A Civivi and a Svörd

Keywords: #knives #review

Impressions on 2 new pocket knives I just got today.

  • Civivi Elementum Liner Lock, micarta scales
  • Svörd Mini Peasant in D2

Update A Couple Weeks Later

The Civivi Elementum is everything I thought it was.

I was too hard on the Svörd. Yes, the handle is crap. But once you get used to it, it’s pretty fun and a good fidget knife. One-handed operation using your leg isn’t bad at all.

The blade sharpened up really well, which helped. The hinge loosened up. But I do have to constantly tighten the brass screws. I probably should just loctite them.

Definitely not an EDC, but a fun knife to have in the collection.

Approach

I’m not going to pretend to have some kind of objective measure like stars or x/10. Also, I just got these today and have only messed with them a bit, so I can’t speak to longevity beyond my experience.

My Plan Going In

I originally decided to go get a ~$100 pocket knife, because I have a problem and it’s been a bit since I got a good pocket knife fix.

My mental requirements for this one:

  • Flipper: lately I’ve been getting thumb stud and I’m tired of that.
  • D2 stainless: I find it to be a good balance w/o being expensive
  • 3 inch: it needs to be <3" for work and I’m starting to go in more often. Almost all 3" knives measure just shy, and I’m a letter of the law type guy.
  • Not scary looking: Don’t want to freak out office work type people
  • Drop point: Just practical, and don’t want something more exotic this time
  • Good 1 hand experience: I like to fish so this is pretty key to me.

So off to Blade HQ because I like shopping there. Not an endorsement, just mentioning. I like to buy from non-megacorps when I can, although some can be difficult with payment and shipment. They’re easy, and I like their 2-day FedEx option.

Civivi Elementum Liner Lock Dark Green Micarta

Civivi Elementum

Choosing

This one popped out. Met all of my requirements and looked classy as F. It’s just over $50. For the photo, the reviews, and so forth, it seemed a little too good to be true. But I thought I’d take the gamble.

Never bought a Civivi before. Honestly, had never even heard of them. But I’ve found that Chinese knives have become very nice. No more fit and finish problems like I used to see even a few years ago.

I looked into the company a bit, and its parent We Knives. Originally an OEM that I’ve probably bought from before under other brand names. So yeah worth a shot.

Impression

I really love this knife. Excellent EDC. Generally it just looks so simple, clean, even elegant. Definitely “not scary” to me, but a very useful knife.

The blade is wonderful. The bevel is nicer than it looks in the image. The thickness is sturdy, and it’s very sharp out of the box. The finish on the steel is nice. And as I said, I was looking for D2 specifically. I obviously haven’t sharpened it yet, but I imagine I know what I’m getting there. sharpened it

The micarta scales are well fit, and very grippy. And they just look so clean.

The flipper is very subtle. I was a little worried it would be ineffective on sight, but it’s easy and the bearing pivot makes opening and closing sooo smooth.

The liner lock has a great fit. No wiggle with the blade like some of my old Chinese knives. The pocket clip seems sturdily attached. Time will tell on that more. But I’m a fan of the deep pocket variety and blade-down orientation. It is super single handed friendly.

One cute touch is that they include a sticker for a laptop or water bottle or whatever of this knife. I mean, even the dark green scale color. Just have never seen that before and I kind of dig it.

I’m very thrilled and see this as being my EDC for some time. I have an Ontario RAT. It was really a go-to recommendation for a nice inexpensive “real” pocket knife for folks. But this is so much better in all possible ways and just a tad more expensive. The bang for the buck is one of the best I’ve experienced.

Svörd Mini Peasant Crystal Clear

Svörd Mini Peasant

Choosing

I’ve been eyeing this series for a long time. I’ve never had a friction folder and there’s just something neat about it. More of a novelty knife at a good price point. Having an original budget of ~$100 and spending $50 on the Elementum left plenty of room for this $20 gamble.

The choice of crystal clear was kind of winging it. Not normally my thing, but I thought it would be interesting with a unique blade.

Impression

Yep, a novelty knife. It’s neat, but not something practical to use.

It’s tough to use one handed. Have to do some gymnastics with your leg to open, and closing with one hand is probably not something I’d really want to do without focus. I didn’t expect that, but maybe should have.

The blade is great. Unpolished above the bevel, which seems to fit with the rough look. The bevel has that hand-made kind of contour which also fits well. The steel is nice and the thickness is appropriate. Not as sharp out of the box as the Civivi or something nice, but it’s $20, and honing an edge isn’t a big deal. The blade really exceeded my expectations which makes the rest of my impression a shame.

The handle is crap. There’s not a nice way to put it. It’s cheap plastic, the rivets are uneven, and there are rough spots from the moulding process that weren’t sanded down. The countersink for the rivets really pisses me off. They’re nice brass, you have a mould for the plastic, just make it even so it doesn’t catch on stuff. Have you no pride, Svörd?

The friction folder aspect exacerbates that problem. When you use the handle to flex down on the tang to hold it in place the feel problems are so much worse. I’m going to keep my thumb on the tang anyway, because I don’t have a lot of faith in the plastic + friction doing its job.

While sturdy closed, the flexing for the friction part when open feels like a blood blister waiting to happen. I guess that comes with the territory, but just something I didn’t even think about.

The pivot is brutally bad. It’s sticky and uneven to open and close. Maybe I can break it in? I dunno.

It is neat to have in the collection, but there are better cheap knives. I am a fan of the Opinels. Those are an actually practical knife that I carry sometimes. Think blade, but such a classic. And I do like the carbon steel on those. The gradual staining is appealing to me on them, and they sharpen so well.

The Svörd will probably be relegated to my box-o-knives with other gamble purchases and stuff too nice for me to keep in my pocket. I may cut off tags with it once in a while or stick it in the shop in my garage to abuse.

Maybe it’s better with the wood scales? But then it gets pricey for a novelty to me.

I don’t fully regret the purchase. It’s a different variety of folder I’ve never had. But I can’t say I’d recommend it to anyone.

Parting Thoughts

New knife day is like Christmas. Especially when you’ve never touched what you’ve bought. I track the package obsessively and run out to the front door like a little kid.

This was a good one. An amazing knife and something weird. 2 gambles and one out-of-the-park win. A good way to turn around a pretty lousy migraine day.