Leather Sheath for Small Sebenza


Oct 26, 1998
I have recently had the pleasure of carrying my Small Sebenza at work in a leather sheath designed and built by Todd Brandel of Gfeller Casemakers http://home.rmci.net/gfeller/ . Gfeller makes the leather sheaths offered by CRK and most of their dealers for the Large Sebenza, but up until now they had not made one for the smaller version of the knife. I learned that Todd and Co. also did custom sheath work, and when I contacted him he informed me that he had been kicking the idea of a Small Sebenza sheath around for a while. I told him that I would love to road test a model for them, and Todd sent me the finished product a few weeks ago.

It is a traditional and totally functional design. The sheath is made of semi-gloss black leather and is for vertical carry using a simple belt loop, with a fold over flap to secure the knife in place. It is made of three pieces of leather; the back piece that folds over the top to form the flap, the front piece, and the loop. The knife is basically “sandwiched” between two pieces of leather, and is only 3/4” at its thickest, where the flap overlays the front and snaps down. The “footprint” is 4-1/2” high by just under 2-1/4” wide, and the belt loop is 1” wide and can accommodate a 2” belt or strap. The loop is set so that about an inch rides above the belt, and is a quite comfortable fit, not digging into my ample sides. All the stitching is thick and solid, and the edges are welded together and smooth. The leather used is a very tough thick hide, stained a black that is perfect for my backstage wardrobe, smooth and slightly glossy. The fit of the knife in the sheath was quite snug at first, but has eased up just enough so that the leather just hugs the knife loosely, giving a secure feel. The flap is an elongated spade shape with a slightly rounded end, and comes down to cover more than half of the length of the sheath, securing with a silver metal snap.

The sheath might seem wide for such a slim knife (the small Sebenza is just a hair over an inch at its widest), but the two pieces that make up the body of the sheath are stitched across the bottom and 3-3/8” up both sides, adding the extra width and length. But on comparison, the sheath is less than a 1/4” wider and just about the same length as the nylon sheath currently offered by CRK for the same knife.

The front piece covers all but an inch of the handle, so if you set the knife in pivot end up the thumb stud sits about 3/4’s exposed. I carry the knife pivot down and keep the lanyard attached, and the open sides of the flap covering allow it to hang out the side. Either way the sheath allows ready access to the knife with the flap open, and with it snapped shut the knife is safe as in it’s mother’s arms.

I have been carrying the sheath for about three weeks now, every day while working on stage, in the warehouses and workshops, as well as driving around doing errands, etc. Up and down ladders, focusing the lighting instruments, crawling under the deck, moving equipment around three different warehouses and eight different levels of the Opera House, in and out of the company truck and my own car, wandering through and waiting around at various merchant establishments, loading gear to the trucks for the Teamsters to handle. Not once have I reached down and not found the flap firmly in place, the hard leather wrapped around and protecting my knife from the bangs, smacks and scrapes that it receives daily. I like to carry my Small Sebenza every day while working, and this slim, attractive yet discreet sheath is the most secure way of doing so. I won’t start on about clips, but how do you like to carry your $300.00 tools? I like to carry mine very carefully.

The Sebenza was built to work hard, and its little brother was built just as tough. All the knives in the Chris Reeve line have tough, high quality leather sheathes (built by Gfeller), and I think that they are as necessary to a folder of this quality as they are to a fixed blade. This product would be a perfect addition to the CRK line, so if you have the consumer interest then show it. Another great, functional and high quality product could exist for your enjoyment and benefit, so please do express your interest both here as well as to the Reeves. CRK is a great company that makes great products, so if there is a general interest in the idea then it will not go unnoticed.

Thanks again to Todd Brandel for making such a great piece, he is a very courteous fellow and was a pleasure to do business with (he never once complained about my weekly email “reminders” about the project), and Gfeller Casemakers for the great products. I hope that you have the opportunity to add this one to the line.

Hi James!

How about a picture of the baby crib?
err.. I mean, the Small Sebenza Sheath?

Sounds great! I love to carry small folders outside in their own pocket. I like those Blackie Clooins designed nylon, black, sheaths. I would like a codura version that had no flap.