James Knives or The James Brand

Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
3,128
To dumb down the idea of the hipster it is generally viewed as some one who follows the trend of not following the trend. I know it is a counter explanation but that counter kind of helps setup the expectations. What is "cool" to a hipster is what they in fact view as uncool its almost like taking the so bad its good approach towards fashion and with terrible results. That is my quick and dirty summary of how I see them. It does go beyond fashion but it is most evident by means of fashion choices.
 

sfknifeguy

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2019
Messages
567
I have to say, I like the design of the Chapter and the overall minimalist aesthetic, but as stated before, I think they're charging too much for a knife that isn't doing something that's different enough to stand out from the loads of competition in such a price range. And on another note, tip down only carry, like really, what kind of sociopath wants tip down only carry for a smaller knife like that. (I say this half jokingly) :D
 

halden.doerge

I'll Sharpen Your Knife
Gold Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
4,753
I actually really like the Elko. Got a titanium one and it rides in the watch pocket often.

But yeah, it’s a total hipster brand. Just is.
 

Mo2

Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
6,630
Hipsters being hipsters. I'd avoid. I mean if you find a deal on the exchange cause they are way overpriced new... Then no qualms. But yea, no thanks.
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2006
Messages
17,472
I see them on Google ads along with other things they're saying we should EDC. Never have looked at them because when you go to, it comes up they want you to join and give your information.
 

austonh

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Messages
1,886
I had the chance to chat with the James Brand knife guys at the BladeHQ grand opening... back whenever that was. Honestly, I came away from the experience liking them and the brand a lot more than I thought I would. Whereas I left other tables liking the employees and the brand far less than I thought I would.

The guys at James Brand entered the knife world from the marketing side, rather than coming up through the knife side. Their experience was with snowboarding and lifestyle brands before coming together and developing The James Brand. They realize now, that there is a room to improve the quality for the price, and they are actively trying to work with some new and existing manufacturers to get better knives out there.

Knife guys like us, know where to get the absolute best quality for our dollars; we do live on bladeforums after all. But The James brand is not really targeting guys (or gals) like us, they are after more traditional mainstream marketing channels. To be honest, it's a fantastic thing. Being able to get knives into a magazine like GQ is something Spyderco or Benchmade would never be able to do, or at least never attempted. The more knife owners there are out there, the better our rights are protected, so by all means, bring the casuals into the hobby.

Most people, like us, will delve into a hobby and think, "This is good, but what's better...?" Hence, even if someone starts by buying a knife from the James Brand, it will be a matter of weeks or months before they have a bunch of Spyderco, ZT, Benchmade, Reate, CRK.. you guys get the point.

I currently don't own any knives from the James Brand because of the price to value issue for me, but I do want to see them succeed. If for no other reason, to introduce knives to new markets. If their quality improves perhaps they will entice the likes of us knife addicts, if it doesn't, let them sell to the casuals.
 

halden.doerge

I'll Sharpen Your Knife
Gold Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
4,753
I had the chance to chat with the James Brand knife guys at the BladeHQ grand opening... back whenever that was. Honestly, I came away from the experience liking them and the brand a lot more than I thought I would. Whereas I left other tables liking the employees and the brand far less than I thought I would.

The guys at James Brand entered the knife world from the marketing side, rather than coming up through the knife side. Their experience was with snowboarding and lifestyle brands before coming together and developing The James Brand. They realize now, that there is a room to improve the quality for the price, and they are actively trying to work with some new and existing manufacturers to get better knives out there.

Knife guys like us, know where to get the absolute best quality for our dollars; we do live on bladeforums after all. But The James brand is not really targeting guys (or gals) like us, they are after more traditional mainstream marketing channels. To be honest, it's a fantastic thing. Being able to get knives into a magazine like GQ is something Spyderco or Benchmade would never be able to do, or at least never attempted. The more knife owners there are out there, the better our rights are protected, so by all means, bring the casuals into the hobby.

Most people, like us, will delve into a hobby and think, "This is good, but what's better...?" Hence, even if someone starts by buying a knife from the James Brand, it will be a matter of weeks or months before they have a bunch of Spyderco, ZT, Benchmade, Reate, CRK.. you guys get the point.

I currently don't own any knives from the James Brand because of the price to value issue for me, but I do want to see them succeed. If for no other reason, to introduce knives to new markets. If their quality improves perhaps they will entice the likes of us knife addicts, if it doesn't, let them sell to the casuals.

Yep, this is on point from my perspective as well.
 

Mo2

Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
6,630
I had the chance to chat with the James Brand knife guys at the BladeHQ grand opening... back whenever that was. Honestly, I came away from the experience liking them and the brand a lot more than I thought I would. Whereas I left other tables liking the employees and the brand far less than I thought I would.

The guys at James Brand entered the knife world from the marketing side, rather than coming up through the knife side. Their experience was with snowboarding and lifestyle brands before coming together and developing The James Brand. They realize now, that there is a room to improve the quality for the price, and they are actively trying to work with some new and existing manufacturers to get better knives out there.

Knife guys like us, know where to get the absolute best quality for our dollars; we do live on bladeforums after all. But The James brand is not really targeting guys (or gals) like us, they are after more traditional mainstream marketing channels. To be honest, it's a fantastic thing. Being able to get knives into a magazine like GQ is something Spyderco or Benchmade would never be able to do, or at least never attempted. The more knife owners there are out there, the better our rights are protected, so by all means, bring the casuals into the hobby.

Most people, like us, will delve into a hobby and think, "This is good, but what's better...?" Hence, even if someone starts by buying a knife from the James Brand, it will be a matter of weeks or months before they have a bunch of Spyderco, ZT, Benchmade, Reate, CRK.. you guys get the point.

I currently don't own any knives from the James Brand because of the price to value issue for me, but I do want to see them succeed. If for no other reason, to introduce knives to new markets. If their quality improves perhaps they will entice the likes of us knife addicts, if it doesn't, let them sell to the casuals.
Now I really wouldn't invest.
 

sabre cat

Basic Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
6,076
The only thing that interests me is the Folsom and I will never own one. With a blade shorter than three inches, I have to pass.

I already own an overpriced knife with a blade under 3 inches. I don't need another. Especially at this price point.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
374
I had the chance to chat with the James Brand knife guys at the BladeHQ grand opening... back whenever that was. Honestly, I came away from the experience liking them and the brand a lot more than I thought I would. Whereas I left other tables liking the employees and the brand far less than I thought I would.

The guys at James Brand entered the knife world from the marketing side, rather than coming up through the knife side. Their experience was with snowboarding and lifestyle brands before coming together and developing The James Brand. They realize now, that there is a room to improve the quality for the price, and they are actively trying to work with some new and existing manufacturers to get better knives out there.

Knife guys like us, know where to get the absolute best quality for our dollars; we do live on bladeforums after all. But The James brand is not really targeting guys (or gals) like us, they are after more traditional mainstream marketing channels. To be honest, it's a fantastic thing. Being able to get knives into a magazine like GQ is something Spyderco or Benchmade would never be able to do, or at least never attempted. The more knife owners there are out there, the better our rights are protected, so by all means, bring the casuals into the hobby.

Most people, like us, will delve into a hobby and think, "This is good, but what's better...?" Hence, even if someone starts by buying a knife from the James Brand, it will be a matter of weeks or months before they have a bunch of Spyderco, ZT, Benchmade, Reate, CRK.. you guys get the point.

I currently don't own any knives from the James Brand because of the price to value issue for me, but I do want to see them succeed. If for no other reason, to introduce knives to new markets. If their quality improves perhaps they will entice the likes of us knife addicts, if it doesn't, let them sell to the casuals.

That was a well thought out, well written, and refreshing comment to read. Thank you.
 

wickettedge

Platinum Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
1,228
The new Wayland looks really nice. It ticks a lot of boxes:

  • Barlow slipjoint
  • Good steel at s35VN
  • A lambfoot blade (or sheepfoot if you prefer)
  • Wood and micarta options
Anyone get one yet? I'd love to hear thoughts/opinions on it.
 

DMG

Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
756
I don't mean to derail this thread but, what are the defining characteristics of a hipster? I had a James Brand knife and I don't think I'm so hip, or am I? I need to know.
If you look like a really clean lumberjack and love IPAs more than life you might be a hipster. Or skinny jeans and fixed gear bikes.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2005
Messages
4,161
Had never heard of them till I saw someone on a FB group post a pic of The Carter knife by them. Choice of G10 or Micarta scales, VG10 steel, Deep carry pocketclip, and an axis-lock type lock. Looks promising.
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
3,128
When I see them I just see branding which given the price makes my brain scream that they went with cheaper production and sank more cost into branding/advertising so the knives I would expect to preform at an inferior level to most any similarly priced or speced knife.
 

madcap_magician

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
4,941
Every time this brand is discussed, there's inevitably someone who asks this question, which really, is an insinuation that it isn't a hipster brand for non-knife people who want to add some "rugged individualism" to their carefully curated Portlandia walking around look. If you look at their marketing, check out their Facebook, or worse, check out their Instagram, it tells you all you need to know. James Brand took some absolutely ubiquitous design cues, incorporated them into their lineup, and then market them as ultimate "lifestyle" tools for hipsters. The marketing is full of dudes with carefully manicured beards and Wayfarers, among other fake "Pacific Northwest outdoorsy" imagery. Also, here's the thing, I don't actually care too much. I am not the target market for this brand, and won't ever own one. I just find the image thing a tad grating. If you like these knives, hey man, I'm glad. I mean, SOMEbody's gotta buy 'em. Right?

You could tell right from the start, as well, because it's literally "The James Brand." It's not a knife company, it's a brand. A lifestyle.

... of overpaying for knives not for the materials, workmanship, or love of collecting, but because of what the company tells you owning their product says about yourself!
 
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wickettedge

Platinum Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
1,228
P PirateSeulb that was my first impression of the company as well, but the Wayland has me rethinking due to the factors I posted above. If anyone has one and wants to admit it, I'd love to hear what you think of it.
 
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