My Manix 2 Maxamet Just Snapped !!

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by OTF556, Jul 7, 2020.

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  1. 91bravo

    91bravo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    I've seen 4 or 5 instances of Maxamet blades snapping, here on BF so far. I got one of the first releases when they first came out. Whatever you do, don't twist or put any lateral stress on the blade when you're cutting some tough stuff. I don't think the hole has anything to do with it. Like I've said, I've performed the same task with Spyderco's s30v, s90v, m4, rex45, s110v, m390, etc, with no issues at all.
  2. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    A smaller Spydie hole will not help here. Larger radiused help distribute stress and a smaller hole will actually make things worse. What would help is a more generous radius in the bottom sharp edge of the plunge where it intersects the Spydie hole. It should be an interpolated radius, not a sharp corner. Maxamet just cant take this "notch" from a fracture mechanics perspective.
    Bill1170, loon#r, Ippon98 and 5 others like this.
  3. Karl H

    Karl H

    Apr 24, 2020
    It is actually completely plausible for the blade to snap during "normal use."

    Sub-critical crack growth (aka "fatigue") is a plausible failure mechanism. Once the crack reaches a critical size, the blade can fail at low loads. This can often be visually observed on the fracture surface. Striations (aka "beach marks") are indicative of fatigue crack growth.

    Based on the information available in this thread, I think fatigue is the most likely failure mode. That being said, the images provided are not clear/detailed enough for me to either confirm or deny this hypothesis.

    If you don't want your Maxamet blade to break, my advice for anyone that currently owns a Spyderco Maxamet blade is to minimize lateral loading (even if you have already applied a lot of lateral stress, without failure). Or just use the knife, however you want to, with the expectation that it might break one day.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
    Ippon98, inkynate and Cvrobinson like this.
  4. yablanowitz


    Apr 14, 2006
    The "tweak" for H-1 is pure production necessity. As far as the other design factors go, yes, they could design something else, but it wouldn't be a Spyderco Manix. It's a lot easier to say "this is what they should do" than it is to manufacture and then sell those things to the world.
  5. Snacktime


    Aug 18, 2019
    Spyderco has been over hardening lately in my opinion. Edge retention is amazing but at the loss of toughness. Would like to see a lower hardness and get back some durability for hard use. I would send it in, spyderco stands behind there product.

    Broke like a box cutter! Nothing wrong with using a knife cut drywall if it is in your pocket. Super steels are not all that if you work a trade.
    loon#r and insta9ves like this.
  6. SubMicron

    SubMicron Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2020
    I disagree. Running Maxamet softer would definitely make it more resistant to breakage but also would give up the apex strength, which affects edge retention.

    The whole point of Maxamet is to maximize wear resistance and edge retention. It does not exist to be a strong, well balanced steel.

    Just because some steels are stronger and also softer does not mean that all steels need to be stronger and softer.

    I wouldn't have purchased Maxamet if it was softer. It still wouldn't be stronger than the steels in my other Spydercos, and if it doesn't have the edge retention that comes with high harness, there just would be no point to Maxamet.
    marrenmiller and Organic556 like this.
  7. Snacktime


    Aug 18, 2019
    Heat treat is about balancing steel performance between edge retention and brittleness. Giving up some edge retention to retain a usable durability is part of the balance. This edge retention fad is killing usefulness of knives. Benefits of Maxamet and Rex Steels is to allow better edges with mild sacrafice to durability/bending/deflection.

    We have cardboard cutters in one corner and gasket scraping pry bar users in the other.
    insta9ves likes this.
  8. soc_monki

    soc_monki Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 5, 2019
    And there are many different steels to choose from, especially with spyderco. So why would they hamstring maxamet and it's edge retention when, if you need a tougher steel, there is another choice like M4?
  9. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Heat treat is about whatever the maker wants it to be about. But in general, it is about maximizing the properties and intent of the given steel. There's no perfect balance. Maxamet absolutely should be ran hard, that is what it is designed for. But that means trade offs.

    Spyderco is the industry leader in mass production steel diversity and heat treating excellence.
  10. Random Dan

    Random Dan Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 21, 2012
    If they had made maxamet the standard steel I'd be with you. But they didn't. It's a hard to find sprint run designed to appeal to steel nerds. If you want balanced performance then buy the stock one, or even one of the other sprints.
  11. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Although many factors probably play a role here ... this really isn't a design problem or caused by the hole... Spyderco would not be one of the top knife brands around if it were.

    Maxamet at the hardness it is on these is not made to handle the tasks tougher steels will. I had a Manix 2 Maxamet break in a very similar fashion without lateral stress ... and I have used a Manix 2 in M4 or Cruwear and more recently Rex 45 for much rougher tasks without any issues.

    It is more a matter of fitting what a steel does and doesn't do well with your needs. I think Maxamet is probably a good steel if edge retention is your primary desire like many of the high hardness steels ... for my uses I've found better options and balance of properties. This Maxamet may be ran a bit too hard as it has resulted in some broken blades without true abuse ... but I'm not a metallurgist. I just will not buy another blade in Maxamet.

    My guess is Spyderco will stand behind their product and the OP should definitely contact them if they haven't yet.
    91bravo likes this.
  12. 353

    353 Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 20, 2015
    Off course they "can be used", you could also use a 500$ japanese chef knife to cut your dry wall.

    But the sensible choice would be something like this:

    jacksterp, matfox, Yakkiebush and 3 others like this.
  13. SubMicron

    SubMicron Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2020
    I agree completely... In my mind that would definitely be the right tool for scoring drywall. If one isn't available, for whatever reason, then what?

    So scenarios exist where the best knife for the job is simply whatever is in your pocket, especially in situations where you need to cut something that you normally dont cut.

    For that reason this kind of discussion can be helpful to people who are in the market for a new knife.

    Maxamet is an amazing steel, but like others, it does have its limits.

    Beyond all of that, for a steel geek like me, the pocket knife is getting used for sure, at least once on everything, simply to see what happens.
  14. Karl H

    Karl H

    Apr 24, 2020
    I am not saying that they "should" do anything. However, the current practice of continuing to sell Maxamet knives that have many recorded instances of breaking, with use that most buyers would consider "normal", is an odd one. Even if they are currently making a profit on Maxamet knives (factoring in the cost of replacing or refunding broken ones), you have to consider how it might impact their reputation.
    insta9ves likes this.
  15. Spydergirl88

    Spydergirl88 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 3, 2015
    Spyderco R&D can tell what caused the break when it's sent back to them. They can determine if it's a defect in the steel structurally or if the break was caused by lateral force.
    gotgoat and SubMicron like this.
  16. insta9ves


    Apr 3, 2007
    Finally some good logic in this forum ;-)

    Fake one for dry wall and other edc stuff.
    Real one should be exclusively used for tomatoes only, unless hitting the cutting board is also considered abuse.. :)
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
    ReignChaser likes this.
  17. Roy Batty

    Roy Batty Y'all can sling load DEEZ NUTS Platinum Member

    May 25, 2016
    What people don’t understand is that steels and their strengths/weaknesses can be summed up in a simple analogy to cars:
    Maxamet is like the Ferrari of the knife world. It is made for the sole purpose of having the best edge retention on the planet.
    Cutting drywall with side stress or performing other hard use tasks that have a little prying action with a maxamet knife is like saying “hey, I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a Ferrari, maybe I’ll take that Jeep trail over there, since I’m driving the best car ever made”.

    There are better steels for that... like M4, 52100, 3V, etc. steels that are made to take a beating... they are basically the jeeps and off road pickup trucks of the knife world.

    Everything is a trade off, even with knives. Maxamet is a very niche steel... meant for retaining an edge almost indefinitely at the cost of not being able to take a lot of side to side stress.

    The amount of money a knife costs does not equate with the amount of abuse it can take, otherwise people would be batoning logs with Kirby Lamberts and damasteel Grimsmo Norsemans (although CTS-XHP and damasteel would probably handle that task better than maxamet).
    matfox, Oloung1 and Rusty_shackelford like this.
  18. Mikel_24


    Sep 19, 2007
    :eek::eek::eek: Just to make sure we all are in the same page... Do we all here know what SCORING drywall means? Scoring, not CUTTING.

    Drywall (or plasterboard) is basically a sandwitch of thick paper with a slab of calcium sulfate dihydrate (plaster or chalk-like substance) in the middle. The procedure for cutting it is to score the paper on one side with a sharp object and then manually bend it on the score line. The plaster snaps clean along the line and then you use the sharp object again to cut the paper on the other side. If you need to dress the edge of the cut, then you use a special rasp for that. The knife DOES NOT CUT THROUGH THE PLASTERBOARD.

    Only the 2mm at the very tip of the blade are used for scoring the paper backing.

    If you were tryting to break your blade in half and pry with those 2mm wedged in the plasterboard, at the very most you would snap the tip, not the whole blade at the ricasso area.

    Again, something is (was?) wrong with that blade.

  19. Roy Batty

    Roy Batty Y'all can sling load DEEZ NUTS Platinum Member

    May 25, 2016
    I think you’re not understanding what I’m saying... that’s okay because I’m here to help.
    I’m disputing the fact that the blade broke from simply “scoring” drywall, and I’m saying it was more likely the knife was inserted deeply within the drywall and twisted.
    I don’t care if “something was wrong with the blade”, it wouldn’t snap off near the pivot from a simply scoring operation with no side to side stress.

    Do you understand now? :eek::eek::eek:
    Mikel_24 likes this.
  20. SubMicron

    SubMicron Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2020
    While drywall is relatively easy to score, the one variable here is the human factor with regard to the pressure used. Even though high pressure is not required, that doesn't mean high pressure wasnt used. I'm not necessarily saying this is user error. We'll never know.

    It's just that the geometry and profile of a Manix makes it very inviting to make deep cuts. It wants to cut deep. It lives to cut deep... the feedback it gives encourages you to push harder and cut deeper.

    I'll admit that I'm ignorant on the subject of drywall. I've never cut it and never hung it. I've helped carry it, I've handled it, and I've broke it apart in my hand. Inside it's basically chalk. I've seen it cut many times and some guys appear to be using a lot of pressure, I mean they put their weight behind it.

    Researching drywall has changed my perspective of it. I've always viewed it as something that's abrasive to a blade.

    The subject of edge retention in drywall interests me.

    From what I understand, the Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate (Gypsum) that makes up drywall has a hardness level similar to a human fingernail. That's not very hard and it doesn't seem very abrasive. Its dense and it does appear to be something that focuses compressive forces on the apex in a fairly intense way.

    So then it leads me to believe that with the wear resistance of a knife steel versus drywall, the strength at the apex would matter just as much if not more than high abrasion resistance due to carbide type/volume.

    With Vanadium carbides being the hardest in a knife steel, and if high volumes are preferred, K390 I think needs to be singled out, since it's a bit stronger than 10V/A11. The Manix is perhaps an ideal platform for scoring however a Manix 2 in K390 seems to not exist.

    K390 should hold up but with scoring applications, it may be wise to lean towards even stronger steels. Of the high edge retention steels, M4 has the reputation of being the strongest. But 4V and REX-45 are nipping at it's heels, and both are stronger at the apex than M4.

    And then there's Cruwear, which overall is tougher than all of those.
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