The Sifu was on the market for quite some time, when the idea of special run of Bladeforums SIFU was born. The original SIFU was quite popular, after all there were not so many megafolders out there those days. Cold Steel produces some, such as Gunsite, Vaquero Grande, Rajah. May be TOPS, I don't really recall others. Yet the folders mentioned were either lockbacks or linerlocks. Sifu had REKAT proprietary rolling lock mechanism. Allegedly it's a very strong one, though I personally prefer Benchmade axis lock. For the rest of the REKAT story and rolling lock problems check out the SIFU review.
Anyway, the idea was born and after a while it was actually implemented :) Which is the best part of all that. Since the knife was a special run it definitely deserved special features, not only the etching on the blade. As you can see on the picture the main distinctive feature (at least visually) is the handle. Quite a few people didn't really feel that the original handle REKAT put on Sifu was very comfortable, hence the new handle style. First it appeared as a picture on the bladeforums, and after it was met with enthusiasm the design was approved for the forum knife. Obviously some like the older fingergroowed handle more. To each his own, as they say.
Not everything was so smooth with the Special Edition Sifu, there were delays, upset people, etc. REKAT blamed delays on unexpected difficulties with grinding D2M steel, which was harder than expected, nobody was of course happy with the several months delay, but luckily everything finished ok, and the blades were produced. The special run included 150 Sifus, 75 coated, 75 stonewashed. Each knife was serial numbered, mine is #10, and accompanied with the title letter from Bladeforums :) Later on. REKAT was producing D2 Sifus in both handle styles, so if you are interested you can get them at Bladeforums knife shop or somewhere else on the net.
Steel- Another difference from the standard line was the blade steel choice. For a while REKAT and Custom knifemaker Rob Simonich were experimenting with the D2 E steel. Practically, it was mainly Rob, or at least all the results I've seen were from him, here's the corresponding thread on the Bladeforums where Rob provided details on his testing. Originally it was referred as a D2 M (modified). However later, particularly in the thread provided above, Rob changed its name to D2 Enhanced. I guess no one had anything against that, so it went into production under the D2 Enhanced name. In short Rob felt that D2 E was performing better than the standard D2 steel, was a very clean and consistent alloy. BTW that's quite an achievement, as D2 is one of the premium cutlery steels, especially in terms of edgeholding, when properly heat treated. The actual composition is kept secret :) No idea who's secret that is, REKAT's or the steel manufacturers itself. Well, not that I really care at this point.
Later when I have(which I never do) time it'd be really interesting if D2 E can match or outperform my custom D2 American Ninja from Neil Blackwood. I've had couple chances to see how the Ninja performed and it'd be a very good result for a factory knife to match that, let alone outperforming it. One thing is, the Ninja is hardened at 62 HRC, and I do not have the specs on the BF Sifu, but I think it's lower, the mass production knives are not hardened closer to the steel limits, due to many issues, and also as usual the heat treatment is worse, because of the number of blades heat treated simultaneously. We'll see.
Handle- Personally I like the new handle better than the original one. I guess the original one is better suited for fighting knife, which the Sifu is in essence. Not really convenient for cutting anyway :) The new handle has some grooves and it's smooth enough to provide enough comfort. Never used Sifu at all, but I think for prolonged cutting BF edition with the new handle is a lot more comfortable.
- Blade - 137.16mm(5.5")
- Thickness - 3.17mm
- OAL - 304.80mm(12")
- Steel - D2E steel at 59-61HRC
- Handle - G-10
- Acquired - 08/2001 Price - 250.00$
- Lock Mechanism: REKAT proprietary Rolling Lock.
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Last updated - 02/09/15