Spyderco number three in my collection, and the second one that I actually like, without any efforts too. And, it's the most expensive and rare Spyderco I own to date(2011). Manix 2 with Crucible CPM S90V steel blade, was a sprint run, back in September, 2009. Since at that time I wasn't really following what was going on in Spyderco world, I've missed it. Then, during the summer 2011, when I've started my search for the "Spyderco knives I like", at some point I've found Manix 2, which looked interesting enough. That was shortly after unsuccessful acquisition of the Spyderco Military Titanium C36Ti Folding Knife, so considering that lesson, I was more careful. Manix 2 is produced in 154CM steel as a default option(albeit, with a hollow ground blade), and even though it's a solid, good steel, I was not interested in it, had too many different knives already made out of 154CM. Then, there were Manix 2 sprint runs to consider, and as it turned out, Manix 2 was produced in Crucible CPM M4 steel, Crucible CPM S90V steels, Carpenter CTS-BD30P. I like the first two of those alloys for their performance, and as of this moment, I am not really interested in CTS-BD30P steel, which is very similar to Crucible CPM S30V steel. It was rather a difficult choice, because M4 has considerably higher attainable working hardness, 64-66HRC vs. max 61HRC for CPM S90V, but abrasive resistance of the later is considerably greater compared to M4, and also, S90V is stain resistant, which was rather a weak argument for me, because I have no problems maintaining my non stain resistant knives rust free. Eventually, I went with CPM S90V. It served me very well in Scott Cook Locsha folder, and in Locsha, S90V is hardened to 60HRC. This time, I've decided to have it rehardened at 61HRC and compare. Next challenge was to actually find the knife, since it was produced in very limited amount, 400 to be precise. Eventually I found one on ebay, where the current highest bid was 340$ by the time I found it, with dozen people bidding and watching it. And it was in Spain, not that I have anything against Spain or Spaniards, just it meant international shipping, customs and all that, no fun to be honest. Still, I went for it, since there was no otherchoice. I ended up with this specimen for a "mere" 360$. What a bargain, huh... Oh well, I wanted it, and now I have it. Didn't have to take out a mortgage either, so it's all good :)
General- Manix 2 in any incarnation is a medium size folder, to my standard at least. I am referring to its blade and overall length. On the other hand, it is a really beefy knife, as far as its width goes, take a look at Spyderco Manix 2 and Spyderco Endura 4 ZDP-189 to get the idea. Despite of its size, the knife is fairly light, 114.80g(3.88oz). The liners have large cutouts to minimize the weight, and carbon fiber as a handle material is one of the lightest. As a special edition knife, which is what sprint run is anyway, Manix 2 CF S90V has a few unique details, and overall fit and finish is very good. Manix 2 Packaging is also nice, identical with other special edition Spyderco knives packagings. For the record, the lanyard you see on the photo, is the courtesy of the person I bought the knife from, it doesn't come with Manix 2 from Spyderco. Now to the knife, everything is machined and ground very precisely, and fits pretty much perfect. There is no blade play in either direction when the knife is open and locked. I did the usual inspection when the knife arrived, and found no apparent flaws in Manix 2 folder. At least, as far as its make and execution is concerned. Design is a different matter, but like I said above, I liked the knife, which means I didn't find design flaws either, except for the textured CF handle slabs, but about that below, in the handle section. Out of the box edge was pretty decent, probably 400 grit or above, standard V grind edge. Even edge bevels and sharpness was quite high for a factory knife. Ergonomics are very nice in my opinion and the knife feels comfortable and secure in various grips. The action was very smooth out of the box, and the knife makes very solid "click" when it locks in the open position. Lockup is very solid as well. As for the lock mechanism, it is a caged ball lock, and on the new knives it is rather stiff in the beginning. I have not used the knife that much as of now(Fall, 2011), but according to many accounts, it gets smoother in time. On the new knives however, it's not really possible to operate the lock with a single digit. At least on my Manix 2 I have to use two fingers to disengage the lock. I'll report on smoothness progress as I use the knife more. One reason I didn't use the knife, is that I am planning to do some modifications to it, specifically, I am looking to reharden the blade and possibly do the handle mods as well. We'll see how it goes, and certainly I will update this review with the results.
Manix origins - I was curious about the name Manix. Searched Spyderco forums and BF, no real results. Googling Manix returns bunch of possible explanations, one of them being a comic character. Once I figure out what it means, I'll update. And I guess I also have to mention that Manix 2 was the design from Eric Glesser, son of Sal Glesser, founder of Spyderco knives company. You can see Eric's logo on the right side of the blade, check the image attached to the next section. And for the stats, the original Manix folder was also Eric's design. And I think it is worth mentioning that there once was an oversized Manix produced, model C95, which featured 95mm(3¾") long blade, G10 handle, lockback instead of the caged ball lock, and CPM S30V steel. If it was up to me, or let's say if I was building ideal Manix, I'd love to have Manix C95, but in something other than S30V steel, Spyderco has used multitude of high end steels in the sprint runs, including Hitachi ZDP-189, Hitachi Aogami Super, Crucible CPM S90V, and many others. And since we're talking about wishes, then I'd rather have caged ball lock vs. lockback. And to top it off, Titanium or stainless steel handle slabs. That'd be a knife. Actually, if Spyderco ever made Manix C95 in any of the steels listed here, I'd manage to do the rest.
Blade- Manix 2 blade is 76.20mm(3") long, and with almost 35mm width, it's one of the widest folders I have seen and handled, especially considering its size. Blade thickness is also on par, slightly over 3mm, 3.15mm if you want to be very precise. The standard edition Manix has a hollow ground blade, and this sprint edition features a flat ground blade. As far as my preferences go, I'd rather have a flat ground blade in the folder than a hollow grind, overall cutting performance is better and for the folder cutting performance is more important then the blade strength. At least that's my personal take on the subject. The blade geometry can be described as a drop point, and it still is very distinctly Spyderco-ish blade design, complete with an oversized Spyderco trademark opening hole. There's a lot of gimping going on with Manix 2 folder in general, although most of it is on the handle. The blade has two sets of gimping, on the top side, above the hole, forming what I'd call a thumbramp, and from below, around the choil. Notches are quite well defined to provide sufficient grip security, I'd say they're on more aggressive side. If you work real hard with the knife for a prolonged period of time, it'll let you know eventually. Gimping on the handle is different, being less aggressive and having much greater distance between the ridges. The left side of the blade features Spyderco logo in front of the opening hole, and Spyderco CPM S90V writing behind it. On the right side, between the hole and the handle there's Eric Glesser's logo, and another writing - Golden, Colorado, U.S.A, Earth.
As with many other Spyderco knives, the blade is pretty much a triangle, sides(edge and spine) are slightly curved. Overall, the edge is a single, gentle curve. Considering the small length of the blade, the curve benefits Manix 2, providing additional length for the cutting edge. As stated above, factory edge was pretty good, and measured somewhere between 16°-18° per side. Once I reharden the blade, with target Rockwell hardness of 61HRC, I'll thin it down to 15° per side. I don't use my folding knives for hard/heavy duty works, and cutting efficiency is what I am interested in, as usual :) We'll see where it goes from there, I am referring to 15° per side edge, if the knife can handle it for my use, I'll certainly lower the angle, sharper is better. CPM S90V steel is high on Carbon, Chromium, Vanadium, plus bunch of other ingredients, here the exact composition of CPM S90V steel. It's quite peculiar steel, with very high abrasive resistance. Overall, I have very positive experience with it, main grip being inability to attain higher working hardness than 61HRC. It's be super at higher hardness, say 64 or 66HRC, but alas, it is what it is. Also, for the record, Crucible is not the only company producing this alloy, these days we also have Carpenter CTS-20P and Latrobe Duratech 420PM, which are pretty much the same alloys.
Last updated - 09/17/11