We’re seeing a pretty lively string of releases across the knife world as manufacturers work to get the last of their 2021 projects out into the wild on time. James Brand is the latest to do so with the Redstone. This is a collaboration model with professional outdoors photographer/videographer and climber Savannah Cummins, and lands in the lightweight folder category that’s popular with outdoorspeople of all stripes.
Normally, when we introduce a knife, we like to start with a description of its blade; but on the Redstone the most attention-grabbing aspect is its handle. Its underlying frame is made from a single, die-cut piece of material, which is in itself unique within the James Brand lineup (unless you count the integral-handled Barnes, but really that’s a different beast altogether). Laid on top of the handle, on each side, is a pair of separate, grooved, raised polypropylene grips; fittingly enough, these were inspired by the handholds on climbing walls. James Brand keeps up its reputation for distinctive visuals with these scales, which look particularly striking if you opt for the version with the eye-popping coral and teal coloration.
Nestled underneath all this is the slide lock, James’s ambidextrous, bolt-style locking mechanism. They debuted this lock on the Carter, but its appearance on the Redstone marks the first time it has appeared on a sub-$100 knife. Another first is the pocket clip: James took a crack at the deep carry wire style, with a lanyard loop incorporated into the bird’s eye screw that keeps it in place. The screw design, by the way, means that the clip is reversible, synergizing with the fully ambi slide lock. According to James, the Redstone weighs a scant 2 oz.
Moving onto the blade, you can see it hews very closely to previous James joints like the Folsom, with a wide drop point shape and a triangular thumb cutout for opening. This is a companion knife, made to be discrete and low profile while maintaining high degrees of utility; and the 2.5-inch blade length keeps the Redstone both capable and compact. James’s steel choice here, as it was on the Pike back in the day, is 12C27. As befits its price point, 12C27 ain’t a supersteel, but it’s quite rust resistant and easy to maintain, even away from full-featured sharpening setups. While some configurations include a DLC-coated blade, the edge itself only comes with partial serrations.
The Redstone is available now.
Knife in Featured Image: James Brand Redstone