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Thoughts on the Sifu, Starmate, and Sebenza


Gold Member
Oct 14, 1998
All excellent knives but I liked the Starmate the most in terms of size and steel. I'd like a recessed liner on it and the Military. I could go either way with clip color, it really is a hard choice between it and the Military. I would use the Military for utility first and the Starmate either way.

The CF Sifu is a great size knife, I like the finger grooves and relative smoothness. The Rolling Lock is nice, however the button seems a bit small for someone wearing gloves.
I am not liking carbon fiber though, I think it wouldn't be good handle material if your hands were wet.

The Sebenza, smaller than I thought, the liner lock is a trip and I would need to get used to it. Lots of belly, doesn't feel like it would be rough stabbing. The pointy thumbstud is a slight pain unless you use thick gloves. IMO
Starmate - damn, it looks good! As for quality, what else can you say? It's a Spyderco. However, I wish they would have stainless liners on both sides rather than relying on the G-10 handles. For the price, I expect SS liners; perhaps even titanium. I was close to buying one of these.

Sebenza - Out of my price range. Butt ugly though; just my personal opinion.

REKAT Sifu - I have the D-2, grooveless Blade Forums version on order. Why did I choose this one? I'll give you 5.5 inches of D-2 steel reason for "why".

Out of the three, the Starmate is probably the best middle ground between a refined folder like a Sebenza, and the ultimate tactical folder in the REKAT Sifu.

Starmates are awesome. I wouldn't worry too much about the lack of dual steel liners. Just makes the knife thin and light, and you're not prying with your folder, right?

Lockup on my Starmate is better than most folders that I own (now that Spyderco has fixed it at great out-of-pocket expense to me (shipping, customs, argh...). The blade shape is better than the Military for most utility tasks. It has a little more belly, and probably a stronger tip since it is less pointy. I also prefer the Starmate blade shape with the hump as opposed to the classic Spyderco triangular blade shape of the Military.

As for the Sebenza, I have handled one and deemed it nice. Just nice. A very plain looking folder. I wouldn't turn one down, but my list of knives to get has at least 20 on it, and the Sebenza is not one of them. It seemed pretty strong, but no more so than the Sifu and BM Pinnacle that I handled during the same shop visit. (Bought a CQC-7B that day though!) The Sebenza has more belly in the blade than I prefer, since I neither hunt nor skin... Also, the Sebenza should not be priced as high as it is. I don't care what anyone says it is NOT worth that price. Fro what they charge for the non-boring decorated ones, you can get an incredible true custom from Steve Ryan, for example.

Sifu. Nice knife, but I hate finger grooves. The D2 BF ones are nice without, but I hope that this version will be sold elsewhere since 1SKS's shipping policy is unacceptable to a Canadian like me. UPS SUCKS guys! Come on. As for it being the "ultimate tactical folder," I beg to differ. It is the ultimate folding fighter, but a tactical folder is 99% utility and 1% fighter, if that. A tactical folder is the knife that you will actually have with you 24/7, for those time when you need it. Sifus are huge, and if I get one it will never leave the apartment! From what I hear, the new LCC is actually the ultimate tactical folder, and I can't wait to get one or two. Nice design, rugged, not too huge, etc.

I concur on the Starmate. I almost did a stupid thing and sold mine because I had a bad case of "custom lust". The G10 is PLENTY strong enough for everything I'll possibly ever do to it. If I need a crowbar, I'll get one. If I need to cut something, I'll grab my Starmate. Marvellous knife. I've also owned the Military, and I feel the Starmate is even better. The Sebenza is great, but entirely too bland and expensive. I'm saving for a Kit Carson folder.

Chris Turner

"We Don't Rent Pigs" --Augustus McCrae

"I won't abide rude behavior in a man." -- Woodrow Call
I have three, errr, uh, had three.
I traded one off for a 10" blade Marble's Trailmaker. Wouldn't have done it if I only had two Starmates.

The Starmate is one of the greatest tactical folders ever made IMHO.
Great feel, great steel, great lock, great price and a great handle thinness to not bulk up your pocket. If you can't afford a custom Terzuola but want one of Bob's outstanding folder designs, this is the folder for you.

As for the Sifu, is there really a better fighting folder out there? I seriously doubt it.
Let me just say that when I am tooling around in my little town, I pretty much daily trade off the folder that rides in my right front pocket, but when it comes time to venture out of my little town, for vacations or day trips or whatever, the Sifu will nearly always be there in the RF pocket. It is the one folder I truly trust to help extract my bacon from the fire.

Can't say anything about the Sebenza that has not already been said ad nauseum.

The individualist without strategy who takes opponents lightly will inevitably become the captive of others.
Sun Tzu