Love at first sight, that’s how I would describe my desire when I first saw the Knafs.com Mars Kitty scales for the WE Banter. I was fortunate enough to score a version 2 of the scales in their most recent release. I even managed to do the scale swap myself, something I was very hesitant to do. Up to this point, I’d never done anything like this and I am happy to report it was a success!
Below are some photos of the donor knife as well as the specs and impressions of it. I went for a used knife which you’ll be able to tell in the condition of the blade. Despite saving over $30 I now kind of wish I’d gone with a new one but all is good as I will be using this knife, just like all my other knives.
Overall Length: 6.52″
Blade Length: 2.9″
Blade Thickness: .1″
Blade Material: CPM S35VN
Blade Hardness: HRC 58-60
Blade Style: Drop Point
Blade Grind: Flat
Blade Finish: Black Stonewash
Edge Type: Plain
Handle Material: Black G-10, replaced with Mars Kitty v2.0 from Knafs.com
Closed Length: 3.62″
Weight: 2.86 oz
Pocket Clip: Deep Carry, tip-up
Lock Type: Liner lock
Opener: Ambidextrous thumb studs
Brand: WE Knife Co
Designer: Ben Petersen
Impressions of the WE Banter G-10
The knife in it’s original state that I received it made a great first impression. It’s very comfortable to hold and the texture of the black G-10 scales make it easy to grip. Despite the disappointment in the wear on the blade, I was really happy with the purchase. The fact that I had the Mars Kitty scales waiting to be swapped on was icing on the cake.
To me, thumb studs are the easiest and most convenient deployment. In this case the blade snaps open really nicely, the lockup on the liner lock is completely solid. Holding the knife in my right hand I find that I would have liked to see the jimping over or in front of the thumb studs rather than behind them. My thumb tends to want to be forward of the thumb stud when using it, thus rendering the jimping useless. Not a big deal but it was something I noticed after using it a bit. One of the big reasons I went with this version is the blue thumb studs that are set off really nicely against the black G-10 as well as the swapped on Knafs scales.
Not knowing the knife’s history I’m impressed with the sharpness I am seeing out of the box. It’s not shaving sharp but I know I could get it there if I wanted. For now it will suffice as it sits. Before and after the swap the blade is as perfectly centered as I can imagine it being with no play in the blade whatsoever.
Although the thumb studs are ambidextrous, the deep carry clip is not reversible. The scale on the clip side has an indentation and two torx screws that hold it in place. The clip also has the knife name, Banter, prominently displayed on it. The last bit of information I’ll share is the WIUG mark, just in front of the thumb studs. It stands for What Iiiiiiissss Up Guys according to a post on the Knafs.com blog. It’s Ben’s personal brand or maker’s mark.
The scale swap was super easy. This is the very first knife I ever disassembled. The hardest part was removing the smaller metal piece that inlays on the front scale where the pivot screw and stop pin set. Sadly I didn’t get a picture of it but I used one of my smaller pry bars to get in there and separate it. Other than that, as you can see from the photos there is not a lot of complexity to this knife to intimidate you. Even a novice like me managed to disassemble it, do some minor cleaning of it and reassemble it successfully without any issue. Buy and swap with confidence!
If you can get your hands on a set of Mars Kitty scales, do it. They are awesome! I’m a dog person and I still love these Kitty scales. If you cannot, the WE Banter is a really fine knife as manufactured. Well designed, well made and will last a long long time when well used. The only change I’d make is the jimping and even that is a stretch. I’ve heard that Ben is going to do something with the Baby Banter too so keep your eyes on the knafs.com website, blog and/or their email list. You won’t want to miss out.
Knafs.com WE Banter WIUG Edition ~ $120
Amazon.com WE Banter ~ $110