There are great adventure knives and then there is James Brand. The iconic Portland outdoor Everyday Carry (EDC) label has been producing fine tools for almost a decade, effortlessly blending premium materials with a minimalist aesthetic. This time around, James Brand has taken the naturalist approach, unveiling the new Rosewood + Damasteel Collection.
The latest range of knives pairs James Brand’s iconic Damasteel blades with natural rosewood scales to produce a dichotomy between technology and tradition. The latest collection reimagines some of the most famous knives in the James Brand portfolio, wrapping The Pike, The Wayland, The Duval and The Chapter in a titanium and rosewood scale for a new look.
Specifically, the flagship Wayland is an interpretation of the Barlow design, the epitome of the American ‘folding knife’, so naturally, it was among the first to cop a revamp. With long bolsters and teardrop-shaped handle reminiscent of the Barlow design of old, James Brand elevated the sheepsfoot blade shape by crafting it from Damasteel Rose DS93X steel. At 7.6cm long, the Wayland isn’t the biggest knife on the market, but its compact silhouette makes for a handy adventure buddy.
Similarly, the new Rosewood + Damasteel Duval takes James Brand’s first front-flipper and reimagines it for a modern age. Combining the best features of two classic knife silhouettes into a sleek and functional new form, the Duval is a true piece of one-handed technology.
Where traditional gentlemen’s knives require two hands to open and close, and don’t generally lock, the Duval’s front-flipper opening style and frame-lock design ensure an easy-opening and locking tool with the slimness, symmetry and beauty of a classic gentlemen’s pocket knife.
The Pike, on the other hand, is all about simplicity. A simple, clean interpretation of the classic non-locking slip-joint, the new Rosewood + Damasteel variation introduces warm materials with a clean, modern form meant for those who wanted to carry their knife in their pocket, not on their hip.
“We started by turning the form on its head, and instead of using the horizontal lines of the two bolsters as key design details, we created a long horizontal line that became the defining element of the design,” James Brand said. “Since that time we’ve seen many others borrow liberally from that idea. We’ve maintained that key element in the Pike, but we’ve softened the form to make it more at home in the pocket. We’ve also added a Wharncliffe blade shape, which is a first for us. This gives the knife a minimal, refined feel, and maximizes the length of the blade with regard to the overall length of the knife.”
The new James Brand Rosewood + Damasteel Collection is available to purchase online now. The Pike, Wayland, Duval and Chapterknives are priced at USD$225, USD$275, USD$375 and USD$395, respectively.