The James Brand’s latest pocket knife has a gorgeous Acetate handle inspired by haute eyewear

Although an unusual material choice for EDC, Acetate (colloquially also referred to as ‘shell’) is one of the most used materials in eyewear, lending an undeniably retro-inspired fashion taste to the category. In The James Brand’s latest Elko pocket knife, the Acetate handle does something similar – it elevates the EDC to new heights, turning it from an essential tool into an accessory you’ll want to flaunt.

The James Brand’s knives have always been a class apart, prioritizing their signature minimalist aesthetic over trying to look rugged or dangerous (no wonder it ranks in the top 5 EDC brands). In a world where EDC knives try to look military-inspired or tactical, The James Brand’s knives have aspired to be objets d’art. The Elko knife is no different.

Designer: The James Brand

With its small size and demure appearance, the Elko is the kind of knife you really tend to underestimate and then be surprised by – sort of like watching a 5-foot lady in a floral dress punch the lights out of a 6’6″ burly mugger. The James Brand’s smallest knife, it measures a measly 2.6 inches when closed, opening to 4.33 inches when you flip the Sandvik 12C27 steel drop-point blade out. Despite its tiny footprint, the Elko is a powerful tool to have with you and fits right around your keychain.

On the reverse side of the blade is the Elko’s steel pry-bar/scraper-tool which also has a hollow cutout to let you attach the knife onto a lanyard or around your keychain. Between them is the Elko’s petite handle, which comes in either aluminum or this gorgeous acetate finish.

Acetate is also a material your skin is naturally comfortable with. If you wear ‘shell’ frames, they sit on your face for the majority of your day, without really affecting you or even succumbing to the oils that your skin produces. Sure, its smooth finish would feel counterintuitive on a handle (which could end up being a little slippery), and that’s perhaps the only fault I’d have with the Elko. Maybe a microtexture or just a few lines would do wonders toward making this visually beautiful knife just the right amount of enjoyably tactile too!