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My LC200N Mule Rusted. How is that possible??

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by neffarious, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. AwayFromMySpydieHole


    Jan 30, 2017
    I’ll still be buying a Caribbean when it comes out and I’ll definitely be using it in salt water conditions. At the beach, fishing, etc.

    I’ll report what I see. Don’t expect any problems really but if i see anything I’ll try and document it.
  2. neffarious


    Jun 23, 2012
    that and a Native LW for me
  3. 4mer_FMF

    4mer_FMF Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 9, 2016
    Sorry, this is sorta off topic, but the Caribbean has “stainless” liners. Wouldn’t that be a weak point for corrosion in a salt environment? (I’m considering it for a sailing trip this summer).
  4. onionfan


    Nov 29, 2008
    I thought Sal had mentioned using lc200n for the lock on the Caribbean. Also, I thought the hard part was getting a very corrosion resistant steel that still held an edge, and that it was not as hard to have one that would work for hardware, liners, etc.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
    4mer_FMF likes this.
  5. Sal Glesser

    Sal Glesser Moderator Moderator

    Dec 27, 1998
    The Caribbean uses LC liners and a ceramic ball for the detent.

    Zetetic Raider, uxo2, RipD and 3 others like this.
  6. 4mer_FMF

    4mer_FMF Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 9, 2016
    Thank you, Mr. Glesser! It will be really hard to pass up now.
    Surfingringo likes this.
  7. Surfingringo

    Surfingringo Gold Member Gold Member

    May 25, 2013
    Yep! I have been curious about what they would use for the liners. Glad (and not surprised) to hear they went the extra mile with this one. Between that and the ceramic detent ball, the Caribbean should prove more than “Salt-worthy”.
    zatch likes this.
  8. Surfingringo

    Surfingringo Gold Member Gold Member

    May 25, 2013
    One thing I wanted to mention in this thread. I have half a dozen knives in Lc200n now and ALL of them have seen extreme corrosion testing. That means months of 24/7 submersion and exposure to salty water. All of them have proved to be 100% corrosion proof, except for my mule. That is the knife that showed two tiny pinhead sized spots after a few weeks on the kayak. That is still MILES ahead of what any other stainless would do in those conditions but it’s interesting that those tiny spots appeared at all. All of the other 5-6 knives have seen more exposure than the mule and none of them have shown any such corrosion. I don’t know if this is helpful but since it seems like the only folks that have ever seen Lc200n corrosion have seen it on the mules, I thought it was worth mentioning here.

    Also worth mentioning, I have a Lc200n Spyderco Waterway prototype that has been left in saltwater 24/7 on the kayak since September wnd it’s still as unblemished as H1.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
    uxo2, Mick_1KRR, tyyreaun and 2 others like this.
  9. NJBillK

    NJBillK Custom Leather and Fixed Blade modifications.

    Mar 27, 2014
    I am curious if @Sal Glesser could chime in about any HT tweaks (if there were any) between the Mule and the following full production knives?
  10. neffarious


    Jun 23, 2012
    I'll give thr replacement the same treatment the original got.
    353 likes this.
  11. tyyreaun

    tyyreaun Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 26, 2017
    I finished re-abusing the mule. Few notes:
    • Removed any rust or tarnish from the previous treatment with a Scotch Brite pad
    • Immersed the entire blade in saturated salt water through Wednesday
    • Based on some notes I saw on corrosion testing, I then took the blade out, wrapped it in a paper towel, and put it back in the water with the blade sticking out, such that only the tang was in the water
    • Removed it today
    Interestingly, there was no further corrosion on the blade itself. The damage from before is still there, but no new rust spots appeared. Some spotting did appear on the tang, especially around the cutouts. The tang had not been immersed in water on the first pass.

    So, it does look that whatever was corroding on the blade itself was isolated to that one spot along the edge, and once gone, the rest of the blade really is extremely rust resistant. I guess this further supports the theory that the corrosion is due to impurities in the metal, and not the LC200N itself.

    One thing I noticed with my tests is that all my rust spots appeared near where the metal had been worked - the edge and the cutouts in the tang. It's possible that the metal had been burnt while being ground down and drilled, which may have affected it's corrosion resistance. However, that wouldn't explain the corrosion the OP saw.

    Next step will be to reprofile the mule, to fix the edge damage, and see if it still functions as it should.
    Chris "Anagarika" and 4mer_FMF like this.
  12. bikerector

    bikerector Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 16, 2016
    Does anyone know if rust from a different metal acts as a corrosion catalyst for the nitrogen based metals like LCN200N?
  13. neffarious


    Jun 23, 2012
    No idea. Hope to hear from Spyderco on this sometime soon.
  14. Sal Glesser

    Sal Glesser Moderator Moderator

    Dec 27, 1998
    We're still involved in testing.

  15. neffarious


    Jun 23, 2012
    Wow , thanks for the reply. I guess it's more in depth than I imagined.
  16. Rebel Nimrod

    Rebel Nimrod

    Jan 23, 2014
    Any updates? I just ordered a mule in this steel so was interested in the findings of the research.
  17. Sal Glesser

    Sal Glesser Moderator Moderator

    Dec 27, 1998
    We're still trying to get conclusive results. There was the presents of sulpher, which is an accelerant. We believe that it has more to do with the scales or scale hardware than the LC.

    Chris "Anagarika" and lieferung like this.
  18. neffarious


    Jun 23, 2012
    Holy cow. I wonder if Halpern knows.
    uxo2 likes this.
  19. uxo2

    uxo2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 2013
    Residue from machining or grinding?
  20. Sal Glesser

    Sal Glesser Moderator Moderator

    Dec 27, 1998

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