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Which folder is the strongest, period?

Apr 3, 1999
I am wondering what folder, under 4", is the strongest. Maybe Sebenza is in the top 5?

I would rather die on my feet then live on my knees.
Sebenza vs REKAT rolling lock.

Since I have the one of the older REKAT Pioneers, I'm leaning towards the Sebenza.


I don't have any empirical data to back this up, but just looking at, and measuring the Katz Cheetah, I'd have to nominate it to be tested against whatever anybody else comes up with. I haven't bought a knife mag since the original dozen "Tactical Knives" since by and large I think the knife rags are totally superfluous and undetailed enough to be useful, but I'd definitely buy a mag that did a test to destruction comparing the Sebenza, the Katz Cheetah, the BM Axis lock and the REKAT rolling lock. What makes the Katz Cheetah even worthy of mention in this thread is that it's a lockback with a 3/16" thick blade and rocker bar that features a much longer than normal lock notch. Look for a preliminary review of it in the knife review forum.

I'd take the simple and durable lock of a Sebenza over anything else out there, including REKAT's Rolling Lock and others like it (Benchmade Axis, etc.).


Knife lover, Philosopher, Humanitarian, and All-around nice guy
(all right, so I'm just a knife lover)
1. benchmade axis lock
2. rekat rolling lock
3. sebenza
4. benchmade pinnacle

i read a thread once at the benchmade forum, that said that the axis lock tested stronger that the pinnacle. i'm not sure how, since one holds the lock closed on an integral lock, but that's what they said! i honestly don't think that it matters, since they are all so damn strong! i definitely would be willing to bet that NO liner lock is as reliable as any of the 4 knives mentioned above. no matter who made it.

Sebenzas are nice, but once you've seen and handled a Mission MPF with A2 tool steel blade you know when it comes to strenght, they are 'just' second.
At the moment I am carrying a Sebenza and feel comfortable with the integral lock, but I would be curious as to how strong it is.

I would also like to know how strong the axial lock is in the Gerber Paul knife, in addition to those mentioned above in this thread.

I doubt we will see any Knife magazine do such a comparison test as I do not get much hint of Consumer Reports from any of these magazines. I would love to be proven wrong.

I agree with MPS that the knife magazines are generally not as detailed as they should be. They provide some information, but often it is no more than you would get from a good advertisement. For example I saw a review of a DMT sharpener. To be really useful, it should have compared it the Eze Lap. I am sure that even if one rated higher than the other there would be trade-offs that would prevent it from having a serious negative effect on either brand. In other words, a balanced review would benefit the readers, and probably have little impact on the manufacturer. If one's design and workmanship was so inferior, the improvements should be made anyway.

I may let my subscriptions lapse unless I begin to see articles which do a better job of comparison and take less of an infomercial approach. Now to provide that balance approach that I am advocating, not a "hatchet job,"
I would note I do see some good articles on steels, edge geometry, sharpening, camp knives, etc., which are useful, but could still probably provide more detail.

For instance, I feel the camp knife article showed a lot of promise. The writer gave his opinion on what was actually the most useful knife (or knives) when camping. Next month's issue should have had someone else's opinion. It could have ranged from agreeing and listing some other useful knives and their characteristics, or disagreeing--finding shorter/longer or thinner/thicker knives more useful. The reader would then have a better basis on which to form his or her opinion....and from what I have seen on these forums....a longer shopping list!!!
Native - What do you mean by strongest? Lock strength? Blade strength? Handle strength? sales? Tip strength? Long term strength?

Perhaps whether or not a folder will easily defeat is more important than ultimate lock strength?

Perhaps some lock types might be more resistant in certain situations?

Perhaps something providing great strength has major drawbacks in other areas? (fixed blade is certainly stronger but very difficult to fold up and put into your pocket).

Perhaps the "strongest" knife is a sharp as a bowling ball? what good is that?

I believe that in knife design and construction, as in most "designed entities" (cars, boats, etc) the combination of features that offer what you need and want will ultimately be what determines your choices. Some thoughts to share.
As far as blade lock up (and overall too) I would have to go with the Sebenza. The Mission Knife may be strong but it is basically a Sebenza lock, no? I bought my Large Sebenza with the ATS-34 and old style handle after seeing a review in Blade where Kim Breed hammered one into the end of a log until about 1/3 of the blade was in the wood. He then pulled it out and there was now play in the blade, damage to the blade, and the lock still worked. It impressed me. I attribute this not only to the design but to the close tolerances they use at CRK (better than any firearm I've ever owned or handled). It also seems that they know how to heat treat whatever steel they use. ATS-34 gets a bad rap (and it's not perfect) but my Sebenza has seen all kinds of use (until I got my small one) and has had no problem.
The other nice thing about the Sebenza is that the harder you squeeze on the handle the less chance of it coming unlocked. You can't say that about most regular liner locks.
Does anyone have any real numbers on Sebenzas? I'd like to know where lock failure can be expected. REKAT Pioneers are rated at 500lbs while the REKAT Pocket Hobbit is at 1000lbs. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong.)
Has got to be the Mission MPF1-Ti.

It has been tested by Kim Breed of Blade magazine by first ramming it into a tree, then Kim did 12 pull-ups with it - tested the blade and lock strength. Kim is 195 pounds! I have even heard that the US Army ran it over with a tank. They said there were a few scratches in it, but it still worked just fine.

Now that's tough!
I do agree with Mission Knives 100%.

The MPF1-Ti is the strongest folder out there. The blade is no more than 4" long!


P.S. Hmmm, I thought there was another thread yesterday just like this one that Mission Knives replied to. Come to think of it, so did I! Seems to have vanished, though.

" Knife Collectors Are Sharp People -- Most of the time, that is! "


Un scientific testing is not impressive. Send one of your knives to Spyderco and let Pat (the knife killer) Kelly test it. It's said Pat can break a cannonball with a Q-tip. Then you will have a true test of your strength using a scientific method. Doing pullups off the blade is not scientific if his hand was fully covering the handel then a "Cold Steel Gunsite" and a few of Spyderco's Knives would do the same feat,195 pounds at that point is great but not all that impressive. Thats placing the majority of the weight right behind the pivot pin. A Pioneer will take about 1200 pounds at that point. This is mathamatical seeing it will take 580 pounds concentrated and calbrated tourqe 2.4 inches from the pivot (Spyderco's testing not ours). You guys do make a great product and the Chris Reeve liner lock design you use is OUTSTANDING and should smoke the average liner lock.

Bob Taylor
I don't know about these tests mentioned above, but from my experience the MPF has to be the strongest folder out there. I do have many other knives I would consider very strong but not like this one. Just by using it, the feel of it, and by sight, you can see that the MPF is one heck of a strong built knife. The titanium integral locks thickness should tell it all!

The Sebenza would be the second strongest folder followed by Benchmades Pinnacle and the CRKT integral locking knife. The Sebenza's titanium handle and integral lock isn't near as thick as the MPF's which gives it a little less strength. Same goes for the Pinnacle and the CRKT's.

The Axis by Benchmade I feel would follow right behind these others. Axis and Rolling locks surely have it over liner locks and lockbacks, just not integral locks.

As far as comparing the MPF to liner locking knives, there is no comparison! Look at the thickness of liner locks compared to integral locks. BIG difference there. A lot more lock holding that blade open because there is a lot more thickness involved. Titanium is the best choice, too, because of it's properties and strength.

Because of the MPF's titanium integral lock and handle, that is what makes this knife the strongest out there to date!


Mark W Douglas

The integral lock? To call it anything but a Chris Reeves design is wrong. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then, its a duck. Unfortunatly Chris didn't patent his lock and everyone and their brother is using it, custom makers and manfactures. Without any remunuation or even credit to the inventor. Shame on all of you. Your leaving one factor out of the equasion both the Chris Reeve Design and Liner Lock require friction to lock up and in time as the bearing surfaces wear well so does the reliabilty. Also Scott Sawby's lock or should I say locks are also very strong and Steve you right the Wood/Irie is very unique and very strong. Now that the patent has run out or about to run out it might be revamped (hate those roylaties don't you guys). The Paul knife beats most Lock Backs and Liner Locks but is a nightmare to build. It seems that honor in the knife industry isn't what it should be when it comes to credit and the almighty buck.

Bob Taylor