Why Is The Sebenza 21 Better Than The 31?

Discussion in 'Chris Reeve Knives' started by Razor, Oct 2, 2020.

  1. Razor

    Razor Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 8, 1999
    I just bought a used 21 Insingo because I like that blade shape. I was wonder why everyone seems to think the 21 is better than the 31? Do you think they will make anymore 21's?
  2. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    Several answers/threads on this over in the CRK subforum.
  3. The Aflac Duck

    The Aflac Duck Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2014
    The 21’s weren’t being made during the dumpster fire that is 2020.
    Kabanstva, P2P, kidcongo and 6 others like this.
  4. ShadyMethods

    ShadyMethods Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 9, 2016
    The 31s replaced the 21s and the 31s have had some QC problems. Personally, I like the 21 inlay pattern a lot more and I've never been a fan of the ceramic ball interface.
    Razor and Sharp & Fiery like this.
  5. JAB

    JAB Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    The 21 isn’t necessarily “better” than the 31 but is more desirable to many CRK enthusiasts due to it being discontinued along with some owners reporting early teething problems with their 31s. Also, there aren’t any Insingo or Tanto 31s as of yet.
  6. Peter Hartwig

    Peter Hartwig Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    depends on what you like, but I like the simplicity of the 21 , which also reflects the original deign well. There are those that feel the 31 is an upgrade. I just don't feel the (so called ) upgrade was in any way needed other that from a business perspective.
    They are likely to both be popular, but maybe not with the same people
    rexromic, russ25, bart1 and 1 other person like this.
  7. blanex1


    Feb 11, 2015
    one could only hope! they would bring back 21's into production, just me over-thinking things tough.:rolleyes:
    matt009au likes this.
  8. Ajack60

    Ajack60 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    The 21’s ar no longer being produced. What’s on the shelves are the last of them, unless you buy used. There will always be 21’s for sell on the secondary market.
    Some people don’t like change and have a hard time accepting the changes. Don’t know if the 21 is better than the 31, I don’t have a 31 yet.
    Personally, the 25, Inkosi and Umnumzaan are more my choice which have the ceramic ball interface. IMO, the insingo Inkosi is a good work knife.
  9. Jsega51

    Jsega51 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2015
    I got a large 31 and now have 2 large 21’s to compare with it. I like the 31 better. It feels more solid to me and I like the lockup more. The 21’s both have pretty light lock bar tension and detents.

    Before the “issue” of lock bar flex comes up as the reason the 31’s are junk, here’s what I find funny about this. When reading old threads about 21 lock slip, I loved all the comments saying to not force the spine of the blade down because you’re putting unnecessary force on the lock face. Now all of a sudden that seems to be the test to slam the construction of the 31. I find it completely ridiculous and hypocritical.
    Gilbert G, 6stringrazor, AJ and 13 others like this.
  10. matt009au

    matt009au Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    I had the opposite experience. I sold my 31, much prefer the lockup on the 21 - felt much more solid than my 31 . I think the 31 is just a cost cutting exercise...
    russ25 likes this.
  11. sharp_edge

    sharp_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 30, 2015
    21's have lock slip? Guess I am learning something new everyday. Or maybe you guys are talking about the Demko video comparing Sebenza 21 with a Cold Steel folder?
    TimmyJ likes this.
  12. Jsega51

    Jsega51 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2015
    Just got a 21 that was spa’d a few years ago and then stored in the box, not carried again. In trying the spine pressure test like people are doing to the 31, the lock slips pretty easily. Upon reading threads here about the same issue, it looks like I’ll have to send it back to get looked at. I have no clue what video you’re talking about.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
    Sergeua likes this.
  13. Roy Batty

    Roy Batty Y'all can sling load DEEZ NUTS Platinum Member

    May 25, 2016
    It isn’t. I’ve had 4 21s and a 31. The only one I still have is the 31.
  14. KingMC

    KingMC The Pun-isher Super Mod Moderator Platinum Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    Moved to the CRK subforum.
    Sharp & Fiery likes this.
  15. rick melear

    rick melear Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 1998
    Why are BG42 worth more than s35v. Cause the don’t make them anymore.
    Sharp & Fiery likes this.
  16. Alsharif

    Alsharif Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2018
    It's not better, just different. I value the 31 differences and count them as positives, while others may view them as negative changes.
  17. sailfish

    sailfish Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 1, 2019
    "Better" is subjective. Newcomers to CRK shouldn't feel like they are missing out by any means, but existing CRK fans are probably more likely feel let down by 31, as the 21 harkens back to the construction and operation of Chris's original Sebenza designs and was his final design before taking his hands off the company; thus many might even view it as the pinnacle of Sebenza design. The 31 on the other hand has a few changes that I don't think are necessarily bad but definitely a departure from how Chris designed the Sebenza himself, even though he designed the new elements that it incorporates for other knives and just didn't put them on the Sebenza. The biggest thing I miss about the 21 is the personal touch needed to hand fit the lock bar to the tang. Though time will tell if the ceramic ball interface will prove any functional advantage.

    I have both and I kinda like the 21 better probably because I'm a sucker for nostalgic things but the 31 hasn't let me down in any way either. What I'd really like to hear is Chris Reeve's personal opinion on the 31 and whether he ever would've incorporated any of the changes himself. I think that would really put the 31-vs-21 debate to bed finally.
    Korean Hog, matt009au, russ25 and 5 others like this.
  18. mfa81


    Aug 24, 2020
    Looks like the debate will never end! :)
    bart1 likes this.
  19. Evany

    Evany Gold Member Gold Member

    May 7, 2007
    As the song says, "you don't miss your water 'till the well runs dry."
    6stringrazor and Sharp & Fiery like this.
  20. kidcongo


    Jan 12, 2013
    Mostly this ^^^^.

    The Sebenza 21 was manufactured in “The Age of Reason”. Now that we have entered “The Age of Emotion” all that matters is how a few people feel about something and any version of truth is possible. Facts are out the window, and the hive-mind is all powerful. I may be wrong......

    I love the Insingo blade shape and hope to pick up a L31 in that pattern when they hit the street. At that point, I’ll be able to judge for myself........I hope!

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