If you're looking for a knife line that has an incredible standard of quality, then Chris Reeve Knives might just be the ones for you. Their standards are higher than any production knife company and remain higher than many custom makers. The most popular model in the CRK line is the Sebenza.
Sebenza knives are a study in craftsmanship that is ready to work hard for you whenever you need it. Sebenza means "work" in Zulu, and that's exactly what these knives will do--but they're stunningly crafted while they do it. There are a number of knives in the Sebenza series, each one crafted with exquisite attention to detail. Trying to decide on the Sebenza 25 vs the Sebenza 21? Each set of knives has their own specific characteristics that may help make the decision easier.
The Sebenza 25 was released in the twenty-fifth year that the knives were made--2012. As of 2015, it only comes in the large size. Each knife has a large hollow grind that comes very close to flat grind cutting performance. The Sebenza 25 knives also have a ceramic bar lock interface that increases the life of the lock and helps it to maintain its position. They have a .140" (3.56mm) blade thickness which is wider than the Large Sebenza 21. Each knife also has a newer pivot construction; both washer bushings are the same size, and both the male and female sides of the pivot can be adjusted.
One of the biggest visual differences in the two knives, the Sebenza 25 has a handle design with an index finger groove in the handle. It also carries with double thumb lugs for an ambidextrous opening. Each standard configuration Sebenza 25 knife weighs approximately 5.2 oz. (Picture: Sebenza 25 Index Finger Grove)
The Sebenza 21, on the other hand, was released in the twenty-first year of the sebenza: 2008. It comes in both large (3.625" blade) and small models (2.94" blade). It has a standard hollow grind and a time-tested, more streamlined handle design that lacks the index finger groove of the 25. The knife comes with a single thumb lug, designed for right-hand only opening. (Dedicated left handed models can be requested.) It's blade thickness is slightly thinner than the 25, with a 3.175 mm (0.125 inch) blade thickness. The Sebenza 21 and the Sebenza 25 have the same perforated phosphor bronze washers, but on the Sebenza 21 the bushing washers are not the same size. The Large Sebenza 21 weighs approximately 4.7 oz which is lighter than the 25 at 5.2 oz.
Overall, both Sebenza models are fantastic knives that are studies in both quality and artistry. Neither will be a disappointment; both will provide ultimate customer satisfaction. Ultimately, the decision of which one to buy rests with you, choose the knife that has the qualities you most prefer and know that you'll be happy with what you get. It's win-win situation.