Five Reasons A Chris Reeve Sebenza is NOT Worth the Money

My large Chris Reeve Sebenza 21 with a snakewood inlays and a Ladder Damascus blade.

I bought a Chris Reeve Sebenza last year.  Yay!  And I was going to review it.  But then I thought, with so many quality reviews already out there, why post another one that says what so many already have? Basically, the knife is exquisite but expensive.

What follows from these reviews is another discussion altogether, which is a question of “worth.”  Is a Sebenza worth the proverbial arm and leg you have to give up to get one?  It’s on this frontier that I decided to not only wade into the fray but to make a clear argument that becoming a CRK owner is NOT worth the price of admission, objectively speaking.

Let me be clear, I’m not telling you not to buy one or that it’s not a super high-quality knife or that the CRK community isn’t filled with awesome people (it is, BTW), I’m simply arguing that in terms of practical value, i.e function weighed against cost, the Sebenza is overpriced.  It’s not worth $400-plus.

I know I’m going to piss off CRK fanboys who collect CRK knives.  What I’d like to say to them is relax, this is just one man’s opinion.  You are free to disagree.  In fact, I encourage you to do so in the comment section.  Tell me why I’m wrong.

Anyways, here are five points to consider:

1. Materials

A plain Jane, large Sebenza 21 starts at $410.  That includes a stonewashed S35VN blade and two pieces of dull titanium (6A14V).  Don’t get me wrong, Crucible CPM S35VN is great stuff.  But it’s not so much better than other steels that are out there where it warrants a $410 price tag.

When one spends almost half a grand on a knife, I think at least cosmetically speaking, one expects a little more flair and ornamentation.  Maybe some unicorn handles and Adamantium steel?

One would hope that this would be the look of the knife you’d get for $410. But it’s not. My Sebenza cost “a bit” more than $410.  

The fact is that there are other knives on the market that offer a similar quality in terms of materials and are considerably cheaper.

Now, fanboys would argue that the money is not in the materials per se, but the way in which they are constructed and machined and hand-fitted.  There is no doubt that a lot of time, care and attention goes into putting CRK knives together — perhaps more so than any other production knife — yet it’s not clear that all that extra TLC makes a real difference when it comes to performance or function.

2. Function

The large Sebenza is actually quite large, with an overall length of 8.335″ and a blade length of 3.625″

As I just mentioned, there are a bunch of you reading this who are dying to say, $400 for a folder is freaking insane!  My $50 folder will do everything an overpriced Sebenza will do!

To that bunch I will say, yes, you are probably right.  And I know of no demonstration or scientific evaluation pitting a CRK knife against a bunch of sub $100 knives saying otherwise.

And this is where the car analogy comes into play.  A Honda Civic will take you anywhere you need to go.  It won’t take you there in style like a 6 Series Beamer, but it’ll get you from point A to point B successfully.  It will serve its primary purpose time and time again.

Same is true for the budget blade.  It will serve its primary purpose.  It will cut. Depending on the edge and the blade geometry, it will cut just as well as a Sebenza. It may require more periodic sharpening than the Sebenza but the budget blade will cut if it is well maintained.

3. Design

Only one thumb stud! C’mon man! Where’s the other!

Many argue that the design of the Sebenza is flawless. They’ll also point out that the tolerances are second to none.  But I can nitpick.

Let me start with the obvious, why is there only one thumb stud on the standard Sebenza?  Shouldn’t there be two?  Yes, a minor complaint, but when we’re talking about a premium price every detail should be accounted for, right?

CRK actually addressed this in their latest model, the Inkosi, which contains a number of upgrades over the Sebenza including another thumb stud, larger washers, a thicker blade, an angled pocket clip, and a new ceramic ball end locking system heat treated to 97 RC.

So, in a way, the Sebenza is an outdated model.  It’s been unseated by its own younger brother the Inkosi.

4. Locking System

The frame lock, pioneered by Chris Reeve is not tougher than a traditional lock back design.

The Sebenza’s proprietary integral lock (or frame lock) was a groundbreaking achievement when it came onto the scene several decades ago.

But in terms of strength and toughness, it’s not as durable as a lock back mechanism.  Testing, empirical and otherwise, suggests that the average lock back system is stronger than the average frame lock.    

Yes, a frame lock has an advantage over a lock back in that it is more suited for one-handed manipulation, but it’s not as strong as the lock back.  If you plan to put your folder through some real hard use, you’re better off with a lock back design.

One that comes to mind is the Steel Will Gekko 1505 that I reviewed.  That was one tough folding knife that featured a very impressive frame lock.  It’s also half the price of a Sebenza.

5. Warranty   

Warranty doesn’t cover wrist-flicking! So don’t do it!

Chris Reeve’s warranty is good, but not great.  One of the biggest concerns for the casual CRK observer is the whole “flicking the knife open” controversy.

As I understand it, Chris Reeve does not warrant against users who wrist-flick the knife open.  You can thumb flick, but not wrist flick as wrist flicking exerts too much force on the pivot joint of the knife.  Over time, this impairs the integrity of the lock up.  If you send in your knife and Chris sees that it’s been opened excessively or with too much force, the repair is on your dime.

As Chris Reeve writes in a post in Bladeforums, “I have no wish to cast aspersions as to any one person’s obsessive behavior that keeps them opening and closing a knife compulsively to the detriment of the knife.”

I don’t have a problem with Chris’ position.  I think it’s very sensible.  But I know that there are compulsive flickers out there who will scoff at this policy.

Conclusion

My landyard is starting to show some wear after about a year or so of pocket carry.

Now here is where I flip the script.  As much as I know a Sebenza is not “worth it,” as much as I can’t really justify the purchase in any utilitarian way, I’m damn glad I bought one and I happily carry my Sebenza daily.  It is my EDC knife.    

That’s right.  I know I overpaid.  I know it’s too much to spend on a knife.  But I love it.

I’ve heard fanboys compare their CRK collection to their wives’ shoe collection.  I think that’s a very insightful way of looking at it.  Jimmy Choos are no different than a Sebenza.  They’re both overpriced. They’re not technically “worth it.”  But, if they bring us a little more joy and happiness then who really cares, right?

If you’re interested in purchasing either a CRK Inkosi or a Sebenza, check out KnifeArt.com.  Now, for the fun part, if you want to yell at me or call me a dumbass for spending hundreds of dollars on a folding knife please have at it in the comment section below 🙂

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

{ 74 comments… add one }
  • Strider September 7, 2021, 3:58 pm

    I have owned 3.. they are nice. But NOT over 200 bucks more than other comparable options nice. You can get the same boring titanium and steel for half the price from a dozen makers and the quality is almost the same or close enough to not justify 200 bucks. It is a status symbol.. PERIOD. Just like buying Nike shoes .

    Id much rather spend my money and bet more bang for my buck. Id rather get a better steel than CRK crappy heat treated s45vn or S35vn.. people are turning to the more value overseas options like i am. And who cares if it is USA MADE? that doesn’t mean quality at all!! I have bought countless WE knives with impeccable quality and Zt , benchmade and other USA made with crap quality at double the price.

  • Christopher Hensley August 30, 2021, 9:04 pm

    I like this article, and I appreciate everyone’s point of view. My positions on the subject follows. I bought a Sebenza. I did not buy a folder as a survival knife, that for me would have been stupid. When the only thing between you and safety or life or death is your knife, folding knives are bad choices. I would not take a $400 Sebenza into the woods, when I can spend far less on a knife, equally capable and replaceable 4 times over. There are folding knives for much less that are more durable. I would not use a Sebenza as a back up knife for hard use or survival when I can spend less on a more durable knife that is more dependable for these chores. I’d put my Benchmade Adamas (and one or two others mentioned here) against any folding knife for hard use, but not a Sebenza. It was not designed for survival, or use in the woods. It is impractical as a true hard use knife. That being said, years of history support this knife as reliable and capable, and durable. I bought a Sebenza because of it’s excecptional quality, it’s beautiful, it’s iconic, and the company stands behind it with a great warranty. Not everyone can buy one, but most people who know anything about knives want to own one. My survival and hard use knife needs are met, my Sebenza meets everything else.

  • Eric Grafton March 27, 2021, 10:44 pm

    There was a time I could stack from floor to ceiling all the CRKs I owned, and I dumped them all. Many blades were dull, the edges would roll continually, lock rock, poorly cut inlays, and don’t speak of “tolerances” what joke, You couldn’t exchange one pivot pin for the other, they would lock up. Carbonizing the end of the lock bar,,,,,are you KIDDIING ME. After about 6 months they ALL started sticking, And it wasn;t just CRK..the list of customs and semi-customs I owned was endless, They all had issues…

    ALL OF YOU, get off your high horse about the USA knife makers,,,they are getting their butts kicked and I love it, It’s a free market..man up and make a better product or lose your F’n job..big F’n deal you cry baby’s. Go be a trash collector. I love spending $8 on a coffee and having a $100 folder made in Asia placed at my feet in 24 hrs by Amazon. They are far superior and come SHARP!!.

    BTW, I was born on the 4th, grew up on Constitution Rd (Literally) and my middle name is Christopher (as in Columbus), I worked for Lockheed, and pretty much have the word “Patriot” cornered. Your precious American made CRK was founded by dude from South Africa. You want my hard earned American dollar..EARN IT! I made it, and will spend it where I dam well please. And not because I have some allegiance to some camo wearing knucklhead that wants to lift his truck higher..IDIOT!

  • None ya October 21, 2020, 11:22 am

    I don’t know a huge amount about knives but some of this is just wrong. You pay for the warranty. I have cheaper blades made out of the same material and they are absolutely not the same quality. Not to mention he kinda reinvented his blade steel to get the best of the best.

  • John March 30, 2020, 11:02 pm

    It’s like do own a Colt 1911 or a clone 1911? Now there are some great 1911 clones with great price tags (Kimber’s) but they are clones! Not a Colt…45acp (automatic Colt pistol, acp)
    So some want a CR Sebenza folder, frame lock…and others are happy with a clone folder! And there are some really great clone folders. But they are not a Sebenza
    I get it, and I get your review

  • Andrew O'Brien February 8, 2020, 1:01 am

    Feeling the need to chime in here. Firstly, if I had known that the Sebenza was going to be my be all folder in the end, then yes, it’s definitely worth the starting price of $410. Over the years I’ve spent hundreds on substandard folders that I had to wind up replacing with something else, Buck (seriously shitty blade steel), Gerber, Schrade, Barlow, SOG, Cold Steel, and I’m sure there’s been other brands that have been in my pocket. Three primary factors to a folder for me and that is a strong pivot (all forementioned worked loose and when that happens, I just don’t trust it anymore), blade steel and lock up. I always wanted a folder that never gets loose in the pivot. With every new consumer line folder I ever bought I thought, “one of these days I’m gonna buy a well made knife, one that I can depend on for life. A couple of years ago I bought my first Sebenza, a small plain drop point. When I got it in the mail I thought to myself, “I spent $380 on THAT?!!” But then I started using it everyday, always on my person. I did not have to sharpen it for the first whole six months that I had it and it always performed flawlessly. No blade sticking, chipping, tip breaking, pivot slop, no issues at all, ever. My search was over.
    To touch on a couple of things you mentioned: CR Knives warrantee is one of the best warrantees on the planet. If you buy one of his knives and in 30 years it looks beat to hell, send it in to him and they will completely go over the knife, sharpen it, tune it, restonewash it, they’ll practically rejuvenate the knife completely, all for a nominal fee. Hell, CRK even supplies the buyer with the tool to take the knife apart and encourages you to do so and if you can’t put it back together, send it back to them and they’ll do it for you. What else would a buyer want, their firstborn? As far as the lock, no it’s not the strongest lock in the knife world. Cold Steel’s Triad lock is one of the strongest locking mechanisms in the knife world but to me, the rest of the knife isn’t acceptable. Yes, a lock back is stronger but to many is a two handed affair to close. Not to mention that CRK developed the Integral lock that nearly EVERY knife maker uses on their folders. No issues with mine, works as it should. In fact, it locks up so tight that it has the feel of being a fixed blade once opened. Now the blade steel, no, S30 and S35VN isn’t the strongest steel out there. There are tougher steels but it’s a matter of application. The harder the steel, the more brittle it can be, prone to chipping. Chris developed his steel with Crucible because he wanted a happy medium, a steel that the average joe can bring back to a fine edge without a slew of different stones to do so. The tolerances of his knives are extremely fine. Watch his videos on YT on how he makes them and you’ll begin to see that his prices are reasonable considering what goes into them.
    In the end, we all have a ‘thing’ that we’re into. A thing that we’re passionate about and are willing to pay ‘boatloads’ for that most people won’t. If that ‘thing’ works for you, does what you want it to do, always, without exception, what wouldn’t you pay for it?

  • James Pocket June 20, 2019, 5:51 pm

    In my very humble opinion, this knife is the epitome of why so many US jobs are long gone overseas. There is intrinsic value, there is sentimental value, retail value, actual value- then there is the “American Patriotic Value” that equivocates to car sticker prices being tens of thousands of dollars greater than what you will actually have to pay in cash, $400 pocket knives and 18 year old kids who think they deserve $20 an hour for flipping burgers after they’ve got one solid $9 hour of experience doing the job.

    • Michael Spadafore April 4, 2020, 11:46 am

      This sounds more like a rant about fanboys than it does about hardware. Anyway I don’t see a scratch on that blade so without any experience using it, you’ll see nothing more than a yawn. Enjoy your cold steels friend.

  • Frank Staples June 2, 2019, 5:33 pm

    I’m not going to holler at you…plainly put, it’s YOUR MONEY! I carry a case and keep a Buck in my truck along with my Colt Mustang. When we travel we add the LadySmith and my Ruger to the mix. If I could afford a Randell I would buy one in a heartbeat…a couple of Christmas days ago my wife was going to buy me one and I told her not to because it would be something that I’d look at and not use!

  • DBC November 16, 2018, 10:45 am

    Hysterical how people’s egos are so fragile!
    Always gonna be a mines bigger, mines better, always gonna be envy etc..
    It’s a knife, it doesn’t make you smarter or a better human!

  • Frankie Ammo November 15, 2018, 2:05 pm

    I’ve been carrying a Case mid-folding hunter for decades. Got several of them, because I always lose stuff. Use them for hunting, fishing, daily carry – basically everything I would use a knife for. Stainless steel blade, bone handle (gorgeous,) nickel silver bolsters, rock solid construction, impeccable fit and finish, made in USA, most models about a hundred bucks. Now why would I spend 4, 6, 800 dollars on something I mostly use to open envelopes, cut bait or slice the occasional salami sandwich? For that matter, why would I actually use an expensive knife for any of that stuff – or anything else, really? Would look nice sitting on my desk, though.

  • Marty November 6, 2018, 8:49 am

    Actually nice and truthfull article. Also thats why Im buying Inkosi 😀 😀 😀

  • Fabe October 25, 2018, 9:18 pm

    Ok I am a BIG FAN of tacticle folders BUT I only have one because it was a good deal and I will flip it or trade for another. It is a great knife but not my style. I like aggressive overbuilt folders like Medford Predatorians, Heeter M.O.W, DSK Kickstand, I sold my microtech stitch and medford Predatorian to have loot for my Heeter M.O.W with the granade Pin lockup! You will NOT FIND a stronger lockup then the heaters Frame lock with replaceable steel tip, 8mm diameter pivot and the granade pin lockup, makes it one of the only folders I have had thsts closest to a fixxed blade!

    • John March 1, 2019, 8:58 am

      Yap, Yap, Yap, Yap, Yap, Yap, Yap…

      • Chuck_Nunface September 11, 2019, 4:01 pm

        HA! Take yers!

  • Jacob Morgan August 6, 2018, 2:30 am

    😂😂 sounds to me like someone’s pissed that they don’t have enough money for one😂they are the best knifes ever made😂😂😂

    • Danny K October 22, 2020, 2:19 am

      You good bud? He literally talked about his own Sebenza multiple times throughout the article

  • Rex August 4, 2018, 1:34 pm

    Simplicity is the key to the brilliance!After many years of using production,midtechs and custom knives I came back again to CRK as the only knives I use.Brilliant pieces of user friendly cutlery.Cheers.

  • Tyler Demello July 8, 2018, 4:52 pm

    Not only will the overpriced 6 series Beamer get you there in style but you can bring it back to the dealer any time and get new paint , tires , and a oil change free of charge just pay for the gas to get it there

  • Samuel J. April 16, 2018, 12:21 pm

    They are good knives, but take away the hyperbole and myth and it’s obviously not worth the money. I wonder how much these actually cost to produce vs their MSRP…

    That aside, I just find them to be quite unattractive knives. For $400+, I want something that also has aesthetics; the lines and overall style are very outdated an leave much to be desired. Don’t get me started on the gaudy anodized accents…

  • Sparky Thompson April 2, 2018, 11:28 am

    “They’re not technically ‘worth it.’ Anyone who would write such a sentence about Chris Reeve folders is definitely a knife ‘fan-boy-owner’ (not a ‘user’ or ‘handler’ but simply an ‘owner’) and has really no clue about the nuances of manufacturing (USA manufacturing no less), such as close tolerances, practical engineering, extreme quality control, etc, and needs to just stick to purchasing truly ‘overpriced mediocre’ (or just-plain-junk) knives from makers such as Benchmade, Cold Steel, or some other high-end custom ‘haute’ maker who cuts corners you will never know about, and/or doesn’t really know how to forge damascus to save their life … or yours should you have to use such an over-priced-piece-of-garbage in a life-or-death situation.

  • Tom Weeks February 23, 2018, 11:14 am

    I have been collecting and enjoying knives for the past 5 years or so. I started out with less expensive knives like Kershaw. Slowly I started to learn more about knives and what kind of features and styles I liked balanced with how much they cost. I remember buying a single blade Buck folder and almost broke into a sweat at paying almost $50 for a knife. After several years I was buying what I considered good knives at higher costs; Benchmades, Protechs, Microtechs and so on. Finally I decided I wanted a Chris reeves knife. I ended up with a small Sebenza 21 Inkosi with carbon fiber handles. It really is a pretty knife but I recall when I first got it I held it and flipped it open and closed it about 50 times. I was a little disappointed. I am not sure what I expected but I remember except for the name and c/f scales it was not any better and in some cases not as good as a bunch of my other knives. As time went on I gently broke it in and learned to appreciate the smoothness of the knife. Several months back I had it unexpectantly close on me while was using it. I noticed that if I turned over (blade open and up) and gave it a thump on my leg the lock would fail everytime. I was a bit surprised because I have never had this problem with any of my other knives, many of which I was much harder on. Well I thought, this is a CRK and I am sure they will fix the lock, shine it up, sharpen the blade and have it back to me as good as new in no time. It has been a little over a month now and I got a call from Reeves Knives. They said my knife was ready and were confirming shipping address. Then they asked for a payment method. I thought “What”. My only previous experiences with having knives fixed or sharpened had been with Benchmade who always treated me like a king and ALWAYS sent the knives back with no charge and free shipping. Now, here is CRK who replaced 2 washers and adjusted the lock bar and they were charging a couple of bucks for the washers and somewhere around $15 shipping fee to send it back. As I was reading off the numbers on my credit card I was resisting the desire to say that this was really a ripoff for these charges on a $395 knife. It would have been free from Benchmade and probably no more than $5 from Spyderco. Well I guess it was good timing because I have been getting ready to drop the hammer on a Umnumzaman (SP?). I guess that $17 saves me $500 because I will never buy another CRK.

    • Papi Chullo January 21, 2020, 5:03 pm

      Exactly right- this new breed of knife makers are a$$holes, plain and simple. Don’t pick up their phones, keep customers waiting month(s) on simple repairs, punch a 9-5 clock and are only interested in chasing their next big “mid-tech” collaboration. To all of them, I say eff you and keep your overpriced knives. I am selling all of mine off currently in favor of a couple of Bechmades and maybe keep one Hinderer. They seem to have lots of time to make YouTube videos but can’t manage to keep their $hit together enough to warranty simple parts and repairs within a reasonable time frame and send off knives that are not centered right from the shop, next to impossible to take apart for maintenance. It’s OUR fault for making them think their time is worth hundreds of dollars an hour because they can run a lathe and belt sander. The saddest part is that unlike the Beamer, ladies shoes, or a good watch NO ONE EVEN KNOWS about their status symbols except for the lonely losers that spend half their lives chatting in online forums.

  • Dan Stephenson September 28, 2017, 9:26 pm

    CRK knives are not for everyone due to cost but most commentators here don’t know crap about what is good when it comes to knives . I have a model 21 great knife and have carried it since the model came out .I am a lefty so why would I carry a righty knife when I can carry a true lefty . I have over 40 Spybercos in my collection and was gifted a lefty Military from Sal Glessor without question they make fine knives .Benchmade is another great company that I am proud to carry . Cheap knives are like cheap guns they will fail you when you need them the most . Carry what you want but for me if I carry quality hand guns I refuse to scrimp on a box store wobbly marginally sharp knife . Got to go sharpen my Randall’s have a great day !

    • Omar Calderon January 21, 2018, 7:01 pm

      I like this article the only thing i don’t agree with is the CR warranty against flicking knives. obviously he is the creator of these masterpieces, but not supporting wrist flicking?? The idea that you own a $400 dollar folder and the creator does not support wrist flicking in his warranty, something any knife user more than likely does, is ridiculous in my opinon its part of normal use. so in a sense he puts a restriction on your enjoyment of the knife a sort of “take it or leave it” use philosophy he is a great knife maker yes!, but as you decide to purchase this knife you have to ask yourself is my enjoyment of not wrist flicking my knife worth $400? an activity I can do and not worry about with a slightly cheaper Knife of comparable quality like say my spyderco slysz bowie?

      • Fabe October 25, 2018, 9:26 pm

        That is bs! He should use a thicker pivot in that case and stronger blade stop. Every1 always talks about how smooth it opens but I am limited to one flip a day, sorry guys I did it earlier u have to wait for tomarrow

  • Martin B May 15, 2017, 5:29 pm

    I am pretty much a newcomer to the world of knives, not having been a hunter when younger, at least of deer… These days I do my hunting online, the net result being a large quantity of cartons getting in the way. I did buy a Spyderco a few years ago, but the asshole who sold it to me handed me a serrated blade. I didn’t know any better. And my brother gave me an emergency knife with a part straight, part serrated blade. Neither of these two could cut worth a shit. I ended up trading my Winchester 70 rifle for a Ruger 10/22 and a KaBar Taiwanese knife, which shouldered the burden of ridding me of all those cartons manfully, and is still razor sharp. I then found out about Sanrenmu blades from China, and how they actually make the lower line Spydercos, CRKTs, Ganzos etc, so they know all about steel. I ended up buying five of them in various sizes, due to the low prices. They haven’t arrived yet, but when they do I am sure they will handle all of my knife duties for the rest of my life. I have seen the YouTube videos and read the reviews, and I am sure I will be happy with them. If I could afford a Honda Civic, I am sure I would also be happy with that. A disability pension does not make for fancy choices.

  • Jon Williams April 18, 2017, 1:22 pm

    An item is worth what it’s worth to the buyer. That being said, I just can’t afford those expensive knifes. My EDC folder is a Spyderco Endure and my main EDC is a military issue K-Bar my Dad gave me that was used in Korea. A little blade steel worn off but it’s still very sharp.

  • Dave April 18, 2017, 11:44 am

    Obviously “Worth” is subjective, which is the whole point of this article. Anyone who says it is not worth it is uneducated and missing the point. Go and watch some of the numerous videos on how these knives are made. If you actually have an open mind it will change your opinion. These knives are worth every penny. By the way the one in the photos retails for between 600 and 700, and yes it is also worth every penny. This is about one mans pursuit of perfection and making the best knife he possibly can. People don’t think about what it costs to run a business like this, or fill a room with machines that cost millions of dollars. Once you become a knife collector and enthusiast you will realize $400 is the absolute minimum you can spend on a decent knife. Most semi custom knives like this sell for between $400 and $2000. Most custom knives sell for between $700 and $6000 and much more. Go to a decent knife website and do a search and list them by price starting with the highest and you will begin to understand. Chris Reeve makes an incredible product. He wouldn’t be cranking these out all day everyday if they weren’t considered worth it by most people who begin to educate themselves about nice knives. Whether or not it can cut something better than a 100 knife is not the point. It is about the pride of owning something extremely nice and knowing that you have something that many people put their passion into hand making, and that can last a lifetime. Can my $100 Invicta tell time as well as a $10,000 Rolex. Yep. Not the point. My friend has a $120,000 car. I will get where i’m going too, just not as fast. My other friend has a pair of $20,000 speakers with $4,000 speaker cables. Worth it to him? Yep. I have family that builds 6 million dollar yachts. There is a waiting list. My girlfriend is a hairdresser. I didn’t even know there were scissors that cost over $1500 until we met. Worth it to her? All day. Would I ever insult them by calling them stupid for spending their money on what they are passionate about? No, because I am not a stupid internet troll…

    • Jason Porter April 27, 2017, 10:42 pm

      To be fair, he didn’t call anyone stupid for buying a CRK.

  • Greg Webb April 16, 2017, 5:36 pm

    I’ve collected and used a lot of knives over the last 50 years and my favorite so far is a Spyderco Military that did pretty much everything I needed it to do. I quit carrying it because it has gotten expensive and I don’t want to lose it. I’ve lost (misplaced?) two other knives so I think I’ll go back to my Buck folder I bought in 1971.
    There are so many good folders for under $60 that work great. If you carry and really use a knife you are going to lose it eventually and minus $400 + hurts a lot more than minus $40 to $60.

    • David W. Evans November 18, 2019, 4:27 pm

      When I was in the Marines, I was in need of a watch. I went t the PX and got a Timex for $9.95. Others tried to hound me for buying a cheap watch. A month later I bought a Casio for $10.95. We were on maneuvers thru some thick buck brush, and somewhere in that buck brush the Timex spring pin that held the wrist strap to the watch broke, or the strap itself broke. I had to go two more days without a watch, which pissed off the Platoon Commander (Oh Well !!). Three months later, the knot-head who hounded me the hardest, lost his $250 Gold Watch in the field!! So I told him that’s why I bought cheap watches. So he bought a cheap watch for the field, and the Gold Watch that he replaced was over $300. A month later even the Lt had a cheap watch. I also bought a Ka-Bar USMC FK at the PX for $19.95. It got stolen later and cost $24.95 to replace. And I’ve still got it. Along with a Wilkinsen Mfd, Fairbairn-Sykes I picked up for $18.95, in Oceanside, Ca.

  • Edward Sjolin April 16, 2017, 9:36 am

    IMHO anyone who pays $400+ for one of these needs to use it on their wrists. There several superior blades on the market and, perhaps, there is a wait for delivery, at least they are not mass produced.

  • MtnGuy April 16, 2017, 3:40 am

    Quality of articles keep going down, what a worthless read.

    • Todd April 17, 2017, 12:10 pm

      Have to agree, generally, on both counts.

      Todd.

  • Skip Allcorn April 15, 2017, 10:49 pm

    My wife found a Marine Corps issue Kabar with sheaf at a garage sale 27 yrs ago for eight bucks. It is still carving up my deer, and doing yeoman duty daily. I do have a few other knifes including a custom built one that I bought before the Kabar, yet the blade isn’t as useful as the Kabar. Yeah I know what your thinking is and I do have an old shovelhead in the garage that I bought new in 1984 and is running fine. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. P.S. I still have the OLE’ Lady also, she’s a real keeper.

  • Mike The Knife April 15, 2017, 5:35 pm

    The knife is really sweet. It has a beautiful tight construction. and a swell ladder pattern.
    But I’d be afraid to take it out of the house and lose it.
    I’d also be afraid to put it through some of the rigorous use that I put my every day carry knife through.
    $ 400 is way too steep for me ,but would be perfect for someone who has that much money just burning a hole through his pocket.
    If I had the extra $400 to spend , I’d most likely spend it on a new Sig Pistol that I’ve been slobbering over, not a beautiful knife like this one!

  • loupgarous April 15, 2017, 4:28 pm

    I wouldn’t call you names. You summed it up nicely in the second-to-last paragraph: “Jimmy Choos are no different than a Sebenza. They’re both overpriced. They’re not technically “worth it.” But, if they bring us a little more joy and happiness then who really cares, right?”
    Spend your money on what you need and want. And thanks for an objective, “warts and all” review of a knife you clearly like. Based on the review, in the unlikely case I have $400 to drop on non-necessities, this knife won’t be on my shopping list. A nice used XD40, most likely.

  • fritz bousigschouer April 15, 2017, 2:28 pm

    its sure overpriced, like most brand name items, i would not buy that. a friend has one, used it a lot and needed a new blade and chris reeve offered one for a high price. he then made his own new blade since he is knifemaker.

    look at the deals from ganzo knives. compare that with the c reeve “deals” for edc carry and actually using. ganzo wins hand down, 440C blade, axis or linerlock, bladestuds on both sides and most models are under 20 dollar shipped!

  • Bob April 15, 2017, 12:20 am

    Knives are like women….logic and cost have nothing to do with it…maybe more so than guns, as they get more use daily. You can justify anything in the moment….the smile you get when you pull a nice handmade blade from its sheath…the attraction of younger women, older cars…hard to explain (well, not the women part…) but I say go with the flow and judge not….

    • loupgarous April 15, 2017, 4:28 pm

      Which reminds me some fatherly advice P.J. O’Rourke once shared: “If it flies, fucks or floats – rent it!”

  • Dave Emery April 14, 2017, 7:54 pm

    I once saw a guy kind of sharpen a long rectangular piece of metal and then cut a 55 gallon drum almost in half with it. That being said, my daily carry is a Benchmade Infidel. It too is over priced. And soooooo cool with it’s loud klack when it deploys. I used a Leatherman multi tool and an Al Mar SERE folder when I was in the Ranger Battalion. Buy the best knife you can reasonably afford for the task required and remember it doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. It all depends on your perspective and values: I’d rather be skilled with a bad knife than be unskilled with a good one. That and know how to sharpen it!

  • Todd April 14, 2017, 6:06 pm

    Well, I guess that makes the writer a bit of a fool for buying it then. By now, EVERY aspect of the CRS is known and to be surprised by any of it smacks of, well, let’s say – disingenuousness.

    I’ve had mine going on 20 years now and it has never failed me. I don’t need to wrist snap it and wouldn’t if it were allowed.
    The non-starter of a warranty on other, cheaper, knives is moot. If it fails to warranty level replacement – I’m likely in a position to NEED the knife NOW. Though the Reeves warranty and customer service are outstanding, I’d rather have an un-warranted knife that doesn’t fail than a rock solid warranty on a throw-away.

    I certainly understand being dismayed by the price of the knives, I certainly understand prioritizing elsewhere, what I don’t understand is to say that the knife is “… not worth the money.”

    Of course, the proof of the incorrectness of the title is that they are still building and shipping as many as they can.

    So, for some folks, a Porsche, BMW or Lexus is just a car… Fine, help keep Kia in business.

    Todd.

  • John April 14, 2017, 5:53 pm

    I had a 21 for a while and agree with you review completely, I traded it and don’t miss it and would never invest in another, there are just too many good knives available in that price range that are every bit as good and some better.

  • Bill the Cat April 14, 2017, 2:30 pm

    I am currently carrying 4 knives. A CFK custom Damascus skinner (fixed blade), a CRK neck knife, a folder made of D2 steel with a G10 handle, and a folder made of stainless steel 420 with a titanium handle, and the total I paid for all of them is 100 dollars.

    • RayJN April 14, 2017, 4:02 pm

      My EDC is a CRKT M16-14ZSF 440C steel, Carson design double blade lock, and guard which will open the knife (point up, clip mounted point down from factory) as you pull it out of your pocket. Retail $89 when I bought it 3 years ago ($36 BX military clothing store) which is now available on Amazon for $33.70. From experience the liner lock is safer. I have had a Buck and a Gerber fold because you can press the release when gripping the handle tightly.

  • Bimmer April 14, 2017, 2:02 pm

    Since I completely agree with you here, I’ll just nitpick and point out that there’s no such thing as a 6 Series Beamer. There is, however, a 6 Series Bimmer.

    Beamer = BMW Motorcycle
    Bimmer = BMW Automobile

    Cheers!

  • Brian Ross April 14, 2017, 1:38 pm

    I’ve owned an original, hand built Sebenza since 1991. I bought it directly from Chris at the NY knife show. It is no longer my EDC – that roll filled by a Spyderco Poliwog. The CR is in my grab and go now. I’ve never regreted the buy – only that I didn’t buy two.

  • jim April 14, 2017, 12:28 pm

    I’ll be polite and say it this way: One can attract more *women in a Series 6 Beemer that by carrying a Sbenza

  • Norm Fishler April 14, 2017, 11:30 am

    I too am a sucker for expensive, ‘too pretty to use’, knives. Never owned, or even held a Sebenza, but I’ll be on the lookout for one now. My current EDC knife is a Cold Steel Scimitar that I have carried for close to 15 years. Although I’ve tried a number of others over the years, I always end back up with the Scimitar. Not so long ago, when I had more money than sense, I probably would have sprung for one, but now, being, older, wiser & considerably poorer, I’ll just be content with my Cold Steel Scimitar.

  • David April 14, 2017, 11:24 am

    Hey if you like it then it is worth it. Love my little blue scallion.

  • bobtheaxolotl April 14, 2017, 10:58 am

    Here’s the thing. This article is arguing that having them hand fitted, the materials, etc, are some sort of intangible benefits that can’t be measured. But, they pretty much can. And, by the way, you can get knives with *identical* materials and *better* features for half the price. In my pocket is clipped a blade with an s35vn blade, titanium handles, and an intregral framelock, just like a Sebenza. But, unlike a Sebenza, it has an overtravel stop and a replaceable steel insert, so it’s not titanium being worn away by the tang of the blade. These two things are now very basic features of most premium knives. Also, the fittings are countersunk, meaning they don’t bulge out in an unsightly fashion, as they do on a Sebenza.

    In the end, the Sebenza is just a production knife. For $400, you should just expect more. Sebenzas lack standard features, and don’t perform any better than other cheaper knives made of the same materials. They’re the Macs of the knife world, except that Macs generally at least look good, despite costing more and doing less.

  • Steven April 14, 2017, 10:24 am

    I’d rather buy a gun, fuck that overpriced knife!

  • Ron H April 14, 2017, 10:09 am

    Be careful, sebenza clones are made in China and can be purchased at alibaba and dhgate sites for $50-80 . I have several and can tell you they are great! Real Chris Reeve knives has had model changes e.g. M21 and M25 that were offered with single and dual thumb studs. Chris Reeve has commented on these fakes in several articles. I suggest you buy and compare for yourself. You may be presently surprised.

  • Michael Keim April 14, 2017, 9:56 am

    $400+for the knife but don’t wrist flick it or the warranty is off. Give me a break!

  • Dexter April 14, 2017, 9:56 am

    They are worth every penny. Fact! Ownership is the only way to understand.

    • bison1913 April 14, 2017, 12:03 pm

      Five Reasons A Chris Reeve Sebenza is NOT Worth the Money
      by S.H. Blannelberry on April 12, 2017
      Dexter… You are correct. “Fact! Ownership is the only way to understand”.
      So, the Author himself just gave you the “Fact” it’s not worth the money. As a matter of fact, he gave you/us five reasons its not worth the money. And my favorite… a knife that cost over $400 and you are not allowed to wrist flick it because it will void the warranty. Now That’s Absurd!! I can wrist flick my Craftsman for the life ownership of the knife and it will get replaced by warranty. And no… I did not pay over $400 and it works just as good and has the same features. That’s right… Craftsman!
      $410 dollars… that’s a new M&P with goodies.

  • Christian kendall April 14, 2017, 9:55 am

    If you want a better knife , make your own. No disrespect to consumer grade customs on the market, if your willing to pay for it you liked it no matter the buyers remorse. Try building one at a fraction of the price. You’ll be out some time,some sand paper, and have something that will bring you an experience that will not end in disappointment.

  • Alan April 14, 2017, 9:33 am

    Knife guys are actually worse than gun guys in some respects, so here goes.
    A Frame lock or Liner lock is NOT less sturdy than a Back lock, it really depends on how well the knife is made, and the design of the lock system.
    And yes, I’ve had a frame lock mess up, but that’s because it was poorly fitted, NOT because of the design.
    Frame or liner locks require a little more finesse in manufacturing, but are just as good for locking, and far more convenient, IMHO!
    When I fixed the defect, it was very tight, and couldn’t be levered or jimmied or made to let go.
    I won’t own a back lock anymore, it’s NOT functional in my world.
    Just my opinion, based on my world experience, but there it is.

    • Fabe October 25, 2018, 9:43 pm

      Linear lock? Thst is one o trust the LEAST! Usually the inner liner is 1 mm thick, I have had a log fall on one and the linear lock looked like a mangled mess inside the blade cut.

  • Jim April 14, 2017, 7:52 am

    Egad, what profligacy!! BUT, I’m guilty too. I carry my Sebenza a lot, and it makes me smile. My Ed Brown doesn’t function much better than my old Para P14. But My Goodness! What a lovely work of mechanical art! If you can afford to satisfy the soul while not denying the body, go for it! No one has the right to tell you what’s not correct for you.

  • Vince April 14, 2017, 7:39 am

    My brother and I both bought a large and small Sebenza many years ago .
    The large one was around 200.00 and the small one came with a leather pouch was 150.00. Both are awesome knives , both are still as sharpe as the day we got them. I have never sharpened mine.
    I don’t use them to open boxes or whittle sticks . Some will say well than why carry one, well it’s like owing a corvette, you don’t drive it in the rain or snow, you just own it because it’s cool.
    If I need a knife as a tool , you use a buck ,same as if I have to pick up couch or a bunch of 2×4’s I’ll take the truck then come home an wash the Vett even though I didn’t use it. Do you get it yet?

    • Randy April 14, 2017, 8:30 am

      Vince I think I get it. Since you have no practical use for the knives (like the Vett) other than looking at them. I guess you must be one with more money than brains?? I have not as of yet obtained that status. I tend to be more practical in my life.

  • Link Lackluster April 14, 2017, 7:29 am

    Dumb.

  • Randy April 14, 2017, 7:29 am

    I have a folding Buck knife (no thumb button) with plain rosewood handle. I have carried and used my buck daily at my job sites (31 years same knife) digging in dirt, prying off valve covers, cutting wire, anything that I expect my Buck to do it dose. Over the years my Buck has been repeatedly sharpened and will shaves hair off my arm. The blade in about a little more than half the height it was when new, but it makes for a sharper point, I got a new Buck (same model ) for Christmas 5 years ago , should my old one fail, I have back up. I’m 65 now guess ill have to pass that new Buck down to one of my sons, I don’t think ill have time to ware that new blade out. Oh Yah $29.99 new back then, $50.00 for the new one. P.S. I carry my Buck on Sundays to, no telling what I might run into , might need to gut and skin a deer. Some people just have more money than brains.

    • Steve April 14, 2017, 8:39 am

      I assume you know you can send it in to Buck and they will rebuild your knife(new blade) and what other parts needed.
      I have sent mine in a couple of times since I bought it in1977, came back like new at no charge.

    • Dash April 14, 2017, 11:15 am

      I’d rather have your old 31 year old Buck.. the new one is only worth its current purchase price, the old one is worth 30+ years.
      I have a little Boker pen knife that my dad gave my grandpa (mom’s dad) shortly after I was born, he carried it ~35 years and gave the beat up little thing to me before he died. I have several small pen knives, never carry any of them, but the ground-down broken-scale 35+ year old Boker is by far my “most valuable”, even more than my Sebenza. Give the new Buck to your least favorite son 🙂 lol

    • Fabe October 25, 2018, 9:50 pm

      Your buck is only half the size it was new because the steel was way softer and dulled quicker so needed much more sharpening over those 31 years, I had a buck 112, great knife as a child when I collected knives there was no internet so I bought whatever I seen and got a “buck” but then compared it to my uncles and found out it was a very very cheap knockoff he ended buying me the real thing and at thst time I thought wow the quality is incredible well technology has moved on and now looking back at the buck yes still a great knife it is not in the same category as high end prod, or cudtoms

  • Paul Ruffle April 14, 2017, 7:29 am

    You say your Sebenza cost “a bit” more than $410. So, how much did it cost? It’s a very nice looking knife.

  • Mcyclonegt April 14, 2017, 2:54 am

    Anyone that pays anywhere near that for a knife is a fucking moron. It’s a knife!! It doesn’t do the job any better than any other knife. It’s a mans equivalent to a woman’s 500 dollar shoes or purse. Don’t act like it’s worth any more than say 50 bucks. But it is your money. Spend it on what you want. Just don’t try to justify it. Unlike guns, were typically the more you pay the better they work.

    • Josh April 14, 2017, 8:35 am

      Have you not taken economics? It is worth what people are willing and able to pay for it. You are not their target market.

    • Andrew O'Brien February 8, 2020, 1:17 am

      Obviously, you don’t know squat about knives. They DON’T work all the same. I had a cheap Schrade folder that did exactly that, it folded close on my hand, severing a nerve. it’s locking mechanism failed and I got stitches. I bought a Buck 110 once because my dad had one though his was much older, I’m assuming made better then. Buck’s blade steel (on my knife) was 440C which is shit. The tip broke off the first day I had it. Material grade is pretty damn important to say the least as well as design.
      Your façade of determining what people need and want just shows your ignorance in this instance. Don’t presume to know everything about everything. I’ll justify buying whatever the hell I want with MY money that I worked for.
      And btw, you’d rather settle for a Rock Island when you could have a Wilson Combat, or Les Baer, or Ed Brown?

  • Chris April 13, 2017, 2:44 pm

    I would have to agree but my Sebenzas find themselves in my pocket much more than the rest of my knives for some odd reason.

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