Chris Reeve Sebenza
May 28th, 2020
5 minute read
While nothing can quite beat a fixed blade for strength, reliability and simplicity in a cutting edge tool, those qualities usually come at the cost of concealability and ease of carry. The solution to this problem is, naturally, a folding knife. While most of us have carried a folding pocket knife of one sort or another, they are not always regarded as being able to withstand the abuse of a fixed blade, and for good reason; any machine with more parts, especially moving ones, is more prone to fail. That is where the Chris Reeve Knives (CRK) Sebenza comes in!
A (Brief) CRK Primer
I don’t have time to go into the detail (that I would like to) to explain the contributions of Chris Reeve Knives into the modern-day knife market, but I encourage you to read up on it. Briefly and relevantly for the Sebenza, the topics that matter most are both the Reeve Integral Lock, and the CRK level of attention to detail applied to the modernization of production knife manufacturing.
The Reeve Integral Lock, or frame lock as you might know it, used the concept of integrating the knife frame itself as the locking mechanism, making for a very sturdy and reliable lock that adds no extra parts to the knife design while being very easy to operate with one hand.
One of the big factors in a folding knife being unreliable is the lock failing (meaning, the blade closes when it’s not supposed to). The Reeve Integral Lock solves this issue in virtually any situation without adding any complexity to the operation of the knife.
The quality of CRK’s production knives means that the tolerances needed for a reliable, hard-use knife are met as a daily standard in their shop. Decades ago, CRK revolutionized production knife manufacture, surpassing many custom-made knives in quality. This is a feat they still accomplish today. Chris Reeve Knives set what many consider the “gold standard” for manufactured (production or custom) knives today.
The design of the Sebenza (zulu for “work”) is refined and understated. It’s ultimately capable, with all the features you need and no excess to slow you down. The frame is constructed from titanium for a very light and strong platform. The stainless steel blade deploys smoothly by use of the thumb stud, and locks securely in place thanks to the Reeve Integral Lock with a satisfying “click.” To unlock the blade, simply push the lock to the side with your thumb and close the blade with your index finger.
This design makes for easy and simple one-handed manipulation at all times. The blade stays closed with a detent embedded in the lock that allows for secure retention and fast deployment. The Sebenza stays put in your pocket thanks to the titanium pocket clip.
Living with the Legend
The Sebenza does exactly what a folding knife is intended to do: be unnoticeable until you need it. The slim footprint means that it’s easy to get to all the items inside the pocket it is clipped to, and the light weight means you don’t need tactical suspenders to keep your pants up. The low-profile design doesn’t draw a ton of attention, so you don’t need to worry about carrying it all day. Easy to draw and sharp as can be, it will make short work of whatever tasks you throw at it. And if the going gets rough, the Sebenza gets going! It punches way above its weight class, and can take on duties you’d be hesitant to give to a knife twice its size.
Another important element to the Sebenza is that it can be had in both a true right- or left-handed configuration, so all you southpaws can have a quality knife designed and constructed to be both carried and operated naturally with your dominant hand.
The Spice of Life
Now that the awesomeness of the Sebenza is apparent, it’s time to talk about options. The Sebenza can be had in both large and small variations (3.6″ blade and 3″ blade, respectively) as well as three different blade profiles.
The Drop Point is the most traditional, with a very capable, “jack of all trades” profile that will handle any task. The Tanto has a reinforced tip that might not have quite as much cutting ability as the Drop Point, but has increased piercing strength. Finally, the Insingo is a sheepsfoot profile (think a cleaver-esque shape) that is well suited as a utility blade with a strong point and flatter “chopping” cutting edge.
The frame can be had in three styles, Plain, Inlaid and CGG. The Plain is the classic finish, with a matte-blasted frame and stonewashed blade. The Inlaid models come in a variety of Micarta and stunning wood inlays, with either a stonewashed or satin blade finish. The CGG models have intricate artwork graphics engraved on the frame. The Sebenza can also be optioned with a Damascus blade with various patterns!
Quality for Life
Made in the USA from American-made materials, each Sebenza is constructed with minute attention to detail and is hand fit, assembled and tuned for a quality that you can both see and feel.
Like any true quality piece of design and manufacture, the Sebenza will serve well for years to come. Should an issue arise over the years, Chris Reeve Knives offers a lifetime warranty on the Sebenza for the materials and workmanship on each knife. If you need to get the knife re-tuned and cleaned up, they also offer a “spa” service to get that well-loved blade back to fighting shape!
In short, the Sebenza is a knife that you can depend on day in and day out, and keep relying on until you pass it down to your lucky kids.
Editor’s Note: Please be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in!