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Thread: Civilian vs Matriarch: which do you prefer

  1. #1
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    Civilian vs Matriarch: which do you prefer

    I am considering picking up a Civilian but the matriarch is obviously cheaper. Is the extra length worth the extra money or should I go with the shorter, cheaper blade?

  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Peter1960's Avatar
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    What is the purpose you buy the knife for?
    What are your general requirements?
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  3. #3
    Spyderco Forum Registered User captnvegtble's Avatar
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    Go with the Matriach (2)... there's a reason its a regular production model. The tip on the Civilian is too fragile.

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User The Deacon's Avatar
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    Personally, neither. I'd use my pocket knife to protect myself and my dog if it became necessary to do so, but I prefer to carry one that's designed to be useful for everyday tasks rather than one that's so well optimized for use as a defensive weapon as to be unsuitable for most mundane tasks. However, if you must choose between those two, I'd suggest going with the Matriarch. It's a lot less expensive, and gives you almost as much reach. It also has a tip that's at least marginally stronger, so less chance of damage if you do decide to use it for something other than its intended purpose.
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  5. #5
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    It's a preference thing. I prefer the Matriarch as it is smaller and lighter. Much easier to carry around, being almost the same size and thickness as the Endura.

  6. #6
    Spyderco Forum Registered User captnvegtble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Deacon View Post
    Personally, neither. I'd use my pocket knife to protect myself and my dog if it became necessary to do so, but I prefer to carry one that's designed to be useful for everyday tasks rather than one that's so well optimized for use as a defensive weapon as to be unsuitable for most mundane tasks. However, if you must choose between those two, I'd suggest going with the Matriarch. It's a lot less expensive, and gives you almost as much reach. It also has a tip that's at least marginally stronger, so less chance of damage if you do decide to use it for something other than its intended purpose.
    Actually, I carry the Lil' Matriach and I find it an excellent EDC knife, especially for outdoor cutting tasks. I've cut through 1" thick saplings with the knife without any problem. It's quite the cutter... and that's the little version.

  7. #7
    Spyderco Forum Registered User demoncase's Avatar
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    Depends on your intended usage:
    The Matriarch- or even better the Li Matriarch- would be the best choice for serious cutting chores if you need that style of edge....Personally, a Delica would probably be more versatile- the reverse S isnt the best choice for fine work.

    If your job takes you into 'that' situation where a Civilian is the solution then I wouldn't compromise....but don't be suprised if the tip doesn't like it when you use it for general donkey-work.

    But- it's a classic 'Need vs Want' scenario.
    I'm never going to need a Civilian....That's why I own 2.
    Nothing in his pockets except knives and lint....

  8. #8
    Spyderco Forum Registered User WireEdge Roger's Avatar
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    I really prefer the Lil Matriarch. Thinner blade, thin hollow grind, shallow serrations that don't snag, less pronounced Reverse-S curvature. It's really a handy little knife, and lends itself to a lot of daily tasks.

  9. #9
    Spyderco Forum Registered User defenestrate's Avatar
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    I regularly carry a waved Matriarch2 SE and use it just like I use my hawkbills. Great cutter, very pointy tip, wouldn't overstress the tip but I could break the tips of the hawkbills if I abused them as well. It fits in my regular use rotation fine. The Civi I would worry far more about breaking.the tip on, but if I had it relegated strictly to SD duty and had a real need, it's a pretty serious knife.
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  10. #10
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Blerv's Avatar
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    I would probably go with the Matriarch line simply due to cost and weight. The Civilian also is about an inch longer than my legal carry laws, and that's if you don't analyze the true intent of "deadly weapon". One of my favorite carry knives is the Lil version as it shines in normal tasks.

    Frankly, I would rather defend myself with a 2D Maglite.
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  11. #11
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    I would have to say neither also because I hate Hawkbills and serrated blades both of which serve no practical purpose. Buy yourself a Caly 3.5 which will do everything these knives will plus a whole lot more and look good and less menacing and intimidating while doing it.

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    Thank you all for your input!

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    The Lli' Matriarch in the Emerson Wave version may be what you want.

  14. #14
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Greg Walker's Avatar
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    Concur with CanadaDude.
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    I have one of the original Matriarch models from the early 2000s. Mine is also one of the first run VG-10 models full SE with the black handle. I also used to have 2 of the gray handled ATS-55 models that was originally intended for the South African markets.

    I personally prefer the Matriarch model over the Civilian because frankly it just fits my hand better. I like the Civilian model and I do like the G-10 handle just a bit better than I do the FRN handle of the Matriarch. But for the size of my hand and the added versatility that I get from the Matriarch I will carry it over the Civilian just about any day.

    The Civilian is a great folder and I love mine but most of the time when I carry a knife for SD I usually carry a Spyderhawk H-1 full SE or my VG-10 Matriarch. I really wish that someday we'll see a G-10 handled Matriarch.

    The "reverse S" blade is truly a very useful tool for many applications. I like Hawkbills a bit more for utility use over the Reverse S blades but they all have their unique place as a cutting tool.

    Actually the Dodo is probably my very favorite "Reverse S" blade from Spyderco. I've yet to get a "Lil Matriarch" but I am looking forward to getting one. Great Thread.
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  16. #16
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Sparki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaDude View Post
    The Lli' Matriarch in the Emerson Wave version may be what you want.
    Lil comes with a wave? I can't seem to find one, but that sounds perfect.

  17. #17
    Spyderco Forum Registered User FCM415's Avatar
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    Only the Endura sized handle Matriarch has the Wave as of now.

    Waved lil Matriarch or Tasman serrated, both in H1 would be great.

  18. #18
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Mike Sastre's Avatar
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    JD, your info on the identity of the Matriarchs is a little off. Here is the history: the original Matriarchs were black and created for the South African market, then came the limited edition gray Matriarchs (500) for BladeForums, then the production version in black for the US market. Gray was ATS-55, black has been both that and VG10. Then the limited edition brown was added, and now the waved edition.
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  19. #19
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Screwdriver's Avatar
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    This is an interesting thread....BTW, I have a Civilian.

    http://www.spyderco.com/forums/showt...-with-pictures

  20. #20
    Spyderco Forum Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Sastre View Post
    JD, your info on the identity of the Matriarchs is a little off. Here is the history: the original Matriarchs were black and created for the South African market, then came the limited edition gray Matriarchs (500) for BladeForums, then the production version in black for the US market. Gray was ATS-55, black has been both that and VG10. Then the limited edition brown was added, and now the waved edition.
    I could have swore that I did indeed hear at one time, through a very established Forum member say that the Gray handled, ATS-55 Matriarch models were intended for the South African market. I had also heard that many years ago as well. It hasn't been that long ago ( maybe a year at the most) that I heard someone here on the Forum repeating that bit about the Gray handled Matriarchs being designated for the South African market verbatim. I never heard why they made them or marketed them for our South African brothers and sisters but I heard that from several sources that I deemed reputable at the time?????

    I do believe that the VG-10 models from the early 2000s were not many in numbers because I had a tough time finding the EDC version I still have. I'll sure take what you say under advisement and I'll do some more inquiring about it. It's a great SD folder no matter what the history. Actually it was you Mr. Sastre that made me take a very hard look at the Matriarch when at one time I was 100% sold on the Civilian and when I discovered how much more versatile the Matriarch was I never once looked back. >>> and for that I truly thank you immensely. >> JD
    Long Live the SPYDEREDGE Spyderco Hawkbills RULE!!

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