Civivi is a knife manufacturer based in the People's Republic of China that in recent times has gained a lot of consensus thanks to the excellent quality/price ratio of its products, not lacking a certain originality in the choice of designers, with a list of collaborators ranging from the American veteran Bob Terzuola to new and less known names on the international market, such as the Polish Maciej Torbé, of whom we are speaking today. The project of the Kepler – a fixed blade knife that takes its name from the Italian Giovanni Keplero, one of the greatest scientists and thinkers of the Renaissance – is in fact Maciej's own.
Civivi Kepler, a definitely original design
The Civivi Kepler features lines that are immediately reminiscent of Torbè's custom knives, many of which are characterized by a blade that is almost oversized compared to the handle. In the Kepler there is a lot of metal, and the full tang construction is as always very reassuring. As soon as we started to show the first pictures of the Kepler on our social networks, a debate about the blade profile was immediately triggered: is it sheepsfoot or Wharncliffe? For me, it is a full sheepsfoot, since the edge is slightly curved and the back goes down to the tip with a very pronounced curve. To be sure, we asked Maciej Torbé himself for an opinion, and he confirmed my thesis.
The blade is made from 9CR18Mov stainless steel hardened to 58-60HRC, 4.48"/114 mm long and 0.16"/4 mm thick. Consistent with the style of the designer, the blade has three different surface angles represented by the bevel, the side and the false edge that create a very dynamic effect. On the left side of the blade we find the laser engraved manufacturer's brand, while on the right side we find the "Torbè Knives" logo, both very crisp and not intrusive at all. The factory sharpening is excellent, and the various surfaces of the blade are made with care and great cleanliness. Balance is excellent – weight seems to be less than the still reasonable 7.32 oz/208 grams.
Such a knife can be used without any problem for food preparation tasks, since it is very convenient for slicing vegetables and cutting cold cuts and meat, which are the most frequent jobs for a hiking knife. As for hunting use, sheepsfoot blade knives are excellent tools for skinning and game preparation. The low tip allows for extremely precise cuts and also makes accidental pricking more remote. The large knurled surface on the back of the blade together with the deep groove for the index finger on the handle upper section allows a very firm purchase even with wet hands, and compensate for the not exceptionally grippy G10 scales that in the photo are OD green, but are also available in tan or black. The scales are fixed to the handle by a pair of stainless steel Torx screws. As we said before, their surface is not particularly grippy, but it is still smooth and pleasant to the touch. The machining of the scales shows no uncertainties and there are no gaps. Proceeding towards the tail of the knife we can see the large milling for the lanyard hole that in fact occupies the entire butt area – as standard, we find a nice Paracord lanyard that offers extra help to extract the knife from the sheath, also can always be useful in the field. The lanyard is about 7”/18 cm long, and once untied it provides about 70”/180 cm of Paracord.
The Civivi Kepler comes with a Kydex sheath featuring a T-Clip quick release belt mount (designed by Bob Terzuola) that allows the knife to be carried on the belt in a vertical or horizontal position.
Civivi Kepler bottom line
The Civivi Kepler is definitely a rather original model, the first industrially produced knife I happened to review designed by a Polish knife maker. With a retail price of 100 bucks (on the official Civivi website – www.civivi.com) corresponding to about 85 euros, the Kepler can be defined affordable, considering that the full tang construction and assembly are of excellent level, and in addition we have a good-quality Kydex sheath. It's no coincidence that the first production batch sold out quickly. As I write these notes the knife is in fact sold out, but I have been assured that a new run is underway and will soon be available for purchase again. Fortunately, the Civivi website has a wishlist feature that allows you to keep an eye on product availability. Alternatively, you can tie a knot in your handkerchief.
Civivi Kepler specs and price
|Civivi – People's Republic of China
|Fixed blade knife
|9CR18Mov hardened to 58-60 HRC
|100 USD (about 85 euros)