When I stumbled across the James Brand’s Elko, memories of the Sportsman immediately brought forth preconceived ideas about the inadequacy of small pocket knives. Closed, the Elko is the size of a USB stick. Open, it’s just over 4.3 inches, shorter than a standard pen. Not useful enough, I thought, keep looking.
Then, a few weeks later, I interviewed Ryan Coulter, the James Brand’s founder, about the design principles guiding the company’s aesthetic. He talked about minimalism, and a focus on quality, not quantity. And he used the Elko as a benchmark: “In some ways, it’s maybe the best example of modern minimal everyday carry that we’ve ever pulled off,” Coulter told me. “We really believe in this idea that the best knife for you is the one that you actually have with you. So the idea of having a knife that could go with your keys, that you can basically never forget, is a really important idea for us.”
“The best knife is the one you have with you” is a common trope in the knife community. It is largely true, since with proper technique, most small knives of sufficient quality can punch above their weight.View Linked Article