The James Brand's newest multitool carries slimmer than a pack of gum
The James Brand has released several iterations of its Ellis knife over the years, and they've all been about as slim and minimalist as multitool pocket knives get. But the new Ellis Slim bests them all as the thinnest full-length knife in the lineup. While it does lose some functionality as compared to the traditional Ellis, it still packs a few handy extras in addition to its Swedish Sandvik steel blade. Even for a company that prides itself on minimalist design, this one is sleek.
To create the slimmest knife in the Ellis family, The James Brand removed the scissors that it added to the standard Ellis just a year ago, shaving 4 mm off the knife body thickness. That doesn't sound like much, but the company reckons it makes the 8-mm (0.31-in) Ellis Slim a few millimeters thinner than a pack of gum, estimating the thickness of the gum pack at 11 mm (0.43-in).
The James Brand's estimate is in line with the 9.7- to 11-mm (0.38- to 0.45-in) range we're seeing on retailer web pages, and one proper tape measuring, for modern 14- or 15-stick cardboard packs from Orbit, Extra and Trident. We measured the Trident 14-pack at 3/8 of an inch (9.7 mm), for what it's worth.
If you carry a different type of gum, you might just have to pull out the measuring tape to see if the Ellis Slim is in fact thinner than what's in your pocket. But it's certain to be slimmer than the average pocket knife, and it manages to earn light multitool credentials with an integrated flat-head screwdriver, scraper and pry bar.
Surprisingly enough, there's no bottle opener rounding things out, but you could always grab a titanium Halifax for that – and you'll still walk away with plenty of pocket space left over for a wallet, phone, keys and even some actual gum.
The Ellis Slim handle measures 3.5 in (8.9 cm) long, and the 2.6-in (6.6-cm) blade opens with help from a slip joint for a total deployed knife length of 6.5 in (16.5 cm). The Swedish Sandvik 12C27 steel blade can be specced in either straight or half-serrated styles, and the handle finished in scales made from aluminum or G10 composite.
At just 1.8 oz (50 g), the Ellis Slim is as lightweight as it is sleek, making for barely-there everyday carry. It can be dropped in a pocket or clipped on via the integrated wire clip, which does not appear to be included in the thickness measurement. The new knife is available now for US$99 or $109, depending upon style selected.
Source: The James Brand
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But he's a perfect customer for boutique sellers marketing very basic knives, produced for $5, for over $100, because it has a dongle sticking out the rear.
A second blade would allow for a bottle opener, wrench, line cutter, screwdriver in quality steel with decent length, and the butt could have a glass breaker. In fact, knives like that exist for $20 retail, and I've carried and used one in my car for about 15 years. It has never broken "under the slightest force."