The obvious difference compared to the standard Manix 2 is the "tan" colour of the G10 and the full flat ground CPM M4 blade. Beyond this, I believe the liners are more extensively skeletonised (the M4 version has large, squarish cut outs) -I don't have a standard Manix 2 for comparison. This, plus the FFG blade brings the weight down from 143g (Standard) to 124g for the M4 version.
The knife allows left and right tip-up carry with pocket clip. The fit and finish are good: centered blade, countersunk torx bolts, no gaps, chamfered lanyard tube, solid lock up, no play. The lock is more effort to disengage than the Benchmade Axis lock with which it will inevitably be compared. I have to use a finger and thumb in tandem to pull the ball-bearing housing back. Not difficult but does necessitate a slight change of grip on the handle; still a one-handed operation.
The tan G10 is surprisingly pale and greyish, rather than the brownish/sandy colour I would have expected.
When I received the knife, I put a 30deg inclusive edge on it using a Sharpmaker (I might experiment with other edge geometries using benchstones but I was eager to get going) and then stropped on a loaded 50cm length of veg-tanned leather on wood backing. As expected, the knife was hair-popping sharp to the tip. I confess I did not check for a burr using my loupe at this stage -more of that later...
The knife became my companion for the next few weeks:
Out in the woods:
The ergonomics are typical spyderco (which I like, YMMV)- deep choil for forward grip:
The knife saw frequent and varied use (pics not in chronological order):
I truncated and flattened a piece of hazel for use as a digging stick, harvesting ramsons (wild garlic) while out with the dog. Smell of bluebells and garlic delightful:
Made some feather sticks for a fire with my lad:
The corners of the handle did begin to create hot spots on my hand after a while- not really a criticism as a fixed blade would normally be my choice for this:
Whittled a pot hangar:
And got the grub on with a tripod:
Shot a couple of bunnies (I think I left some blood on the blade and this stained a bit): warning dead bunnies in pic
Jointed them (the Tan G10 certainly shows up dirt/blood -arguably a good thing as you know when they're clean): Warning dead bunnies in pic
Also processed some chicken:
And did some carving (spoon and stake for tree-support etc.):
The blood from a careless nick is on the spoon -oops:
The knife was also used for numerous other day-to-day tasks during this time. At the end of several weeks use, the blade was noticeably duller and bore stains from blood and oak sap. The lock up was solid and play free, the pivot action smooth.
Running a finger nail up the side of the blade toward the edge there was a "catch" or hooking sensation on one side but not the other, reminiscent of a rolled/folded edge. I have tried to photograph this with a macro lens (not my forte) but I can't see an obvious roll:
Since then I have sharpened at 40 deg inclusive- still hair-popping but should be less damage prone. The blade was developing an uneven patina so I have tried to even it up a bit by leaving the blade unwashed after cutting up onions and such:
An excellent knife: good ergonomics, albeit a slightly fiddly lock release, with superb blade steel. I have no issue with blades not being shiny, though I do now carry a small oily cotton strip in a baggy with this knife as I don't want pitting to develop, especially around the pivot. Like any non-stainless steel, a bit of care is needed (proportionate to how long you want the knife to last, anyway ) The edge holding is impressive, given what it went through, and I cannot be sure I had fully removed the burr with my stropping so performance might have been even better if damage of the microbevel had occurred due to burr tear.
I don't know how long the lock mechanism will resist the onslaught of pocket crud and the skeletonised liners are a potential blood/muck magnet. Not withstanding, I really like this knife and it is seeing more pocket time than any other (including newer) sharps.
Highly recommended if you are in the USA* and don't mind non-stainless blades and Spyderco looks.
*Bento won't ship internationally