James Brand Crafts First Fixed Blade

The James Brand has unveiled the Hell Gap, the first fixed blade to be added into their EDC-focused lineup.

According to James Brand Founder Ryan Coulter, the company decided to enter the fixed blade realm with a true jack of all trades. That meant walking a fine line between size, blade length, and ergonomics. “We worked hard to make sure that we kept the overall knife size small, as we wanted something that people could easily put in a backpack or on a belt, but tried to maximize knuckle clearance for things like chopping,” Coulter explains. “We were trying to make a small big knife that was capable of a lot of the kinds of tasks that our customers end up doing again and again.”

For the Hell Gap’s wide, 3.8 inch-long drop point blade, James Brand chose S35VN, the same steel they recently upgraded their flagship Chapter model with. The full tang handle is a simple, a slightly-curved shape outfitted with canvas Micarta handle scales and sporting a lanyard hole. It weighs 3.1 oz. and is carried into a nylon sheath with a Kydex insert.

Naturally, James Brand fans have been asking for a fixed blade for a long time; Coulter tells us the company heard the requests, but wanted to establish their core EDC lineup before dipping into new knife genres. “We’ve been focused on being an everyday carry brand since day one; it was important for us to make sure that we had our feet firmly on the ground in that space before we did anything else.” Of course, they discovered that EDC encompasses a lot else besides folders. “[It] can mean more than just what you put in your pockets. For many of our customers, their fixed blade knife is their everyday carry.”

We’ve now seen one fixed blade from The James Brand; will others follow? Coulter teased a follow-on announcement concerning the Hell Gap scheduled for next month, and other fixed blade designs may come to fruition some day. “We haven’t discussed that yet, but I think the chances are good that you’ll see more fixed blades from us.” Coulter goes on to say 2019 will be the busiest year yet for The James Brand. “Another new knife is coming, along with some new content.  We’ve also got a few exciting collaborations in the works, along with a few other things in our Carry and Communication series,” he notes. “It’s going to be a big year.  I’m getting stressed out even talking about it.  I think I need a drink.”

Knife in Featured image: The James Brand Hell Gap