Chris Reeve Knives

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kennethsime
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Chris Reeve Knives

Postby kennethsime » Wed Jan 19, 2022 9:36 pm

I know a few of us have been checking out CRKs recently, and others have carried them for years. I wanted to create a centralized thread for folks to show off their CRKs and discuss the brand.

I first encountered CRK knives at the specialty cutlery shop I worked at in college. Our stock varied a bit, but we usually had both Sebenzas in stock, an Umnumzaan, and we even had a TiLock for awhile. We also usually had a fixie or two - my favorite was the Pacific Warrior.

Working at the store, I had the opportunity to get hands on experience with a lot of the best knives from Spyderco, Benchmade, Kershaw, Becker, Case, Emerson, ESEE, and more. I also had the opportunity to handle a lot of low-quality knives, but that’s another story. Point is, I always saw the Sebenza as my “grail knife,” like if I could ever manage to own one I’d be done buying knives. Back then, even with a generous employee discount, there was no way I could afford a CRK.

One day, I accidentally took a Sebenza home in my pocket and freaked out so much, worried I would scratch or damage it in some way. Luckily, it made it back to the knife case safe and sound.

After getting used to Spydercos, and especially the round hole, I pretty much swore off other folders. Still, the thought of the Sebenza has stuck with me all this time, and last week I finally managed to nab one (thanks, Rick!).

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It’s a Sebenza 31, born in July of this past year. The blade is S45VN, and the inlays are natural canvas micarta. The finish is sandblasted titanium. Today was my first carry, and I am beyond stoked.

So:
  • Which CRKs do you own, or have you tried? Which would you like to pick up in the future?
  • What do you like, or not like about them?
  • Have you done a spydie-hole mod? Would you?
  • Do you find yourself carrying your CRKs more than your Spydercos, or vise-versa?
Last edited by kennethsime on Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
I'm happiest with Micarta and Tool Steel.

Top four in rotation: K390 + GCM PM2, ZCarta Shaman, Crucarta PM2, K390 + GCM Straight Spine Stretch.

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standy99
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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby standy99 » Thu Jan 20, 2022 2:39 am

Just have a Mnandi now. This is a knife that wows me every time I carry it or take it out.

Couldn’t justify a CRK Sebenza (had one…Meh) as preferred the Spyderco GB1 and am a M4 fanboy ; )

Would I buy a Sebenza again…Probably not
Would I sell the Mnandi…Never

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Im a vegetarian as technically cows are made of grass and water.

The Meat man
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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby The Meat man » Thu Jan 20, 2022 6:28 am

I bit the bullet and bought a Large Sebenza 21 a few years ago, when you could still find them in stock here and there. The 31 was just beginning to replace them.

Mine's a plain jane S35VN model and I love it. I wasn't necessarily blown away at first sight, but it just kept growing on me in time and now it is one of my all-time favorites. I can't sum it up any better than to describe it as "elegant simplicity".

I love how simple and robust the construction is - everything you need and nothing you don't. Disassembly is a breeze and all the screws are identical. None of this messing around with the pivot screw to achieve perfect action - simply crank it down tight, and CRK does the rest. Buttery smooth action with no blade play, solid lockup. I've said this before, but it makes some of my Spyderco knives feel like toys. Sorry! :astonished

I would love to get another one sometime. Almost pulled the trigger on a Mnandi once. I would really like it if they offered more steel variety. Would love to have an S90V Sebenza!
- Connor

"What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

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TkoK83Spy
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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby TkoK83Spy » Thu Jan 20, 2022 7:50 am

Glad you like the one you were able to snag Ken!! I saw a few hours after I notified you, that they were sold out, So I'm glad you were able to snag one during that small window!

I like how Connor put it, as "elegant simplicity" That honestly is a great assessment. Particularly with the PJ model. I decided to part with mine this week after acquiring my Large 31 with inlays. Decided to help a great fellow member get himself a taste of a CRK, and not for the inflated eBay prices. Those Large's are tough to come by these days! Mine had some very smooth action, still working on the new one, but it's getting there.

I now have a Small 31, Large 31 and a Large Inkosi Insingo. All with different kinds of inlays as well. I would like my next to be a Zaan if I can eventually find one in stock somewhere. No rush at the moment though, but I think if one were to pop up I'd have to bite and take the hit!

They are certainly expensive knives, but I have no problem holding off on other knives that I want in favor of one REALLY nice knife. As much as I love my Spyderco's, these really are on a whole different level. Can't disagree with Connor on that!

I do find it funny people say they would never spend CRK prices on a knife...yet over the course of a month they go and buy 5 different Spyderco knives that all have similarities with one another, instead of one knife that would be more unique for their collection. But hey, that's their money and not mine!
17 :bug-red 's in 12 different steels
2 - Bradford Guardian 3's (Wharnie Vanadis 4E and 3V/Drop Point)
1 - Monterey Bay Knives Slayback Flipper - ZDP 189
1 - CRK Small Sebenza 31/Macassar Ebony Inlays
1 - CRK Large Inkosi Insingo/ Black Micarta Inlays
1 - CRK Large Sebenza 31/Box Elder Inlays
1 - CRK Umnumzaan
1 - Microtech Ultratech DE OTF
1 - Finch Knives Sunkist Harvester

-Rick

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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby mikey177 » Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:32 am

I have a PJ Inkosi, Sebenza 31, and Umnumzaan. If CRK comes out with a smaller version of the Nyala, I would be interested in one.

I like that they feel solid and substantial. I don't like that the lanyard pin rattles when you remove the lanyard, but it is easy enough to remedy with thread locker.

I like the Umnumzaan the least, because of how different its opening movement is compared with the other models. If I approach the thumb stud just right, the Zaan opens fine; otherwise, it becomes a two-handed opener on occasion.

I like the Inkosi best just because it is the most broken in and easy to open. I only got the 31 last month so we are still getting acquainted.

I carry Spyderco more as I prefer the ease of opening of the thumb hole.
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SG89
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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby SG89 » Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:33 am

I bought a Sebenza 31 small PJ last year. Well built but ultimately not for me. I don't like thumb studs. Having said that I wanted to give CRK another chance. So I have a large sebenza 31 in micarta on the way but with a spydie hole. Lol. I really want a new style mnandi tho. Can't find any in stock. (the one with the hole through the blade)
Last edited by SG89 on Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TkoK83Spy
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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby TkoK83Spy » Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:44 am

SG89 wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:33 am
I bought a Sebenza 31 small PJ last year. Well built but ultimately not for me. I don't like thumb holes. Having said that I wanted to give CRK another chance. So I have a large sebenza 31 in micarta on the way but with a spydie hole. Lol. I really want a new style mnandi tho. Can't find any in stock. (the one with the hole through the blade)
Nice! Already has the mod done, that's a winner!
17 :bug-red 's in 12 different steels
2 - Bradford Guardian 3's (Wharnie Vanadis 4E and 3V/Drop Point)
1 - Monterey Bay Knives Slayback Flipper - ZDP 189
1 - CRK Small Sebenza 31/Macassar Ebony Inlays
1 - CRK Large Inkosi Insingo/ Black Micarta Inlays
1 - CRK Large Sebenza 31/Box Elder Inlays
1 - CRK Umnumzaan
1 - Microtech Ultratech DE OTF
1 - Finch Knives Sunkist Harvester

-Rick

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kennethsime
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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby kennethsime » Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:20 am

SG89 wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:33 am
I bought a Sebenza 31 small PJ last year. Well built but ultimately not for me. I don't like thumb holes. Having said that I wanted to give CRK another chance. So I have a large sebenza 31 in micarta on the way but with a spydie hole. Lol. I really want a new style mnandi tho. Can't find any in stock. (the one with the hole through the blade)
Definitely let us know how you like it. I've seen a few, and it seems like the opening action would be similar to the Native (or another Spyderco without a thumb ramp). I'm really tempted, as I can't stand thumb studs honestly, but I'm not sure I'm ready to void the lifetime warranty on the knife.
I'm happiest with Micarta and Tool Steel.

Top four in rotation: K390 + GCM PM2, ZCarta Shaman, Crucarta PM2, K390 + GCM Straight Spine Stretch.

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TkoK83Spy
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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby TkoK83Spy » Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:24 am

I find the more I carry my CRK's, the more I get used to the studs. Once the action is super smooth, the thumb stud really isn't an issue. Though...I would prefer the hole if given the option.
17 :bug-red 's in 12 different steels
2 - Bradford Guardian 3's (Wharnie Vanadis 4E and 3V/Drop Point)
1 - Monterey Bay Knives Slayback Flipper - ZDP 189
1 - CRK Small Sebenza 31/Macassar Ebony Inlays
1 - CRK Large Inkosi Insingo/ Black Micarta Inlays
1 - CRK Large Sebenza 31/Box Elder Inlays
1 - CRK Umnumzaan
1 - Microtech Ultratech DE OTF
1 - Finch Knives Sunkist Harvester

-Rick

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kennethsime
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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby kennethsime » Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:26 am

TkoK83Spy wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 7:50 am
Glad you like the one you were able to snag Ken!! I saw a few hours after I notified you, that they were sold out, So I'm glad you were able to snag one during that small window!
Yes, all thanks to you Rick (original post edited, btw). You're the best man.
TkoK83Spy wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 7:50 am
I do find it funny people say they would never spend CRK prices on a knife...yet over the course of a month they go and buy 5 different Spyderco knives that all have similarities with one another, instead of one knife that would be more unique for their collection. But hey, that's their money and not mine!
One of my bigger regrets from the knife shop days is not saving up for a Sebenza at the time. For one, my price would've been about $225 (if I remember right). For two, I really liked the pre-21 Sebenza without the Idaho Made stamp. For three, we had a regular who helped cement my love of knives, and he really wanted me to pickup a Sebenza as he knew it'd be a one+done which would last the rest of my life.

Then again, I lost my first three Spydercos - maybe it's best I waited until now to pickup a Sebenza. :zany
I'm happiest with Micarta and Tool Steel.

Top four in rotation: K390 + GCM PM2, ZCarta Shaman, Crucarta PM2, K390 + GCM Straight Spine Stretch.

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kennethsime
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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby kennethsime » Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:29 am

mikey177 wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:32 am
I like the Umnumzaan the least, because of how different its opening movement is compared with the other models. If I approach the thumb stud just right, the Zaan opens fine; otherwise, it becomes a two-handed opener on occasion.
I remember getting used to opening the Zaan at the knife shop, and I think I actually preferred it. Then again, that was 15 years ago. I am finding that I have to adjust my grip part-way through opening my Sebenza to get it the open all the way reliably - it's not onen fluid motion, but two. Unless of course, I happen to hit it just right and/or apply a good wrist flick.
mikey177 wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:32 am
I carry Spyderco more as I prefer the ease of opening of the thumb hole.
This is my worry. I'm making myself carry the Sebenza this week, but frankly I do really prefer the round hole. I would kill for a collab, or simply for CRK to license the round hole.
I'm happiest with Micarta and Tool Steel.

Top four in rotation: K390 + GCM PM2, ZCarta Shaman, Crucarta PM2, K390 + GCM Straight Spine Stretch.

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kennethsime
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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby kennethsime » Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:31 am

standy99 wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 2:39 am
Just have a Mnandi now. This is a knife that wows me every time I carry it or take it out.
The Mnandi is certainly a gorgeous knife - your example especially. I don't have a lot of use for a "gents folder," but if I did I think that's where I'd be looking.
I'm happiest with Micarta and Tool Steel.

Top four in rotation: K390 + GCM PM2, ZCarta Shaman, Crucarta PM2, K390 + GCM Straight Spine Stretch.

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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby TkoK83Spy » Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:32 am

I was happy to be able to help! Happened to be perfect timing and I remember seeing you post about that specific knife a couple days before, couldn't believe how that worked out haha.

Speaking of losing knives, though a bit off topic...I know you love your fixed blades as well. How often do you carry a fixed blade without a folder, only to feel a second of panic when you reach down and don't feel a knife or the pocket clip in that pocket? That happens to me at least once a day I think, anytime I carry a fixed blade...that's one second of instant terror!
17 :bug-red 's in 12 different steels
2 - Bradford Guardian 3's (Wharnie Vanadis 4E and 3V/Drop Point)
1 - Monterey Bay Knives Slayback Flipper - ZDP 189
1 - CRK Small Sebenza 31/Macassar Ebony Inlays
1 - CRK Large Inkosi Insingo/ Black Micarta Inlays
1 - CRK Large Sebenza 31/Box Elder Inlays
1 - CRK Umnumzaan
1 - Microtech Ultratech DE OTF
1 - Finch Knives Sunkist Harvester

-Rick

SG89
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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby SG89 » Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:36 am

kennethsime wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:20 am
SG89 wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:33 am
I bought a Sebenza 31 small PJ last year. Well built but ultimately not for me. I don't like thumb holes. Having said that I wanted to give CRK another chance. So I have a large sebenza 31 in micarta on the way but with a spydie hole. Lol. I really want a new style mnandi tho. Can't find any in stock. (the one with the hole through the blade)
Definitely let us know how you like it. I've seen a few, and it seems like the opening action would be similar to the Native (or another Spyderco without a thumb ramp). I'm really tempted, as I can't stand thumb studs honestly, but I'm not sure I'm ready to void the lifetime warranty on the knife.
I much prefer the opening of backlock or compression lock knives compared to frame lock. I'm hoping the thumb hole will make opening a CRK more enjoyable for me. I don't use warranties, ever.
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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby Airlsee » Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:37 am

For me thumb-studs just come with the territory on CRK's. They aren't a problem, but this thread reminded me of when I first got a CRK and carried it exclusively for months, bruised thumbs and callouses were the price of fidgeting.

Mnandi is appealing but I feel like I would need to find a deal on one. I like the Air better as a gents folder, but some of the wood inlays are just gorgeous.
So it goes.

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kennethsime
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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby kennethsime » Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:39 am

TkoK83Spy wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:32 am
I was happy to be able to help! Happened to be perfect timing and I remember seeing you post about that specific knife a couple days before, couldn't believe how that worked out haha.

Speaking of losing knives, though a bit off topic...I know you love your fixed blades as well. How often do you carry a fixed blade without a folder, only to feel a second of panic when you reach down and don't feel a knife or the pocket clip in that pocket? That happens to me at least once a day I think, anytime I carry a fixed blade...that's one second of instant terror!
I'm a little OCD and I pretty much can't leave the house without at least a ClipIt and a SAK - the "pocket check" happens before I leave the bedroom. The fixed blade is always in addition to, rather than in place of. I like horizontal carry, on the belt, so I haven't explored a pocket sheath to kick the folder out of my pocket yet.

Speaking of fixed blades, I wonder if anyone here has used a Nyala?

Part of me thinks I can't go back to screw-together, removable scales which allow the tang to stand proud - traditional handles have spoiled me. On the other hand, I sure would love to own a CRK fixie.
I'm happiest with Micarta and Tool Steel.

Top four in rotation: K390 + GCM PM2, ZCarta Shaman, Crucarta PM2, K390 + GCM Straight Spine Stretch.

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standy99
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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby standy99 » Thu Jan 20, 2022 10:31 am

Well I do have a professional Solider. Had to pick one up as they went discontinued.


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Was about the same time the Junction went discontinued

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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby abbazaba » Thu Jan 20, 2022 11:26 am

TkoK83Spy wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:24 am
I find the more I carry my CRK's, the more I get used to the studs. Once the action is super smooth, the thumb stud really isn't an issue. Though...I would prefer the hole if given the option.
Same here. Once you get used to putting your thumb on the blade and pushing the stud from below it's a non issue.

That said, I do have a Large Spydiebenza, and it's an incredibly natural marriage IMO. I look forward to your thoughts SG!

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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby murphjd25 » Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:31 pm

SG89 wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:33 am
I bought a Sebenza 31 small PJ last year. Well built but ultimately not for me. I don't like thumb holes. Having said that I wanted to give CRK another chance. So I have a large sebenza 31 in micarta on the way but with a spydie hole. Lol. I really want a new style mnandi tho. Can't find any in stock. (the one with the hole through the blade)
😡
Josh

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Re: Chris Reeve Knives

Postby SG89 » Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:36 pm

murphjd25 wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:31 pm
SG89 wrote:
Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:33 am
I bought a Sebenza 31 small PJ last year. Well built but ultimately not for me. I don't like thumb holes. Having said that I wanted to give CRK another chance. So I have a large sebenza 31 in micarta on the way but with a spydie hole. Lol. I really want a new style mnandi tho. Can't find any in stock. (the one with the hole through the blade)
😡
Are you mad it's a 31 instead of a 21?
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