Necessity may be the mother of invention, but everyday carry just might be the mother of reinvention. Just when you think brands have put every possible spin on a certain type of product, you look up to see a fresh take you could not have imagined before.
Case in point: one of the highlights of this month's roundup is The Palmer from The James Brand, which elevates the utility knife in a way that makes even the simple act of cutting open a box feel... elegant. But that's not the only product that turned our heads this month. Keep reading for several more, dare we say, necessities.
The James Brand The Palmer
No sense burying the lead. The James Brand's latest had us so curious, we tried it out as soon as we could. Highlights include anodized aluminum handles (in six colors) and a patent-pending quick-change system that makes swapping blades a snap. While our tester had her qualms, including the lack of a thumb guard, these words sum it up: "The Palmer strikes a balance between a functional EDC item you won't want to leave the house without, and an everyday piece of art you'd be just as comfortable displaying on the wall as having in your pocket."
While The Palmer is pretty focused on one function, Screwpop's latest is something of a skeleton key, capable of unlocking all sorts of problems. At just under three inches long, it's bit bigger than a standard house key and boasts 15 functions, including bottle opener, Philips and flathead screwdriver, closed wrenches, wire stripper, can opener and bit driver. And while it obviously makes a great keychain, an integrated magnet means you can also simply stick it on the fridge and grab it when you need it.
High Camp Torch Flask
High Camp's latest outdoors-oriented flask offers a few advantages over what has come before. First off, the removable bottom cap makes for funnel-free filling and easy cleaning — and even lets you add ice. Second, the magnetically attached topper doubles as a built-in 3-ounce shot glass. Third, double-wall insulation means it can keep your whiskey or even a cocktail chilled. Available in four colors, the whole 6-ounce stainless steel package is perfect for your next tailgate or camping trip — and starts shipping mid-November.
CRKT Squid II Carbon Fiber
It was only a couple of months ago that CRKT launched its bigger, better, Lucas-Burnley designed Squid II, highlighted by Böhler M390 blade steel, a liner lock and smooth-deploying IKBS ball bearing pivot system. Now, for just 10 bucks more, the 2.68-inch blade gets some snazzy carbon-fiber handles to boot. Act fast if you want it: this upscale version of an already upscale knife is limited to just 500 units.
Gerber Center-Drive Custom
With 14 functions, highlighted by the full-size center-axis screwdriver, the Center-Drive has been one of Gerber’s coolest multi-tools since its introduction five years ago. It’s now part of the Gerber Custom program, so you can truly make it your own, thanks to nine color options, one-of-a-kind laser engravings and four tool packs suited to different tasks. Jump on the site to build yours — even uploading your own graphics — and it’ll be on its way to you in a couple of weeks.
No, the Juice is not actually new. But after years of unavailability, Leatherman has heard the demand from its fans ("Really hope Leatherman brings this knife back, or something like it," reads one rave review) and resurrected the 15-tool CS4 and the 18-tool Xe6. Both models feature pliers, 420HC knife blades, wire cutters and scissors — with the larger one also offering a serrated blade and screwdrivers — plus something no other Leatherman has: a corkscrew. Grab one now before they're gone for good.
Helle Knives Nipa Folding Knife
Like the Juice, the Nipa is not brand-new; the mid-sized folder boasting a super-sharp Scandi grind Sandvik 12C27 blade launched this past spring. However, the big news here is that this knife — along with a couple of fixed blades, the Viking Carbon Steel Knife and the Gaupe Scandinavian Carving Knife, plus a sharpening stone — is much easier to snag now that it's available for the first time ever at Huckberry. That's some noteworthy news in its own right.