James Brand Carter Sports New Locking Mechanism

Just a month after releasing the Duval front flipper, James Brand is back with another new folding knife release, the Carter. The latest EDC-ready blade from company trades on their signature aesthetic while sporting a new slide lock mechanism.

Although 2019 also marked the release of James Brand’s first fixed blade, the Hell Gap, the recently released Duval emphasized EDC capabilities and proportions; the Carter follows suit here. Its blade is 2.75 inches long, a broad, flat ground drop point. The blade opens and closes on the phosphor bronze washers, with an ambidextrous thumb disk. The company picked VG-10 for the Carter’s blade steel, the first appearance of this stainless standby in James’s lineup.

One of the big talking points for the Carter is the slide lock, its ambidextrous locking mechanism. James Brand has acknowledged the similarity it bears to the Axis Lock: essentially, a sliding tab moves into place as the blade is opened, keeping it secure. The tab, which is accessible from both the left- and right-hand scales, is pulled back to disengage the lock and allow users to close the blade.

The handle design takes many of its cues from the Folsom, the second folder from the Portland, Oregon-based James Brand. The handle offers two separate planes, one flat, one curved, for locating a grip during use, and the G-10 or Micarta scales are 3D-machined. Finally, a new loop over, deep carry pocket clip rounds out the package. The Carter weighs 3 oz. on the nose.

The Carter also marks a return to a lower price point after a couple more premium releases. Both the Hell Gap, their fixed blade, and the front flipper Duval stickered for well over $200; the Carter is available now for $139.

Knife in Featured Image: James Brand Carter