If you’ve followed the channel for any amount of time, you know that I have become a huge Chris Reeve fan over the past year.  Among other vices, one of the (un)fortunate side effects of this is that I have had a rapid desire to own and carry every active CRK.  Enter the Mnandi.

Looking for any excuse imaginable to justify yet another expensive knife, I convinced myself that I needed a good “dress knife”.  Now, to be clear – I will unashamedly carry anything from a Cold Steel Code 4 to a Spyderco Paramilitary 2 with my Sunday best…but at least this gave me some justification.  So, when I saw a good deal on one of these on the used market, I snatched it up and carried it for a few months.

First impressions when I pulled this out of the box were really good:  I was once again very pleased with CRK quality, though this one was very different than anything I had owned previously.  I’ve owned and carried just about everything CRK actively makes – and some they don’t:  a bunch of Sebenza’s of various sizes and configuration, a few Inkosi’s, an Umnumzaan, a Nyala, Pacific, etc.  But this one was different.  Primarily because it lacked the overbuilt, robust character of other CRK’s – but not in a bad way.  This is a different knife, intended for a different type of use, and it makes a lot of sense when you carry it. 

After many weeks of regular carry – including it becoming my de-facto Sunday church knife, I can say that overall, this is an awesome knife.  Beautiful, slim, non-threatening.  The construction is high quality and distinctive to CRK, though in a different way.  Nice slicer, good utility blade and overall just a very practical and enjoyable pocket knife.  It’s a carry for me, dawg.

That said, this isn’t a keeper – at least not right now.  With the current COVID situation, my dress occasions are pretty limited, and at the end of the day I just didn’t carry it a ton.   I often found myself preferring the small Sebenza in other situations, and so this one went to find a better home.  However, there’s a good chance that this will not be the last Mnandi in my collection – especially once they new S45VN models are widely available!

CRK Mnandi

Blade: Drop Point
Handles: Wood/Ti
Price: $400

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