I've handled a lot of pocket knives over the past 8 years. I've carried hundreds of them and analyzed deep details of their construction, marketing, and product life cycles. I don't feel like an expert, but I've got strong opinions about my pocket knife preferences. In fact, I've got enough opinions that I drew up my own. Presenting the Banter. A WE Knife designed by Ben Petersen (hi mom!).

Banter Knife

In August 2019, I left my job in the knife industry to begin a new 9-5 professional adventure outside of pocket knives. This also opened the door for me pursue ideas I've wanted to create in the knife industry. I added a knife mouse pad to my lineup and continued selling my knife poster. And I started sketching.

Banter Infographic

The Design Process

When I started drawing the Banter, it was as simple as thinking about all the knives I've carried and putting their best attributes on paper. I was strict in making it simple. I traced my sketch in Illustrator, made some technical modifications, slapped some dimensions on the thing, and sent it off to WE in China.

From there, WE's design team, Aodin, Calvin, and Shi made it magical. I was blown away as they took my sketch and input it into Solidworks. We went back and forth ironing out the details, and 60 emails later (thanks for putting up with me, Angel!), they started making the prototypes. The WE team was incredible in their engineering creativity and expertise. I knew what I wanted; they knew how to make it real. When I received the prototypes in the mail, I erupted in an unbroken string of "Wow" for 5 full minutes. They made it just like I wanted.

Wait... It Looks Like...

The knife on my shop mat? That's because it is. I took the design and slapped it on a mouse pad first, then waited (un)patiently while WE was busy making the actual knife.

On Reddit, the people wondered what knife it was. It's got a familiarity to it that I love. I've had people say it looks kind of like a CRKT Squid or Benchmade Sequel. Absolutely. I took the pieces of all the knives I loved and put them into a simple package. This knife has a Protech pocket clip, a Spyderco G10, a CRKT blade shape, a Benchmade size, all combined with the quality of WE. It's the conglomerate of all the things I love. This knife should feel like something you've seen before, but can't quite place. 

Why WE Knives?

Because they are incredible human beings. A few years ago at Blade Show, I went to dinner with Joe, Angel and Tina of WE Knives. They were tired from the show and jet lagged from the flight. But we dragged them to my favorite place in Atlanta and filled them full of corn bread, sticky barbecue, and tart lemonade. During the course of the meal, we laughed, talked, and swapped pictures of our families. In his soft-spoken intensity, Joe shared the story of how he started WE Knives. I was captivated. And completely impressed. One day I hope Joe will share that entire story publicly. As for me, I walked away from that meal understanding that WE Knives is incredibly serious about quality and consistency-- those are the reasons they exist as a company. Joe's knife making ability and unassuming humility are both remarkable. When it came time for me to send in a knife drawing, I knew WE would do it right. And they did.

How Much Will it Cost?

It's going to be about $120. If you're reading this and can't believe anyone would ever pay that much for a pocket knife, welcome. You're uninitiated and I'm glad you're here. Let me explain: that's actually a very reasonable price for the manufacturing quality and materials used. Consider a bar, or blank, of the S35VN steel used on this knife: a 12 inch piece runs about $50. That's without the other components and any manufacturing. It ain't cheap, but it holds an edge like you wouldn't believe. This knife costs $100+ because it's a precision tool made in a precision factory with precision materials. Quality costs.

When Will it be Available?

WE is shooting for the end of May 2020 with the first models available around Blade Show. I'm still amazed I could send in napkin sketches in September and have a knife in hand in December. Speedy delivery! That said, manufacturing-- good manufacturing-- takes time, so if it's longer, just wait (un)patiently for a bit. It's coming.

WIUG, Knafs, WE-- I'm confused

Here's how it works: you're reading this post on Knafs.com-- a website and brand where my wife and I make weird knife schtuff and sell it. Anything that we design, make, and distribute on our own is Knafs branded. However, I'm working on designing a few things that others make and distribute. That's where WIUG (What Iiiiiiissss Up Guys) comes in. It's my maker's mark and personal brand. So, in the case of this new knife, WE is the manufacturer and brand, Banter is the model, and it is a Ben Petersen design, so it's got a WIUG logo on it.

So there you have. Follow me on Instagram or subscribe to our email list (bottom of the page) to keep in touch. The party is just getting started, and I'm stoked to have you along for the ride.


January 18, 2020 — Ben Petersen


Ben_Banters said:

Hey David! Great question. The Banter won’t have a Crossbar (Axis-style) lock. However, I’ve got fun plans brewing with the Lander. Stay tuned.

Ben Banters said:

What a ride this project has been! It’s fun to see it 3 years down the road. Good times.
Knafs replied:
Ahhhh yeah! It’s good to see.

Blair Smith said:

Super interesting post!

David Brown said:

This knife seems cool. Any chance it will get an axis lock as in your original sketch?

AlexCP67 said:

I didn’t realize you designed this knife! I absolutely loved mine when I first got it though after EDCing it for a couple weeks, I kept feeling something was missed on the design. No worries, I made it perfect ;) A little scale mod and some added gimping, this thing now front flips like a dream. My work isn’t perfect but now that the fidget factor has been multiplied, it’s a hard knife to pass in the rotation. Me peeps at work are always asking to fidget my banter.

Jt said:


Mark Moore said:

I want a banter so bad. It’s a badass blade and I had no idea you designed it til today 🤦‍♂️.

Great work and cool story.

Daniel has way to many blades williams said:

Thanks for your contributions to an extremely popular hobby or lifestyle knife collecting which is about to take the world by storm

Christian said:

Hello, when will the Ben Petersen knife be back in stock?

Scott Poole said:

I just picked up a Ben Blue version and it is absolutely my new favorite EDC. I was very hesitant at first because I wasn’t sold on the simple design. Boy was I wrong!! WE quality and construction in a very excellent and affordable knife. Well done Ben, well done!!

ken said:

My name is Ken R. Ben, and my grandson calls me a ‘knife nerd’………….have always carried a spyderco Sage 1 since way before the start of time….plus a few more…..as i come from a long line of edc family members…….law enforcement, fire…….you name it. i came across a video today the 15th of February 2021 which included in their EDC knife selection the ‘banter’………..the knife yes does peak my interest………..ah my degree ‘aerospace engineering’….claim to fame-the tail design of the space shuttle’s boeing 747…… (mudrunner10k@gmail.com) yup los angeles now-ohio breed.

Cesar Nevarez said:

I just love love by blacked out Banter, awesome job Ben.

So Cal outfitters said:

Any designs with 3.5" blades yet if so ? Take my $$ – Thanks Sam

JGSF said:

I just got the blue model and I love it. Nice work Ben, and WE team. I look forward to more collabs in the future!

Kerry Kitterman said:

Whaats up Ben !!!.congratulations, you nailed It .got my Ben black, with Ben
BLUE thumb stud. LOVE IT! I’VE got a large collection. Including several W E knives that cost Alot more!! Yours is perfect E D C ,for me wow home run .I need some ben blue stand offs ? YEAH .GREAT JOB GREAT CHOICE WITH W E KERRY

James Gurr said:

Any ideas when this beauty will be available in the UK, guys? Oh, and I have to say Great job to Ben and WE. Such a simple, clean design- and I think it ticks not only all of Bens boxes but a lot of mine, too!!

Peter Balames said:

Hi Ben,
Hope you and yours are doing well during this trying time. I just received my WE BANTER in Ben blue scales and it is absolutely beautiful razor sharp and the action is butterey smooth the blue scales as I stated are beautiful your design is beautifly simple but stellar keep up the great work.

Peter Balames

Jason B said:

Will there be more?! Somehow I missed the boat on this guy in and just a month they are GONE. I don’t mind paying double (!!) If eBay, but would rather wait for the second run. Thanks for creating such a gem!

Stephen Stephens said:

Just received your wonderful knife, the only thing I was nervous about was the liner lock.
Due to a disagreement between a motorcycle chain and my thumb, It is hard for me to work the liner lock on most knives. So far no issues and is one that I can use without pain and discomfort.

The knife opens easily with a flick of the middle finger – smooth ànd snappy.

Cut easily through Crape Myrtle sucker limbs. Yup! Trimming trees, my first real test with the knife.

So? do I split time between my Griptillian with the Spidey hole or the Ben Blue???

Jon said:

Great job Ben! I love the Banter, it’s such a clean looking knife design. Understated in the best way possible. I REALLY hope there’s an XL version in the works cuz I’d like to have a full sized version. Also, I’d like to see Ben blue g10 w/ a black blade🙏🙏🙏

Adrian Thirkill said:

Hi Ben….
Wonderful thing you’re doing and I wish you all the luck in the world !
When will the knife we available to buy in the UK ?

Eric J Dahlberg said:

I really would like one of these, it is now late May and I am wondering when it is hitting the store shelves? Obviously we are in a pandemic and everything is being delayed due to safety, and rightfully so.

Mike said:

Hey Ben, I’m so psyched about this knife. This knife checks all the boxes for me. I hope I’m able to get in and grab me a blue one before they all sell out. I’m just hoping WE has black clips in stock. Shiny, attention grabbing, disco ball pocket clip is not my jam.

PS, I love the shop mat/mouse pad and now I’m in the process of clearing wall space in my man cave for the poster.

Ronald Eades said:

The design I’ve been waiting for …Can’t wait till June but who knows if it will be delayed with all that’s going on in the world .Thanks Ben ,looks like a killer design . Ron in Canada

Justin said:

Can’t wait for the Banter so I bought the shop mat and that has made it even worse. I’m so freaking stoked. Gonna post pics of them together on BHQ when the knife is out!

Sean said:

I’m so excited for this one, and congrats! Very beautiful and well thought out design. The size looks perfect for EDC.

Chris said:

Oh my goodness. I can’t wait for the Banter to come out. It looks so pretty. I can’t decided between the Ben Blue or the All Black knife. I might have to buy both eventually so that I can swap the blades around.

Mattis said:

I am (un)patiently waiting for these to be released. It blows me away how dreams can become reality, and I can not wait to see your dream come to fruition!

Yoss said:

Let me know when there for sale I’m in

Gordon Ho said:

I can’t wait for the Banter to come out. Congrats Ben!
Gonna grab the Ben Blue and Black, might as pick up the grey one too lol!

Budi Winarto said:

Hey Ben….congrats with your new jobs and WIUG stuffs…you inspire me to live my life to the fullest(i had a stroke and aheart attacks..)..we met at The Blade HQ in end of May 2019 on our way to socal…We are now live in LA .. still adjusting and today is better than yesterday .. Godbless you and I will buy your knives 🥰

Will said:

This Is Awesome Guys (TIAG). I am excited for this to be my first WE I like that it will be in black and Ben blue. I will def be purchasing one or both when they come out.

Bobby Collins said:

Well, congratulations man! I will indeed be buying one. Took all the good stuff and crammed it in one nice neat little package. Where do I get on the proverbial waiting list?

Rocky said:

Congratulations Ben! This is awesome, I think you designed the Toyota Tacoma of pocket knives.

Rafael Reig said:

I knew it!!!! Congratulations Ben!!!!!
I know it’s going to be amazing because you are involved.

Jay Harris said:

This is EPIC!
I think you should continue to design knives and whatever else you think is cool.

Mike D said:

Can’t wait! It looks like everything I’ve ever wanted in a knife.
Glad to see you’ve got it in Ben Blue!

Tim W. said:

Congrats Ben!!! I knew big things were on the horizon for you. Excited that this is just the beginning. And what an awesome beginning it is! The knife is impeccable sir.

Mark said:

Can’t wait for this to come out! I will definitely need one of each color!

Zach said:

So excited for you and pretty neat details overall! Sneaky mousepad!

Randy Sweet said:

Sweet! Definitely will need one when it’s out

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