After bringing to market an interesting series of folding knives with a button lock mechanism such as the recent Chevalier model, the Chinese manufacturer returns to a more traditional frame lock system with the Banneret, the subject of these notes. For this article, we photographed it alongside another novelty, namely the Coronet titanium tactical pen, which features a curious top-mounted spinner bearing. But let's go in order and talk about the knife first.
Civivi Banneret, nocturnal aesthetics starting from the Damascus blade
The Civivi Banneret is sold in the usual Civivi packaging, which includes a cardboard box that containing a Nylon case in which we find the knife, a warranty certificate, a sticker and a small but useful microfiber cloth. But before we describe the knife, we want to explain its name: Banneret is a heraldic term for a medieval knight who had the privilege to lead troops into battle under his own banner. The Civivi Banneret is presented as a solid folding knife intended for everyday carry, featuring aesthetics in which dark tones predominate. The blade is blued damascus, another signature Civivi style, bolsters have a matte finish, and the carbon fiber inlays rely on the material's crisscross texture to reflect some light. Let's focus a bit more on the knife's parts starting with the handle, which couldn't be more minimalist: in fact, it has a rectangular shape with flattened edges, which is decidedly comfortable thanks also to the five through holes that not only lighten it but also act as a grip aid and allow you to observe the blade's damascus when it is closed.
The surface of the carbon fiber inlays and bolsters is extremely smooth and pleasant to the touch. Attached to the right side of the knife is a steel clip with a matte blued finish, which can be removed and mounted on the opposite side and allows the knife to be carried tip-up. On the left bolster we find the now typical stud that garnishes the blade pivot pin, featuring Civivi's C in stainless steel on a black background and adds a further touch of light to an otherwise very dark appearance. The blade pivot assembly moves on a ceramic ball bearing, now a constant presence on Civivi knives, which makes opening extremely smooth. The length of the handle is enough to make this knife suitable even for those with larger-than-average hands.
The Banneret blade measures 88 millimeters by 3 millimeters thick and has a very practical spear point profile. The dark black/gray damascus weave is striking without being brash, and the smooth factory sharpening is well executed, as is the swedge. There is little to add about this really very basic part of the knife. There is a small, rounded, knurled flipper at the blade base, which facilitates opening without interfering too much with comfort in pocket carry. The blade is locked open by a proven frame mechanism that locks with a noticeable click. The solidity of the system is surprise-proof, provided of course that the knife is not used for disproportionate or improper tasks. While we were taking photos for this report we also received a sample of the new tactical pen manufactured by Civivi, which is called the Coronet and is made entirely of 6AL4V titanium.
The most unique feature of this pen, besides the two-way "bolt action," is the presence of a spinner bearing on the top. Its function is purely recreational, but it is fun to see that it is there and to challenge yourself in seeing how long you can make it spin with a flick of the fingertip. There is a glassbreaker tip in the top center, and in this case the practical function is assured.
The Coronet tactical pen weighs (so to speak) 28.5 grams and uses EasyFLOW 9000M type refills. It is priced at about 77 euros and includes a cardboard box with a molded foam interior. Definitely a nice gift idea for the lovers of the genre.
Civivi Banneret wrap-up
The Civivi Banneret is a solid knife that is not too conspicuous and with that extra "almost centimeter" of blade that makes it suitable even for extemporary food slicing (we are alluding to salami, to be precise). Level of workmanship is excellent, but Civivi has gotten us used to this by now, as has the aesthetic combination of different materials. With this model in particular, the technological look determined by the carbon fiber goes hand in hand with a well-tested, traditional blade profile. The fact that the clip is reversible only from one side to the other is not such a big deal. For those who don't like this finish because they think it's too dark, no problem: the Banneret is also available with a Nitro-V stainless steel blade with a satin finish and G10 grips.
You will find all the variants on Civivi's website where you can also purchase the knife at a price of about 130 euros.
Civivi Banneret damascus specs and price
|Type:||EDC folding knife|
|Blade:||Damascus, hardness 58-60 HRC|
|Locking Mechanism:||Frame lock|
|Blade Length:||3.48"/88 mm|
|Overall Length:||7.9"/200 mm|
|Handle Inlays:||Carbon fiber|
|Price:||130 euro approx.|