Sebenza 31 Lock Rock?!

Discussion in 'Chris Reeve Knives' started by HikingIsLife, Mar 16, 2020.

  1. loon#r

    loon#r Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2008
    In the words of Baba Booey, I think the 31 “was a bit of a stumble for” CRK, but they’ll work it out.

    I can say I don’t recall as many issues and public outcry regarding new folders before the 25 and 31 releases, maybe even the impinda although mine is perfect. Regarding Chris as a variable to these things, well, I’m pretty sure the 25 was entirely Chris’ brainchild and just before his official departure from the floor.
    BD_01 likes this.
  2. marthinus

    marthinus KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 10, 2006




    Got mine. July 23 date of birth.

    No issues on mine.
    BTGuy, willard0341, loon#r and 6 others like this.
  3. WedgeAntilles

    WedgeAntilles Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 25, 2020
    Got my first 31 today. It's a PJ Large. I really wanted one with the new inlay, but I'm a Lefty and me and this knife share a birthday. I'm not sure how easy it is to find particular birthdays for leftys as they're made in such small batches.

    Anyway, sharpness is good, knife is beautiful, and has no side to side play at all. Lockup feels solid. If I do the table press test I can get the tang to come off the stop pin just enough to click, but not to make the lock fail. I also tried spinewacking it on my palm a couple times, and no lock fail. I'm not going to repeat these tests much because I'm not planning to use my knife like that, I just wanted to verify for this one. I'm not batoning or chopping wood with it. I use it to open mail, prepare or cut food, and as a back up personal defense option. None of which involve whacking the spine or using this in a way not intended. And it sounds like from some reports it'll settle in even more over time as it breaks in. Oh yeah, centering on it is incredible.

    Overall I'm a happy camper. I got a birthday Benza. It's my 8th Sebenza and 12th CRK (all purchased this year, so 2020 wasn't all bad, I guess). I have no reservations about dropping this in my pocket before heading to the office tomorrow. It may even take the pocket spot of my beloved first CRK, a Large PJ drop point 21. This looks very similar, but the birthday part is awesome, and if I do end up doing something stupid, it'll be easier to have fixed or replaced. Next will probably be a 31 Lefty in Black Micarta when I come across one and have the funds.
    Dcdavis, kidcongo and Sharp & Fiery like this.
  4. kidcongo


    Jan 12, 2013
    I think the Umnumzaan suffered a bunch of blow-back when first released. Mostly around the perceived late lock-up (before people understood the different contact point of the ceramic ball), the hard to actuate original lockbar (before the thumb tab was extended), and the proprietary pivot hardware (now gone, and much sought-after). People even complained about the placement of the pocket clip.

    When the Green Beret was released it was also lampooned due to low Rockwell, and some vids where some fella in a welding mask smashed it into pieces with a sledge hammer to reveal its “weakness”.

    CRK sets their own bar very high with their marketing. It’s set so high, they can’t even match it themselves.

    I am reminded of a quote from Noel Gallagher (guitar player of Oasis), describing the guitar playing of Johnny Marr (guitar player of the Smiths). Noel said “Johnny is so good at guitar, that even he will never be as good as he is”.

    CRK is the Johnny Marr of the knife world.
  5. Clem Fandango

    Clem Fandango Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 3, 2020
    Stop me if you think you have heard this one before but I bought a 31.

    I found the blade would oscillate wildly. Is it really so strange? Yes..... Panic! The 31 is unloveable. I know it's over. Heaven knows I'm miserable now.

    Some say what difference does it make?

    But I ask you please, please, please, let me get what I want. I want the one I can't have.


    Yours, a Smiths and 31 fan.

    x20, biggerjon, loon#r and 1 other person like this.
  6. kidcongo


    Jan 12, 2013
    Bravo! Johnny and the boys would be proud.
  7. Dogdrawz

    Dogdrawz Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 15, 2016
    Thanks @marthinus , now I know when the Insingo blades are available, one 31 w/ micarta inlays will be ordered. For now my 31 PJ is doing wonderfully. Has survived Laura & most of 2020. :thumbsup:
    x20 likes this.
  8. emjay4248

    emjay4248 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 8, 2016
    I was a good friend of lapedog. His real name was Aron and has passed away. I had been the last person to have spoken with him and the circumstances were very suspicious. We used to speak on the phone almost everyday and I miss him quite a lot. I’m not sure how situations like this are handled on BF
    Heirphoto likes this.
  9. Sharp & Fiery

    Sharp & Fiery Always Embellish Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 14, 2012
    I sent you a Pm. Please contact me.
    jux t and WValtakis like this.
  10. Sluggy


    Aug 29, 2020
    Just received a large Sebenza 31with natural micarta inlays birth-date July 22, 2020 and it's perfect ! I own a small Inkosi no cries of issue in doubt with that one also.
    willard0341 and BD_01 like this.
  11. 353

    353 Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 20, 2015
    Didn't know he was gone.

    WValtakis likes this.
  12. loon#r

    loon#r Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 10, 2008
    Whoa whoa whoa what?
  13. Sharp & Fiery

    Sharp & Fiery Always Embellish Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 14, 2012
    Sorry to derail this thread for a second...a RIP has been posted in Community.

    Knowing Lapedog personally, I know he would have been excited and skeptical of the 31. :)
    jux t, BD_01, loon#r and 1 other person like this.
  14. emjay4248

    emjay4248 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 8, 2016
    He’s the one that made get one. He had acquired one for me and said your buying this and if you don’t like it I’ll buy it back. I still have it.
  15. biggerjon

    biggerjon Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 10, 2006
    So sad to hear this horrible news.
  16. abbazaba

    abbazaba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 30, 2015
    I believe the lock bar tension may be the key here... Stronger lock bar, stiffer action and less slip. Weaker lock bar, smoother action, more slip.

    I agree that they might be a little more finicky in assembly. I tried to put my KA CF 21 scale on the 31 and it was a no go because it was binding the pivot somehow. I need to try again someday, but I think the stop pin was the culprit.
    Sharp & Fiery likes this.
  17. familyphotoshoot


    Aug 29, 2013
    Hello everyone. I posted a few months ago that I had purchased a Large 31 with a moderate amount of flex but that I was planning to carry and use it for a few months to see how it broke in. I've carried and used my Large 31 at work almost exclusively for the past few months and here are my results.

    First things first, there's still flex. It's definitely lesser than it originally was but it's still there. I use my knives repeatedly throughout the day at work, so this 31 has seen a lot of opening and closing. I didn't take any photos but I just dissembled it to clean it for the first time this month and there's definite polishing on the side of blade from the washers so I'd say it's broken in quite a bit. Here's a photo of the lock-up as of today and the groove the ceramic ball has worn into the lockface.



    I think the flex is a combination of the lockbar like other people in this thread have speculated and the ceramic ball interface. I think it just needs more time to break in compared to the old titanium interface. I've made a very crude drawing of what I think is happening with the ceramic ball.

    All in all the knife has done very well. I haven't babied it at all and I haven't felt at any point that the lock was in danger of failure. Hope this was interesting for some of you. Here's some bonus snail trails and faded thumbstud.

    Jsega51, sailfish, Alsharif and 8 others like this.
  18. jascolli

    jascolli Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 16, 2014
    I recently saw something that may be relevant to this discussion. Here is a video from Allen Elishewitz discussing ideal placement of the lock face. It appears that the angle of the lockup plays a big roll in stability. I would imagine that in conjunction with the 31's angle at 4ish and smaller point of contact, the face of a small ball vs the face of a flat lock-bar, that this could possibly create issues.

    I have two 31's and I do notice what I guess you would call flexing on one of them. That said, I don't see any issue with the function of the knife. I'm happy with them and they are keepers. I'm just not convinced that this is an improvement over the 21's lockup.

    Allen's explanations of ideal lock placement:

    Sebenza 31 (1).jpg
    Elishewitz (1).jpg
    marrenmiller, jux t, willc and 2 others like this.
  19. MreeceC

    MreeceC Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 11, 2014

    This was the point I was making from some of my earlier post. I am sure the 31 will work and function great and I would have no problem owing one IF there where no 21 to be had. The 31 and CRK are still the best out there in my opinion. Again just not totally convinced the 31 over all is better than the 21.
  20. Jsega51

    Jsega51 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2015
    @familyphotoshoot excellent explanation of what can be happening. I do notice that the more “refined” that groove is getting on my tang, the better things are feeling. Locking and unlocking feel much more crisp.

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