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Small Inkosi Insingo Micarta thoughts?

Discussion in 'Chris Reeve Knives' started by JBoone, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. JBoone

    JBoone Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 30, 2012
    I lost my small 21 Insingo and am thinking about saving my money for one of these.

    Has anybody had both? All I know is the Inkosi is a hair smaller.

  2. squareFaced

    squareFaced Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 2, 2014
    I have both. The small Inkosi is noticably smaller than the small 21. It shares the same pivot as the large which makes it a bit awkward on the small body.
    JBoone likes this.
  3. Wavicle

    Wavicle Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 22, 2014
    I have both and have medium-size hands. Given a choice it would be the 21 Insingo. The little bit shorter Inkosi and especially where the lanyard is mounted makes it awkward to hold. And I keep my lanyards on, the way Mr. Reeve designed them, for those who would suggest removing them because they are very useful when handling the knife along with other items. Inkosi finger choils may not fit your hand and you may want to try before you buy. But the thumb ramp on the Inkosi is killer.

    Note where the lanyard hits my palm:


    CPP, JohnM, Glock Guy and 1 other person like this.
  4. rexromic

    rexromic Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2011
    Both great knives but I do carry small inkosingo more.
    JohnM and JBoone like this.
  5. Josh K

    Josh K Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Small Inkosi with micarta and the insingo blade is, in my very humble opinion, the perfect EDC knife.
  6. Kalsu

    Kalsu Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    I just received my small insingo Inkosi with natural micarta inlays two days ago. Out of the box it has been the smoothest and sharpest CRK I have got new. It is definitely smaller than the small Sebenza 21 but he Inkosit fits my hand (medium size) great. The finger choils hit in all the right places for me. I really debated between the small 21 and Inkosi for a while, but I decided I liked the blade profile of the Inkosi better. I have had a small 21 and a small Inkosi with the drop point blade, but I sold them both since I really prefer the large patterns over the small. With that said the small Inkosi with insingo blade is a great small knife carry option. I don't see myself getting rid of this one.
    JohnM and JBoone like this.
  7. Curl of the Burl

    Curl of the Burl Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 27, 2013
    I think it’s got a great blade length for its size, it’s small and robust making it a perfect EDC. Especially in urban or suburban environments.
    JohnM and JBoone like this.
  8. JBoone

    JBoone Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 30, 2012
    Thanks for the feedback guys. I think I will try one.
    Should make an awesome office edc as well as all around. I tend to like smallish knives.
  9. JBoone

    JBoone Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 30, 2012
    I just ordered one with black micarta. Do they make filer inserts for pocket clip hole for these like the 21 if I want to pull clip and drop in pocket? Still hope my small 21 shows up at some point but the void it left has been eating at me.

    21 has been “missing” for 6+ months. God knows where it is.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
    Kalsu likes this.
  10. Kalsu

    Kalsu Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
    JBoone likes this.
  11. JBoone

    JBoone Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 30, 2012
    I am still digging through my house. It drives me nuts. I think it is in there somewhere but can’t be sure. My first knife that I have lost. I picked an expensive one to lose!
  12. MIKE969


    Feb 2, 2014
    I've owned both the small 21 (plain and Micarta) and small Inkosi (plain, very briefly!). The small 21 is just large enough for me to get a solid, comfortable grip. The blade is just long enough to fulfill all of my edc tasks and some food prep, especially in insingo variant. By contrast, and much to my surprise given the similarity, I kept the small inkosi for a day before deciding to return it. To me, despite being only marginally smaller, the small inkosi fell short in terms of grip and capability.

    I have medium to large sized hands, and could not get a solid four finger grip on the handle, and the finger grooves caused hot spots. The blade, despite being only marginally shorter, felt noticeably less functional. Granted I only tried the clip point, perhaps the insingo version is more capable. Either way, the handle just didn't do it for me. The small 21 insingo really just is perfection to me, and the Inkosi, as close as it is, isn't.
    Wavicle likes this.
  13. JBoone

    JBoone Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 30, 2012
    I have large hands but don’t mind smaller knives where my pinky does not quite fit. I will send her back for a 21 if I don’t like it having said that. We shall see.
  14. JBoone

    JBoone Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 30, 2012
    Got it today and it’s a keeper. I can get 4 fingers on it with my large hands (with no room to spare). I don’t see handle shape being an issue for me. I think the clip would be as much of a hot spot for prolonged use but I am doubting I will be carving spoons with this one anyway.

    Very smooth out of the box and very sharp.
  15. Blue Puma

    Blue Puma Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 17, 2003
    The micarta models can be refinished, if that matters.
    JBoone likes this.
  16. Nikkogi

    Nikkogi Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 19, 2009
    I got one in the mail last week. It’s one of my favorite EDC’s so far. Really like the small size and the minimal real estate it takes up in the pocket.
    JBoone likes this.
  17. Tseg


    Aug 25, 2018
    I stepped up to the Umnumzaan Tanto a few weeks back and love it... but it is a large, aggressive knife. I right away knew I needed a smaller CRK to compliment so began the small 21 and Inkosi research. Today I placed my order for an Inkosi Insingo with natural micarta inlays. I had also been considering the CF version, but not sure I find extra value in an ultra-light knife and had concerns about the long term durability of the CF relative to keeping the blade centered. Obviously I would want a flawless CRK for life.

    It has been days and days and countless reviews on balancing the slightly larger small 21, that may fit the hand better, against the newer technology, beefier Inkosi. Ultimately after viewing many dozens of written and video reviews the conclusions I came to:
    • The Inkosi size is perfect for EDC - many more reviews identify the Inkosi ends up with The Most pocket time than reviews that identify the small 21 to end up with The Most pocket time
    • The Inkosi action is more dreamy than the 21 long term (I love, love the Umnumzaan blade deployment feel)
    • The Inkosi is more beefy than the 21
    • The Inkosi micarta has a bit more style than the 21 as it wraps around the finger choils
    • No unexplained hole in the show scale
    • My biggest potential negative with the Inkosi is the choil ergonomics... but many reviews suggest to just power through any potential negative thoughts of the feel in hand (if any exist) and soon this small knife feels natural.
    • Time will tell about my ultimate reaction to the lanyard and its seemingly awkward placement and whether I keep it on (likely not) - but I do enjoy my lanyard on my Umnumzaan
    In summary, I decided I wanted a little (more pocketable) indestructible knife to compliment my big indestructible knife... else I would have ended up with the Mnundi. I'm less caught up in the history of the 21 and more attracted to those phat washers and related creamy deployment on the Inkosi... I also like the ability to make micro-adjustments on the pivot to minimize the thwack of deployment based on my deployment style... has worked wonders with the Umnumzaan.

    In a week I'll find out whether my academic study matches up with reality.

    … and now I'm done buying knives. :D
    dropback likes this.

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