Lately there has been a resurgence in the popularity of the sheepsfoot profile blade, even and especially in knives intended for everyday use. Once confined to the small blades of pocket knives, the Sheepsfoot blade can be recognized by its straight edge and a straight back that curves decidedly downward at the tip, somewhat like the Japanese Santoku kitchen knife. This is a blade profile that lends itself to very precise cuts on materials that are not overly leathery, and is also very versatile for use with foodstuffs as well. But that's not all: the model we present has a Damascus blade with a blued finish, while the other versions have a 14C28N stainless steel blade with a blued or stonewashed finish.
Like all the latest Civivi folding knives, the Chevalier makes use of the button lock blade system. Unlike other systems, the Civivi system does not act as a safety when closed but acts only on the open blade. In case of need, therefore, the blade can be deployed lightning-fast by acting on the side flipper. Once the knife is open, a slight pressure on the button is enough to close the blade again. To avoid unintentional pressure, the cylindrical button is recessed in the left handle.
Civivi Chevalier: when aesthetics matter
Aesthetics is always subjective, but there is no denying that the pairing of the blued tones of the Damascus steel and the warmth of the Bubinga wood handle is striking. It is not just a matter of color combinations: compared to the Micarta and G10 of the other versions, the tropical wood has a unique grain on each of the grips, almost a fingerprint that makes each knife unique and different from the others. The same can be said for the stainless Damascus of the blade, which, although industrially produced, benefits from a hand-finishing treatment that enhances its intricate texture. The whole is made homogeneous by the bluing of the small parts, the internal bolsters and the steel clip, which give the Chevalier a dark hue that conveys the impression of solidity on an aesthetic level as well.
The blade is very well executed, with a patterned Damascus weave somehow made less conspicuous but more intriguing by the bluing. The profile of the sheepsfoot-type blade is excellent for everyday use, with particular vocation for precision cuts (the tip is in fact similar to a hobby cutter). The double groove on the sides, which can be used to facilitate the grip in case you do not want to use the flipper, is sharply executed as is the small flipper. The presence of a ceramic ball bearing on the pivot is perfectly felt and makes the blade opening very smooth. The blade is 3.46”/88 mm long by 0.12”/3 mm thick, for an overall length of 7.87”/200 mm; the weight is 3.16 oz/90 grams.
The handle of the version photographed is made of Bubinga wood, also known as African Rosewood, a fine wood from central Africa, characterized by its light chocolate color with darker grain and good stress resistance. For those who prefer more high-tech materials, the Chevalier is available with dark green Micarta or black G10 handles.
On the right side of the handle we find a steel clip that can be removed and mounted on the opposite side, allowing the knife to be carried tip-up. Interestingly, an optional titanium clip is now for sale on Civivi's site, which, thanks to a set of screws also made of titanium, can be fitted to most Civivi knives (a table helps select the right model). The price of the clip is about 13 euros, which I would say is affordable. The packaging is as usual very rich and includes a nylon case, cleaning cloth, warranty certificate and stickers.
The list price of the Civivi Chevalier with Damascus blade is 105 euros, which in case of promotions and special offers can also go down significantly. The version with the steel blade costs about twenty euros less. Certainly this is an interesting option for those looking for an EDC folder with sheepsfoot profile blade and reliable and fast flipper opening; the only drawback is that this model (like all those with button lock release) is not particularly suitable for left-handed users because the release button, unlike the clip, is not reversible.
Civivi Chevalier specs and price
|Model: ||Chevalier Damascus/bubinga|
|Type: ||EDC folding knife|
|Blade:||Damascus or 14C28N steel |
|Blade Hardness: ||58-60HRC|
|Blade Length: ||3.46”/88 mm|
|Blade: ||0.12”/3.0 mm|
|Blade Grind: ||Flat|
|Blade Finish: ||Blued|
|Handle: ||Bubinga tropical wood |
|Overall Length: ||7.87”/200 mm|
|Weight: ||90 grams|