A great choil, great size, great-quality steel — read all our reasons why the Baby Banter is best.
Knife industry bigwig Ben Peterson is basically the Ryan Seacrest of the knife world — he is affable, well-spoken, and seemingly everywhere (full disclosure: Ben is also a friend of mine). He started out in marketing at Blade HQ, then went to CRKT, and then returned to Blade HQ. And building an impressive following everywhere he went.
Why does all this matter? Peterson is now doing his own thing for Knafs. And part of that has been two collaborations with WE Knives/CIVIVI. The first was the Banter — a no-nonsense liner lock that was released last year. The follow-up, the smaller Baby Banter, just came out, and we’re loving it.
Here’s all you need to know about this baby-size blade.
In short: The knife is not simply a smaller Banter, but a new design that echoes the original. There is a lot to like here, especially for a small, EDC-focused folder. As a convenience-first cutter, this is an absolute joy. It is not, however, a fixed-blade alternative. And, it’s an amazing price.
Baby Banter Specs
- Steel type: Nitro-V
- Grind: ¾ height flat grind
- Lock: Axis Lock
- Blade Length: 2.92 in.
- Handle Length: 3.84 in.
- OAL: 6.76 in.
- Weight: 2 oz.
- Price: $175
- Made in USA
CIVIVI Baby Banter Review
The Baby Banter is, simply put, a better knife than its older, bigger brother.
The forward finger choil gives you excellent control over the blade and the tip. This, in my mind, is how the original should have been designed. Choils, especially on small knives, really bring out the best performance in a knife, eliminating the sensation that you are really far away from the cutting edge. It’s kind of like trying to type using a broomstick.
I also like the smaller form factor, as it allows the Baby Banter to always reside in a jeans coin pocket, no matter the brand or cut. Finally, the knife’s steel, Nitro-V, is an excellent choice. This is a modification of an older steel, AEB-L, which was an excellent nonpowder steel developed in Germany and used in razors. Nitro-V adds nitrogen to boost hardness, which, in turn, increases edge retention.
Nitro-V, along with 14C28N, are my two favorite non-powder steels and superlative choices when price is a concern.
There are currently four variations of the Baby: three blackwashed-bladed versions with purple, black, or blue handle scales, and a stonewashed version with black handle scales.
Why the Baby Banter
In terms of drawbacks, I can’t think of any. The Baby Banter hangs quite nicely with some of the best small, EDC-focused knives on the market.
It is not substantially worse than my beloved Spyderco Dragonfly 2, at something like $30 less. It is also comparable to the rare TRM Nerd, at about $150 less. Over and over again, the Baby Banter stacks up nicely to blades that are significantly more expensive. It is an excellent knife, especially for the money.