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Small Sebenza vs Spyderco Sage II

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Harry Callahan, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. Small Sebenza

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  2. Sage II

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  3. These two knives aren't even in the same class and shouldn't be directly compared.

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  1. Harry Callahan

    Harry Callahan Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 17, 2002
    Ergos go to the Spydie by leaps and bounds. There really can't be much of a debate there. Price is also a no-brainer. So Spyderco wins those two categories with ease. What of the finer points? Out of the box sharpness? Smoothness of operation? Ease of deployment? Pocket clip (wire vs stamped titanium)? Stud vs hole? Heat treat and edge holding capability?

    In my opinion, the Sage II wins in every single category (quite easily). And I have owned both. The only thing that the Seb has going for it is the fact that it's American made, and in my opinion that's not worth the staggering price difference, especially since it does NOTHING else better than the Sage II. If it had just one or two things going for it.... Maybe it would justify the price diff. But it just doesn't. Oh and relsale value? Um kay. The Seb has better resale value but the Spydie holds it's (admittedly lower) sale value just as strongly. This is uncommon. Think of Japanese motorcycles vs Harleys and resale value. The Japanese bike becomes a give-away once you title it. I've never seen a Sage II sell for under 150.

    I'm sure there's other opinions out there. So lets hear em. Who thinks the Seb is better, and why?
     
  2. RevDevil

    RevDevil Super Evil Supermod Staff Member Super Mod

    Nov 9, 2009
    Agree with you Harry, Sage 2 is awesome.
    -Value
    -Materials
    -Ergonomics
    -Clip
    -Availability
     
  3. OldDude1

    OldDude1

    279
    Aug 28, 2008
    Greetings:
    Regarding the price and other considerations of a Chris Reeve knife. OldDude1

    A Quote by Sal Glesser from post #24 of this thread:

    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=513653&highlight=price&page=2

    "More profit is usually associated with higher price. That's normal. Profit is usually a percentage of sales price. To think that a high priced auto should garner the same proft as a low priced auto is not in accord with business. It might be the same percentage, but being more expensive, it will be more profit.

    Unless you are a manufacturer, familiar with close tolerance manufacturing of heat treated steel & Titanium parts, you are not likely to be able to see all of the differences between one of Chris' knives and others. For example; CRK keeps 0.0005 tolerance on surface grinding. That's one sixth the thickness of a hair. Do you have the knowledsge and equipment to discover that tolerance?

    In the end, it's all about trust. CRK took many years to build and maintain their repuation. Built with consistent focus. Even those trying to make a "cheaper" version must "leave out processes" or "soften their tolerance", or they will cost as much.

    Rarely do you pay for the "name". That's a bullshit sales pitch made up by the ignorant claiming to offer the same for less. Money valuation between countries might offer a "deal" for a while until the money value balances, but all in all, you will get what you pay for."

    sal

    -----------------------------------------------------

    "Just because you can't see the difference doesn't mean it isn't there, it just means you can't see it."
     
  4. Josh K

    Josh K

    Sep 29, 2008
    Sage II.

    Price is better, opening method (IMO) is better, FFG, wire clip.

    That being said, it's also not a Sebenza. CRK holds their knives to extremely tight tolerances. You get what you pay for. CRK offers many services after the initial purchase. This will up the costs.
     
  5. gundude73

    gundude73

    Oct 6, 2009
    does the sage 2 have a pivot bushing? can you take it down and clean it in under a few minutes? can i use a sage 2 for 10 years and get it fixed? can i have a sage 2 refinished?
    well the sebenza does ;)

    i have held a sage 2 and thought the ergos were good, just like any spydie.
    dont get me wrong i like my spydies, but i would take my sebenza over a sage 2.
     
  6. Josh K

    Josh K

    Sep 29, 2008
    I believe it does have a pivot bushing, and yet it can be cleaned in just a few minutes. Everything else is pure CRK. :)
     
  7. Harry Callahan

    Harry Callahan Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 17, 2002
    Fantastic thread to post that quote from Sal. Clearly relevant to the discussion. :)
     
  8. OldDude1

    OldDude1

    279
    Aug 28, 2008
    I believe it to be a reasonable response to your statement of:
    "I'm sure there's other opinions out there. So lets hear em. Who thinks the Seb is better, and why?" OldDude1
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  9. Fredde90210

    Fredde90210

    461
    May 14, 2010
    Sal Glesser :thumbup:
    Sage II :thumbup:
     
  10. Mark J

    Mark J

    Mar 15, 2001
    One thing that hasn't been mentioned is aesthetics. For those that think Spydercos are ugly with the hole/hump, the CRK may be more desirable. OTOH, there are plenty of folks who really don't like the looks of the Sebenza. Anyway, whichever camp you might fall into, it could make a considerable difference in the choice. Also on the aesthetics subject, the Sebenzas offer graphics and wood inlays.

    - Mark
     
  11. twid

    twid

    603
    Apr 7, 2009
    If I were to carry either knife it would probably be a light use edc blade. I would choose the small Sebenza since it is the smaller knife and I prefer it's clip over the wire clip.

    How about large Seb vs. Ti Military? :D jk
     
  12. krazichinaman

    krazichinaman Moderator Moderator

    Jul 8, 2001
    The sage 2 is nice! However, I own 3 small Sebenza and to me, the Sage 2 just doesn't compare. It is more "rough" around the edges and isn't as refined. Either route, both knives are great, but just because they are made of the same materials doesn't make them the same or even place them in the same class.

    As Sal mentioned:

    "Unless you are a manufacturer, familiar with close tolerance manufacturing of heat treated steel & Titanium parts, you are not likely to be able to see all of the differences between one of Chris' knives and others. For example; CRK keeps 0.0005 tolerance on surface grinding. That's one sixth the thickness of a hair. Do you have the knowledsge and equipment to discover that tolerance?

    In the end, it's all about trust. CRK took many years to build and maintain their repuation. Built with consistent focus. Even those trying to make a "cheaper" version must "leave out processes" or "soften their tolerance", or they will cost as much."

    This also applies to Spyderco as well. The fact that Sal respects CRK tolerances shows how awesome both companies are.

    Regarding CRK, there is a reason the Sebenza model has been around for more then 20 years. I have yet to find a maker that encourages you to take apart their knife for maintenance and even includes the tool. This shows that they have confidence in their tolerances to let their end line users reassemble the knife. Moreover, CRK also offers their "SPA" treatment in which you can send the knife back for a refinish (blade or handle), new blade, different inlays, engravings, graphics, etc. This further adds value and customization to the Sebenza.

    For me, I think the Sage 2 is an awesome folder. It has great ergos, materials and is well built. I have and do recommend the Sage 2 for people that are on a budget and are looking for a great "bang for your buck."I feel the the sage 2 fills in a great gap between the CRK price range and intro price range. They offer an awesome Ti frame lock for about half the price. The Sebenza comes into play when people are looking for a folder that offers "added" value in an elegant simple package.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  13. holygoat

    holygoat Gold Member Gold Member

    518
    Sep 25, 2004
    I was going to vote "Sebenza", but after some thought I actually opted for "incomparable".

    That Sal quote kinda sums up why.

    I love my Spydercos. They're great value, very functional, very ergonomic: a Seiko. (I doubt anyone at Spyderco would take that as an insult!)

    I love my Sebenza. It's a superb knife from the same perspective as the Spydercos, but it's also a wonderful mechanical artifact: it gives me the same pleasure that my Omega does.

    As a more concrete analogy: my Omega automatic ticks over the date just a minute before midnight. Other watches I've owned have gradually spun some time between 11:30 and 2am. Would this affect me most of the time? No. Is it nice knowing I can rely on the date? Yes. Do I take comfort in knowing that a ton of engineering effort went into making something work perfectly? Absolutely.

    Add to that the ability to send a 20-year-old Sebenza in for a tune-up, and it's clear you're not buying just another knife to drop into the EDC rotation.

    If you buy a Sage, you're getting a great knife... but you're not paying for a Sebenza, and you're not getting one. On the other hand, most people aren't willing to pay for a Sebenza, and that's absolutely fine!
     
  14. mmarkh

    mmarkh Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    No comparison. The Sage 2 is a nice knife but the Sebenza is so much more refined.
     
  15. freq18hz

    freq18hz

    Mar 4, 2010
    To use your analogy though:

    Your Omega automatic cost 10x the price of your average Timex hiking watch, yet the Timex keeps superior time, has more functions, and will perform longer without servicing.

    I think the reason why these two knives can't really be compared, is that one is a collectors piece, the other is intended to use. Why buy a 350 knife to use, when you could buy 3 of the other? If EDC is your main goal, losing a 350 dollar knife isn't impossible, or unlikely.

    A Sebenza in my opinion is just like an Omega watch. It's a jewelry item. You can buy it and appreciate the attention to detail and craftsmanship that went into it. At the end of the day though , it doesn't perform any better. It's just a luxury jewelry item.

    -Freq
     
  16. gdwtvb

    gdwtvb

    299
    Jan 14, 2006
    NO the sage does not have a pivot bushing as the sebenza does. I would give the sebenza a slight edge in fit and finish, but only slight. I like the hole better than the stud. After seven years of EDC a sebenza, I moved to a sage II. I gave sold one sebbie and gave the other to my son. I'm planning on getting a Ti milie next.

    Grizz
     
  17. OldDude1

    OldDude1

    279
    Aug 28, 2008
    Another quote from Sal Glesse regarding CRK knives. Post #61 of this thread:
    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=512047&highlight=tolerances&page=4

    "Well, I cannot speak for Chris Reeve Knives, but I will offer an opinion.

    I've known Chris and Ann for many years. We worked together when Chris was in South Africa.

    A CRK knife is not a custom knife, nor is it a production knife. They are in a class by themselves. They've taken many years to develop their reputation.

    Each piece is custom made by skilled custom makers. CRK tolerances and standards are the highest I've seen in processes like surface grinding and heat treat. There is a limit to their production capacity.

    Chris is pretty anal on quality. "Quality is time. = Time is money". He pays his craftsmen a fair wage, and he charges a fair margin, he gives the world a product like no other. Chris and Ann work hard and they make a good living. "Enormous profits" is an inside joke that Chris and I laugh about. Frankly, I think they'd feel guilty if they made too much money.

    The "Market" will determine if his business strategies work, regardless of what they are. If they don't work, adjustments are made....that's how businesses survive.

    BTW, the flip side of a "bargain driven" market is manufacturers are forced to import product (export jobs) from China to compete in the need for the "lower price". More complications."
    sal ------------------------------- OldDude1
     
  18. Ken44

    Ken44 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    Just last week my Dr. held my SageII, and said he would much rather have it than his (old 1997) small sebenza. Told him where i got mine and how much, and he said he wanted to trade even if I did.
    I said sure,(of course). I have other sebenza's, but was wanting an old small reg. beater with BG42.
    I asked if he was sure, and he said yes.

    I find this a testiment to how great the Sage II is, and will try and pick up another soon.


    SageII likes- It fits my hand better when held in choil position, FFG blade, reversible clip, Leaf shape blade slices better.

    Sebenza likes- VERY narrow profile, and rides much better in pocket. Finished better, I know I can send it in for repairs and they will have part. The belly in blade is great for skinning.

    I love both, but feel they are two very diff knives. The RIL and blade length is about all they have in common IMO.
     
  19. JNewell

    JNewell Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Both are fabulous, but they aren't comparable and IMHO it's unfair to do so.

    The Seb is a near-custom quality knife that has incredible quality and design, and it is an icon of American knifemaking. It is expensive, and doesn't really IMO qualify as a "value."

    The Sage is a great production knife and a very good value.

    You could easily justify having both and would enjoy using both, budget concerns aside.
     
  20. mnyshrpknvs

    mnyshrpknvs

    Dec 18, 2008



    Its one thing to own, and another to use. I own and use a couple different Sebs. I have for several years. Just about any cutting task has been done with these knives and they just keep marching on. Smooth as the day I bought them. Solid lock-up. No chipping. Hold a terrific edge. And, although I haven't had an issue, I'm sure it would be painless for service.

    I do not have any experience with Spyderco. I'm sure their fantastic. But, companies are not in business to give something for nothing. Everything costs money. Both companies I believe work under high quality standards. I would then think it comes down to cost in materials and manufacturing. More manufacturing costs= higher price. Spyderco is not in the charity business and neither is CRK. I'm sure their profits are similar and Spydercos may be higher. I never assume higher price= higher profit. The difference is the overall package. A little more of this and a little more of that.
     

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