It takes a lot to become an icon. It takes strong, useful design; it takes a following and, more than anything, it takes time. The James Brand’s first knife, the Chapter, has the first two of these qualities. And while it waits for the third to be proven as well, the makers behind the everyday carry company are actively making improvements to ensure the knife’s place in history.
The new version of the Chapter looks identical to the old one, but it includes some crucial upgrades that elevate it to a new level. Most importantly, the blade steel has been changed to Crucible S35VN, a high-end material prized by custom makers for its corrosion resistance and edge retention, adding to the blade’s longevity. The James Brand also added ceramic bearings for a smoother open and close, and a lockface to add durability to the framelock mechanism that the knife uses.
To most, these changes will be invisible, and they’ll go unnoticed. But they’re important — more than the stonewashed black finish that’s also new to the Chapter. They help the knife do what knives are supposed to do, and maybe they’ll help make it iconic. “If you dove into the future 20 years, I would love for that Chapter silhouette to still exist and have the same value as the Case Trapper or the Chris Reeve Sebenza,” says Ryan Coulter, the company’s founder. We’ll have to wait and see if he’s right.