Spyderco’s twenty-fifth Mule Team installment features LC200N steel—a high nitrogen alloyed tool steel that offers extreme corrosion resistance. LC200N is produced by a combination of the PESR (Pressurized Electric Slag Remelting) process and “smart forging” technology to yield an amazing increase in the steel’s purity and a very fine and homogenous microstructure. It is also a true martensitic steel that achieves its hardness through traditional heat treating, so its hardness level can be precisely controlled to meet the demands of specific uses. Regarded as the material of choice for applications that involve high static and dynamic loads in corrosive environments, LC200N is widely used in the food, chemical, recycling, and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in mirror-polished dies used in the plastics industry. It is best known, however, as NASA’s preferred material for the ball bearings used in their aerospace equipment.
LC200N’s unique alloy composition includes: 0.3% Carbon, 15% Chromium, 0.5% Nitrogen, 0.95% Molybdenum, 0.5% Nickel, and 1.00% Manganese. When this alloy recipe is translated to knife blades, LC200N provides an exceptional blend of toughness, edge holding, and corrosion resistance.