I’ve gotten to be a fan of BPS knives, having spent some time with a couple of their bushcraft knives over the last couple of years, most notably the BPS Adventurer Camping Knife. But the BPS Citizen is something a bit different.
Like all BPS knives, the Citizen is made in Ukraine. The blade shape of this knife really stands out in the BPS lineup, which is something I’ll talk more about a little further down the line. This knife is not without its quirks, and it’s a difficult knife to categorize, but one that could potentially serve multiple functions.
BPS Citizen: First Impressions
Whereas most BPS knives are aimed at the hunting/camping/bushcraft/survival knife market, the Citizen is billed as an EDC knife. I’m not completely sure I agree with that designation, but like all of the knives I’ve used from this Ukrainian company, it’s a simple and effective fixed blade.
The materials are pretty basic, but the knife looks good and feels good in my hand. It’s very sharp and both the knife and holster have what I would call an urban, tactical look to them. The Citizen feels more like a self-defense knife than a survival knife.
Measurements & Specs
The BPS Citizen EDC Knife is a full-tang fixed blade knife with a 3.93-inch blade. The blade is 1.18 inch wide and 0.1 inch thick. The total length of the knife is 8.07 inches, including a 4.13-inch handle that is 0.6 inch thick.
With a black micarta handle and a blade made of 5Cr14MoV stainless steel, the Citizen weighs 3.88 ounces on its own, and 6 ounces including the sheath, which is made of molded black ABS plastic.
Blade Shape & Grind
The shape of the blade is one of the main things that makes the BPS Citizen come across as a unique knife. It’s a spear point blade, a shape that makes the knife better suited for piercing than for slicing. For me, that’s what pushes the Citizen more into the tactical/self defense category, as opposed to being used for bushcraft or survival.
The cutting edge has a full flat grind with micro bevel, and it cuts nicely. At a glance, the knife appears to be sharpened on both sides, but it actually has a false edge on the spine. That being said, the spine is very thin, and there’s nothing stopping you from sharpening it into another cutting edge if you’re so inclined.
Steel & Sharpness
The steel here is 5Cr14MoV, which is a super cheap stainless steel. It has decent toughness and corrosion resistance, but there’s not a whole lot else going for it. It has a Rockwell scale hardness of around 56, which is not especially hard.
As a result, 5Cr14MoV doesn’t have the best edge retention, so if you use this knife a lot, expect to sharpen it fairly often. Fortunately, it’s not a very difficult steel to put an edge back on. While I don’t love this steel, it’s worth saying that this isn’t really the type of knife that requires high-end steel.
If I were using the BPS Citizen as a survival knife, losing its edge easily would be a drawback. But for a tactical knife, having a good piercing point is more important. And the Citizen does take on a very sharp edge, it just doesn’t keep it through a lot of hard use.
Handle & Grip
The handle of the BPS Citizen is very simple, but surprisingly comfortable. It really rests in one’s palm nicely despite there being no real shaping or contouring to it. It’s simply an oblong oval, but the seams are flush along the tang, and I haven’t found any hot spots.
I’m a fan of micarta, which tends to be very comfortable and grippy, while also being lightweight and durable. It really doesn’t need any extra texture to feel secure, and continues to grip well in wet conditions.
There’s a bit of thumb jimping on the spine of the blade just above the handle. The jumping is quite steeply ramped, so it provides some good grip for your thumb. It’s also handy for identifying the right side of the knife when pulling it out of the sheath, as the spear point shape makes it hard to tell at a glance.
Holster & Carry
The holster that comes with the BPS Citizen is decent enough, though it’s probably not my favorite part of this whole package. It’s a bit heavy, and although the blade snaps in fairly snugly, it doesn’t feel quite as secure as I’d like it to.
One nice feature is that the metal clip can be removed and reset in different configurations, so it’s can be adjusted for either vertical or horizontal carry. It’s a little too bulky to be a boot knife in my opinion, but it is technically possible to carry it that way.
However you end up carrying the knife, I would advise getting into the habit of inserting the blade facing the same way every time. Again, it can take a second to tell the difference between the cutting edge and the spine, so muscle memory is your friend in a situation where you need to draw quickly.
Final Thoughts on the BPS Citizen EDC Knife
This knife is a bit of an odd duck, but I like it. Though I personally don’t see it as the type of knife I would carry every day and get a ton of use out of, there’s a good chance the BPS Citizen is just what you’re looking for if you want a simple, no-frills tactical knife.
Ultimately, the question isn’t whether or not the Citizen is a good knife (it is) but whether it’s truly an EDC knife. There’s no firm rule about what is or isn’t considered an EDC knife, but when I think ‘everyday carry’ I think pocket knife. A good pocket folder is definitely something I carry every day, but a larger fixed blade in a chunky holster, not so much. Of course, I know plenty of folks who regularly carry something larger, so maybe that’s just a ‘me’ thing.
Still, it’s a cool knife. One thing I do have to argue with a little bit is the price tag. I don’t love paying close to $50 for 5Cr14MoV steel. But again, if this is the knife you want, it’s the knife you want. It fills a very particular niche.
Blair Witkowski is an avid watch nut, loves pocket knives and flashlights, and when he is not trying to be a good dad to his nine kids, you will find him running or posting pics on Instagram. Besides writing articles for Tech Writer EDC he is also the founder of Lowcountry Style & Living. In addition to writing, he is focused on improving his client’s websites for his other passion, Search Engine Optimization. His wife Jennifer and he live in coastal South Carolina.