Spyderco CPM SPY27 Steel

Spyderco CPM SPY27 Steel

Spyderco CPM SPY27 Steel

On January 15, 2020 Spyderco revealed their new proprietary steel made by Crucible steel,  CPM SPY27 .  This new steel will be exclusive to Spyderco and is their first brand specific steel they have created.

This new steel is being released in two models and will come with distinctive cobalt blue FRN handles to showcase their elite pedigree.

With this new steel just being announced and not available yet for hands on testing, we will look at the provided specs and details to get a general overview and this post will be updated once we get some real world hands on testing and feedback.

Spyderco Innovation

Spyderco is one of the most innovative knife manufactures around. They are constantly testing and making knives out of new steels.  

This has earned them a dedicated following of knife aficionados who appreciate the opportunity to get their hands on some of the amazing new steels that are available.

One of the techniques that Spyderco has used in the past is to offer "sprint runs" of new and specialized steels to get these blades into the hands of real knife users.  These are low production number versions of some of their most popular knives and have been very popular with knife lovers.

This is the first new steel developed under the Spyderco brand name and if history stands true this is sure to be a very popular blade steel for Spyderco fans.  

This steel will be used solely in USA production knives from Spyderco.  Many of their other knives are made in Japan, such as the Delica will continue to use standard production steel thus making these new SPY27 USA made knives a premium item in the Spyderco lineup.

Spyderco Para 3 SPY-27

CPM SPY27 Specs And Details

The composition of this steel is similar to other "super steels" but its unique composition looks like it will have good edge retention along with a very decent toughness.  

Along with this, the type and amounts of carbides in the steel should allow for good sharpening and be able to achieve an extremely sharp edge.  

We will have to wait to get some third party test results but preliminary conjecture suggests that this steel will have decent corrosion resistance comparable to S30V, S35VN, VG-10, and Elmax. 

The small Nitrogen addition should also help contribute to overall corrosion resistance as well as a potential boost to the overall hardness.  

This combination of good edge retention, solid toughness, and reliable corrosion resistance potentially puts SPY27 into strong contention as one of the best EDC Blade Steels available.

The composition of SPY-27 is as follows;

  • Carbon (C)                         1.25
  • Chromium (Cr)                14
  • Cobalt (Co)                        1.5
  • Niobium (Nb)                    1
  • Manganese (Mn)             0.5
  • Molybdenum (Mo)         2
  • Nitrogen (N)                       0.1
  • Silicon (Si)                            0.5
  • Vanadium (V)                     2

According to Sal Glesser, the founder of Spyderco, "SPY27 is a USA made variation of VG-10, another useful and successful blade steel made by Takefu that was created by Spyderco working with Crucible."

Being that VG-10 has been used in many Spyderco models over the years, this new iteration should be a decent upgrade to VG-10 with the amount of work, cost, and effort they have put into it.

Also according to Sal, "Creating a new steel is not an easy task and we've been working on this for more than a year. Like anything new in business, it is a gamble. We hope for the best. We've done quite a few new things in the knife industry. Some are better than others, but to not try is to stop.......at least for Spyderco."

This dedication to ongoing excellence and innovation is one of the main things that has endeared Spyderco to knife aficionados and has gained them a loyal following worldwide.

SPY27 Manix 2

CPM SPY27 Cobalt Addition

The number 27 in SPY-27 is in relation to the atomic number for Cobalt.  This new steel has a rather large 1.5% Cobalt addition.  

In the Spyderco Edge-U-cation steel chart it says that Cobalt "increases strength and hardness and permits quenching in higher temperatures." as well as "Intensifies the individual effects of other elements in more complex steels."

According to Larrin from Knife Steel Nerds, the Cobalt addition will help with secondary hardening when tempering in the upper temperature range.

in conjunction, It has also been suggested in some discussion in the Spyderco Forums about SPY-27 that the Cobalt addition should help maintain hardness during mechanical grinding and shaping.

About Crucible Particle Metallurgy Steel Production

Crucible Industries is one of the preeminent steel manufacturers in America.  They have a long and detailed past spanning over 100 years since it's emergence in England in the late 1800's 

According to Wikipedia;  

Conventional and CPM steel-making smelts ore into steel with an electric arc furnace, refines it by removing some carbon, reducing it by removing the sulfur.
Further refining may use argon oxygen decarburization, an implementation of powder metallurgy. The conventional process teems (distributes and pours) the steel into ingot molds. The steel slowly solidifies, allowing the elements to segregate into non-uniform patterns at the microscopic level.

The CPM process pours molten steel through a small nozzle. High-pressure gas atomizes the liquid stream into a spray which rapidly cools the steel into a uniform powder. The powder then goes into high-pressure containers and is heated at forge temperatures to press the powder into ingots; this is known as hot isostatic pressing (HIP), and the resulting metal is uniform. Both processes then use hot or cold rolling to toughen the steel and mill it into finished products.

New Knives With SPY27 Steel

As a part of this new product announcement and release there are two models that will soon be available with SPY-27 steel.

Both models will come with distinctive "Cobalt Blue" handle scales.  The Para 3 will come with FRN scales and the Manix 2 will come with FRCP scales.  (FRN = Fiber Reinforced Nylon)  (FRCP = Fiber Reinforced Co-Polymer)

CPM-SPY-27 Steel Para 3

Para 3 Lightweight CPM SPY27

The Para 3 is one of Spyderco's more popular folding knives.  With the addition of the new SPY-27 steel and these new Cobalt Blue FRN handles this is sure to be a popular version. 

Spyderco recently announced the "lightweight" version of the Para line which utilizes FRN handle scales as opposed to the traditional G-10 handles.  This change has reduced the overall handle weight by almost 30%.

The Para 3 Specs follow;

  • Overall Length            7.21"           (183mm)
  • Closed Length             4.29"           (109mm)
  • Blade Thickness         0.145"        (3.7mm)
  • Blade Length                2.92"           (74mm)
  • Edge Length                 2.58"            (66mm)
  • Handle                             FRN
  • Lock Type                       Compression
  • Origin                               United States
  • Steel                                  CPM SPY27
  • Weight                             2.4oz            (68g)
  • Clip Position                 Ambi
  • Grind                                 Full Flat
Spyderco Manix 2 CPM SPY27 Steel

Manix 2 Lightweight CPM SPY27

The second model to come out with the new SPY27 steel is the Manix 2.   Being a little bigger than the Para 3 and utilizing the strong ball bearing locking mechanism and light weight FRCP handles this is sure to be a great knife.  

Like the Para 3 above the Manix 2 comes with cobalt blue handles, however, unlike the Para 3, the Manix uses FRCP which can sometimes be more translucent than FRN and is sure to be a great looking handle.

Another difference between the Para 3 and the Manix 2 is that even though the Manix is a larger knife with a longer blade, the actual blade profile is 0.5mm thinner than the Para.  This longer blade and thinner profile will be sure to make this knife a great slicer, although, with the trade-off of potentially not being as strong as the Para.

Manix 2 Specs follow;

  • Overall Length            8.03"           (204mm)
  • Closed Length             4.66"           (119mm)
  • Blade Thickness         0.125"        (3.2mm)
  • Blade Length                3.37"           (86mm)
  • Edge Length                 2.88"            (73mm)
  • Handle                             FRCP
  • Lock Type                       Ball Bearing
  • Origin                               United States
  • Steel                                  CPM SPY27
  • Weight                             3.0oz            (85g)
  • Clip Position                 Ambi
  • Grind                                 Full Flat

This knife is sure to be a hit in the new SPY-27 version.  In fact, the Manix 2 XL made it to the top choice in out guide about the best pocket knives for everyday use in 2020.

FINAL VERDICT

Spyderco has always been on the forefront of innovation and has consistently shown their eagerness to test and utilize new steels in their knives.  CPM SPY27 is the first steel made specifically for Spyderco as a proprietary steel for them.

Spyderco has worked with other steel companies such as Carpenter in the past and we are very excited to see the real world results of this collaboration with Crucible Industries.  

These are two of the best companies in the world when it comes to knives and steel and we can't wait to get our hands on some to see how it stack up in the real world.

If you have any questions, thoughts, or research on the new CPM SPY27 steel then feel free to drop a comment below.

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