I carry a fixed blade knife daily – usually an Amtac Blades Northman or Magnus. Those knives can be a little out of place in some settings. This is why I like the idea of the Public Knife and I am always on the lookout for truly great small knives. I think I landed on one, maybe the best one, in the Civivi Knives Baby Banter.
The Baby Banter was designed by Ben Peterson of internet knife guy and all-around nice guy fame. It is made in China by Civivi with their typical attention to detail and excellent quality.
- Blade Length: 2.4″ (61 mm)
- Overall Length: 5.5″ (139.7 mm)
- Closed Length: 3.1″ (78.7 mm)
- Weight: 1.99 oz (56.48 g)
- Blade Steel: Nitro V (59 – 61 HRC)
- Blade Shape: Drop point
- Blade Grind: Flat
- Lock Type: Liner Lock
- Pocket Clip: deep carry, right/left hand, tip up, stainless steel
- Thumbstud: Titanium
- Handle material: G10
Observations from Use
My time with this knife has been a lot of fun. I initially purchased the blue G-10 version and carried it for about 2 months. During that time, my 12-year-old frequently made it known that she wanted one just like it. So, I bought myself the purple version and put the blue one in her stocking for Christmas. So, its safe to say I, or we, love this knife.
I don’t want to get bogged down in all the knife nerd details so I will focus instead on what makes this knife a joy to use. One of the more important features in this vein is the finger choil. I typically do not like large choils except on a small knife like this because a well-executed finger choil can create a knife that is both very compact but still provide a full grip. The choil is key to making the Baby Banter small enough for 5th pocket carry and large enough to do real work.
Ben Peterson and Civivi obviously didn’t forget that knives are supposed to cut things because the little Nitro-V steel blade in the Baby Banter cuts like a laser. It has all three of the holy trinity of cutting attributes – thin blade stock, a tall primary grind, and it is thin behind the edge. These knives are laser-sharp out of the box and it is easy to keep them that way thanks to excellent cutting geometry.
The action on these little knives is excellent out of the box and only gets better with time. This shouldn’t come as a surprise if you have handled other Civivi knives. Civivi nailed the detent tension and ball bearing pivot on these, making them a joy to flick open.
The pocket clip is also excellent. It carries deep and offers great retention. It also has a very flat design that you barely notice when you are actually cutting.
Overall, the Baby Banter feels very good in my hand thanks to the well-designed choil. It is more hand-filling than you would ever expect from a knife this small. It is comfortable to use… but I could have been just a bit better. The butt of the knife is somewhat square and in some grips, this portion of the knife is against the palm of the user. This design is visually attractive and consistent with the design language of the larger We Knives Banter but a bit more gradual rounding here could make the knife more comfortable overall. In the end, this is a small nit-pick since the knife is very ergonomic as is.
I’ll go out on a limb and say the Baby Banter is currently the best “little big knife” on the market.
It does a fine job of balancing quality with value, compact size with hand filling performance, and stylish design with ergonomics. It’s fun to fidget with, fun to cut with, and even fun to look at. At less than $60 shipped, this is a winner.
Check out the Civivi Baby Banter: Baby Banter on Amazon (affilite link).