Knife Preview: Chris Reeve Sebenza

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

We all know about the Chris Reeve Sebenza. This Titanium-framed folder is legendary for its strength, its S35VN blade, and its very high price. Through the efforts of a friend, I’ve gotten my hands on a well-used Sebenza which has probably never left its owner’s pocket for this long before. (Thanks, buddy! You’ll get it back soon!)

This is the Titanium frame-lock that makes this knife so bomb-proof. I haven’t seen any Benchmade-style destruction test videos, but my money says the blade will break or deform before that slab of Titanium frame gives way.

I haven’t done any cutting tests yet. The Sebenza arrived somewhat dull, and I want to have a really good edge on it before I put it through its cutting paces. The S35VN blade is a bit of a chore to sharpen.

Watch this space for the full review.


  1. B says:

    I had to sharpen the S30V on my BM 940. It was awful and took forever on my spyderco sharpmaker. I was thinking of getting a ZT0560, but I’ve now sworn off super steels because of that experience. Maybe a diamond rod would have helped, but I have no problem getting a razor edge with 680n, 440c, and 8cr13mov.

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      Roger that: 440C, 12C27, 8Cr13MoV, and 14C28N all sharpen very nicely for me, even if I’ve managed to blunt them pretty badly. (Especially the 12C27.)

      But 154CM, S30V and S35VN, along with Buck’s Paul Bos-treated 420HC, are just hell to sharpen once they get really dull. I haven’t dulled any AUS8 blades enough to tell with them, and I haven’t tested a VG-10 knife yet.

  2. Out_Fang_Thief says:

    Maybe I’m weird, or maybe I’m just a different kind of knife buyer,
    but there’s no place I go where I’m not going to worry about losing
    a $500-$800 folding box cutter. I get it, titanium, the engineering,
    the quality of the steel, yada, yada, yada, I do get the awesomeness.
    But just not enough to spend that kind of money on a folding knife.

    1. Derek says:

      Roger that.

      When my knife comes out of my pocket, there’s a ~95% chance I’m opening a box or a letter. Occasionally I cut cardboard boxes into strips for the fire pit (mostly for fun, I could just throw the whole thing in there).

      I find super-knives as cool as the next guy but the improvements are well past the point of diminishing returns for me. It’s the same as uber handguns. I fondle Wilson’s and Browns every chance I get cus they’re freakin awesome, but I’d never carry one over my Glock.

      I’ve made the comparison to buying a Ferrari to drive to work and home everyday. Yea, on paper, the car is worlds better than a Honda Civic. But if all I’m doing is 65-70 on the freeway, is it actually better? If all I’m doing is cutting tape, plactic, paper and, occasionally, cardboard, is that $400 M390 knife actually better than my $50 AUS-8A knife?

      Small, inexpensive, Wharnecliffe folders with decent steels are the most under-appreciated knives on the market IMO.

    2. Pat says:

      In the Sebenza vs Gun department (what to buy)….the gun wins. You can get knives with fantastic steel for well under $100. I got a Spyderco Endura for $37 a few years back. Just purchased the Condor Parang (17 1/2″ bld.), Golok ( 14 1/2″ bld.) and Pack Golok ( 11″ bld,) including sheaths for $110 TOTAL!

  3. Jim says:

    I make that same arguement with cars. My 300 dollar fixer upper Jeep Cherokee wasnt much to look at and it wont do 150, but it just goes and goes and goes. Sharpest knife i own is an old Case 3 blade. I can get that thing scary sharp, and its going on 25 or so years of being used for every and any purpose you could ever need a knife to do. I’ve used it to field dress small game, deer( though not primarily) carve wood, cut automotive hose, strip wire and about a hundred other things I could list. If i recall I paid about 5 bucks for it at a local flea market. Im sure I could break it easily if I tried to, but I cant imagine I’ll ever decide to use it as a pry bar or some other abusive task. I like to look at the high dollar stuff too but I’ll stick with what works and works cheap.

  4. B says:

    My $40 Spyderco Tenacious with its 8cr13mov blade is the sharpest knife I have. Thing took a crazy sharp edge once I got done with the ultra fine stone.

  5. Roy says:

    Superman makes knives now?

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Knife Preview: Chris Reeve Sebenza

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