By Todd Matsumoto

Chris Reeve Knives have an excellent reputation for overall quality. Their prices are a bit high but that hasn’t stopped customers from keeping these knives in short supply. I going to review one of the most popular lines from Chris Reeve Knives, the Sebenza.

Before going further, I’d like to give you quick rundown on the Chris Reeve story. Christopher Stanley Reeve was born on December 4, 1953 in Durban, South Africa. His profession was tool and die making.

As a youth, he raced motorcycles. Since he didn’t have corporate sponsors, much of the work on his bike was done by himself.

In 1989, he and his wife moved to Boise, ID so he could pursue more interesting business opportunities. His first knife was an all metal model that was resistant to climate change.

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Now back to the Sebenza. The Sebenza has an integral side-lock design. This means that one side of the handle is used to lock the blade when it’s extended. In everyday use, I found this mechanism locked the blade in place like a bank vault. Compared to other, cheaper knives, the blade on the Chris Reeve felt solid like a fixed blade model.

The blade is made out of state of the art S30V that has been stonewashed. This steel has great edge holding abilities and the finish is well suited for this type of steel. Be very careful when you first get your Sebenza. The blade has been thoroughly sharpened at the factory and it’s very sharp. It’s much sharper than some of the other production folders that I’ve received.

The handle is made out of bead blasted titanium. It feels really comfortable in my hand and I have no fears of this handle slipping out of my hand. This knife has a tip up design. This means that when have your knife clipped to your pocket, the tip of the blade will be pointed up. Many people prefer this method because they feel they can access the knife quicker. But in the end, it’s all a matter of personal preference. There’s no right or wrong way.

In addition, a lanyard is attached at the end of the handle. Some lanyard snobs might scoff at this particular design but I found it made removing the knife from my pocket a little bit easier.

The action of the blade moving out of the handle was silky smooth. You don’t want it so smooth that it opens up while it’s still in your pocket. The Sebenza is easy to access without becoming a safety hazard. You can thank the phosphor-bronze washers for doing their job.

When you get your Sebenza, it will come in a white box with the Chris Reeve Sticker. Inside will be your knife, a certificate, and an allen wrench so you can disassemble your knife for cleaning and lubing.

Overall, this is great folding knife. Technically, it’s a production folding knife but the quality matches that of any fine custom folder. The model I reviewed was the large left handed model with dual blue thumb lugs. There are numerous different models available. Some have complicated graphics and others have exotic inlays in the handle. If your tastes include damascus blades, Chris Reeve offers that option as well. If you’re interested in a knife that’s highly functional and beautiful, the Chris Reeve Sebenza will do the job rather nicely.

About the Author: Todd Matsumoto runs

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