Chris Reeves Knives Mnandi Lignum Vitae Inlay Review

Reviewed by corwin99 on September 12th, 2016


Lignum Vitae, the wood of life, is a very important symbolic wood and tree in many cultures. In this case, it is just a beautifully finished scale on one of the nicest production gentleman’s folders on the market, the CRK Mnandi. The Lignum is a less common version of this knife, but not entirely rare.

This is CRK’s quintessential gent’s folder, and not really a tactical, but I figure its worth a review anyway since its such a great knife. Tactical build-quality and strength in a small office-friendly format, the Mnandi is a beautifully designed and executed knife with CRK’s typically good looks.

This is one of the older models that has CPM-S30V stainless steel, unlike current models that have CPM-S35VN steel, but is still a fantastic steel. In fact, most people wouldn’t even notice the difference. But of course as knife geeks, everything matters! The blade shape is a thinner profile drop point style blade with a large machined slot for one-handed opening. The slot is tastefully bead blasted to give it some variation from the satin flats and blade grind. Its a bit hard to open one-handed, especially if you have larger hands but I can manage to do it without too much trouble.

Here’s the unique part of this watch, the Lignum Vitae, which I touched on earlier. This is a beautifully tight-grained wood with a lot of density. The titanium framelock portion of it has bead blasted edges and satin finished flats. The Chris Reeve Integral lock is hidden under the Lignum handles and is hidden nicely giving it a very refined look. CRK has also done a nice job with the pocket clip on this one, machined out of a thick piece of titanium and secured nicely with a single screw… I think its one of the nicest features of this knife actually. Its pretty awesome. The knife is actually held together with 2 screws, one at the pivot and one at the pocket clip end – CRK minimalist at its finest!

Fit & Finish
What else can I say.. its a Chris Reeve Knife. His production knives are about as good as it gets, and are still a very good value, having gone up only incrementally over the years, unlike most of the competition. What they do, they do perfectly. They knives are minimalist, and their construction and tolerances are exceptional, allowing you to appreciate all the nuances of the design and execution.

Overall, the Mnandi has been, and continues to be the standard by which all gents knives are compared. I remember when the Mnandi was first introduced years ago.. and while I really loved the construction and design, I did find it a bit small. However, over the years, I have realized that it does not need to be fast-deploying and super comfortable in my hands because it is meant to be a small gents knife, and compromises must be made. I’ve owned many small knives now over the years and have realized that the Mnandi is among the best at this size.


Blade Material: S30V Stainless Steel
Blade Hardness: 58-59RC
Blade Finish: Polished hollow grind
Blade Length: 2.75″ (69.5 mm)
Blade Thickness: 0.090″ (2.30 mm)
Overall Length: 6.375″ (161 mm)
Handle Material: 6AI4V Titanium with Lignum Vitae Inlay
Handle Thickness: Per side: 0.135″ (3.429 mm)
Weight: 1.5 oz. (42.5 g)
Leather Pouch Included
Handemade in the USA

Leave a Reply