James Brand’s New Fixed Blade is for Opening Vinyl Records

James Brand just rolled out another collaboration project called the Abbey. Made in conjunction with record of the month service Vinyl Me, Please, the Abbey is a tiny fixed blade made to help audiophiles with one particular record-related chore.

We’ve already got one pun all ready to go so we’re just going to get it out of the way: we’re willing to bet that the Abbey will be the permanent record holder in James’s lineup for Smallest Fixed Blade. It is a very small knife, measuring just three inches overall, and made for a very specific purpose: cutting precisely through the cellophane packaging of new vinyl albums. It also looks like it would make a fine box opener, but we wouldn’t recommend it for daily carry without some sort of sheath accessory.

The Abbey’s sheath is made from black leather

For this album-opening job James drew up an adorably dinky wharncliffe blade, with a very fine tip and just enough straight edge. The trinity of retention, toughness, and stain resistance probably aren’t as needful for the Abbey as they are for more general users, but even so, James had the Abbey made from a current gen powder metallurgy steel. Even more interestingly, that steel is AR-RPM9, the budget-focused PM steel from Artisan Cutlery (which suggests that the company is OEM for this particular project).

There’s another unusual material on the Abbey’s handle: a pair of scales made, not from G-10 or Micarta, but recycled record vinyl provided by VMP. The handle also has a lanyard hole, with a lanyard cord supplied sporting a custom VMP bead on the end. In terms of “carry,” James included a black leather slip – but as we alluded to above, this sheath is better suited to sitting in a drawer or on a desktop than in a pocket, we think.

The Abbey is available now. Unlike some earlier James Brand collaboration projects, the Abbey looks like it will be available for a good stretch of time.

Knife in Featured Image: James Brand Abbey