CIVIVI Praxis Review & Sharpness Test

TL;DR: The CIVIVI Praxis is the Elementum’s bigger, bolder, more stylish companion that I think provides better performance and value.

It’s a honed EDC slicer with excellent machining that puts other knives in the $30-to-$50 range to shame.

Blade Specs

  • Cutting Edge: 3.35″
  • Blade Width: 1.28″
  • Blade Length: 3.75”
  • Edge Thickness: 0.019″
  • Spine Thickness: 0.12″
  • Blade Shape: Drop Point
  • Blade Steel: 9CR18MOV, Brushed (Reviewed) or Black Stonewashed
  • Edge Grind: High Flat Grind

Additional Specs

  • Scales: G10 (Reviewed), Carbon Flake Resin, African Rosewood
  • Handle Length: 4.68″
  • Overall Length: 8.45″
  • Overall Width, Folded: 1.45″
  • Handle Width: 0.99″
  • Handle Thickness: 0.51″
  • Weight: 4.42 Oz
  • Lock: Liner
  • Opener: Flipper
  • Clip: Polished or black steel, tip-up, ambidextrous
  • Country of Origin: China
  • Model: C803C

The CIVIVI Praxis Review

Its machining and fitment would normally place this knife in a higher price tier.

This blade’s balanced quite well. Tolerances — the pin and bolt holes drilled into the G10, in particular — are super tight. The ceramic bearing is buttery smooth.

Close-to-full-open takes literally no effort. No rock, no slip, no wobble. Nice, positive click. The detent is healthy, but not stubborn.

I like the brushed fasteners and polished clip on the Praxis way more than the hardware on the Elementum. That’s a bit backwards — the Elementum retails at practically the same price.

I did spend a moment deciding whether or not I liked the gold. Yes, I do.

The gold accent: I like it, especially contrasted against the black G10. I didn’t even realize the frame was colored when I bought it. It’s not too loud or flashy. I think it’s classy.

The 9Cr18MoV Blade

The brushed finish on the Praxis pops. The apex grind is shiny and clean.

As we covered in our Elementum review, the CIVIVI line of knives is made by the WE Knife Company. And yet again, we’re offered a blade that’s made to a standard well above this little flipper’s price point.

WE Knife produces named smiths’ blades that cost up to ten times that of the Praxis. So, like other CIVIVI models, the “cheap” Praxis benefits from being forged, ground, assembled, and quality-checked on a production line that makes very expensive blades.

The spine and swedge are perfectly mirrored on either side. The brushed finish is basically perfect, with a fine grain that glows. Close scrutiny finds zero machining quirks. No rough bits anywhere.

Lock and Action

The fit between the button-head tang bolt and handle is excellent. It’s brushed, too.

The action on the Praxis takes no effort, thanks to a nice ceramic caged bearing.

It’s a reliable one-handed opener, with the detent providing just enough bite when closed to stop any wobble. The flipper provides good leverage, and the jimping offers grip without being uncomfortable.

The locking bar provides perfect alignment against the tang when engaged. The detent can be spied in this photo, alongside some extra jimping on the lock itself to aid in closure.

Clip and Lanyard Loop

Thankfully, all the fasteners on this handle use the same Torx bit.

I say it every time: I’m not a fan of lanyard loops. But the Praxis’ loop is implemented nicely, and doesn’t take away from the look and feel of the handle.

It’s machined from steel and helps provide some balance to the knife’s center of gravity. The cut-out in the G10 is beveled nicely to accommodate the loop, too.

The clip is seated for deep pocket carrying, and it’s ambidextrous. I like the polish on the clip. Alongside the stainless Torx bolts, it provides a nice contrast against the black scales and gold frame.

Praxis Handle

The scales are comfortable. The bevel ground into the finger grooves and edges of the scales kill off any hot spots. The gold frame doesn’t sit proud or poke any skin, and its edges are rounded and smooth.

Fit in the hand is adequate, with no complaints. It’s a grip that won’t fatigue your palm or fingers after lots of stubborn cuts.

The finger choil on the Praxis is ground deeper than the Elementum’s, which I’m happy about. I found it too shallow on that smaller blade.

Sharpness & Edge Retention Test

The test media is synthetic wire.

This is what matters most, right? The CIVIVI Praxis measured exactly 183 grams out of the box on my Edge-On-Up Sharpness Tester.

I always measure twice. The Praxis hit 183g both times.

For new readers, the tester measures how much force it takes for a blade to cut through a piece of certified test media. Then I run the edge across a piece of Ironwood 100 times under a 5-pound load, and measure sharpness afterward.

This rare wood is harvested from the Sonoran Desert. This small block cost $30.

The difference between the “before” and “after” measurements yields an edge retention rating.

Average result after the test: 229.5 grams.

After running through the hardwood, the Praxis measured 229g and 230g on the Sharpness Tester. We’ll round up and call it an even 230 grams. That converts to 80% edge retention.

Certainly not Earth-shattering, but an admirable performance for a piece of 9Cr18MoV.

It beats the CIVIVI Elementum’s D2 blade by a few points on both initial sharpness and edge retention, earning a spot in the top half of our chart of tested knives.

Knife / ModelFactory SharpnessSharpness After TestEdge Retention
Spyderco Para 3 12026545%
Benchmade 940 EDC17529060%
SOG TWI8-CP Twitch II12520063%
S&W Extreme Ops SWA24S16526063%
Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter14522066%
Spyderco Tenacious15022567%
Ontario Knife OKC Rat II SP18527069%
CIVIVI Elementum20127972%
Opinel No. 1228037073%
CIVIVI Praxis18323080%
Zero Tolerance 0450CF24029083%
KA-BAR Dozier Folder27532585%
Cold Steel AD-1018520590%
CRKT Endorser23025092%
CJRB Feldspar21522596%
Cold Steel Recon 1 Tanto17721582%
Kershaw Link CPM 20CV23226289%
CJRB Ria Folder (12C27)19628369%
Gerber Paraframe 1 (ATS-314)18622085%
CRKT CEO18320490%
Kershaw Leek13319269%
CRKT M16-10KS22833468%
CRKT Squid21537557%
Vosteed Corsair16317494%

The CIVIVI Praxis: Final Thoughts

Yes, this review is relatively heavy on praise.

I carried this knife for about four days and used it to cut up boxes for Christmas gifts. I didn’t get a chance to really put it through heavy testing. But based on its edge retention, I’m confident it’ll hold up well as a daily-carry pocket flipper.

I work with firearm parts for a living. I’m a stickler for fit, finish, and mechanics above all else. I truly can’t find anything on this knife that leaves me wanting.

Is there anything not to like? The bright, shiny gold frame probably isn’t for everybody. Some might call it “gaudy,” and I can’t speak to how well the color will hold up against sweat and friction.

If you have thick fingers, the choil might still be a bit too shallow for you. I’ve also heard others say the black-coated finishes on other variants tend to ship with a few scratches. But as soon as you start cutting anything with a matte black coated blade, the finish is going to show wear.

Overall, I think the Praxis is one Helluva knife at $50. Because of its quality machining, it’d still be a great knife even at $80 or $100.