In terms of knife companies, CIVIVI Knives (a subset of WE Knife Company) is relatively new.
Yet somehow the brand has catapulted itself into contention for one of the best knife brands around. Its name has become synonymous with high-quality knives at shockingly low prices.
While these knives are made in China, more and more companies are proving that knives you buy from China can no longer be dismissed as cheap junk. So if you’re interested in seeing what CIVIVI has to offer, these are their 10 best knives currently available.
Let’s start with a no-brainer: the Elementum. The Elementum is no longer simply one of CIVIVI’s best knives but may be the very best EDC knife for its price.
Almost everything about the knife is perfect. It’s a good size with a 2.96-inch blade that flips open effortlessly and reliably. It has a simple yet ergonomic handle. It’s not adorned with a bunch of logos and numbers. Instead, it’s just a simple knife that works.
And because the knife has become so darn popular, CIVIVI has created this knife in more than a dozen different styles. You can the knife in your choice of handle material and color. There are higher-end versions and larger versions and versions with button locks and Damascus versions. The list goes on and on.
If you want to see just some of the variations, check out the CIVIVI Elementum collection here.
From a more people-friendly design to a more tactically-focused design, the CIVIVI Conspirator is a larger knife with a more aggressive profile.
It has a 3.56-inch blade that can either be flipped open or pulled open manually with a fuller. It’s available in a few variations, but the Micarta scales are among the best.
This is a knife I have personally been carrying around lately because its button lock mechanism is so smooth and easy to use.
The Chevalier is another button lock flipper that’s become one of CIVIVI’s best. Whereas the Conspirator is more aggressive, the Chevalier is more utilitarian. It has the same blade size of 3.56 inches but with a modified sheepsfoot profile.
The blade shape is less notable than the drop point shape of the Conspirator. Its handle shape is not as ergonomic, but it’s still a pleasure to hold in the hand.
You can get it in wood, G-10, Damascus, and other styles.
CIVIVI Baby Banter
The Banter is a knife designed by Ben Petersen, a well-known face in the knife community. It was first made by WE Knives and remains a solid option. I heard some people describe it as an average knife, and I can’t help but agree. Yet sometimes all you need is a solid average knife that will work and work well.
However, Ben came back with another version of the Banter that fits into a different category.
It’s the Baby Banter!
The Baby Banter is a smaller version of the Banter (duh!) with a 2.34-inch blade and 5.46-inch overall length. For a while, the Spyderco Dragonfly 2 has been the go-to small EDC knife with few real contenders. The Baby Banter is making a case that it should be the best small EDC.
Either way, it’s a great little knife that just works.
The Baklash is a beautiful knife with a sleek design that can work well as an everyday carry. It has a blade in that 3.5-inch sweet spot and a flipper tab for quick opening. This is on the less expensive end of CIVIVI knives, but the design is very much worth the price.
The blade is made such that the user can choke up on the blade for finer tasks. It has CIVIVI’s trademarked minimalistic stylings, which is always a welcomed change from some of the over-branded models from other companies.
You can get it in different blade coatings and G-10 colors. See other CIVIVI Baklash designs here.
The Lumi is a more recent addition to the CIVIVI line, but it comes from a well-established knifemaker: Justin Lundquist. Lundquist is probably best known for his Kizer Feist design that many people (including myself) love.
The Lumi is essentially the CIVIVI version of the Feist. It is a front flipper knife design with a smaller 2.56-inch blade. However, the front flipper is positioned in a way that it also works as a regular flipper with your index finger. Anthony of Everyday Commentary calls it one of the most underrated knives of 2022.
Like many others on this list, the CIVIVI Lumi comes in different styles, but we’re partial to the black G-10 version because it just oozes class.
You’ll notice a trend in that the button lock CIVIVI models are amazing. The Altus is another one of those sleek and functional button lock designs. This folder doesn’t have a flipper tab and instead opens with dual thumb studs.
The Altus has a smaller 2.97-inch blade made from Nitro-V steel. Its handle is pretty simple, but it feels good in the hand. You can get it with G-10 scales or wood scales.
The Praxis and Baklash are very similar designs in the budget price point that people often have trouble deciding between.
If you want something a bit smaller but more aggressive, you opt for the Baklash. If you want something a bit beefier with a more ergonomic focus, you get the Praxis. Here is a good(?) comparison of the two from our favorite sardonic knife YouTuber:
The Praxis has a larger 3.74-inch blade with a curvier slicing belly. The drop point profile makes the tip a bit stronger than the Baklash.
At the other end of the knife, the handle has grooves along the grip to conform to the fingers. You really can’t go wrong with either one of these.
The worst part of any flipper is what Nick Shabazz calls the “pocket pecker,” that half-inch or so piece of steel that sticks out of the handle when closed or opened. The CIVIVI Exarch solves that problem with a front flipper design.
This long and slim front flipper has a 3.22-inch D2 blade with a nondescript front flipper tab when closed. Front flippers can frequently be tricky to open, but the blade on the Exarch is as smooth as butter.
The Exarch is essentially a front-flipping version of the CIVIVI Chronic, which was a great knife made even better by a relocated flipper.
This is a knife you can be proud to take anywhere you go.
We’re ending with none other than a button lock flipper!
The Cogent is the third button lock flipper on this best-of list from CIVIVI, but it’s just so good we could not leave it off.
This is tactically-inspired everyday carry has a 3.47-inch blade made from 14C28N stainless steel. Unlike most of the others on this list, the Cogent has a clip point blade shape.
The handle design is a bit thicker and feels great in the hand. The grooves will also keep your hand from slipping off toward the edge.
YouTuber Metal Complex calls this one of the knives of 2021 because of the value, action, and overall design. It’s hard to disagree with that sentiment.
February 11, 2023 at 2:45 pm
I have had the Cogent for over 6 months now and it’s worked its way up through a pile of knives to be my favorite EDC knife because of the solid and consistent action, the button lock and the style. It has done EVERYTHING I have thrown at it without exception or complaint. The button lock is rock solid. Just my 2 cents…