How long for stiff Sebenza/Inkosi to break in?

Craig Martell

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I just bought three new left-handed CRKs:

1. Small Sebenza 31 Box Elder/Satin Steel
2. Small Sebenza 31 Macassar/Boomerang Damascus Steel
3. Small Inkosi

1.) is the easiest to open; 2.) is doable but takes much more force; and 3.) won’t move at all with my thumb - I have to use my other hand.

Question is how long it takes for these knives to become easier to open. My thumb is killing me. Those thumb studs are too small and pointy and HURT.

Any advice welcomed. I already took 2.) apart, cleaned, greased and put it back together (my first time with a CRK). It is better, but still a bit hard to get started. Again 3.) is next to impossible - in part because of the smaller scallop.

Thanks for any help.

Craig
 
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Usually ~1 week for me

however for your small inkosi, maybe check you don’t put pressure on the lock bar or loose the pivot a little bit
 
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No experience with a small Inkosi, but I do have a single example of a small Sebenza. The large Inkosi’s I have are actually much easier to open then my 21’s (large or small); perhaps the pivot is too tight?
 

Craig Martell

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So, I have been playing with the Inkosi all morning - and I loosened the pivot a bit. That helped a lot after the blade is "launched", but I still need to use two hands to get past the ceramic ball on the lock bar.

Any advice on how to loosen that up?
 
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Loosen the adjustable pivots and find the sweet spot. I have zero blade play in my large inkosi and can thumb flick it open. I missed the simplicity of my 21 so I recently ordered another to replace the one I sold years ago
 
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My PJ Insigno took about two weeks to get right. and then my inlayed drop point came perfect right from the factory.

So id say its knife to knife and how snug that pivot is.
 

Jsega51

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So, I have been playing with the Inkosi all morning - and I loosened the pivot a bit. That helped a lot after the blade is "launched", but I still need to use two hands to get past the ceramic ball on the lock bar.

Any advice on how to loosen that up?

I use my fingers to apply slight pressure to the lockbar and repeatedly work it in and out of the detent hole. It seems to smooth over the edge and take away the “sharpness” of the detent action.

Don’t push down on top of the thumb stud, push it from the side and run your thumb forward along the scale of the knife rather than pushing out. It’ll make it easier. Once you’ve worked the hell out of the knives for a few days, give them a cleaning again and you’ll see a marked improvement.
 
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Dcdavis

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I’m kinda in the same boat as B badmatt The smoothest Inkosi I have is my black large tanto. It came from the factory that way and has just gotten smoother over time. Now my 21 tanto (razel now :eek:) never was very smooth. Had it for years and it’s still not as smooth as some of my newer 21s. For me it varies from knife to knife. My plain 21 insingo is hands down my smoothest sebenza. Out of the majority my inkosi’s are smoother
 

Ajack60

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That’s one of the reasons I prefer the large. Put a drop of oil/grease on the detent track. Some of it will lube the detent hole hopefully making it easier.
To me, the smalls take longer to break in. Try getting you thumbnail on the lug and the skin resting on the blade. Give your thumb a rest. Use your index finger on your off hand and make it two handed opening.
 

Craig Martell

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They are getting better, but still really hard. I have to say I am not sure knives this quality should be so painful to use. It doesn't make sense for me to have to get calluses to use them. I am hopeful this turns around, but at this point I am disappointed. My first Chris Reeve knives were the Mnandi - which I love. But at this point I find Benchmade much easier to open - although not the same quality of course.
 

Jsega51

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Don’t take this the wrong way but stop being so dramatic and let them break in. Some really do take a lot of cycles and it’s worth it. You’ve been at it with 3 different knives over the course of a couple days. That’s like trying to break in 3 new pairs of work boots your first time on a job.
 
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Lay

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Every Benchmade that I own needed some break in from couple of days to couple of weeks. Call me weird but I love both Bugout (3 of them) and Sebenza. My Sebenza 21 did not need any break in other than fresh grease.
 
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I’m kinda in the same boat as B badmatt The smoothest Inkosi I have is my black large tanto. It came from the factory that way and has just gotten smoother over time. Now my 21 tanto (razel now :eek:) never was very smooth. Had it for years and it’s still not as smooth as some of my newer 21s. For me it varies from knife to knife. My plain 21 insingo is hands down my smoothest sebenza. Out of the majority my inkosi’s are smoother

So, I’m curious — did you ever disassemble and grease the 21 tanto to try to smooth things out? If so, did it help at all?
 

Craig Martell

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Don’t take this the wrong way but stop being so dramatic and let them break in. Some really do take a lot of cycles and it’s worth it. You’ve been at it with 3 different knives over the course of a couple days. That’s like trying to break in 3 new pairs of work boots your first time on a job.
I’m not being dramatic, at all actually. I just wonder why the stud has to be so painful.
 

Jsega51

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I’m not being dramatic, at all actually. I just wonder why the stud has to be so painful.

It’s because your technique is wrong. If you’re gonna drop enough money to buy 3 CRK’s at the same time I figured you’d had to have read up on them. Maybe just I research everything to death lol. This is a pretty common discussion and honestly every thread has the same advice about break in.

Manipulating the larges is easier since your thumb has more room to work but the following will hold true for the smalls also. I hate the sound of my own voice, but watch this video lol. Try it this way so you’re using the side slope of the stud, and trust me, keep working the action and clean it again after a week or so, it will be dramatically better. Do one at a time and carry it for a few weeks.

https://imgur.com/a/wgWefqe
 
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All my crk knives need some break in, including some I bought as second handed. They are either not been used much or need clean and add new grease.
 

Craig Martell

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It’s because your technique is wrong. If you’re gonna drop enough money to buy 3 CRK’s at the same time I figured you’d had to have read up on them. This is a pretty common discussion and honestly every thread has the same advice.

Manipulating the larges is easier since your thumb has more room to work but the following will hold true for the smalls also. I hate the sound of my own voice, but watch this video lol. Try it this way, and trust me, keep working the action and clean it again after a week or so, it will be dramatically better. Do one at a time and carry it for a few weeks.

https://imgur.com/a/wgWefqe

Jsega51, that was a really helpful video. I totally got the advice of pushing up - it's on the CRK website. But the point about using your thumb meat on the blade itself was really helpful. Thanks.
 
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