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WE Knife Banter: EDC Simplified [Hands-On Review]

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Great EDC gear should be something you never really need to think about. It should be dead nuts reliable, easy to carry, and practically invisible. And yet, it should be ever-present. Like death and taxes, great EDC gear should be an interwoven fact of life.

It isn’t the flashiest knife, and it won’t break your checking account, the WE Knife Banter is dependable, easy to carry, and sized perfectly to fade into the background of your day until you need it.

WHO IS WE KNIFE?

WE Knife has been in the knife game for over 20 years, starting in 2000, WE Knife offered OEM services for a wide range of some of the industry's top brands.

Based in China, WE Knife sources its metal from German and United States steel — this means the quality of the blades is at the same level as American and German-made knives.

WE Knife offers a huge range of knife styles and designs. While WE Knife has an in-house design team, they also partner with industry icons to produce designs that industry leaders developed. The Banter, for example, was designed by Ben Petersen.

SIMPLE KNIFE, SIMPLE FEATURES

A G10 handle and a blade made with CPM S35VN and this knife are clearly made to be a workhorse, not a showpiece. G10 makes for a durable handle that won’t slip when wet and is super easy to clean. If you ask me, it’s one of the best materials available for things like grips. 

Real EDC gear is about working and working well, something G10 does wonderfully.

CPM S35VN is a go-to choice for knife steel these days because it has proven to be too good to ignore. Super strong, highly corrosion resistant, and incredibly hard at 59-61HRC, CPM S35VN is popular because it’s reliable and outstanding. Strong enough to keep up with you and will take and hold a very sharp edge.

The rest of the Banter is a masterclass in simplicity equating to perfection. 

The pocket clip is deep and strong with a perfectly shaped ramped end, so it can easily slip into a pocket. WE Knife’s Banter uses a simple thumb stud for opening, but because the pivot assembly is made with a caged ceramic ball bearing, the flipping action is incredibly smooth and easy to actuate. 

Finding the balance between tension so that the knife won’t open on its own, but still being very easy to flip open with the thumb stud is often something other knives overlook – but the Banter nails it.

Banter uses a simple spear point design for the blade shape. With a thick belly coming to a sharp tip, this design has served mankind well since the stone age. When it works that well, why change it? The point is sharp enough to pierce and cut, but the belly is thick enough to make chopping pretty easy as well. This won’t replace your Chief’s knife, but it’ll get the job done for a meal in the deer camp.

One hugely underrated feature that I love seeing on an EDC knife is a lanyard loophole. Since the Banter is small and lightweight, it makes for a great pack knife or backup knife also. In cases like that, I really like being able to lanyard my knife to my bag, so I know there is no chance of losing it during activities.

For safety, the Banter has a stainless steel liner lock that clicks into place when the blade is fully folded out. It’s a simple design but a reliable one. Much like the flipping action, the lock is perfectly balanced between strength and ease of use. While the lock won’t disengage by accident, it also isn’t so strong that you need a second knife to pry it open.

It takes a deliberate push of your thumb, just like it should. I’ve also never had an issue with the lock over-traveling. The blade and lock surfaces are well-designed and well-made to ensure that the lock goes exactly where it should go and never get stuck.

WORTH A BUY?

In my mind, a great knife shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg – especially if it’s an EDC knife. I want to be able to use my knife and not look at it like a car payment in my hand. If I need to get a job done, I don’t want to be worried about the investment I’m risking by using my knife to its limits.

That said, quality products aren’t the cheapest. Show me a knife that is “just as good,” and I’ll show you a knife that I don’t trust.

The Banter comes in at $128, that’s a great middle-ground price. Not so expensive I feel bad using it, but not so cheap I’m left questioning how it was made. Using the Banter daily, this feels like a quality knife at a very fair price.

While I would call the price tag budget-friendly, I wouldn’t put the Banter into the “budget” class of knives I've owned. It’s a great knife, and it deserves more respect than that.

OPTIONS?

WE Knife offers the Banter in a couple of color combinations, most of them are stonewashed blades except for the black G10 option, which also has a black stonewashed blade.

Need a simple EDC knife that gets the job done without breaking your budget? The WE Knife Banter is a strong contender, we've gone hands-on to see why!

I have the blue G10 handle, but the Banter also comes with a green handle or a grey handle.

WE Knife has a lot of great EDC knife options. Take a look at their Amazon Store for more!

SPECS

  • Overall Length: 6.52″ / 165.6mm
  • Blade Length: 2.9″ / 73.7mm
  • Closed Length: 3.62″ / 91.9mm
  • Blade Thickness: 0.1″ / 2.5mm
  • Handle Thickness: 0.45″ / 11.5mm
  • Weight: 2.86oz / 81g
  • Blade Material: CPM S35VN
  • Blade Hardness: 59-61HRC
  • Blade Grind: Flat
  • Blade Finish: Stonewash
  • Handle Material: G10
  • Handle Color/Finish: Blue
  • Liner Material: Stainless Steel
  • Liner Color/Finish: Gray
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Up, Right Carry
  • Clip Material: Stainless Steel
  • Screws Material: Stainless Steel
  • Presentation Side Pivot / Thumb Stud Material: 6AL4V Titanium
  • Pivot Assembly: Caged Ceramic Ball Bearing
  • Locking Mechanism: Liner Lock
  • Designer: Ben Petersen

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