How do you improve upon classic everyday carry essentials? Answer: Look to ingenious materials the likes of which have made a name for themselves across the globe.
For James Brand and its new Black Micarta Collection, that means blending tough stainless steel with Micarta, otherwise known as the “steel of the plastics industry,” to update four of the brand’s iconic EDC silhouettes.
Sounds too good to be true, right? How does James Brand do it? Micarta is worth closer examination in its own right: It gets its distinctive texture from the blending of linen cloth and resin, which is then pressed under high pressure and baked (yes, baked) into its solid form. It creates interesting texture and high contrast up against the sleek and shiny stainless steel.
It comes courtesy of the brand’s Portland, Oregon-based design team. It’s pretty fitting that any of the new Black Micarta models would perform well on adventures in the great wilds of the Pacific Northwest. The collection is priced between $75 and $275, a bargain when you consider how much utility is in play here.
The brand’s most beloved models get the Black Micarta treatment, including the compact James Brand Folsom Knife, built with an ambidextrous opening slot and a clip to attach to the belt of your workwear pants.
Of course, the famed James Brand Elko Knife, perhaps the company’s most well-known knife, also is done up with Black Micarta for plenty of heritage quality and EDC performance.
The Elko itself is packed with features in spite of its compact design, featuring a pry bar that’ll come in handy as a screwdriver, bottle opener, pry tool and key ring. And yes, the Black Micarta material looks pretty darn cool.
As James Brand says, the best pocket knife is one you can use every day. We’d wager you’ll use any one of the four knives in the Black Micarta + Stainless Steel Collection at least that often.