For the previous couple of years CIVIVI, and its sister firm, WE Knife Co., have been constant in releasing knife after knife that has its personal explicit enchantment.
Within the case of the CIVIVI Voltaic, it’s initially the shape, an amalgamation of chrome steel and G10 with a profile that feels acquainted and fancy. However whenever you get all the way down to brass tacks and begin utilizing the knife, you shortly understand the Voltaic isn’t just one other fairly face. No, in no way.
The truth is, even with its slender and compact profile, the Voltaic is a workhorse — and a multifaceted one at that.
That mentioned, a coalition of purists on the market refuse to present CIVIVI an opportunity. They’re hung up on the truth that CIVIVI knives usually value below $100 and don’t possess any of the boutique steels that make a knife “premium.”
Such is the case with the Voltaic, which depends on Sandvik 14C28N metal for its 3.5-inch, bead-blasted, drop-point blade. As the primary CIVIVI knife I’ve ever reviewed, I’m joyful to let these of us know that they’re lacking out.
In brief: For a knife being bought below the banner of a price knife model, the CIVIVI Voltaic provides off an actual premium vibe — from a distance in addition to up shut and private. Clean motion, clear consideration to element, and confirmed EDC chops make the Voltaic a winner at any value. However that is an outright steal at lower than $100 shipped to your door.
Tip-up, proper or left, deep carry
Clean flipper motion aided by ceramic ball bearings
The eye to element is a welcome shock
Lower than $100
Knives like this begin to make you query “premium” knife costs
CIVIVI Voltaic Evaluate
With a skinny, govt look and profile, this model of the Voltaic ($73.50) contains chrome steel with black G10 inlays. Its Sandvik 14C28N drop-point metal blade gives each corrosion and abrasion resistance and is understood for its heightened edge retention.
CIVIVI selected to bead blast it, and never solely does it make the knife look much more opulent, nevertheless it’ll let you use it in additional greasy and dirty environments with out having to fret in regards to the blade tarnishing or rusting.
The pivot meeting on the Voltaic features a caged ceramic ball-bearing race, a performance-enhancing characteristic that was reserved for $250+ premium folding knives. Of late, nevertheless, this has change into extra widespread with manufacturers like CIVIVI and WE Knife previously couple of years.
The blade additionally has a fuller, which appears to be making a comeback. Fullers are indentations within the knife blade that enable the blade to be lighter in weight with out compromising the energy of the metal.
Within the case of the Voltaic, its positioning aids the flipper motion, together with the ball bearings, to make an extremely clean opening motion.
I wish to observe that earlier than the inflow of S-steels, and steels like M390 and MagnaCut, Sandvik was held in excessive regard and nonetheless needs to be. It’s a Swedish high-carbon chrome steel that has all the time been utilized in entry-level knives, nevertheless it has earned its place within the echelon of revered steels as a result of it’s arguably probably the most premium possibility you will discover on this value vary.
The very first thing that struck me was the lock on the CIVIVI. The model refers to it as a nested body lock, which makes whole sense for the reason that G10 scales are an inlay and the chrome steel surrounding it’s the body.
However the execution presents a murals. The best way the lock mechanism traces up with the sting of the G10 requires beautiful consideration to element. Hardly ever will you discover that amongst knives on this class.
Past that, the Voltaic could be very smooth, making it simple to maneuver. Nevertheless it’s not a small knife. At 8 inches, it’s a full-size folder that disappears in your again pocket, however swings open to disclose its value.
Noticeably, the blade is wider than the deal with. This offers the Voltaic a distinguished look, however not sufficient to interrupt the general steadiness.
Total, this knife could be very good to have a look at. It’d pair properly with a three-piece swimsuit, however it should maintain its personal simply as properly in a pair of Levi’s. If I needed to describe it in two phrases I might name it rugged and refined.
One other little bit of element I loved was the addition of a spacer close to the pommel. This could fulfill the lanyard freaks like myself who want one thing dangling off the again of their EDCs. Little additions like these make the Voltaic a minimize above the remaining.
Within the Discipline
The Voltaic proved to be a really well-rounded EDC knife. There’s nothing about it that screams, “let’s go on an journey!”
Relatively, it neatly declares, “let’s take a drive into the workplace.” However I believe that’s the enchantment right here.
The Voltaic is handsome and may take a beating and carry on flipping. And no, it’s not OD inexperienced. You’ll not see it flooding the Instagram pages of any hearty outside fanatic.
As an alternative, it’s the knife you may throw in your again pocket and depend on. And it’ll demand little or no upkeep alongside the way in which.
Within the final couple of weeks, I did just a little little bit of every little thing with the Voltaic. Principally, I needed to see how properly Sandvik 14C28N holds up, so I took it out to the workshop and sliced a bunch of cardboard and cord. I don’t try this with a whole lot of knives anymore until I’ve some query in regards to the metal, or — as on this case — I wish to affirm my suspicions of high quality.
The outcome? The Voltaic stays manufacturing unit contemporary and I can shave my arm or slice paper with it simply.
One place the place this knife proved particularly enjoyable was out tackling just a little spring yard cleansing. With it, I took out some rusty nails from the aspect of the shed, minimize twine for twig bundles, and sliced up apples.
I’m enthusiastically pro-Voltaic as a result of it’s an unassuming blade for somebody with my way of life. It feels acquainted and, as I famous, may keep in my again pocket for years to return.
I cannot harp on all those that solely swear by American-made knives however nonetheless complain about how costly they’re. However I’ll say that knives just like the CIVIVI Voltaic are what these of us are actually on the lookout for: a dependable knife on the proper value.
If my outlaw biker brother was nonetheless alive at the moment, the Voltaic is the knife I might give him. I do know he’d respect it, use it, and abuse it each day.
However the great thing about the Voltaic is that it’s going to simply as simply swimsuit the Docker-wearing workplace employee. The Voltaic is a utilitarian knife that appears and appears like a premium blade. Nevertheless it doesn’t match into any class — created by reality or fiction — within the knife world.
Put it this fashion: Individuals consider Mercedes-Benz as a standing image. However a Toyota Camry is much extra dependable, appears to be like simply pretty much as good, and can keep on the highway many years longer. Consider the Voltaic as a Camry: It won’t flip as many heads, nevertheless it’ll take you a large number additional and serve you longer.
Don’t ignore the CIVIVI Voltaic as a result of it’s made abroad and prices lower than $100. Embrace it and have a good time the truth that you’ll solely take it out of your pocket in case you get tired of it, not as a result of it fails you.
The CIVIVI Voltaic is at present out there in three distinct variations, all of which supply chrome steel, a Sandvik 14C28N drop-point blade, and G10, Micarta, or Cuibourtia wooden inlays.