Executive Showdown: CRKT CEO vs CIVIVI Chronic | KnifeCenter Reviews

Executive Showdown: CRKT CEO vs CIVIVI Chronic | KnifeCenter Reviews

hey everyone David C Andersen here
coming at you from the KnifeCenter and today we’re pitting two gentlemen’s EDC
pocket knives against each other it’s the CRKT CEO versus the CIVIVI
Chronic let’s check them out both of these knives are narrow office
EDC’s barely larger than a nice ink pen they’re gentleman’s knives with long
narrow blades and they fall firmly into the executive knife category and both of
them are affordable enough for just about anyone to carry at this point in
time the CRKT CEO comes in at 40 bucks while the CIVIVI Chronic is just a few
dollars more at $48.50 although you can option it up to $78.80
for the more premium version that I’ve got in my hands right here the blade
length is very similar between the two as well about 3 and 1/8 of an inch on
the CEO and 3 and 3/16 on the Chronic when you measure them from the tip to
the leading edge of the scale but the CRKT manages to pull ahead on the amount
of usable edge now in one of those weird twists that you see in the knife world
now and then because the heel of the edge goes farther back than the front of
the handles it actually has a full three and three sixteenths of an inch of
sharpened edge which is a full sixteenth inch more than it’s supposed it blade
length that’s just one of those things it makes it actually defining blade
length a challenge these days looking back to the other knife because the CIVIVI
Chronic features a large coil here in front of the finger tab which isn’t
quite big enough to fit a full finger and by the way this knife only features
about two and seven eighths of an inch of edge that’s more than a quarter inch
behind the CEO but because of the blade steel that they use here it’s probably
going to last longer that’s because the CEO comes with
8Cr13MoV steel an entry-level stainless it’s easy to maintain and it does give
solid performance for the money in the meantime the Chronic actually comes with
two different steel options when we look at the base model here the blade is made
from 9Cr18MoV steel now admittedly that does sound awful similar to the 8Cr13
that you see in CRKT but it is a different steel and you should get more
edge retention with the 9Cr to put it in terms of steel you may be more
familiar with or terms that may be easier to compare you can think of 8Cr
as being equivalent to AUS-8 while the 9Cr is more like 440C and you’ll be
in the ballpark now as an upgrade the Chronic can be had with a stainless
Damascus blade and according to our reps the base of their formula for this
Damascus is also 9Cr and they tell us that the performance again should be
similar to a well heat treated 440C blade just with the added good looks of
the pattern welding now as far as cutting performance between the two
let’s take a look at their edge geometries a little closer
the CRKT CEO starts with a thinner blade stock it’s about 0.09 inches thick and
it features a mid height flat grind and a long swedge on a very narrow blade
the CIVIVI Chronic’s blade starts a little bit thicker about point one two
inches thick and the blade profile is wider too and they grind it with a high
hollow grind this keeps the thickness behind the edge itself thinner than on
the CEO and with that hollow grind your initial slicing performance is probably
gonna be a little more effortless since the CEOs blade is slightly more
wedge-shaped now it’s not to say that the CEO really drags all that much and
for any sort of cuts where you need to go around a corner the narrower blade is
going to be able to more easily make those transitions aided there to buy
that long swedge along the spine which removes a bit of drag now the initial
sharpness on both of these knives are excellent by the way both of them were
hair popping sharp right out of the box the tip on both knives should be very
useful too for any sort of day-to-day tasks now obviously they’re not going to
be strong enough to stab through a car door and you know if you want something
like that go buy a Cold Steel but they’re thin and acute and great for
opening packages and letters now the Cronic achieves this with a nice
clip point shape while the CEO features a straight back blade and in fact along
with the straight handle it definitely gives off a kwaiken style vibe now the
blade on each when folded up nestle’s very deep into the handle with only the
flipper tab and just a hint of the spine visible on the CIVIVI and only the thumb
stud visible on the CRKT the blade disappears completely on this
this helps them maintain a low visual presence and helps them stay unobtrusive
when they’re in your pocket – on that note both knives feature a deep carry
clip right in line with their mission of being unseen or unnoticed until you need
to cut something the Chronics clip keeps the blade in a tip-up orientation and
you can reverse it to either side of the knife and carry it on either side just
as easily while the CEOs clip is a right side tip
down carry only and it should be even easier to slide into your pocket when
you’re putting the knife away – for one thing the screw heads are kept flush
with the surface of the clip so that they’re not sticking out to potentially
snag on anything and it also features a small ramp molded into the handle itself
to guide your pocket hem over the clip and that keeps the edge of the clip from
snagging as well now the Chronics clip on the other hand
features no such ramp and the screw heads are sticking up a little bit so
depending on the thickness of your pants it may take a little more effort to
fully seat the knife really though that’s only a comparison when it comes
to these two knives it’s certainly gonna carry very easily despite that and
there’s a lot of knives out there that do it just this same way now as far as
the handle materials the CEO makes do with glass reinforced nylon it’s got a
bit of a contour on both sides – which helps it to feel not so blocky in the
hand it also features a repeated radial pattern and for one thing this does give
it a hint of texture so that it isn’t slippy but it also creates a nice look
it’s not quite like carbon-fiber although the vibe is very similar and it
feels very classy as a result now the base Chronic models featured g10 and you
can get them in a few different colors it’s got more of a workhorse vibe with a
little bit more texture than the CEO but if you want to stay on the classier side
the Damascus version features a g10 laminate that has a top layer of carbon
fiber now the handle shape on the cronic is definitely a little bit blockier but
it’s not uncomfortable for one thing it’s a little bit wider than the CEO and
secondly each of the edges features a wide chamfer it creates sort of an
octagonal handle shape now when you combine that with the clip point blade
you can kind of think of the Chronic as a folding bowie knife kind of a funny
observation there since the Chinese company is emulating an American blade
while the American company takes its cues from an Asian knife pattern now the
handle space is a little shorter on the Chronic there’s about three and three
quarters of an inch behind the flipper tab and it’s just enough for me to get a
full grip but if you want more the CEO does offer more length a full inch more
in fact definitely plenty of length there to get a large grip on now one
more difference between the two comes into play at the end of the handles the
Chronic features a small G10 back spacer that sticks out of the end just slightly
and combined with a hole there and a small pocket in the handles they leave a
nice spot to attach a little lanyard either for convenience or for style now
the CEO lacks any kind of lanyard hole and instead it places a small steel
pommel at the end of the handle now when you combine that feature with the narrow
profile of the CEO overall the knife actually reminds us a lot of an old
doctors knife you know the old slip joints that you’d see from the folks
like Case Knives because the pommel there would make a great pill crusher
now that construction that solid piece of steel back there eliminates the need
for any other kind of back spacer or standoffs which keeps the back of the
CEO open and easy to keep clean and actually both knives ought to be pretty
easy to clean even though the CIVIVI does have a back spacer it is pretty minimal
alright let’s get back to the blades because that’s what we’re here for right
each one is held open with a liner lock but they diverge a lot when it comes to
their opening styles now it comes to the Chronic this is definitely not a two
hand opening knife it’s a one hander only it’s the flipper way or the highway
because there’s only a little bit of the spine sticking out there’s pretty much
no way you’re gonna be able to grab the blade with your offhand although if you
were really trying I can get just the tip of my finger nails in there and pull
it out but it’s really deliberate and you’re really not going to want to be
doing that now it comes to the flipper the action is excellent so we’ve got a
nice set of ball bearings and the pivot makes for fast and easy deployment now
the CEO lacks a flipper and instead it comes with a single thumb stud which
nestle’s here in a cutout in the handle now in addition to one hand opening this
also enables two-handed opening if you found the need to be less flashy or more
discreet when you’re opening the blade because some of the folks you might be
around may not appreciate you flicking your blade around now in the pivot we
also see ball bearings with this knife it’s CRKT IKBS bearing system and
even though it lacks a flipper that does not hold this knife back the CEO
actually thumb flicks in very satisfying fashion thanks to that thumb stud
placement the leverage is perfect for sending the blade out in a snap so in
the end setting apart the differences in the designs with similar action the
biggest differentiator between these knives are the materials but that’s only
part of the equation in the end what a company does with those materials makes
a big difference although the CIVIVI comes with arguably premium features such as
the layer of carbon fiber and the Damascus option the CEO while it
certainly feels a little quote unquote cheaper does not
feel cheap each of these knives is well-built and tightly executed so at
this point only one question remains which one of these knives would earn a
place in your pocket you go for the narrower and less expensive CRKT CEO or
would you go for the flippin satisfying Chronic and would you go for the base
model or step up to the damascus carbon fiber version or maybe something else in
a similar vein be sure to let us know in the comments and to get your hands on
either of these great knives we’re gonna leave links in the description below to
take you over to KnifeCenter.com and I say it a lot but make sure you’re signed
up for a KnifeRewards program while you’re there because we’re gonna buy one
of these knives anyway might as well earn some free money for your next one
i’m David C Andersen from the KnifeCenter signing off see you next time

35 thoughts on “Executive Showdown: CRKT CEO vs CIVIVI Chronic | KnifeCenter Reviews

  • March 6, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    What's going on knifecenter friends!

  • March 6, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    I need a mini Chronic, please . . . 2.75" or so blade.

  • March 6, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    I love my ceo

  • March 6, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    I really like the #CRKT C.E.O. I can't believe I still haven't picked one up!

  • March 6, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    Goes perfect wen I dont want to take my 940-2 out

  • March 6, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    Waiting for chronic front flipper

  • March 6, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    I have the special edition of the CEO with green handles and D2. I really like the Civivi knifes I have, but for me, I will pass on this one until they upgrade the steel to at least D2.

  • March 6, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    How much do they weigh?

  • March 6, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    If I were forced to choose, I'd pick the CRKT CEO.

  • March 6, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    CRKT can't grind a blade to save their lives, and their heat treatment gargles balls. Civivi rocks. I was an early adopter of CRKT, but figured out they suck fairly quickly.

  • March 6, 2020 at 10:13 pm


  • March 6, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    well, in my opinion the Civivi Chronic damascus looks more like a "knife" while the CRKT CEO just a very well made "letter opener" ✌️

  • March 6, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    There both great knifes I got them both I found the CEO for $31.00 BN and ordered the Chronic with black crops regular model

  • March 6, 2020 at 10:25 pm


  • March 6, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    Civivi all day. The chronic looks like it is intended to be used and easy to sharpen, not so much for the CEO.
    The grind on the CRKT looks like it would present an issue when sharpening … and I dislike thumb studs.

  • March 6, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    great, informative video!

  • March 6, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    Both of them are good

  • March 6, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    Love Civivi designs, but most their pocket clips look generic…

  • March 6, 2020 at 11:34 pm

    I have the Chronic and I love it. It’s also ambidextrous which the CEO lacks.

  • March 6, 2020 at 11:53 pm

    CEO micarta wins hands down.

  • March 7, 2020 at 1:17 am

    I have the CEO and considered a Chronic. The Chronic is JUST a BIT too chunky for me to be a gentleman's knife. And honestly, the fact that it so clearly WANTS to be a gentleman's knife almost hurts it, to me, because I feel like that chunkiness really causes it to miss the mark. I almost wish it was advertised as something else. Of course, that's just my opinion. The aesthetics of the CEO are basically the epitome of what I think a gentleman's folder should look like.

    If we wanna stick with Civivi / WE, I think WE killed it with the Scamp and Gentry for the gentleman's folder category.

  • March 7, 2020 at 2:22 am

    To each their own, but in my opinion, carbon fiber actually makes knives look cheaper. I understand it's use for weight conservation. That being said, I wish that cf wasn't the go-to look for most makers.

  • March 7, 2020 at 2:55 am

    Man I’d love to have that crkt, too bad about the steel… CRKT needs to step their game up

  • March 7, 2020 at 5:10 am

    Oh shit.. He done went and didi it!!! The pill heads gona go for the CEO, so they can sniff ther pills in style😎

  • March 7, 2020 at 5:12 am

    Guess id take the chronic for those times when i cant carry my glock!!!🔫

  • March 7, 2020 at 5:16 am

    ceo all the way

  • March 7, 2020 at 9:19 am

    I own the CKRT… great little everyday pocketknife!

  • March 7, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    Nice comparison, David. Although I think the McKenna would be maybe a closer matchup to CEO here. Not a fan of clip point either on this particular Civivi knife–something straighter like on the CEO would be more in keeping the overall aesthetic, IMO. I think the CEO wins here.

  • March 7, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    i dont like knives with one thumb stud.. .no matter how popular it is…2 thumbstuds is fine could have added another on the ceo

  • March 8, 2020 at 2:32 am

    CRKT CEO! 👍

  • March 8, 2020 at 4:16 am

    I already have the chronic in CF and Damasteel. Its awesome!!

  • March 9, 2020 at 10:21 am

    That CEO seems like a cool slick little knife.

  • March 9, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    I want the CEO in green micarta. Can’t find it in stock anywhere.

  • March 10, 2020 at 10:46 am

    Steel snobs are my fav.

  • March 10, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    Funny how the CEO would make a good coke knife :p


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