James Brand Finally Makes a Flipper with the Wells

A new release from James Brand is here: the Wells. It’s the first flipper knife from the company, and the latest entry in the upper echelon of their production catalog.

Yes, believe it or not, despite more than a decade in the biz, the Wells is the first flipper that James has made – although they say that it’s a design that’s been in the works for some time. Last year they broke new ground with the Kline, a U.S. made folder; maybe James was waiting for to get their domestic production logistics squared away, because the Wells, too, is made in the U.S.

The clean profile on the Wells is classic James Brand

There’s an American blade steel on tap for this one too: Magnacut, maybe you’ve heard of it? Kicked out with that flipper, the Wells’s blade runs on caged steel bearings and measures 2.875 inches in length, which not only makes it an ideal EDC, but the perfect size to capitalize on the innate fidget factor flippers – because, be honest, even in today’s knife market, where there’s no shortage of interesting mechanics, do any top the good ol’ spineside flipper for pure fidgety fun?

Either way, the modified sheepsfoot blade shape makes the Wells much more than a toy. Looking at other knives in the James Brand line, it reminds us most of the profile on their Pike and Wayland slippies – but bigger here, and with the added security provided by the button lock, another first for James. Button locks have a chocolate/peanut butter synergy with flippers, being innately fun to fiddle with on their own, but really singing in conjunction with what we still would call the most prominent deployment method on the market.

Meanwhile, the handle falls right in line with the uncluttered, streamlined James aesthetic. Its made from two slabs of bead blasted aluminum, each graced with a large chamfer around their entire circumference. It looks like the kind of profile that will tuck into, and pull out of, a pocket with ease, aided further by the loop over wire pocket clip. It’s not reversible, unfortunately, and the button lock itself is set up for right-handed users, but the design as a whole seems feasible for lefties willing to make a few adjustments. The Wells weighs 3.3 oz.

The Wells is available now.

Knife in Featured Image: James Brand Wells

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