Review Mnandi Comparison - 2nd & 3rd Generations


Gold Member
Jul 5, 2016
I recently received a 3rd generation Mnandi with Bog Oak inlays and S45VN blade steel. Here's some quick comparison shots with it and an older generation Mnandi.

The main question I had with the newer Mnandi was if the nailnick hole would be easier to open with just my thumb. Answer for me is, not really. I can still just barely get the blade open passed the closed detent unless my thumb is just dry enough and I get just the right angle. The pinch open technique (using my thumb and middle finger) works maybe slightly better. Feels and looks mostly the same otherwise except for a gripe I have with the clip.

Some things I noticed that should be visible in the images above are the chamfering on the lockbar, finer gimping on the back of the blade, plunge of blade grind pulled back towards scale, a slightly thicker blade tip, and various places where the finish is left rough. Opening and closing action, other than the difference of the nailnick and obvious breaking in needed, are very similar. Same sturdy feeling as the blade moves, same positioning of the detent and lockbar, even almost identical "click" sounds as the lock and detent engage. Comfort in the hand feels a bit different. The bit of chamfer on the end of the lockbar actually feels more noticeable in the hand. Not necessarily uncomfortable, but certainly the most apparent feeling when holding the knife tighter. The clip, I have to say, I'm actually not very impressed. Fine, the rough texture in the milled portion on the outside of the clip (logo and groove lines) actually looks kind of cool. Nice contrast look. But the underside being rough, coupled with the less rounded edges on the scalloping, make for a rougher pocket clip experience compared to the previous generation Mnandi. To me, the tension is actually not quite as strong on the newer Mnandi clip (tad bit thinner maybe?), so if they had just done the same finishing on the underside of the clip I'd find it was a slight improvement. As is though, my pants pockets would not agree. Finally, I don't want to nitpick too much, but there's a spot where they didn't quite finish the chamfer along the edge of the clip that I can't unsee now that I know it's there. :p

Overall I'm very happy with the updated Mnandi. It's nice to see it getting some attention with design changes and a steel update. Will the S45VN steel hold up better than the S35VN steel of my older Mnandi. Sadly, I'll probably never know unless (who am I kidding, I mean until) I get another 3rd generation Mnandi, as I won't be carrying and using this one. It has a meaningful date for me and I won't take any chance I could damage or lose it.

Hope you enjoy your Mnandis! :)
Jul 31, 2017
Thank you for the comparison between the 2nd and 3rd generation Mnandis. I use the two-handed opening method because I can’t do it with a single hand. For me the 3rd. generation doesn’t really offer anything for me that I don’t already have with my 2nd generation.

It was helpful to read your comparison because I was really interested in knowing if the 3rd generation was easier to open one-handed or not.

Thank you.
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Agent Orange Peel

Basic Member
Oct 27, 2018
Great comparison. Bummer about the hole not no helping the one-hand opening. But it sounds like you can't go wrong with either.


Can’t Remember
Platinum Member
Dec 13, 2005
Nice write up. I could never open my 1st or 2nd gen ones with my thumb so that aspect definitely wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me. I’m kind of ambivalent about the aesthetics of the hole (to be completely honest I haven’t really even looked at the 3rd gen ones but if the right one comes along and peaks my interest...)
Jun 26, 2005
Awesome comparison and beautiful pictures. I did not realize the jimping was different.

When the 3s came out I finally pulled the trigger on a 2 generation in Damascus. My edc was a 1st generation I bought years ago here, I guess in s35vn? After getting one I ordered 2 more. One dealer sent me a a 3rd generation Damascus (based on the picture I assumed I would be getting a 2nd generation). I fondled it for a bit but ended up sending it back. I do not like the look of the hole. While not as easy as the 1s gen I am able to open each of the 3 2 gen Damascus mnandis one handed.