Opinions on Chris Reeve Knives

Mar 25, 2001
I have been hearing alot about the Chris Reeve Sebenza model knife. I seen pictures of it on the web site, but it seems to look rather plain for the cost of the knife. What is your honest opinion/experiences with this model.
I love those sebenzas.
Actually my only is decorated small that my wife gave me - so its not so plain looking. I have used it quite gently as I don't want to scratch the handles. I'll get a large plain later this or next year. I also think that Titanium handles are prettier than G-10.

The loyal users are the best evidence of sebenzas functionality.

"Good tools to sustain life, or at least make life more convenient"
-James Mattis
I have a small Sebenza, that sees alot of use.
I think it is the best production knife I have ever seen or owned. The handles are showing a few scratches, and so is the blade, in spite of the stonewash finish. Doesn't bother me a bit.
The knife is rock solid, takes and holds an edge great, and on and on.
Like many of us, I suppose, I had a "wish list" of knives that interested me (about 9-10 folders), and that I intended to buy. All the production knives are now gone from that list, and have been replaced by a large Sebenza. That says it all, I think.
The sebenzas are real precision cutting tools made to exacting tolerances. No whizzbang gizmos just the simplicity of functional elegance. They just work so well that I can't imagine not having them with me.

I own two - a large and a small, both are constant "users" and will probably keep them for a long time. They are expensive, sure, and probably not the best buying decision in a purely economic sense. One could probably buy 7 or 8 CRKTs for the price of one Sebenza.

But check out the for sale forum for Sebenzas - you might be able to get a good deal and see what all this fuss is about

Andrew L

"Praise not the day until evening has come;a sword until it is tried; ice until it has been crossed; beer until it has been drunk" - Viking proverb

[This message has been edited by redvenom (edited 03-30-2001).]
When I opened the box that the nice man in the big brown truck had left me I remember thinking, "I paid $275 for this?" Well, after owning my small for a day or two I began to appreciate the incredible attention to detail and quality of workmanship. In fact, every time I pick up this knife it seems like I see something new that I hadn't noticed before. For such a simple design there is an immense amount of thought that has gone into it.

The small doesn't see much use with me, but I carry the Umfaan everyday as my fingernail picker and backup blade. I picked up a spear and tall grass decorated piece on the used forum a while back. What a great little knife and it is built identically to the larger version!

Peter Atwood

email: fountainman@hotmail.com
"The Grey Turd"


have a"knife"day
Cast my vote for the large Sebenza. IMHO the strongest, best-made folder on the market, custom or production, regardless of price.

It may not win the beauty contest, but for pure function, it's tops.

It's the only knife I've ever seen called something as disparaging as "Gray Turd" repeatedly in public forums, yet demand and interest in the knife only grows.

Instead of just dropping a load like that nifrand give some reasons why you think that?

Probably one of the most consistant "best" knives made. You'll find that most loyal Sebenza owners are real knife users!!
Fit and finish on these knives are second to none.

That being said, I'm one of the few that think they are a little over-priced for what are essentially production folders. I think they should drop their prices about 15%..

And "that" being said, they are easy to sell at the current prices, and are good investments!!
With all the talk about Sebenzas, you'd think that's the only model CRK makes. Personally speaking, I've got my eye on his Kathathu, the all-steel dagger with 6 hollow grinds. That is, if I can find one.

"I can't believe you stabbed me with this cheap piece of mail-order sh*t"
James Caan in 'Eraser'
If you like his designs (I appreciate them for what they are, and like them too, others may not), Chris Reeve makes the most precision-fit, consistent, hard-use high-end-production stuff on the market.

An all-metal-handled knife feels "cold", and can look a bit cold and clinical also. The Reeve computer graphics, and especially the (pricey!) wood inlays, alloy these issues to a good degree.

You must pay a premium over the ordinary good quality stuff (Benchmade, Spyderco, Microtech) to obtain Chris' product. Only you can decide if the premium is worth it to you (it is to me). One very good solution is to patiently wait (won't take long) to grab a big sebenza used off these forums for $275-$315 rather than the new $345 price.

There are few folding knives that can be said to have a lock as strong or reliable (won't unlock under heavy use) as the Sebenza's. The value proposition goes something like this, by way of comparison:

Benchmade Pinnacle:
"Mono Lock" (integral lock)
ATS-34 steel @ Rc = 59-61
3.6" blade
6AL-4V titanium handle
About $110 - $115 new, on-line.

Reeve Sebenza:
integral lock (the originator)
3.5" blade
BG-42 steel @ Rc=60
6AL-4V titanium handle
New price: $345

CRK: Reeve uses somewhat better steel and a great heat treat.

Reeve's hollow ground blade, and yet convex edge are super-precision, convexivity rare in production, super sharp, super consistent.

BM: ATS-34 is fine, most of my Benchmades have a good heat treat, but grind and final edges are inconsistent and many are not-sharp when new (frustrating QC thing, but gonna have to sharpen it someday anyway).

CRK: Reeve's action is very smooth and precise. Lock release is smooth and firm.

Thumb stud is nifty on the Reeve...machined in a sort of circular pyramid shape, with subtly micro sharp machined edges that grab your thumb, without feeling harsh, and reliably open the blade. I dig the thumb bob.

BM: Lock is sturdy. My Pinnacle lock was sort of grabby...felt like the titanium galled into back of tang somewhat, not a smooth release. Thumbstud was a thermoplastic I believe, very cost effective and functional, no pizzaz and flash. Bead blast on handles scuffed easily. Blade wobbled when I loosened the pivot pin enough to make the action smooth... tightened to minimize wobble, the action had more friction than I like.

You get probably a subjective 70% of the performance out of the Pinnacle for only $115/$345 = 33% of the price. A very good value.

You decide.
If you want a hollow handled, tough carbon steel (A2) survival knife, there is only one choice that is durable enough for me... the Reeve line of fixed blades. There may be other good Bowie/Rambo styled knives out there (Lile), but many hollow handled designs are very weak and therefore worthless to me.

[This message has been edited by rdangerer (edited 03-30-2001).]
You'll get responses from `OVERPRICED' to Love it!, I'm in the I love it group so as to warn you, bias still exists in this world!

Strong, edge geometry is great, cutting ability is exceptional due to the edge geometry. Lock up solid, simple to look at but to create one like it you would be hard pressed to make it within the cost that Reeve's sells them for....I have a small family right now, just missing the large wood inlay...

"The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions!"
Take the time to read your Bible Now, don't be left behind...
Alex - welcome to the forums.

If you haven't done so already, it may behoove you to visit the Chris Reeve Knives forum under the "Makers/Mfgrs." section, as there is a wealth of information about the design, performance, and history of the Sebenza and other CRK models. Further, if you have more specific inquiries, using the search function both here and in the CRK forum will likely yield great results.

I may be wrong, but I think I saw a discussion where the Sebenza was mentioned once or twice in this and/or another forum on BFC.

They are VERY expensive, but very good quality. Are they worth it? Well thats down to the individual. I have one and will one day get a small for use, IMHO they are overpriced. But hey call me cheap.

"To strive to seek to find and not to yield"
Ranger motto

A few useful details on UK laws and some nice reviews!
Certified steel snob!
"Expensive" is a relative term. They are outstanding knives, and if you're looking for the very best production folder on the market you need look no further than the Sebenza. They are priced as such. In addition to the performance attributes already mentioned, it should be noted that they hold their value better than any other production knife. It is rare that a used Sebenza fairly priced lasts longer than one day in the "For Sale" forums. Very rare. That, in addition to the CRK warranty, should make the prospective buyer feel comfortable with the investment. Even if you were to pay full retail for the large Sebenza, it breaks down to less than a dollar a day for a year. This for a knife that will be a faithful companion for a lifetime. Does that sound expensive?
I shelled out $380 for my small decorated. That is how much I make in about 3 weeks. I am very happy with it. You can live without one, but you should not have too. I wonder if most of the "grey turd" group even own a sebenza...It is hard to explain. It just screams top quality. I just traded in my old CMG Infinity flashlight (about $15) and bought the new Surefire E1 (about $52) They both do the same thing, but you would have no problem picking the best of the two. Even my wife, who is farther away from liking knives than anyone I know, commented on my sebenza: "oh, this is different than those other ones. It is so smooth and comfortable to hold." What can I say. I never thought I would own one, but I am glad I do. They are as expensive as hell, but well worth it. If like most of us you have bought $300 worth of production knives alraedy anyway, you may as well buy the sebenza and make it your last purchase for a long time. Sorry this is so long. I am still excited about joining the sebenzanistas!

The first knife was probably used to cut stuff.
You have to decide how easy it is for you to lay out that big of a chunk of money for something thats slightly better than the competition. True, its a high quality knife with lots of attention to detail, but the benchmade pinnacle and spyderco military are two knives that are just as functional for about a third of the cost. They're not quite as good but more than good enough. I have a pinnacle that has seen hell and shows very little wear ( the thumb stud is stainless by the way
But the sebenza is a great knife. If $300+ isn't a problem for you then go for it.

I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer... but I've got the sharpest knife in the room.