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Review: Sub $30 Civivi Mini Praxis

It wasn’t that long ago that multiple solid knives were available for less than $30. These days, many of those knives like the Ontario RAT 2, have moved up market to closer to $40 or even more in some cases. So, when someone recently asked what I would recommend for an EDC or work knife for less than $30, I couldn’t fall back on my old recommendations. That’s why I purchased a Civivi Mini Praxis to see what $30 buys you these days.


  • Overall Length: 6.79″ / 172.5mm
  • Width: 1.27″ / 32.3mm
  • Overall Height(Include Clip): 0.62″ / 15.7mm
  • Blade Length: 2.98″ / 75.6mm
  • Closed Length: 3.81″ / 96.9mm
  • Blade Thickness: 0.1″ / 2.5mm
  • Handle Thickness: 0.45″ / 11.5mm
  • Knife Weight: 2.77oz / 78.5g
  • Blade Material: D2
  • Blade Hardness: 59-61HRC
  • Blade Grind: Flat
  • Blade Type: Drop Point
  • Handle Material: G10
  • Liner Material: Stainless Steel
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Up, Right Carry
  • Clip Material: Stainless Steel
  • Screws Material: Stainless Steel
  • Pivot Assembly: Caged Ceramic Ball Bearing
  • Locking Mechanism: Liner Lock

Observations from Use

The Mini Praxis is essentially just a down-sized version of the Civivi’s well-known Praxis. It is very impressive how gracefully that design, known for being a large work/tactical knife, scaled down to a surprisingly refined EDC-oriented knife that just about disappears in your pocket thanks to a true deep carry clip. I think this is due, in large part, to the finger choil. On the larger Praxis, the choil allows the user to choke up on what is a fairly large knife but on the Mini Praxis, it allows a very svelte and compact knife to feel much larger.

This knife cuts aggressively. Civivi generally does a very nice job with their D2. The cutting geometry on this little laser beam also helps. The spear point blade is thin, with a very high flat grind that thins out the edge very nicely. The long swedge grind provides an acute but relatively strong tip.

The flipping action is what you would expect from Civivi which is to say it is very good. The detent is crisp and the action is smooth so the blade rockets out when you use the back flipper. That’s a good thing because that is the only method for opening the Mini Praxis that is provided by the design. This design is classy enough to serve as an office carry so it would have been nice to have a method of opening that is more suited to slower opening but the design is true to the original Praxis which also only had a back flipper.

Civivi did a great job of taking weight out of this design. The blade is very broad compared to many folders of this size so you might expect it to be heavy but the liners are aggressively skeletonized. The 2.77 ounce weight puts this firmly into ultralight range.

It would have been nice if Civivi didn’t scale down the design quite so literally as I wish the jimping on the spine extended out a little bit more. It also would be nice if the G-10 slabs had a bit more thickness and contour. However, those are relatively small nitpicks at this price. I think people would buy this knife at $45-50 and feel it is was a solid buy. 10 years ago, you would expect to pay $80-100 for something like this… maybe more. In today’s market it is impressive to see it at a sub-$30 price point. That isn’t a sale price either. That is the everyday price.

Wrap Up

The Mini Praxis proves that the Praxis design was more versatile than any of us realized – able to go from rugged work knife to classy EDC just by scaling it down in size. This knife has great cutting performance, solid ergonomics, and it is easy to carry. It’s a well-designed EDC option that impresses at under $30. It seems like a worthy and very recommendable alternative to something like the RAT 2 at this price point.

I purchased my Civivi on Amazon for even less by taking advantage of their occasional used knife offers (returns): Civivi Mini Praxis with satin blade and black G-10 or the Mini Praxis blackwash blade with green G-10 on Amazon.com

Review: Civivi Baby Banter

I carry a fixed blade knife daily – usually an Amtac Blades Northman or Magnus. Those knives can be a little out of place in some settings. This is why I like the idea of the Public Knife and I am always on the lookout for truly great small knives. I think I landed on one, maybe the best one, in the Civivi Knives Baby Banter.


The Baby Banter was designed by Ben Peterson of internet knife guy and all-around nice guy fame. It is made in China by Civivi with their typical attention to detail and excellent quality.

  • Blade Length: 2.4″ (61 mm)
  • Overall Length: 5.5″ (139.7 mm)
  • Closed Length: 3.1″ (78.7 mm)
  • Weight: 1.99 oz (56.48 g)
  • Blade Steel: Nitro V (59 – 61 HRC)
  • Blade Shape: Drop point
  • Blade Grind: Flat
  • Lock Type: Liner Lock
  • Pocket Clip: deep carry, right/left hand, tip up, stainless steel
  • Thumbstud: Titanium
  • Handle material: G10

Observations from Use

My time with this knife has been a lot of fun. I initially purchased the blue G-10 version and carried it for about 2 months. During that time, my 12-year-old frequently made it known that she wanted one just like it. So, I bought myself the purple version and put the blue one in her stocking for Christmas. So, its safe to say I, or we, love this knife.

I don’t want to get bogged down in all the knife nerd details so I will focus instead on what makes this knife a joy to use. One of the more important features in this vein is the finger choil. I typically do not like large choils except on a small knife like this because a well-executed finger choil can create a knife that is both very compact but still provide a full grip. The choil is key to making the Baby Banter small enough for 5th pocket carry and large enough to do real work.

Ben Peterson and Civivi obviously didn’t forget that knives are supposed to cut things because the little Nitro-V steel blade in the Baby Banter cuts like a laser. It has all three of the holy trinity of cutting attributes – thin blade stock, a tall primary grind, and it is thin behind the edge. These knives are laser-sharp out of the box and it is easy to keep them that way thanks to excellent cutting geometry.

The action on these little knives is excellent out of the box and only gets better with time. This shouldn’t come as a surprise if you have handled other Civivi knives. Civivi nailed the detent tension and ball bearing pivot on these, making them a joy to flick open.

The pocket clip is also excellent. It carries deep and offers great retention. It also has a very flat design that you barely notice when you are actually cutting.

Overall, the Baby Banter feels very good in my hand thanks to the well-designed choil. It is more hand-filling than you would ever expect from a knife this small. It is comfortable to use… but I could have been just a bit better. The butt of the knife is somewhat square and in some grips, this portion of the knife is against the palm of the user. This design is visually attractive and consistent with the design language of the larger We Knives Banter but a bit more gradual rounding here could make the knife more comfortable overall. In the end, this is a small nit-pick since the knife is very ergonomic as is.

Wrap Up

I’ll go out on a limb and say the Baby Banter is currently the best “little big knife” on the market.

It does a fine job of balancing quality with value, compact size with hand filling performance, and stylish design with ergonomics. It’s fun to fidget with, fun to cut with, and even fun to look at. At less than $60 shipped, this is a winner.

Check out the Civivi Baby Banter: Baby Banter on Amazon (affilite link).

We Knives Elementum

The Civivi Elementum is a certified smash hit of an EDC knife. It’s no wonder this knife is an absolute phenomenon given its clean lines, slim profile, and useful blade shape. It has been so popular in fact that We Knives, the more upscale parent company of Civivi, is giving the many what they have been clamoring for… a premium version of the Elementum.

The We Knives version of the popular Elementum features a titanium handle with frame lock. The 2.97″ spear point blade is ground from CPM 20CV steel or Damasteel.

Learn more at WeKnife.com.

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