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Chris Reeve Knives’ product line is highly regarded by discriminating knife enthusiasts the world over as the pinnacle of production knife perfection. Each knife in the Chris Reeve product range is expertly designed and crafted with precision out of the best knife making materials to provide the owner with a lifetime of use, durability, and pleasure of ownership. The CRK product range consists of a diverse mixture of folders and fixed blades, covering the tactical and gentleman’s sectors of the knife market. Regardless of which Chris Reeve knife you may select for your tastes and intended usage, know that you are joining many others such as yourself who appreciate the finer things life has to offer, including knives. But which Chris Reeve knife is right for you? We will examine carefully each model and highlight the features and benefits they have to offer.
The SEBENZA folder is probably CRK’s signature knife and the standard by which all other frame lock folders are judged. This knife locks up bank vault tight with its thick titanium frame lock handle design, which the lock bar is cut out directly from the handle. What you get is a lock bar that is nearly 1/8 inch thick, holding the blade open. This knife will not close on you accidentally. Available in two distinct blade sizes of 3 ½ inches (Chris Reeve Large Sebenza) and 3 inches (Chris Reeve Small Sebenza), the Sebenza’s blades are made from S30V stainless steel. Handles are bead-blasted 6AL/4V titanium. Yes, the Sebenza is a nice looking knife but don’t be fooled, it also is a rock-solid workhorse of a folder. It will take anything you can throw at it and hold up until the job is done. The Sebenza has been around for many years, and it is one of the older designs in the CRK line. This in and of itself speaks volumes on the knife’s popularity. For those who prefer a more dressed up Sebenza, you are in luck. CRK also offers the Sebenza 21, with wood or Micarta inlays. Some Sebenza 21’s are available with computer generated, machined graphics on the handle as well. In addition to the variety of handle appointments available, the Sebenza is also available with damacus blades. The dressed-up Sebenza 21’s offer a bit of visual excitement and an exotic nature to this hard-working knife. The “Sebbie” as it is affectionately dubbed by its fans the world over, is a hard-working knife that doesn’t know the meaning of “quit”. It is rock solid, don’t be afraid to put a Sebbie to work for you, you will be pleased with the legendary Chris Reeve precision and quality engineering in this knife.
The Chris Reeve Umnumzaan is the newest folder design from CRK. It takes the proven Sebenza platform and improves upon it with refinements here and there throughout the knife. Like the Sebenza, the handle of the Umnumzaan is machined out of 6AL/4V grade titanium. On the end of the lockbar is a sizeable ceramic (zircon oxide) ball bearing that allows the lock bar to ride on the blade tang and when the lock engages, this ceramic ball serves as a contact point to prevent wear on the lockbar, yet provide a nice, solid lockup. The dual thumb studs serve as the blade’s positive stop. Sitting in a groove machined into the circumference of the thumb studs are two rubber O-rings. These O-rings quiet the sound of the studs contacting the end of the titanium handles, eliminating the noisy “clank” sound. The bronze washers inside the Umnumzaan’s pivot allow the lube to be distributed evenly for a very smooth blade opening and closing action. Blade steel is S30V stainless and is in a classic clip point shape with a bit of a false edge for looks. When the blade is closed, there is a portion of the tang that forms an exposed point which serves as a glass breaker. The gripping surface of the handles sports a cross-hatch machining pattern which helps to provide the user with non-slip hand traction, regardless if gloves are being worn or not. And finally, the lanyard bar on the Umnumzaan even is engineered to fit in with the rest of the knife. It is a free-rotating bar with a hole drilled through it in which the paracord lanyard is tied to. This bar is allowed to freely rotate and thus, the lanyard never gets in the way of your grip. Like the Sebenza, the Umnumzaan is tough as nails and is a working folder that you can rely on at all times. It is a pleasure to use as well as own.
The Chris Reeve Mnandi is the smallest folder in the CRK line. It is a slender shape and yields itself to being the perfect gentleman’s folder for either casual or formal dress. Its blade length is 2 ¾ inches in length and is ground from premium S30V stainless steel. The handle is 6AL/4V titanium like the Sebenza and Umnumzaan, but the Mnandi is offered with a blinding array of handle inlay choices such as, but not limited to, snakewood, African blackwood, bocote, cocobolo, and walnut. Using wood for inlay material gives the Mnandi an organic feel in the hand, as well as an earthy appearance. The Mnandi’s pocket clip is sculpted for a refined appearance and can be mounted on either side of the handle for easy left hand or right-hand access, or can be removed completely if pocket carry is desired. Utilizing CRK’s frame lock handle design, the Mnandi is built strong and can take an honest day’s worth of work. It is a knife that works hard and looks good while doing it. The Mnandi has been out a few years already and has rapidly gained acceptance among CRK fans. Over the years, CRK has produced limited editions of the Mnandi utilizing damascus blades and exotic handle materials. The Mnandi is perfect for those of you who work in an office setting where you like your knife to be a bit dressy and upscale, shedding any notions of tactical – more board room than war room! Casual or full dress, the Mnandi blends right in. Don’t let its looks fool you; it’s every bit as tough as its two bigger folding brothers.
For fixed blade fans, Chris Reeve Knives offers a wide range of knives to suit your needs. For most of the fixed blades, Chris Reeve has partnered with world renown tactical knife maker Bill Harsey, to come up with some of the best engineered tactical fixed blades found anywhere on the knife market. Bill has designed a series of fixed blades for the company with attention to detail and function that easily rivals his custom work which is in demand by knife collectors the world over. All of his designs feature S30V steel for the blades, canvas micarta for the handles (except for the Chris Reeve Professional Soldier knife that is a skeletonized handle design), and the blades are treated with KG Gun Kote coating for further corrosion resistance and low reflectibility. All the knives are of full tang construction for superior strength and durability. Every knife is supplied with genuine, high-quality Spec Ops brand sheaths, which have a sewn ballistic nylon construction with plastic liner, and a handy exterior accessory pocket that easily accommodates a lock blade folder, a multitool, or maybe even a sharpener. The exception here is the Professional Soldier, which comes with a molded Kydex sheath for multi-position carry.
The first of Harsey’s designs is the Chris Reeve Green Beret Knife. With its 7-inch long spearpoint blade and ergonomic handle with integral double guards, the Green Beret is an all-business tactical fixed blade. Affectionately known as “the Yarborough” to Green Berets, this knife has all the materials and features that any serviceman desires in a knife. For those wanting the same durability and cutting power as the full-size Green Beret in a smaller knife, the Green Beret 5.5 inch version suits your needs. The dimensions of this knife are the same as its bigger brother except for the blade length, which measures 5.5 inches long. It is easier to carry but equally as tough as the full-size version. This knife has brute with less bulk. For a tough, all-around fixed blade that will handle a wide variety of tasks, look to the Green Beret in either size.
Moving on, the next knife in the Harsey series is the Chris Reeve Neil Roberts Warrior knife. It was created in honor of Petty Officer First Class Neil Roberts, the first Navy SEAL to lose his like during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan in 2002. Compared with the Green Beret, the Neil Roberts Warrior design is sleeker and features a slender drop point blade, mated with an ergonomic handle that has a semi-guard that has a forward raked appearance. Like the Green Beret, the Neil Roberts Warrior will serve well not only as a tactical fixed blade for military applications but also as a fixed blade for camp utility chores for those who like to venture out into the wilderness. The Warrior feels very agile in the grip and is a very capable slicer thanks to the generous belly on the blade. The Neil Roberts Warrior knife is both a commemorative knife as well as an all-business tactical fixed blade ready for rough use.
Next up is the Chris Reeve Pacific. Created to honor the 50th anniversary of the 1st Special Forces Group based in Ft. Lewis, WA. Like the 1st Special Forces personnel, the Pacific is a tough, no-nonsense fixed blade that is engineered to be tough and get the job done. This knife is a utilitarian design; the 6-inch clip point blade sports a partially serrated edge format. The serrations are unique on the Pacific compared with the standard serrations that are on other knives. The serration pattern is ground into both sides of the blade and in addition to that, there are no pointy teeth in this serration pattern. The idea here is to offer a serration pattern that can easily be re-sharpened as the plain edge portion can. This eliminates the need to procure a serration specific sharpener and have that along on the mission or the camping trip. Chris Reeve’s serrations still cut through fibrous and thick materials with ease yet maintaining the ease of re-sharpening like a plain edge can. This is the best of both worlds! Again, the handles of the Pacific are canvas micarta and offer three large scallops on either side of the handle, to enhance user grip. The Pacific’s design attributes make it an ideal working/tactical fixed blade that can easily handle multiple tasks with ease. If you are looking for an all-around tactical fixed blade, this is it.
The smallest tactical fixed blade of the bunch is the Chris Reeve Professional Soldier. This unique, compact fixed blade was developed as a utility knife that could be carried easily in a cargo pants pocket or with a ball chain necklace – carried as a neck knife underneath a shirt. Don’t let the slender and slim profile of the Professional Soldier fool you; it is a tough fixed blade that will serve the same role as a lock blade folder will, without fear of the blade folding on you accidentally. A unique feature incorporated into the design of the knife is the shackle wrench in the handle. Though, be sure to have the knife secured inside its sheath before attempting to employ the shackle wrench function! The Professional Soldier is a skeletonized fixed blade design for ease of carrying and to save weight, but Bill Harsey rounds the exposed edges of the handle to promote a comfortable grip without any harsh corners to dig into your palm. Those of you, who do not fancy skeletonized fixed blades like this for this very reason, need to look at the Professional Soldier because it is one of the most comfortable feeling skeletonized fixed blades around. Because the Professional Soldier is easy and lightweight to carry, you will find that it is a very useful knife. It slices very easily and the blade can be used as a light-duty scraper with choking up on the handle. The thumb rest on the handle spine works in conjunction with the integral lower guard on the handle to prevent one’s hand from slipping forward during use. A paracord lanyard is standard and comes in handy for tethering the Professional Solder to your wrist to guard against accidental loss. The Professional Soldier is as tough a small fixed blade as Bill Harsey and Chris Reeve Knives can engineer! The Professional Soldier would be the knife you would need if your desires for a daily carry fixed blade centers around a knife being stylish, comfortable, functional, and easy to carry.
The newest fixed blade of the Chris Reeve line is the Chris Reeve Nyala, which is Zulu for a South African antelope. The Nyala is a hunting and skinning knife through and through, with its deep belly drop point suitable for skinning and slicing tasks. The contoured brown canvas micarta handle has machined grooves for a non-slip grip while in use. What is worthy to note here with the Nyala is that it is perhaps the first production knife to be offered with the latest steel from Crucible, called S35VN. S35VN is a little better than S30V in terms of edge holding but it is easier to finish from a manufacturer standpoint. With a blade length of 3.75 inches, the Nyala is the perfect size fixed blade to have on your side through the hunting season. Once you wrap your hand around the handle and feel how comfortable this knife is, you will not want to put it down! Like the Inyoni, each Nyala comes with a high-grade leather sheath and has a belt loop for ease of carry. The Nyala is Chris Reeve’s newest entry into the hunting knife market, and it is one of the best-fixed hunters out there in terms of design, materials used, and execution. If you are a hunting enthusiast who has the appreciation for the finer things in life in terms of the equipment you employ while out on the hunt, the Nyala is your knife. One of the major selling points for this knife, again, is that is one of the first production knives available in the new high-performance Crucible steel S35VN. This along with its classic design lines, make Chris Reeve Nyala the choice for serious hunters the world over. It may be one of the more expensive fixed hunters on the market now, but you really can’t put a price tag on the pride of ownership and use that comes from owning such a finely crafted cutlery piece.
Well, there you have it. The entire line of Chris Reeve Knives. They are all designed and manufactured with precision in Boise, Idaho. Chris Reeve’s knives are in demand by discriminating knife consumers such as you. Those who are familiar with Chris Reeve Knives are familiar with their ultra-high level of manufacturing quality, with every knife being backed by the company’s solid warranty. When you buy a Chris Reeve knife you are buying the best, and don’t be afraid to use the knife because Chris Reeve’s team will be there should you need to fix a broken knife or refurbished a “well-loved” knife.