Chris Reeve Knives Sebenza 31 Voted Best New High-End Knife

Presented by: Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpeners

The Chris Reeve Knives Sebenza 31 is the KnifeNews Readers’ Choice for Best New High-End Knife 2020! The latest in this legendary line leaped into the lead, looming over other luxurious luminaries like the Liong Mah Designs Light Duty EDC, Shirogorov Quantum, Terrain 365 Mako, and Zero Tolerance 0707.

There aren’t many things to say about the Sebenza 31’s predecessor, the Sebenza 21, that aren’t cliches – it’s probably a cliche to say that, even. The 21 wasn’t the first Sebenza, but it came at a time when Chris Reeve Knives was expanding and there was a growing awareness of, and appreciation for, quality folding knives. It was really the beginning of the modern knife community.

The Sebenza 21 was a known quantity, and a beloved one. But then the Sebenza 31 was announced and released, and for the first time in ten years we had a new Sebenza to talk about. CRK brought their flagship folder up to date with a series of smart updates – mostly small ones, it’s true, but they added up.

Mechanically the big news was that the original Reeve Integral Lock knife was finally getting the ceramic ball interface upgrade, seen on the Umnumzaan and Inkosi previously. By interposing an extremely hard ceramic bearing between the titanium leaf and blade tang, CRK gave their flagship folder even more rigidity and resiliency. Beyond that, a renovated handle/inlay design and angled clip were welcome quality of life changes.

There’s no denying that the knife market changed dramatically in the years since the 21’s release. The variety and capability of modern manufacturers means that users have more choices than ever at the lofty price point which the Sebenza used to occupy almost completely alone. In a way, the Sebenza 31 was a statement of intent from CRK, reminding us of what made their classic design a classic, and showing us how, with a few tweaks, the Sebenza can feel fresh and exciting again. This is a high-end knife for both longtime fans and new members of the community to long for.

Tune in tomorrow to see which knife won the KnifeNews Readers’ Choice Award for Best Value Knife (MSRP of $100 or less)!


Monday, November 30thBest New Tactical Fixed Blade (WINNER: Spyderco Nightstick)

Tuesday, December 1stBest New EDC Fixed Blade (WINNER: Mora Eldris LightDuty)

Wednesday, December 2ndBest New Outdoors Fixed Blade (WINNER: Benchmade 202 Leuku)

Thursday, December 3rdBest New Kitchen/Culinary Knife (WINNER: Spyderco Wakiita Gyuto)

Friday, December 4thBest New Slipjoint/Non-Locking Knife (WINNER: Fox Knives Nauta)

Monday, December 7thBest New High-End Knife (MSRP of $300 or more) (WINNER: Chris Reeve Knives Sebenza 31)

Tuesday, December 8thBest New Value Folder (MSRP of $100 or less)

Wednesday, December 9thBest New Folder

Thursday, December 10th: Best Knife Upgrade

Friday, December 11thBest Overall Lineup

Knife in Featured Image: Chris Reeve Knives Sebenza 31