MAXAMET® BLADE STEEL
Spyderco has a hard-earned reputation for pushing the envelope when it comes to high-performance blade steels. As leaders in the industry, we have also forged (pun intended) extremely strong relationships with the world’s best steel makers, and when they create something new and different, we are among the first to get a sample.
That was exactly what happened with Carpenter® Technology Corporation’s Micro-Melt® Maxamet blade steel. One of the world’s premier suppliers of high-performance steels, Carpenter developed Maxamet specifically for use in the rollers of their state-of-the-art steel rolling mills. Rolling and shaping hot steel demands a material that is incredibly hard and tough and can retain those properties at extremely high temperatures. Maxamet’s advanced alloy composition allows it to meet all those challenges and gives it qualities that offer extraordinary potential for use in other applications—like knife blades.
When Carpenter created Maxamet, they sent samples to various companies in the cutlery industry to evaluate its suitability as a blade material for factory-made knives. Although many tried, Spyderco was one of only a handful of companies to successfully develop the specialized methods necessary to machine, heat treat, and grind this advanced alloy to yield reliable, high-performance knife blades. After climbing that learning curve, we also did extensive scientific testing on Maxamet’s performance, edge retention, and toughness and found that it easily rivaled the very best steels we’ve ever used. We were impressed and are now thrilled to announce that we will be introducing it as a blade steel in elite versions of some of our best-selling US-made knives.
In simple terms, Maxamet is an ultra-hard high-speed tool steel produced by the powder metallurgy process. However, its complex alloy composition gives it properties that transcend conventional high-speed tool steels and approach those of cemented carbides—the super-hard materials used to machine other steels.
Maxamet’s remarkable alloy composition includes: Carbon: 2.15%, Manganese: 0.30%, Sulfur: 0.07%, Silicon: 0.25%, Chromium: 4.75%, Cobalt: 10.00%, Vanadium: 6.00%, and Tungsten: 13.00%. This sophisticated mix of elements, combined with the advantages of powdered metal technology, give it an extraordinary balance of wear resistance and toughness at high hardness levels. The trade-off, however, is that it does require more time and effort to sharpen. Maxamet is also a tool steel—not a stainless steel—and must be cleaned and maintained properly to prevent corrosion.
Fittingly, the first Spyderco knife to feature Maxamet blade steel was the MT24 Mule Team™. One of the primary purposes of a Mule is to offer a performance testing platform, so we felt it was the best place to start. The response from our customers has been extremely positive and it has already received some impressive reviews on the Spyderco forum.