Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

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RustyIron
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Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby RustyIron » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:15 pm



Mr. Postman brought my new Manix 2 LW Maxamet today. Generally, the first thing I do when I get a new knife is whip out the stones, strops, papers, and pastes so I can make the knife "my own." This time around, I decided to try a different tack and use the knife exactly as the manufacturer intended it to be. After all, the new Spyderco is pretty nice right out of the box. If Sal wants me to use the knife this way, that's what I'm gonna do -- for now. I know that before long I'll succumb to the temptation to rub on the blade with some diamonds, but I'll resist as long as possible.

I photographed the edge before using the knife for the first time so I'll have a benchmark to refer to in the future in case I ever decide I need a benchmark to refer to in the future. There's nothing surprising in the photographs. The tiny chip is not representative of the whole edge. There are only a couple visible at 125x along the whole length. I photographed it to remind myself that a couple microscopic chips in an edge are not the end of the world and a reason to rush to the sharpening bench.

In initial use, the blade is fine. It will cut hair off my arm, but I wouldn't shave with it. In my opinion, "shaving sharp" is an overused cliché that is thrown around far too loosely. The blade slices through thin newsprint well enough, and it made quick work out of the Amazon box that showed up at the door this afternoon.

I got this particular knife because I've been intrigued my Maxamet, but also because I think the Manix 2 is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And yes, I HAVE used it to slice bread. It fits my hand perfectly, and I think the ball lock is exceptional. My existing Manix 2 is in S110V and it was intended to be my "work knife." I have other knives that are supposed to be my "weekend knives" or "going out to dinner knives," but somehow the Manix 2 LW S110V pushed the others aside and became my "everything all the time" knife. The S110V is perfectly good material, but the Maxamet always left me wondering if the grass is greener. Soon I'll find out.


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Last edited by RustyIron on Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ferider
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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby ferider » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:28 pm

"because I think the Manix 2 is the greatest thing since sliced bread"

I agree :)

WRT wear resistance, S110V and Maxamet are actually rather similar, don't expect miracles ... Maxamet is just much harder, so it can do stuff s110v can not - like engrave the s110v blade :)

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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby prndltech » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:29 pm

the benchmark is a good reminder that most, NOT ALL, but most of the time the factory edge is really not that bad. I’m getting ready to take a military (I assume) to the middle of nowhere (again). However this time it will be with a factory fresh edge. Something I’d probably never do. But you know what, most people that buy knives use the factory edge and judge it off of that.
I too became and edge junky, but have lately returned to the practical state. I no longer have an atom splitting edge all the time, but one that cuts and cuts well, especially compared to any non knife persons knife.
It’s nice to return to the real world every now n then when it comes to edges. Or at least back to the realization that most (non knife) people basically carry butter knives, and that most factory spyderco edges are ok...
it’s refreshing to go back to the needs vs wants at times. You’ll be alright ;)
The planter, the farmer, the mechanic, and the laborer... form the great body of the people of the United States, they are the bone and sinew of the country men who love liberty and desire nothing but equal rights and equal laws. - Andrew Jackson

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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby koenigsegg » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:35 pm

They definitely don't all come equal. Have had some that I could literally shave my face with and some that struggle to cut paper. My maxamet pm2 can barely cut itself out of a box and I've never even used it besides seeing how sharp it was. But it's early first run so maybe the heat treat is off I'm not sure how hard it is to get maxamet to behave in heat treatment. Seems like it would easily get brittle but maybe I'm wrong
S30V, VG10, M4, XHP, BD1, Maxamet, 204P, H1, K390, A11, Rex45, LC200N, M390, 20CV, BD1N

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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby RustyIron » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:07 pm

ferider wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:28 pm
it can do stuff s110v can not - like engrave the s110v blade :)
Haha! That's funny.

prndltech wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:29 pm
the benchmark is a good reminder that most, NOT ALL, but most of the time the factory edge is really not that bad.
You're right, but OCD kicked in and I couldn't leave the edge alone for more than a couple hours. I didn't want to reprofile the blade, just add a little bit of "finish." From the factory, side-to-side was off a fraction of a degree, and the tip was just a hair off, but not so much that I couldn't work with it. I gave it some 40μ diamond paste on 'roo meat, and the edge is a little more to my liking. It's nice enough now that I inadvertently leaked some of the red juice onto the pretty gray FRCP scales, so I guess the knife really IS mine now.

Although it's not the right tool for the job, I used the Manix 2 to chop celery, tomatoes, and carrots for my dinner salad. I'm eager to see what happens to the edge as I put it through its day-to-day paces.

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Sharpening Maxamet?

Postby RustyIron » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:10 pm

Spent the weekend having fun and putting the Manix 2 through its paces. I couldn't wait to sharpen the knife.

In my head, diamond plates were the way to go. They were great for quickly removing the metal to straighten up the bevels on each side. But when I expected some sharpness to happen, it wasn't. Some magnification revealed a lot of chipping along the edge. Bummer!

I thought I'd just polish out the chips, so I reverted to a variety of nice stones, ending up at 2k, and finishing with some CBN emulsion. Nope. The edge just wasn't exciting me.

Time for a complete do-over. I went back to a 400 grit Bamboo stone that I got from Ken Schwartz. The stone cut the blade very nicely, which isn't what I would have expected from what I've read about Maxamet. Regardless, I was able to put a SWEET edge on the knife with just the 400 stone. From there I just stropped a little with some 40μ paste. The resulting edge was what I was looking for. It's not perfect, but next time will be even better.
Last edited by RustyIron on Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby SteveMidwest » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:36 pm

Maxamet, does take commitment, but will treat you well. Enjoy the journey! :)

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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby crazywednesday » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:46 pm

Interesting, I've been interested in maxamet manix 2, but haven't pulled the trigger. I'll be looking forward to you updates.
Justin

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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby Mattysc42 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:38 am

Maxamet easily gets edge damage from diamond plates. I use diamond lapping films pasted to balsa to sharpen maxamet, and it works wonderfully.
Currently pondering the mysteries of the universe, such as: Who is this Nuff person, and why is he quoted for saying just about everything?

Top 5 knives I’ve owned: Serrated Caribbean Leaf, Shaman, Manix XL, ZDP-189/CF Caly 3.5, Native LW.
Top 5 steels I’ve owned: LC200N, K390, CPM S90V, M390, CPM M4.
Top 3 steels I want more of: M390 class, A11 class (including K390), serrated LC200N.

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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby jpm2 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:01 am

Mattysc42 wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:38 am
Maxamet easily gets edge damage from diamond plates. I use diamond lapping films pasted to balsa to sharpen maxamet, and it works wonderfully.
I don't understand this unless there's something wrong with the steel.
I had a similar problem with a new s30v blade, but it wasn't just diamond plates, it was any abrasive, any grit. That problem got sorted out after a good bit of metal was removed.

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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby Mattysc42 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:42 am

jpm2 wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:01 am
Mattysc42 wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:38 am
Maxamet easily gets edge damage from diamond plates. I use diamond lapping films pasted to balsa to sharpen maxamet, and it works wonderfully.
I don't understand this unless there's something wrong with the steel.
I had a similar problem with a new s30v blade, but it wasn't just diamond plates, it was any abrasive, any grit. That problem got sorted out after a good bit of metal was removed.
It could just be the wicked edge diamond plates being too aggressive, but they tear chunks out of the edge if I use them. No problems with sharpening or brittleness with any other sharpening medium I’ve used. Even impacting steel with the edge doesn’t usually cause any damage unless I’m really careless.
Currently pondering the mysteries of the universe, such as: Who is this Nuff person, and why is he quoted for saying just about everything?

Top 5 knives I’ve owned: Serrated Caribbean Leaf, Shaman, Manix XL, ZDP-189/CF Caly 3.5, Native LW.
Top 5 steels I’ve owned: LC200N, K390, CPM S90V, M390, CPM M4.
Top 3 steels I want more of: M390 class, A11 class (including K390), serrated LC200N.

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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby RustyIron » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:51 pm

jpm2 wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:01 am
I don't understand this unless there's something wrong with the steel.
What stones do you use on Maxamet?

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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby blues » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:06 pm

RustyIron wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:51 pm
jpm2 wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:01 am
I don't understand this unless there's something wrong with the steel.
What stones do you use on Maxamet?
Personally, I've used diamond, both bonded and plates...and Spyderco ceramic bench stone. I haven't gone finer than the medium ceramic.
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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby jpm2 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:04 am

RustyIron wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:51 pm
jpm2 wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:01 am
I don't understand this unless there's something wrong with the steel.
What stones do you use on Maxamet?
Norton jb8 to reprofile or reset bevel.
Eze lap coarse thru extra fine, dmt eef, 1 micron diamond paste to finish.
I've stopped at all diamond stages. Right now The N5 is at dmt eef.

I've experimented finishing with non diamond and the results were unsatisfactory, as it is with most all high carbide steels.

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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby benben » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:53 am

Was there actually a knife in this thread.....I'll have to go back and look! All I keep seeing is that Hk P2000sk. :D That's two great tools in that one pic!

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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby Robishere » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:05 am

I have used the trusty dmt plates and the brow and red spyderco ceramic to fantastic success with maxamet.
I put a burr on with a dmt fine stone, cut the burr off the other side, then finish with brown then white ceramic.
The fine diamond raises a burr just awesome and it is as easy as sharpening vg10. Sharpening chips happen on maxamet from pushing down too hard!
“Putting fancy thoughts in a woman’s head is like putting lace on a bowling ball.....no good can come of it.” - Archie Bunker.

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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby RustyIron » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:13 am

Robishere wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:05 am
The fine diamond raises a burr just awesome and it is as easy as sharpening vg10. Sharpening chips happen on maxamet from pushing down too hard!
Thanks. It makes me feel better to know that what I've been experiencing is not atypical. I reached out to Spyderco's Customer Support for guidance. They just told me to send the knife back if I wanted to, but didn't offer any advice. Right now the edge is better than factory. I'll use it until it needs some attention, then try out a couple new ideas to get the edge to the next level of awesomeness.

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Re: Drinking the Maxamet Kool-Aid

Postby Robishere » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:17 pm

No problem. Ceramic alone is fantastic for touch ups, but outright re profiling it or heavy sharpening needs a dmt diamond stone. Fine is lots. Let the stone do the work. Raise a really nice burr then take it off the other side, very little pressure then it will go over to the other side. Don’t over do it. Switch from side to side then go to your ceramic. Some people stop at brown, I go to white. Alternate side to side and you will get an unholy edge very easily. Wee touch ups only need ceramic. If I knock a chip into jt I will fix it with a diamond but honestly I have sone ceramic for 2 years on mine. It just doesn’t get dull.
“Putting fancy thoughts in a woman’s head is like putting lace on a bowling ball.....no good can come of it.” - Archie Bunker.

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Still learning...

Postby RustyIron » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:14 pm

Still playing with the Maxamet. I haven't yet received the high-zoot stones that Ken Schwartz tells me are perfect for high-vandadium steel. So in the meantime...

I sharpened the knife again with my standard payload of stones, strops, and sharp juice. The resulting edge was ok, but not awe inspiring. I could tell that my stones weren't cutting the Maxamet well.

So tonight I gave it another shot. This time I just touched up the edge with some cheap 1000 grit diamond plates from Chefknivestogo. They're very crude, from what I've been told, and I should get better. But that's all I have. The finished edge was moderately sharp, but looked VERY rugged under magnification. That's consistent with my earlier experiments.

I looked at another blade that was finished with 40μ diamond paste on kangaroo leather. Now 40μ is pretty darned big. But the finish that the 40μ paste leaves the edge much finer, more consistent, and far prettier than the finish left by the 1000 grit stones. Why is that? I don't know.

So I stropped the edge with the 40μ diamonds, and the resulting edge was both sharp and pretty. So if that works, how about hitting it with some 1μ and 0.25μ CBN emulsion? Why not? It seemed like a good idea.

So I did just that, and edge turned out VERY nice. In fact, I got it to whittle a couple hairs.

So what's the takeaway?
1. Maxamet can be taken to a polished edge.
2. Some steels don't respond to normal stones. Diamond or CBN is needed.
3. You can make a big jump to finer diamonds or CBN and get good results.

Now that I know how to get a good edge on the blade, I can focus on how well the edge holds up after prolonged use.


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