The first time I saw the Civivi Keen Nadder I knew I had to get my hands on one. The first images I saw of the Keen Nadder were from the Civivi OneDrive share they provide to dealers. However, my interest wasn’t as a knife dealer. It had my attention on a personal level. It was just one of those knives.. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was one I was going to want for my own pocket.
Once they were available on the Civivi ordering portal I made sure I didn’t waste any time. I got my order placed right away.
Upon arrival, I first opened the Civivi Keen Nadder C2021A; that’s the black model. The first impressions of this knife were in no way disappointing. The knife has a good solid feel and heft to it. The modified tanto style blade is unique and has an interesting cool factor. The handle is made from G10. However, it has a coarse textured feel to it that I have not seen on other knives. The blade has a nice matte stonewashed finish that is not reflective. Due to its narrow handle height, it’s an impressive knife, because you really have a pocket knife with a larger blade, but it is still able to keep a slender profile and not take up much pocket real estate. This is by far one of my favorite knives in recent times. Those are my first impressions!
The overall length of this knife is 8.2” inches. The handle is made from a coarse textured black G10 or from micarta depending on the model you are interested in. The handle length is 4.75” inches. The handle thickness is .5” inches. The handle height is .75” inches. The blade length by itself is 3.48” inches. The blade on this knife is made from Bohler N690 steel and is a bit thicker than most coming in at .15” inches; being thicker tends to be more common with tanto style blades. Starting with a thicker stalk helps keep the nose of the tanto rigid preventing tip breaks and similar failures. The blade is a gray stonewashed finish.
The Keen Nadder has what I suppose we would call a modified tanto style blade. Tanto style blades are typically known for their strength, high points, and piercing abilities. From the back of the blade, the flat edge is typically straight which leads to the front tip of the blade. That front tip generally angles upwards at roughly a 45 degree angle. The tip also has a straight edge. On the Civivi Keen Nadder, the edges of the blade are not straight. The longer flat edge is concave while the tip of the tanto blade is convex. This truly gives the Keen Nadder a very different look which in my opinion is great! One last thing I would like to point out is the jimping on this knife is really well done. It’s a fat, thick, and chunky jimping that no thumb can miss. The size of your hand will not matter.
Side note on sharpening: I’ve heard some people say because of this modified tanto blade shape it would make sharpening more difficult. Well, I’m here to say I’ve carried the Keen Nadder now for a couple of months. I’ve sharpened this knife a few times. I have not had any issues what-so-ever. I believe that train of thought is faulty and debunked.
At the time of writing this review, there are three models or versions of the Civivi Keen Nadder. They all have the same blades and hardware. The only difference is the handle colors and materials. The black version has chunky course G10 handles, while the other two versions sport an olive green and brown micarta handle scales. The texture on the olive green and brown versions are typical of what you would find on other Civivi knives and is nowhere near as coarse as the black model.
I always make a point to talk about the pocket clip on every single knife I review. Civivi never fails! The Keen Nadder just like every other pocket knife I’ve come across by Civivi does indeed feature the all mighty deep carry pocket clip. In my opinion, if a pocketknife does not have a deep carry pocket clip, the designer did it wrong. Period.
Deployment on the Keen Nadder is achieved by two methods, flipper and thumb studs. I tend to always use the flipper as most of my knives offer that feature and I subconsciously am trained to do so. However, this knife also opens effectively and efficiently via the thumbstuds. I believe when using the thumb studs it takes a bit more effort to open the blade than on other knives making it seem a bit like an afterthought almost. However, since I primarily use the flipper tab on the back of the knife this in no way has a negative impact for me or on my review. If you prefer to open a knife using the thumb studs that may prove to be a useful bit of information for you.
The lockup on this knife is very rigid and has a satisfying ::chunk:: once the liner lock is engaged. There is no movement or wiggling in any manner at or near the blade pivot. Once this blade is open there is no chance of the blade accidentally closing. The liner lock is extremely secure.
Fit and Finish
When I close this knife and look at the blade and how it closes, the blade is perfectly centered between the handles. This knife operates smoothly and cleanly with precision every single time. In general, Civivi does a good job on most of their pocket knives in these terms. All faces, sides, and edges (minus the blade) of this knife including the pocket clip have rounded edges. To the eye, nothing looks out of place. And by feel, everything seem to be right where you would want it.
The Civivi Keen Nadder is a great looking, extremely functional pocket knife, that is very budget friendly. I own a lot of pocket knives. Right from the get-go this knife caught my attention. And now, this is one of my favorite knives that I carry more days than not. This is my go to EDC! If you are looking for a reliable pocket knife with a tanto style blade this is a very solid choice.