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Carson folders compared to Sebenza


Gold Member
Basic Member
Aug 28, 1999
What comments can you give with regards to sturdiness, function, fit, finish, overall quality? I've had a number of Sebenzas and would mainly like to know how the Carson stacks up. Seeking impressions from those who own and have used both.
I've had both. The Sebrenza is easier to open due to its bushing. The Carson's, and I've had several, are first class folders! The fit and finish is outstanding. Mr. Carson is one of a handfull of top tactical knife makers today. His model 4 has been tested extensively. The model 16's are also nice. All in all, Kit does things right. You will not be disappointed. In fact, the only problem will be that you will want more of these!

Art Sigmon
In my opinion, there is absolutely no comparison!!! Kit wins this one hands down!!!
I own a large Sebenza and three fantastic folders from Kit. (You can see them by clicking on the link below my sig.)

The Sebenza is perhaps the best (imho) of the semi-production knives out there in terms of the parameters you mentioned.

Kit Carson (along with a few choice others) makes as good a folder as is to be found anywhere.

Aesthetically pleasing, tough and built to last. Kit stands behind his knives 100%.

I've yet to see one (and I've looked at many) that has left his shop that wasn't meticulously gone over by Kit before he was satisfied it was ready to ship.

As previously mentioned, you won't be disappointed.


Live Free or Die

Blues' Knife Pix
It has been my good fortune over the years to have 3 sebenzas and 13 Carsons. Kit's work is outstanding. Either knife will be rugged enough to withstand the maximum abuse one could expect from any folder. Kit's knives are much more attractive in terms of style and execution.Given the fact that there is not much difference in cost between the semi-production Sebenza and the totally custom Carson, the Carson wins hands down.

AKTI# A000150
NC Custom Knifemakers Guild member
NC Knife Knuts member
Shame on you for asking. Carson all the way!

AKTI Member #A000832

"Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, the bear eats you."
I tend to agree with most of the other comments so far. I have a Carson LDC and a handmade Sebenza. Both are terrific knives but while the Sebenza is probably a better hard use knife, the Carsons' fit and finish and overall quality put it out front.

What makes the Sebenza a better "hard use" knife, in your opinion? With Kit's CPM steels or Stellite 6K, and his heavy duty titanium/carbon fiber handles, I'm surprised at your comment. Is it just the solid titanium handles on the Sebenza, or something more?

I sold my two Sebenza's and own a few Carson's now.
Kit's folders are my favorite. Smooth, lock up solid, and IMHO Carson's are the 'BEST' buy for the money as well.
Hard part is trying to find a place that has some in stock to buy.
I am a LEFTY so its even worse. This doesn't stop me from buying righty Carson's. As Art Sigmon stated above once you own ONE, you WANT more!

Kit builds knives for function and not flash (this isn't to say the M16 isn't "sexy"...LOL). If it doesn't need to be on the knife it isn't going to be. Fit and finish are great as well.

My daughter is gonna have some sweet folders when she is older.

Ray 'md2020'

ATKI member #A001042
I had one Sebenza and sold it. I now have six Carson's and am looking for more. That about tells the story.
Will: Just the thickness of the handles and the lockup. On the handmade the handles are even thicker than a current Sebenza. Almost the entire back of the blade is engaged by the lock. The Carson is still a better knife in my opinion and at the price a steal.
Wow....... High-end production Vs. a custom.

CRK and Kit make exceptional knives that are rugged and built to last!

Decision: It's up to you and your particular wants and needs. One thing that is equal ~ both will tax your wallet (or purse)!

Good luck in your hunt and final pick!

My Pick: Kit Carson

"Livin' Life - Full Throttle"
"Happiness is a belt-fed weapon & a Walter Brend Model 2!"
I love your new signature line! I re-emphisize a point I made in my original post. NO FOLDER CAN OR SHOULD BE EXPECTED TO BE HELD TO THE SAME STANDARD AS A FIXED BLADE,NO MATTER WHOM THE MAKER IS! That being said,I still believe that Kit makes the best hard-use folders available today.
Personal note to GigOne: I am re-employed and would happily buy back the items I sold to you at the original price plus a healthy
return fee!

AKTI# A000150
NC Custom Knifemakers Guild member
NC Knife Knuts member
I've got an order for a model 4 and I'm sure I will not be disappointed. I've heard so many great things about Kit's knives that I'm confident enough ordering one without ever handling a Carson. I still love my sebenzas though!

I have been reading posts by Kit Carson and reading about his knives since the old RDK forum, about 5 years i think. I have never once heard anythin bad about his knives, never once in all that time. The common answer to how is Kits knives is the best. He has a great long record you can take stock in
I have a small Sebenza and a large Model 4 and very much enjoy carrying and using both. The workmanship and attention to detail displayed by Reeve's employees and Carson is well documented and well deserved. But for unparalleled cutting efficiency in an everyday user, I haven't owned a folder yet that can compare with the Carson Model 4. The width of the blade especially appeals to me. Likewise, you just haven't seen the liner lock properly executed until you've handled a Carson folder. When the blade is deployed the liner barely feels like it's even touching the blade; there's no sticking whatsoever. Yet at the same time, there's absolutely zero blade play. How Kit is able to achieve both at the same time is a mystery to me.

So, if forced to choose between the two, my nod would definitely go to the Carson. But that having been said, I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to own and use both.

Semper Fi


[This message has been edited by Bronco (edited 09-07-2000).]
I have several of both. The Sebs are wonderful knives, but are available in only one style and one blade alloy. With Kit, on the other hand, you have a much broader array of choices regarding both design and materials.

One Carson folder (# 18) I have has Ti scales and a Talonite (r) blade. This knife is impervious to the elements; you could toss it in the ocean for 20 years, fish it out, wash off the crud, and it would be perfectly functional. BG-42, while a good stainless alloy, would not survive this treatment. Sebs, BTW, will never be offered in Talonite; I spoke with CR about this, and he requires that the blade material be ferromagnetic so that their magnetic jigs will work.

At the other end of the spectrum, I have another Carson folder which is made of Stellite 6K (r); it is constructed of carbon fiber (scales and spacers) with an inlaid Ti lock. Closed, it is slimmer and somewhat shorter than the # 18 Ti/Talonite folder, even though the blade is 1/4" longer. There are two amazing things about this knife: First, even though from the pivot screw to the tip of the blade there is nothing but Stellite, which is denser than steel, and behind the pivot point there is only a short inlaid Ti lock, four tiny Ti screws, and the c-fiber scales and spacer, the knife balances right at the pivot screw!

The other thing is that the total knife weight, with a 4 1/4" Stellite blade, is only 3 oz!

The ergonomics are better on the Kit Carson knives. Sebs are square and blocky by comparison. It is much more comfortable carrying my #18 Kit Carson folder in the front pocket of my jeans than it would be a large Seb; this despite a 1/2" longer blade on the Carson folder. In fact, I do not carry Sebs in my pocket because of the poor ergonomics. I use a belt pouch instead. I must respectfully disagree with Art Sigmon about the relative ease of opening; I find that the Carsons are easier to open than the Sebs. I think most people will find this to be the case; there is even a note in the Seb FAQ's about people who find Sebs hard to open and how they should modify their thumb motion to make the knife easier opening. I should state that both Kit's knives and the Sebs I have owned have all been very easy to open and close; Kit's are just a little bit slicker.

CR stands behind his knives, but does charge for refurbishment and repair (as do most manufacturers). Kit will repair and refurbish for free. I have occasion to send knives back to Kit, once because I loaned my Carson folder to my hostess while at her house for dinner. She wanted to practice her 'flipping' technique, after I had pointed out that she was doing it incorrectly. I should have looked at her BM 612 and 625 (Leopard Cub and Leopard) before loaning her the knife. The BM's were both destroyed; she had to send them back to BM for rebuild; the stop pins were even loose, and could not be tightened! Well, after 30 min. of flipping, she had actually put a flat on the stop pin of the Carson! I sheepishly called Kit up, and, with his blessing, returned the knife. He fixed and refurbished it for free, and it is now a year and a half after I got it back; it is my every day carry, and the action is still tight as when I first got it.

I rather like the stone washed finish of the Sebs' blades better than Kit's usual bead blasting; both Kit and CR will polish the blade for a small additional charge, but Kit sometimes complains about his aching shoulder and elbow for months after sending me a polished blade knife.

Bottom line: Sebs are wonderful, but the knives I carry are Carsons. In other words, if you like Sebs, you will LOVE Kit Carson folders.

Hope this helps, Walt