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What on Earth Is a Gentleman’s Pocket Knife?

Unlike hunting or survival blades, gentlemen’s knives are harder to classify, but The James Brand’s new Duval provides an excellent example.


Some knives are easily classified. A hunting knife, for instance, might reveal itself with a specific-use feature like a gut hook, while a survival blade might have an integrated Ferrum rod. But what makes a gentleman’s knife? There’s no single, clear definition, but many agree that a slim profile, relatively short — under three inches — blade, high-quality materials and elegant aesthetic make the mold. For an exceptional example, look to The James Brand’s recently released Duval.

The Duval is a folding pocket knife with a 2.6-inch sheepsfoot blade (length, check) made of Crucible S35VN stainless steel. The James Brand built it with a handle that tapers gently into the blade and is available with rosewood, green Micarta or titanium scales (shape and materials, check!). The Duval’s titanium frame includes a frame lock for security when open and in use, and, as a front flipper, its blade deploys quickly with a sweep of the thumb or rolling of the finger. The front flipper design is one that’s increasingly favored by designers — and it lends itself well to the gentleman’s category, as it leaves the shape clean of tabs and studs.

But just because The James Brand calls the Duval a “modern gentleman’s knife,” that doesn’t mean it’s only suitable for slicing the ends off cigars and cutting lemon twists for martinis. On the contrary, this knife’s materials and unique set of features make it ideal for much more rigorous tasks — so you don’t have to consider yourself a “gentleman” to add it to your EDC.

Buy Now: $275+

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