Would you pay $400 for a folding knife? It might sound crazy to some, but the Chris Reeve Sebenza 21 has a retail price of $410 and people are buying it.
I don’t mind buying expensive gear as long as it’s worth it…but unfortunately, the Chris Reeve Sebenza 21 isn’t good enough to command that high of a price.
Here’s a few of the things I have a problem with…
The blade of the Sebenza 21 is made of CPM S35VN blade steel. That’s a good material to craft a blade out of, but let’s be real…it’s not that much better than similar materials and I don’t think it justifies the $410 price tage.
Some people might scoff at appearance being a judging factor, but let’s face it…if you’re buying a knife for $410 then shouldn’t it have above average looks at least?
There’s not much to say about the Sebenza 21 in terms of looks. It’s very plain looking and doesn’t exactly get you fired up like more visually appealing knives do.
If this were a fixed-blade knife I’d have less of a problem with the high price…but it’s not. It’s a folding knife.
Folding knives are great, but you can get a pretty good one for about $50 or maybe a little more and will work almost as good with proper care and maintenance.
Design and Locking System
The design of the Sebenza 21 is pretty good, but there are still flaws that come to mind.
For starters, there’s only one thumb stud instead of two like there should be. It’s true that this is a really small complaint in the grand scheme of things, but when you’re paying $410 for a knife these things should be taken care of.
The other problem is the locking system. The Sebenza 21 uses their proprietary integral lock, or frame lock. The frame lock was a big deal when it first appeared a long time ago, but it’s now outdated when compared to other methods.
The Sebenza 21 could have had a lock back system instead and would have been more reliable as a result. This probably won’t matter when it comes to typical use, but if you ever put some real strength into it then you might end up wishing it had a lock back system instead.
Chris Reeve offers a good warranty on the Sebenza 21, but it could be a problem for those who like to flick the blade open.
According to their warranty, they won’t fulfill the warranty for any damage caused by wrist flicking because it can ruin the knife over time.
This is a reasonable position because wrist flicking actually damages the knife, but those who are compulsive wrist flickers might get turned off by this. If you do wrist flick the Sebenza 21 and it gets damaged, the cost of repairing it is coming out of your own pocket.
The Sebenza 21 is a good knife, maybe even a great knife, but it’s not worth the huge $410 price.