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Chris Reeve Millenium Classic Small Sebenza
Folding Knife Review

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Small Millennuim Classic Sebenza

It took me roughly 2 years to finally buy and keep one of the worlds most famous folding knife - the Sebenza. If you ever ask an eternal question What is the best folding knife on practically any knife related forum, you'll get tons of msgs stating that The Sebenza is the one :) Though there are a lot of folks out there who dislike Sebenza too. Some have particular reasons, such as handle ergonomics, some have probs with the maker, some no reasons. Usual stuff. Anyway, a year or so ago I got my first Sebenza. I was debating for some 3 months whether or not to get it, and finally decided to get a large, plain Sebenza. Ordered one from Knife Art, one of my favorite places to buy high end knives, and... I was quite disappointed once I got it. I donno why exactly, the fit and finish were perfect, lockup rock solid, blade shaving sharp, yet the Large Sebenza wasn't it. I've returned Sebenza within the next 3 days. Didn't even use it. Probably I was expecting too much from it, I don't know :) Well, I guess Sebenza is hyped in a way. It does deserve many compliments and part of the hype it gets, but in the end it's just a knife ;) So, sometimes chances are (as it happened with me) that you're gonna expect something really extraordinary and then when you get the knife that won't be there. I guess it's not very fair to Sebenza, but things happen.

Since then I haven't really looked at Sebenzas seriously. Until, I got a chance to borrow my friends small classic Sebenza. I've carried it for a week, was just interested if that would make a difference and it did :) After carrying it for a week I was totally convinced, I needed one for sure. Next thing I did ordered one from Dennis Wright. He helped me with earlier a lot, with some relatively rare CRK blades. Dennis was helpful at this time too. Few weeks of waiting and I got what I wanted, small, classic (or millennium classic), polished Sebenza. To be precise this isn't mirror polish, CRK refers to it as Bright Satin Finish. I'd prefer the mirror polish, but CRK doesn't do that. Anyway, this one is just fine.

General

- It's hard to say something new about Sebenza. If you need any kind of info, there's plenty of it readily available, on BladeForums where CRK is hosting their own forum. There's Sebenza FAQ on CRK website, unofficial Sebenza FAQ periodically posted on BladeForums, tons of reviews, you name it. Yet I have to say that all you've heard about CRK quality and craftsmanship is true. The quality of Sebenza is superb. Everything in this knife is well thought, and executed close to perfection. Everything is tight and a perfect fit. You may not like Sebenza, or a part of it, but the quality is outstanding.

The very first thing I did after picking up my knife from Dennis and getting home was to disassemble it. Some people complain about problems with disassembling/assembling Sebenza, so obviously I was curious, what was that all about. By the way unlike some manufacturers, CRK doesn't have a problem with their customers willing to disassemble their Sebenzas, rather the opposite. Sebenza comes with the wrench, and there are detailed instructions on the CRK website, how to do that properly. In short, I'd say all those rumors about Sebenza being problematic to take apart and put it back are highly overrated. IMHO it's as simple as it gets with a folding knife. Compared to BM 710 Axis disassembling procedure Sebenza is very easy. For ease of maintenance and cleaning it's very helpful, and kudos to CRK for that.

The only problem I've had then, or I thought I've had, was the lubricant. Sebenza was not as smooth as my other folders are. To be more exact the action was smooth and even, just took some extra effort to get it open. I've tried 2 different lubricants so far: Mehaz, which worked very well for all of my folding knives, but for unknown reasons refused to behave for Sebenza, and then Zero Friction, which is a gun oil. That definitely worked better than Mehaz. Go figure. Next thing I was planning to try, was the Fluorinated Grease from CRK themselves. Probably I'd try some other lubricants as well, but then I've started using Miltec-1 and that solved all of the problems.

Blade

 - Classic Sebenza has a clip point, hollow ground blade. This is the original blade geometry for Sebenza. As I understand at some point CRK changed the blade geometry, to what is a standard now, but brought back the original format by customer demand as a Classic. For a smaller knife I'd prefer the Classic style. It is more pointy, and IMHO better suited for fine work. I've had my small classic Sebenza for 4-5 years total, and it saw its fair share of use. I've mentioned in my other knife reviews many times, that I sharpen my knives myself. Much more convenient that way :) Sebenza was not an exception either. Even though it was razor sharp out of the box, it wouldn't shave in the opposite direction, and was tearing the free hanging, thin paper in some places. Either way, factory edge won't last forever and I'd have to do that anyways sooner or later ;)

I've measured the angle with Edge-Pro Apex, came out 30° And the tip was sharpened at slightly higher angle. So, whatever I did, formed au uniform, 30° angle, mirror polished V grind edge. By the way BG-42 was rather on the hard side, in terms of sharpening, but that's how you get good edge holding. After polishing the edge, cutting ability improved noticeably. It'd cut through that thin magazine paper cleanly all the way, and had no trouble with shaving the hair in the opposite direction. After a test run, which was cutting ~ 100 inches of miscellaneous cardboard boxes I was unable to notice any edge degradation. That is a very good result if you ask me. Especially for a small pocket knife.

Looking back, I can say that knife had quite good edge holding. Outperformed Benchmade 710 axis with a thinner angle, although as I found out later, that folder was hardened to ~59HRC, which is considerably lower than 60-61HRC on Sebenza. If oyu think 1-2 points of a difference in hardness doesn't mean much then read The Importance Of Knife Hardness article. From my practical, every day experience how single RC point made more than 10° degree difference in edge angles. Later rehardened M2 blade at 64HRC acted completely different and small Sebbie would've had hard time catching up with that. Still, my point is to emphasize that for a given steel even 1HRC makes a difference for every day use.

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