When slimming down your pockets, everyday carry items have to pull their weight and then some. That’s why we’re digging The James Brand’s the Ellis. Is it a knife? Sure, and a good one. But what made us fall in love is its multitool functionality without creating that telltale bulge in your pocket.
Any pocketknife should, first and foremost, come with a great blade, and The Ellis has one. Its Sandvik 12C27 steel blade is sharp enough to shave hairs, is super hard, exceptionally durable, and corrosion-resistant. It even locks out, ensuring it won’t collapse when you really put your weight into it. Bonus: A partially serrated lower section allows extra cutting power as needed.
We love this multi-tool that includes a knife, flat head screwdriver, scraper, and bottle opener.
But what sold us is the few but critical extras that are included. Despite the normal weight and thickness you’d expect from an anodized aluminum casing, it also contains a screwdriver/bottle opener and scraper tools, which really move this from knife to minimalist multitool.
Will this replace your trusty Gerber or Leatherman? Hardly. But it will replace them on most days when you’re traveling fast and light. Despite opening to just over six inches, it weights a mere 2.8 ounces, making it so feathery that you may forget you brought it—until you need it.
And about the carry: While its size and weight allow for easy portage via your pocket, its metal bail loop is robust enough to allow it to reside with the rest of your keys, reducing the number of things you have to remember when walking out the door.
They say the best tool for the job is the one you have with you, and The James Brand’s the Ellis is light and feature-rich enough so that you can always bring it along. For us—and for all but the most involved jobs—it’s plenty.
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