James Brand Updates Flagship Chapter for 2019

James Brand is bringing some key updates to their flagship Chapter knife for 2019. New steel, a new pivot setup, and a slew of other, subtler improvements bring the Chapter up to date and in-line with what James envisions as the next level for the brand.

The release of the Chapter in 2014 kicked off James Brand as a company. The knife brought a lot to the table, but as it was positioned as a high-end product some users voiced disappointment in James’s original steel choice, D2. “There were a few things that people continually requested on the Chapter, but the most-requested item was for us to use a more high-end blade steel,” says James Brand Founder Ryan Coulter. “D2 is great for its versatility, but we really wanted better corrosion resistance and edge retention.”

The new Chapter has been given a upgrade to S35VN steel, and a new ceramic ball bearing pivot as well. These changes come alongside a new hidden lock bar insert for better wear and tear over time, and a general bump up in fit and finish across the entire package. “We just wanted this knife to be nicer all around,” Coulter explains. “It’s our flagship product, and it needed to reflect the things that we’ve been hearing over the past few years.” He says that while users can expect a prettier end product, smoother opening, and better corrosion resistance, the changes don’t mean a shift in the Chapter’s purpose as a stylish EDC blade. “Overall, the use case for the knife is the same: general everyday carry.”

In 2016 the Folsom was released, and at that time Coulter told us that a Chapter 2 was in the works. Coulter tells us this improved Chapter is that sequel. “In my view, this is the Chapter 2,” he says. “We didn’t call it that, because I didn’t want to confuse the market, but this is really the first set of big changes that we’ve made to this model since it launched back in 2014.” Sometimes a sequel means a radical design, but in this case James didn’t want to risk losing what made the Chapter special in the first place: “We talked about this A LOT. We decided to make revisions, because we are big fans of the form.” To that end, one update some were hoping for just couldn’t happen. “We get a lot of people asking us to make a version of this that is tip-up, and we’ve looked at that, but we can’t do it and maintain the form.”

This is the first big upgrade for James Brand model. Coulter says that any knife in their lineup could receive a similar update: “I expect us to make changes on almost everything we make, this year and next year.” More new products are on their way, including the first James Brand fixed blade in March and a new folder by mid-year. “In the back half of the year we will be expanding our offerings in the Carry and Communications space,” Coulter adds. “And there are more knives to come then as well.”

Knife in Featured image: James Brand Chapter