Chris Reeve Has a New Chief: The Large Inkosi — Blade Show 2016

The large inkosi. This one came with

The large Inkosi. This one came with aluminum bronze inlays.  One of only 10 available, all for the nominal price of $2,000 each!

The Chris Reeve Sebenza 21 is widely considered the perfect folding knife.  But it’s more than two-decade reign at the head of the folding-knife pack may be over.

That’s right.  Well, that’s right because Chris Reeve has launched the large and small Inkosi, which they’ve branded as a “new family of folding knives.” And these new knives may just knock their older brother out of the lead spot.

One can make an argument that the Inkosi (Zulu word for “chief”) is the Sebenza (Zulu word for “work”) version 3.0.  I say, “3.0” because the Sebenza 25 is technically the 2.0 version.  And it’s worth noting that in the wake of the launch of the Inkosi, the Sebenza 25 will be discontinued (better gobble up those S25s now, fanboys!).  Also, just to clarify, the Sebenza 21 will still be offered.  It’s a classic.  It’s not going anywhere.

Now, Chris Reeve has offered the small Inkosi for some time now, which compared to the small Sebenza has oversized phosphor bronze washers, an angled pocket clip for more accurate lock bar tension, a larger pivot, double thumb lugs, an 8 percent thicker blade, and a ceramic ball end lock heat treated to 97 RC!  Yup, this new system ceramic ball system will give the blade added strength and a lifetime of consistent lock up.

A comparison between the large and small Inkosi.

A comparison between the large and small Inkosi.

The retail price for the small Inkosi is $375.


  • Model: Small Inkosi
  • Blade Material: Crucible S35VN, 59-60 RC
  • Blade Length: 2.8″ (71 mm)
  • Blade Thickness: 0.128″ (3.25 mm)
  • Overall Length: 6.558″ (166.5 mm)
  • Handle Material: 6Al4V Titanium
  • Handle Thickness: 0.125″ (3.175 mm)
  • Weight: 3.0 oz. (85 g)
  • Pocket Clip: 6Al4V Titanium
  • Thumblug: 6Al4V Titanium

Compared to the large Sebenza 21, the large Inkosi has all the same upgrades.  The larger washers, the thicker blade, the standard double thumb lugs, the angled pocket clip, the ceramic ball end lock, etc..  I didn’t see the large Inkosi specs listed in their booklet.  But I did see a price tag for the large Inkosi: $445.  Not unreasonable.

For me, personally, I’m going to wait to grab my Inkosi (haven’t made the decision on large or small just yet) once they start taking orders for special graphics and/or handle material.  Right now, I think you can only get a plain jane, aka standard model, Inkosi.

For more information, check out the Chris Reeve website.

You can also purchase an Inkosi from

In addition to all the "improvements" over the Sebenza, the Inkosi actually has fewer parts as well.

In addition to all the “improvements” over the Sebenza, the Inkosi actually has fewer parts as well.

I carry a large Sebenza 21, and I will say that the large Inkosi felt a little too big in the hand. But that was just my quick reaction.

I carry a large Sebenza 21, and I will say that the large Inkosi felt a little too thick in the hand. But that was just my quick impression.

A lot of money to drop on one knife! But I have no doubt that they sold out.

A lot of money to drop on one knife! But I have no doubt that they sold out.

It's a sweet design. Can't argue with that.

It’s a sweet design. Can’t argue with that.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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  • Vinny April 23, 2017, 6:56 pm

    You people will really hate me, I drive a BMW, wear a Breitling watch and carry a Sebenza….not because I have a ton of money to throw away but because I like them! and anyways I can’t take it with me!!!!

  • fred June 16, 2016, 1:16 pm

    you think $445 is a reasonable price for a folding knife? You guys must get paid a crap-ton more than I thought you did. If I had an extra $445 laying around it would NOT go to a knife.

    • DHConner June 19, 2016, 11:25 am

      You get what you pay for, just as many other things. The vital question is: Do you trust your knife to protect you when TSHTF and you are standing right in front of 3 or 4 street animals with no place to run? Your Case may not fail to stay open – then again it might close on your fingers. Ouch! Will it cut through heavy clothing and into flesh to the bone? Can you beat on the spine to make kindling in an emergency cold weather situation? Can you rely on it to cut strapping and other heavy duty fastening non-metal systems? Can you punch a hole in a drum and cut enough away to pour from it? Extremes you say? I can’t think of anything more extreme than be able to save my own life or that of another. Or do you simply mean your life isn’t worth $455? The knife is man’s 3rd oldest tool, behind tree limbs (1) , stones (2) and sharp stones (knife function or spear head, which came after the hand-held cutting rock). I have tried knapping chert and flint and failed abysmally. Nor are these best type of stones always easily found. Obsidian was traded for hundreds of miles by Indians, for there are no natural sources of obsidian in the upper Middle West. Knapping is a skill best learned by being taught by someone who knows how. Do you? I’d say $455 is a damned cheap price for a knife you can trust your life to, and is made by people who give a good Goddamn about doing it, rather than some Indian or Pak who is just churning out the crap to get a couple bucks, and doesn’t care how it performs when the chips are down. Go out and pick up pop and beer cans. In most states they’re worth 5 cents. Give up the smokes and beer – they are just killing you anyway. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself: “Am I worth $455 to keep alive?” Yes? Buy the knife. No? – I won’t say kill yourself but I will say you have a very poor image of yourself, and perhaps a shrink can help consolidate and build your ego to a reasonable (Not “he-man or narcissistic” status. Just a regular, solid guy, with the few foibles that make us different from others and so no injury to others.

      • Johnny August 28, 2016, 3:11 pm

        $455 is ridiculous for a pocket knife. If you can afford that I highly doubt your in the bad side of any town so why would 3 or 4 animals attack you. If your stating that $455 for a skill set is cheap then that may be true but for the smartest person you can find some way cheaper knife almost as good and have enough money left over to take your date, girlfriends, wife even a whole family out for a great time. Instead of trusting your knife better question do you trust “your self” in doing the right thing in any situation…. I highly doubt it since all your whole life’s trust is hiding behind an over priced pocket knife. With that money go learn a skill set perhaps self defense or something more productive. You pay for what you get is right but suckers are born every minute as well. My $50 Kershaw works wonders especially keeping it sharp (a safe knife is a sharp knife) learn that and you won’t struggle through anything with a budget edc knife.

        • Jim February 4, 2017, 7:05 am

          Not everyone is in the same income bracket. Some people drive a BMW and others a KIA.

      • Kenneth February 7, 2017, 7:36 pm

        You can do all of those things BETTER and FAR cheaper than a Chris Reeve. Look at the Cold Steel video of the Sebenze lockbar failure, they’re not very strong locks. Frankly I wouldn’t abuse a Sebenza by beating the spine, at least not unless I didn’t have a choice. I’m not sure it could handle it. That said, I carry one but as an EDC/Gentleman’s knife; not a SHTF knife. The Sebenza is a finely crafted production knife that is more of a status symbol, it’s not the best or most effective knife out there.

        If you’re looking for self-protection, take that $450 and get a CCW and a pistol. It’ll be far more useful and effective than a folding knife.

        Owning a Chris Reeve is like owning a Swiss-made mechanical or automatic watch; sure, you can get a G shock which is tougher and more accurate as a fraction of the price – and you would probably be better off doing that. But if you have the disposable income, it’s nice to own expensive things. But lets not get crazy by drinking the CRK koolaid, it’s just a knife.

      • Keegan Moore April 13, 2017, 11:01 pm

        You should really show us how much you trust your knife. Go ahead and beat on the spine for kindling or punch a hole in a barrel. You trust your life with it you’d better make damn sure it is up to the task. I guarantee if shtf you are grabbing a fixed blade with a real spine and a handgun.

    • Paul July 19, 2017, 2:59 pm

      Why do people feel the need to troll articles about high-end gear?

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