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Is the Sebenza that great?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by JoepReinen, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. george65


    Dec 21, 2008
    I like the umfaan better
  2. Art_Vandeley


    Jul 22, 2009
    Gotta agree. Mine was really nice but the steel was way too soft.
  3. Hawk45

    Hawk45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 28, 2005
    If you just want a knife to cut something.. there are 1000's of sub $30 folders out there. Is there anything special about them? No, they are tools for a job. There are many who that is all they need and all they want. They could care less about the precision tolerances of less than .001. There are those that find them boring b/c they aren't orange or tactical enough or aren't sponsored by "Seals". There are those that prefer the "traditional" nail nik knives and do find them to be too modern for their tastes.

    On the other hand, you have those that love knives for their practical use, but also look at them as art and take into account the precision of engineering that goes into them. For those this is a fantastic knife and quite a deal. You have two precision (and if you watch the video, Chris really means precision) ground titanium scales, a precision ground blade from yes, a super steel.. maybe not M4 but it's a super steel, hand fitted (did you see the guys hand sanding each pivot washer?? You think any other production knife maker is doing that??), made in the USA. The knife is unassuming, which for true EDC guys, you want to be able to take your knife out whenever you need and not have a bunch of people get spooked. It fits the hand very well, it's slim, light and packs a big blade in small package. Added bonus, it's tough and built for anything a folder should be used for.

    So is this a knife for everyone? No. When you open the box are you going to be "amazed"? Maybe but probably not. Does it cut better than a $30 knife? No. But use it for a good bit and you'll understand. It's not flash, it's function. Chris is an engineer by trade, not a knife maker. The Sebenza came about b/c he loved knives and wanted to build the most precise knife around. Try building a folder from scratch and you'll understand why small tolerances are so important.

    Summing up, I'd say if you are wondering, you should try one, but understand what you are getting into. If you just want that joy of getting a new box in the mail this week, and next week you'll have another, and another and another.. then the flash will wear off. If you are going to get one and use it and use it and use it.. you will love it. If you aren't a fit/finish kind of guy and don't get into the engineering side of it, maybe it's not for you.

    Anyway, best of luck with your decision.
  4. JNewell


    Nov 18, 2005
    That's an interesting comment. To me, and YMMV, the detail that makes this knife, the thing that is most unique about it, is the precision that goes into the bushing dimensions. The Sebenza (and the related Umfaan and Mnandi) is the only knife that can be reassembled by just cranking down the pivot. No adjustment, no Loctite, just pure manufacturing precision. That's not true of the Umnumzaan or the Sebenza 25.
  5. sunandsteel


    Oct 23, 2013
    Thanks. I will check them out.
  6. HwangJino


    Dec 2, 2012
    Um my sebenza cuts WAY better than a $30knife.

    Maybe it's the way I polish and remove shoulder off edge
  7. Hairlesstwinkie


    Feb 4, 2013
    I actually thing that TAD Dauntless is a much better frame lock. That mystery manufacturer can do it right. The tension is loose until it close to disengaging then the increased tension act as an over travel break/stop. It's very well made. No frame lock I've owned wil do that. I've had Sebenzas with lock stick, but this thing is great as the same day that I got it.

    To the OP, Yes the quality is superb on the handle and the small touches. Till this day my beef with their S35VN and S30V is how soft they're ran. I've had Microtech's in the same steel out performing then while its still easy to maintain and sharpen. Running S35VN soft is not a good excuse to ease sharpening. In terms of cutting performance, simple Delica can out perform it, but there is an odd attraction to the quality of the knife. That's why even after getting rid of all my Sebenzas, I still ending up picking one up from the exchange. It's worth checking out, but it's worth is determined by the user. Everyone's experience will be different.
  8. HwangJino


    Dec 2, 2012
    I could never sell my sebenzas, I've grown attached to them.

    Honestly these things have soul.
  9. buckeyejake


    Dec 28, 2013
    Bought my first small seb a year ago for a birthday present for me :) they are worth every dollar plus more Two passes on a old case steel and shes ready to go I have over ten stones and I can tell the reeves are good stuff Don't buy into the poor steel story I have carried a knife for over 50 years
  10. d1ce


    Aug 14, 2013
    That's a highly subjective question and as such, your going to get varying answers. I'm gonna go against the grain here and say no, it's not great TO ME. I don't care for the looks nor the price. It's a highly hyped product that is no doubt quality but I personally feel I can obtain the same thing from a quality Spyderco or Benchmade. People need to stop relying on the opinions of others when it comes to folding knives of this caliber. Like I said before, it is without a doubt a quality product. YOU decide if it's for you.
  11. evilgreg

    evilgreg Why so serious? Platinum Member

    Dec 25, 2012
    They don't do it for me. I bought one and ended up selling it pretty quickly. It was a nice enough knife I suppose, but it just didn't do anything for me. I'd rather have a Southard and use the leftover cash to buy a custom scale and an STR clip, and that would still leave money left over for something else. Different strokes for different folks, though.
  12. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    I don't like the Sebanza's looks either. I haven't tried one and it looks like a good slicer but I have to want to look at it and fondle it.
  13. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. Banned Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Though I never got to hold, fondle or molest a benza or umnum, I decided to go the Strider route as it just seemed more my style, and fit my uses better. To each their own, but the benza was a bit boring to me. I'll probably buy a custom one down the road, got to sell a few knives first.
  14. RetiredGuns


    Mar 13, 2009
    2 of the most discussed and at times controversial knives on the forum. I own and have owned multiples of both and find them equally outstanding. These discussions while never-ending are still fun, but when words like "over-hyped" and "over valued" come up, that's just silly. Both are almost always sold out and continually command near new prices when for sale by owners. They may not do it for some folks, but there's no denying their "value".


  15. frontline29


    Oct 7, 2008
    To me the greatness of the Sebenza comes from carrying and using the knife. The design and quality of the knife really make it a pleasure to own and maintain.

    If your curious about the Sebenza I'd recommend picking up a used one from the exchange and trying it for a month or so to see if it's for you.
  16. ToddM


    Oct 2, 1998
    There's a reason the Sebenza is almost always talked about as being the standard for fit and finish and consistency from sample to sample.

    The blade steel is not amazing, you can get cheaper knives with S35V and much cheaper knives with S30V which is so close to S35 I doubt most average users would notice the difference. My two CRK knives (25 and Umnumzaan) are the smoothest opening and the most "solid" feeling when the lock bar engages of any of the knives I've owned. It still impresses me every time I open it how smooth it is and how solid it feel when the lock bar engages, for me it's the only knife of dozens of production and midtechs that I've owned and handled that achieves that.

    In the past year I've bought a TAD Dauntless, Strider SMF, Spartan Akribis, various BM, Spyderco, Microtech, ZT frame lock knives, and not one of them is as smooth in its opening or feels like a "vault" when the lock bar engages unless the pivot is loose enough there's blade play. Did I just get bad copies of all those knives, I suppose it's possible. Does that fit/feel really change how the knife cuts, not at all. Does the sebenza cut twice as good as the host of S30/S35 knives out there that cost half as much, nope. Do I still really like the Dauntless and others I have, of course, but none of them impress me every time I open it like my CRK's.

    Is that worth it, if you just need to cut things and only care about function then no, but if that's really all a person wants there's no reason to spend over about $70 on a knife, probably even less.
  17. Charlie Mike

    Charlie Mike Sober since 1-7-14 (still a Paranoid Nutjob) Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 1, 2000
  18. Lycosa


    Aug 24, 2007
    Fantastic work, Matt!


    Apr 4, 2007
    What im getting at is that most people who dont understand what is so special about a sebenza usually have never owned one. And most people who have owned one and still found it not to be for them can still appreciate it for what it is and have a better understanding of why others gravitate to it so much. So when guys say, "I handles one at a knife store and didnt get it" I simply feel that is a kin to saying you drove a ferrari around the block and didnt think it was such a great car. You cant appreciate what an item is designed to do unless you do those things with the item.
  20. Charlie Mike

    Charlie Mike Sober since 1-7-14 (still a Paranoid Nutjob) Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 1, 2000
    Honestly, I really wanted to piss some folks off with that one. :D

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