Chris Reeve Millenium Classic Small Sebenza
Folding Knife Review

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Small Millennuim Classic Sebenza

BG-42 Steel

- Latrobe BG-42 stainless steel used in my Small Sebenza, is still considered one of the better stainless steels used by knifemakers today. Back then, it was one of the best. CRK heat treated their knives themselves, and apparently the results are very good, that's fom my personal experience and other knife guys using Sebenza. Sadly enough, CRK discontinued BG-42 steel knives and now most of their knives are made of S30V steel, read about S30V steel and controversy still surrounding it below. As for the BG-42 steel with CRK heat treatment, I really liked it. Edge holding was very good. It takes very good polish and with fine abrasives the edge gets really crispy and aggressive. Contrary to older claims about BG-42 being too brittle to its high hardness, 60-61HRC, I've never had a single chip or nick on that blade. Haven't had any problems with chipping on Lightfoot Pitbull fixed blade knife either.

Thumb Stud

 - One more source for arguments for a long time. Too many people consider it to be too pointy. Me too :) By the way it also depends on your opening techniques. If you depress the stud from above, and then try to open the blade that can be stingy. Instead, push it from the side, and you'll find it much better. As you understand, those extra grooves on the stud are designed to aid with opening when your thumb is oily or bloody. Ok, that works, the thing definitely is grabbing onto your skin :) Whether you like it or not. Well, since that's what Chris Reeve designed and thinks will work the best for his knives, so be it. I'd prefer a smoother stud, honest ;)


 - Made of 6AL4V titanium for the plain model. It's simple and provides positive grip. However the handle is what many folks consider as one of the weakest points of Sebenza. Frankly, I have quite a few folders that have more comfortable and ergonomic handles, but I don't find Sebenza handle to be anything uncomfortable either. Besides there's one more aspect to it. Since the handle geometry is simple and straightforward, it's equally useful in any grip, while some ergonomic handles are very comfortable in standard grip and practically useless in the other.

Now that I've used Sebenza for several years, I could add a few comments regarding its handle. In short it's a lot better that I have ever anticipated. Sebenza has been my EDC on and off during those 5 years I've owned it. Therefore I've used it several times every day. Obviously I didn't chop or pry open jammed car doors with it, I have other blades for that task. However, in its role of small folder for light cutting, Sebenza performed superbly, and one of the reasons for that - its handle.

Evidently, handle ergonomics depend an many factors and personal tastes and preferences are not the least amongst them. At least to me, Sebenza handle worked very well. Even for prolonged use, when I've cut cardboard for 2.5 hours with it, and it was just fine. No sore spots on my palms and fingers. Sebenza was felt just right in several different grips. Its shape and thickness somehow were equally comfortable when I was cutting large, thick cardboard boxes and when performing a lot more delicate cutting tasks - removing very thin plastic film from curcuit board and separating jumpers. What else? If you carry your Sebenza in your pocket with some other metallic objects, the handle gets scratched. If you care about that, CRK offers refurbishing.


 - One of the strongest points of Sebenza is its frame lock. At some point in the past the word was that the frame lock was invented by Chris Reeve himself. Although, these days practically nobody credits him for that. So, I assume that's not really the case. Full name would be - Integral Frame Lock. Frame locks are the strongest on the current market, as usual some disagree :) Advantages would be: Simplicity, there's nothing complicated in that, just a lock bar, no moving and rotating parts, springs etc; Practically impossible to disengage a frame lock accidentally; Tighter grip locks stronger, though if you overdo you may jam it; Sheer strength; As of disadvantages I don't really know any.

The only issue with the frame locks is the wear. Since the lock bar rubs against the blade tang which is harder (or at least is supposed to be) the lock bar wears and eventually the blade will develop wobble, and the lock will probably overengage. Apparently the risk of failure is increased. However CRK addressed this issue by heat treating the lock bar surface contacting the blade tang. As it was explained on CRK Forum on Bladeforums by heating the lock bar contacting surface, very thin layer of Ti carbides are formed (you can actually see that layer on your lock bar if you check). It's very hard, approx 90HRC. That solves the bar wear problem. At least there are several people using their Sebenzas regularly for several years and there's no such problem for them. As of the ease of use, frame lock is easier to operate then all of the liner locks I've ever had, however less comfortable than the Benchmade Axis Lock.

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