folders go. I've prepped meals for six with that S30V XL when the kitchen knives were dull at someone elses house.
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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby StuntZombie » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:19 am

Your experience echos mine, though it's mainly my work environment that causes my knives to rust, rather than my own sweat. I rarely see any rust on the blades, but the liners will rust and need to be cleaned every few weeks. Sure, I rinse with fresh water, but rarely am I able to get the knives completely dry inside. That's the main reason I'll favor unlined models when they're available. I'd definitely be down for trying knives with DLC coated liners, but this is the first instance I've heard of Spyderco even doing that.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out for you. If nothing else, it might inspire me to send out the liners from a couple knives to have them coated.
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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby JuPaul » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:51 am

Cambertree wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:54 am
VooDooChild wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:09 pm
I kind of got the impression from one of the dlc discusiion threads that you should give it a preliminary oiling even if you dont want to do it regularly.

It will be interesting to see.
Yeah, there was a great rundown on the structure of DLC by one of the members here in one of those discussion threads.

The way I recall it, DLC has kind of micro fissures running all through it, like three dimensional crazy paving. The wiki article describes it as like multiple layers of cobblestones on top of each other.

So that would explain why the coating would actually hold protective oils and even fats from cutting food like sausages very well. And the oils would even be retained somewhat after cutting abrasive materials, because the DLC surface is not smooth at all.

Vivi, I recall seeing you slicing up sausage quite a bit in your videos, so this might contribute to the corrosion resistance of your DLC blades?

And blades which have never been oiled, or used to cut up oily or fatty foodstuffs may then respond differently when they have acidic or corrosive fluids working their way down into the micro fissures in the DLC.

Obviously Spyderco have a basis for their belief, as they must see some warranty claims for DLC coated blades which have rusted under the coating.

I’ve personally never seen any corrosion on my one DLC coated blade, the 52100 Manix, although it gets lightly oiled fairly frequently when being used.
My 52100 manix is actually the only dlc blade I've had with corrosion. But it was light, sharpened right off, and was only on the uncoated edge. I'm a dlc fan, for sure.

Vivi, I'm very curious to see how your dlc gauntlet turns out. Also I'm interested to see those putman scales on the XL!
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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby TkoK83Spy » Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:01 pm

Same for me with the 52100 Manix and this model for the Para 3. Nothing on or through the DLC, but a few spots on the edge during humid summer months when I forgot to oil the bevel. Easily sharpened off though.

I remember when Pelagic posted his 4V Shaman I believe it was?? Corrosion on the DLC and I was mind blown!
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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby JuPaul » Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:10 pm

TkoK83Spy wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:01 pm
Same for me with the 52100 Manix and this model for the Para 3. Nothing on or through the DLC, but a few spots on the edge during humid summer months when I forgot to oil the bevel. Easily sharpened off though.

I remember when Pelagic posted his 4V Shaman I believe it was?? Corrosion on the DLC and I was mind blown!
That was pretty crazy, some serious rust right through the coating. But hadn't he been carrying it at the beach for a few days straight?

That actually leads me back to the oiling debate. I'd like to know if Pelagic oiled his at all before that happened. I agree with Vivi that oil on a satin blade wipes off with a few cuts. But I'm convinced that dlc actually absorbs oil, and would therefore hold oil in spite of cutting. I'd be curious to see someone test corrosion resistance of oiled dlc vs non-oiled dlc.
- Julia

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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby James Y » Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:20 pm

This is a great thread, and I’m going to be following it closely.

The only stainless knives I’ve ever had develop some rust just sitting in my pockets were a few of my older ATS-55 models (Endura, SS Police, etc.), and one of my VG-10 Delica 4’s (the SE saber-ground version). The latter is the only knife in VG-10 I have that’s ever developed any signs of corrosion. I’ve gotten it off using a pencil eraser and sometimes 0000 steel wool with mineral oil. But sometimes it can reappear again in the same spot. And my sweat isn’t particularly corrosive. It must be something in the steel in that one particular blade/sample.

I haven’t developed any rust spotting on my S30V blades (uncoated) except for in the jimping, and a tiny bit at the base of the blade. But I tend to be extra careful with my uncoated S30V blades and wetness.

Vivi, your posts in the past were one of the reasons I got a regular-sized DLC Manix 2 (S30V). It’s a great knife, and after a year of having carried it most days, I’ve never had any corrosion issues. I really like that the liners are DLC’d. Most of the DLC models‘ liners are not. I wonder, what’s the point of DLCing a knife blade and not coating the liners?

Jim

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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby Wartstein » Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:08 pm

This puzzles me again and again. The "composition of sweat" or perhaps the combination of ones sweat and the climate they live in must have such a crazy wide range..

I am sure my knives see a pretty similar exposure to sweat and the elements as Vivis does. Carry them on hot summer days in pocket or IWB, sweat a lot, they live in soaking wet pockets and packs, I cut all kinds of stuff including food, I don´t oil them (except the pivot area occasionally) and don´t always dry them when I could: But I almost can´t rust knives and really don´t know why

Even my HAP 40 blades only show a patina but no rust (on exposed HAP 40 part, the SUS 410 does not rust anyway), only my pretty new Manix 2 LW in REX 45 (not babied at all, and used for cutting fruit and meat several times already) shows tiny specs under a certain angle and light.... :confused:
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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby TkoK83Spy » Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:31 pm

Wartstein wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:08 pm
This puzzles me again and again. The "composition of sweat" or perhaps the combination of ones sweat and the climate they live in must have such a crazy wide range..

I am sure my knives see a pretty similar exposure to sweat and the elements as Vivis does. Carry them on hot summer days in pocket or IWB, sweat a lot, they live in soaking wet pockets and packs, I cut all kinds of stuff including food, I don´t oil them (except the pivot area occasionally) and don´t always dry them when I could: But I almost can´t rust knives and really don´t know why

Even my HAP 40 blades only show a patina but no rust (on exposed HAP 40 part, the SUS 410 does not rust anyway), only my pretty new Manix 2 LW in REX 45 (not babied at all, and used for cutting fruit and meat several times already) shows tiny specs under a certain angle and light.... :confused:
My understanding is a patina is a barrier against rust/corrosion? Once you form a patina, that area won't rust? I feel like I've read that before. My Vtoku2 Dragonfly and when I had my Hap40 Delica, both have/had a patina at the laminate line but no rust.
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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby Wartstein » Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:46 pm

TkoK83Spy wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:31 pm
Wartstein wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:08 pm
My understanding is a patina is a barrier against rust/corrosion? Once you form a patina, that area won't rust? I feel like I've read that before. My Vtoku2 Dragonfly and when I had my Hap40 Delica, both have/had a patina at the laminate line but no rust.

That´s certainly true and your reminder made me look at things a bit differently: The tiny specs on my REX 45 Manix are all pretty high up the blade where the HAP40 models would have the SUS410 "cover" already.
The pretty narrow HAP 40 lines on the HAP40 models, extending just a bit above the actual edge, are in an area that comes in contact with stuff much more often than the "higher up" parts of the blade, and by that probably both form a patina more easily, plus beginning rust gets "scrubbed off" more often when cutting harder / more abrasive materials.
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

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Re: Vivi's M4 Manix XL DLC Corrosion Log

Postby JuPaul » Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:11 pm

Wartstein wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:46 pm
TkoK83Spy wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:31 pm
Wartstein wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:08 pm
My understanding is a patina is a barrier against rust/corrosion? Once you form a patina, that area won't rust? I feel like I've read that before. My Vtoku2 Dragonfly and when I had my Hap40 Delica, both have/had a patina at the laminate line but no rust.

That´s certainly true and your reminder made me look at things a bit differently: The tiny specs on my REX 45 Manix are all pretty high up the blade where the HAP40 models would have the SUS410 "cover" already.
The pretty narrow HAP 40 lines on the HAP40 models, extending just a bit above the actual edge, are in an area that comes in contact with stuff much more often than the "higher up" parts of the blade, and by that probably both form a patina more easily, plus beginning rust gets "scrubbed off" more often when cutting harder / more abrasive materials.
Plus the hap40 exposed below the lamination line is tucked inside the handle when closed, so probably doesn't have as much direct contact with sweaty skin or wet pockets as higher up on the blade.
- Julia

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