Tell me why I need a Sebenza

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Evil D
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Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby Evil D » Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:15 pm

Been contemplating one of two very different purchases lately...either a SMF or a Sebenza Insingo. In the past I've sworn off CRK because their style doesn't really suit me, but lately I've been lusting after the precision aspect of their build quality and such. I was dead set on getting a SMF, but I read a bunch of warranty horror stories and they soured my taste, plus in all reality I don't think it would get carried enough to justify the price, I dunno.

With the Sebenza, I could see myself using it on one condition...and that's me getting past the thumb stud. I've been round and round in circles with the guys on EDCF over this, and they swear the stud is not an issue. Maybe they're right...I dunno.

My other thing is steel options...I'd really just like something besides S35VN. For the price, it would be nice to at least have a couple options.

I know some of you guys have them, what are you feelings? Worth the price for more than just a safe queen? I don't buy anything and let it sit in the box, it WILL get used, it WILL get scratched and probably dropped and banged up. I'm not at all worried about resale value.

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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby bdblue » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:24 pm

If you want one, don't have one, and can afford it, that is enough reason to buy one.

But seriously you have to think about whether you would be willing to carry it, would you resent it for being too expensive or would you treasure it because of its qualities. Also I would personally just buy a couple of more Spydercos.

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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby SpyderNut » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:45 pm

I don't own a SMF, but I do have a Sebenza 21. I very much admire the legendary high tolerances and F&F on my Sebenza. The blade grind is perfectly accurate, the blade is centered in the handle when closed, I mean, I really can't find one thing wrong with my knife.

But in all honesty, I do not carry this knife very often at all. It is quite literally new-in-box. :( I guess here are the things that are a turn-off: I REALLY do not like the thumb stud. For one thing, I am royally spoiled with using Round Holes on my blades. Secondly, the detent is overly stiff which makes it nearly painful to repeatedly open the blade with the thumb stud. I also do not find the design to be very comfortable in my hand. In other words, the design noticably lacks in ergonomics. (Disclaimer: I imagine the larger model CRK's are likely more comfortable than my smaller model). Nevertheless, it feels like there's too much blade compared to the handle. Don't get me wrong, the blade-to-handle ratio is spot-on in terms of maximizing blade length for the handle size. However, this doesn't make the knife very comfortable to grip in my hand. I almost need another 1 1/2" of handle in order to get a secure grip. Third, I don't care for the CRK pocket clip. Call me spoiled or jaded, but I really prefer Spyderco's standard pocket clips over CRK's style.

In summary, the CRK is certainly a very high-quality knife--no argument on that. But, I would much rather spend $350 on a higher-end Spyderco (or even a Microtech :o ).

Just my humble 0.02 on the matter. Some folks swear by the CRK's, but I think mine will remain a pretty little safe-queen.

-Michael

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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby farnorthdan » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:52 pm

I've been lusting after a Sebenza for some time myself, they look awesome but like others it keeps getting knocked down the list by new spydies, I will get one eventually if for no other reason than I think every collection should have one, kinda like a PM2.
Happy to be part of this great forum and group of down to earth spyderco addicts, Thanks Sal and gang.
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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby DRKBC » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:35 pm

Now you are speaking my language. To me the biggest challenge is which one to get first. I don't have a vast selection but I have one of each and I carry them all. I own a small 21 inlay, large Micarta Insingo, 25 and a Startac I don't think you would be disappointed with any of them (other than the small is small). For what its worth here is my feelings and in the spirit of enabling ... some photos;

- Insingo, the blade is a spectacular slicer and good for a wide variety of tasks I know you like Wharne's this is as close as you will get with a Sebenza. You can pretty much see what your getting with the ergos, it isn't a Manix but it also isn't uncomfortable in the hand and feels very secure. Not being an overly curvy handle it works well in a variety of grip positions. Not having a choil has its plusses and minuses but I like the extra blade length and you can position your finger over the edge of the handle (as if you had a choil) and it is very comfortable and very secure and accurate feeling.

Image

- 25, if you want something more ergonomic and beefy to me the 25 is the one to go with, I carry the 25 the most of the bunch, I love the big pivot, Ceramic ball detent, thicker blade stock, phosphor bronze washers with the lube ports, CRK's version of FFG and ultra, ultra smooth. The detent is firm but once you get use to it you can flick it open with the thumb stud. Jimping is more robust than on the 21.

Image

The Umnumzaan is a work of art the blade grind is beautiful same set-up as the 25 but with an over travel stop beautiful knife. I have the one with the new Pivot many people prefer the old style pivot without the over travel, I love mine but I was after the Wilson Combat version and finding one with an old pivot was that much harder again.
Image

The first time you take apart one of these knives you will gain a real appreciation for the quality, there are so many little details that get you hooked. Here is an interesting thread on BF on just that;

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showt ... Sebenza-21" target="_blank

Hope that helps.

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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby JD Spydo » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:10 pm

EVIL first off I'm not very up to speed in the CUSTOM KNIFE MARKET. I probably know enough to be dangerous if the truth got out :rolleyes: But before you buy a Sebenza I do urge you to check out two custom guys that have really impressed me greatly. One is Bob Dozier out of Arkansas>> the other is a guy who has done collaborations with Spyderco and that is Laci Szabo. I've seen both guy's stuff at a few knife shows and frankly their quality really stands out to me.

Just thought you might want to check them out. Good luck in your shopping. JD :spyder: O

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Blerv
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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby Blerv » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:12 am

I bought a TiLock because it's as weird as I am :p. Great knife, oozes quality. My brother has a couple Insingos which are a bit more mundane but very honest tools.

I can't say why you should or shouldn't, just that CR makes a very fine tool that's worth trying out. Kind of like a Manix2 or Para2, it's easier to love or dismiss once you have tried it. IMHO, the TiLock is certainly worth a shot. It's just a beaut with a very nice blade-to-handle ratio.

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Blerv
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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby Blerv » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:12 am

Duplicate.
Last edited by Blerv on Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby The Deacon » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:01 am

If you're into comparisons, and buy into the notion that the Sebenza is the de-facto standard against which all other production knives are judged, then you "need" one for comparison purposes. Otherwise, you should really only buy one if you "want" it and can afford it. Also, if it's going to be a user, then consider buying used. They show up pretty regularly on the BF Exchange, most in pristine condition.

Personally, although I own a lefty Mnandi and respect the craftsmanship that goes into all of Chris Reeve's knives, they don't "call to me".
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Evil D
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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby Evil D » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:40 am

The Deacon wrote:If you're into comparisons, and buy into the notion that the Sebenza is the de-facto standard against which all other production knives are judged, then you "need" one for comparison purposes. Otherwise, you should really only buy one if you "want" it and can afford it. Also, if it's going to be a user, then consider buying used. They show up pretty regularly on the BF Exchange, most in pristine condition.

Personally, although I own a lefty Mnandi and respect the craftsmanship that goes into all of Chris Reeve's knives, they don't "call to me".

Yeah Paul the calling to me thing is what I'm not sure about. I'm a big fan of engineering and precision, and those are the aspects that attract me the most. The design on the other hand isn't exactly my thing. I'm not sure the engineering and precision are enough to justify the price.

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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby anagarika » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:49 am

Disclaimer, YMMV.

I never have Sebenza. Too expensive to me.

The stud vs hole is the main thing you have to consider. I'm selling my stud knives to buy hole knives. Also, the ergonomics is important. I tried the similar straight handle (Sanrenmu 710 & Enlan EL02). Both emulate the Sevenza. I don't think I'll like Sebenza based on the ergonomics. Endura, GB, & even the longish/wide Resilience are much more comfortable. Wait until the studs get stuck in the thing you cut (I like ambi, so it'll likely ambi studs). ;)

Next is the blade grind. FFG is better than sabre hollow.

Just my feeling on the design, nothing about the precision and quality as I never experience one.
Chris :spyder:

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tvenuto
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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby tvenuto » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:20 am

I'm sure this is no fault of the design itself, but in my estimation, it appears that the number of people who have sold a sebenza outpaces the number of people who regularly use a sebenza by at least one order of magnitude.

I'm with you: I love engineering and precision, but the design has to speak to me and the egos have to be good for use.

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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby GoldenSpydie » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:37 am

I have two small Sebs right now. One of them is a "unique graphic" safe queen and the other one is a user. I got it cheap on the secondary market (<$300) and carried if for several months. It performed well, but the handle was not nearly as comfortable as my Spydies, the steel was nothing spectacular, and the convex sharpening bevel is a pain to sharpen. Finally, the thumb stud can be used easily with practice, but the Spyderhole is much preferable IMO.

So for me, I graduated from the Seb to Spydercos, although most people probably go the other direction. Do I still like the knife? Yes. But I think there are much better knives for my EDC.

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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby 1623 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:15 am

I briefly handled a small Sebenza 21 a while back and its owner was kind enough to let me look it over for a few minutes. Build quality was right there with everything I'd heard and read, action was butter and it felt decent in hand, but not perfect. I found it to be a little thin and didn't fill the hand as nicely as my Sage 2, which I was comparing it to all the while. I also found the thumb stud to be uncomfortable but as you said, one gets spoiled after using a Spydie hole for so long.

I looked into them after that and still sometimes look at the listings when they pop up, but I finally reached the conclusion that it wasn't a knife I felt the absolute need to own. I personally think the Insingo blade is one of the sexiest I've ever seen, but that's still not enough to warrant the expense for me. I'd say that handling one played a role in my decision to not buy one, whereas I may have purchased one to find out what all the fanfare was about, had I not had that opportunity. As you know, sometimes you simply have to get something in hand to know for sure. If you decide to make the purchase and then dislike it, turning it over should be relatively easy.
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Blerv
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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby Blerv » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:40 pm

Triplicate!! (Sorry...)
Last edited by Blerv on Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby Surfingringo » Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:22 pm

I've handled some and they are very nice. I am just too spoiled by spydercos ergonomics, blade steels and of course the opening hole! I certainly wouldn't hate on it if I got one as a gift but for that kind of money I can think of a LOT of knives I would rather have. Something like a Phil Wilson custom or multiple Spydies would be much higher on my list.

My soothsayer prediction is if you buy a sebenza you will fondle it for a week and appreciate its precision workmanship but will continue to prefer carrying your $100 manix LW.

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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby OldSarSwmr » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:44 pm

I have a large Regular Sebenza that I purchased used a few years ago. I bought it because of all the praise I heard about it and I wanted to judge for myself. When I got it, I took it out of the box and fondled it and honestly, was like "meh" :( , I was expecting a miraculous revelation in my knife life and I was "meh". I couldn't see putting my Para 2 or Manix 2 on the shelf and the Sebenza in my pocket. I put it away convinced that I was going to sell it. Well about a year went by and I kind of forgot about it, then I believe it was a thread on here and someone mentioned theirs so I made up my mind to revisit it.

I brought it out and gave it a once over and went through my likes and dislikes and decided that I really should use it before I judge it too harshly. The knife is flawless, fit and finish is incredible and it is buttery smooth, all likes. After using it I realized that it is just that, a really well made knife, but to me it didn't offer anything over many of my Spydercos, performance wise. I'm not a huge fan of the pocket clip but that is minimal to and not that much of a problem.

In the end I decided to keep it. I keep it in my EDC rotation but its a once a month knife for me. It is a beautiful knife in it's simplicity and I appreciate the engineering and finish. I can't say that I love it but I also can't say that I hate it, you know, "meh". :o
If they ever produce a "Salbenza" (think Starmate with titanium and RIL) I would probably buy one in a heartbeat!

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Evil D
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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby Evil D » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:10 pm

Yep Gringo I think you summed it up, and the rest of you pretty much echoed what I had been thinking.

I did get to check out a Tilock today. Cool little knife but not my style. I also got to check out a Strider SNG knockoff, and like I predicted I love the ergos and now I'm back to wanting a SMF like crazy. I'll have to see what kind of deals pop up. I still wanna make my custom G10 Manix 2 LW a reality so I may just look harder for someone willing to take on the challenge.

I will say this though, if CR ever decides to put thumb hole in one, he'll get my money. Unfortunately this is one that I don't think I'd want a collab on, since the machine work is one of the biggest attractions. Give it a thumb hole and I'm sold.
Last edited by Evil D on Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby On Edge » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:12 pm

I bought a used Small Classic Sebenza with Blackwood scales a while back ... got it for a good price off the forums, (a good price for a Sebenza, anyway) ...

While it was well made, and very smooth, it just never "did it" for me - I couldn't "see" the money I had in it ... so I sold it.
About a year later, I started thinking about them again, and looking at the Insingo blade.
(*I should state that one of my pet peeves is the single thumb stud. I am a "righty", but for that kind of money Jack, you can give me matching thumb studs.)
So I ordered a Small 21 Insingo, w/double studs and Micarta scales. And as soon as I opened the box I knew ...
THIS knife spoke to me. I love the feel, the build, the blade profile, the size, everything about it.
I have many EDC choices, but this knife has been in my pocket around 70% of the time since I got it (about 6 months now).
I have since then picked up a 25 and an Umnumzaan ... sold the 'Zaan and I will likely sell the 25 as well - the small Insingo is just a perfect fit for me, and the others aren't getting any time.
That's all I got - I would keep an eye on the forums - they come up pretty regularly, (but not often with double thumb studs) so you should be able to 'test drive' without too much risk ... I would say that given my experience, just because the first one falls flat, it doesn't mean a different one won't be 'the one'.

~ edge

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Re: Tell me why I need a Sebenza

Postby jmh58 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:47 pm

You don't!!! :p Just messin.. :D John :)
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