Folding knives are evolving with increasingly engineered components. For proof, look at Spyderco’s LionSpy, a collaboration with the Italian knife maker LionSteel. Think Jim Bowie meets Lamborghini.
Elmax PM 170 is a powdered steel from Austria, with a high carbon and chromium content. Compared with traditional steels, powdered steels offer fine-grain structures for extreme sharpness and even distribution of added alloy elements to provide toughness and corrosion resistance. Other new powdered steels to look for include S35VN, with niobium and a superfine grain for ease of sharpening, and CTS-XHP, one of the super-stainless harder steels that can be ground very fine.
The unique two-piece handle is made of two different scale materials: G10, on one side, is woven glass cloth impregnated with epoxy, then pressed and heated. The titanium side (shown) is light like aluminum but stronger and feels warm in the hand.
This is not your everyday frame lock. This one is machined out of the titanium handle scale and tipped with a hardened steel insert. It is also backed with LionSteel’s patented (and very cool) RotoLock–a titanium disk that can be dialed into a locking position that prevents release of the frame lock.