Chris Reeve Umnumzaan

One of the most talked about knives of the 2008 Blade Show was the Chris Reeve Umnumzaan, which won Overall Knife of the Year.  Production versions of the Umnumzaan are now slowly trickling out of the Chris Reeve facility and the initial comments are positive. 

The Umnumzaan, which is supposed to be a step forward in folding knife design from Chris Reeve has some revolutionary design features that hold promise for it being an outstanding knife. 

Firstly, the Umnumzaan integral lock has a ceramic ball installed which contacts the blade tang when open.  While nothing has been made public about the ceramic insert's benefits, the theory is that it increases the life of the lock since ceramic is harder than the titanium surrounding it.  The ceramic ball also doubles as a detent holding the blade closed.   

The Umnumzaan also borrows from Gavin and Grant Hawk, utilizing the thumb stud on the blade as the stop pin.  The stud has a polyurethane ring on it that acts as a shock absorber when it impacts the front of the handle. 

Overall, the Umnumzaan has the potential to be one of the best folding knives available for any price.  Time will tell how the new ceramic locking ball holds up to hard use.  Personally, I can't wait to try one out.  Price is $400.  

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