Last year, as The James Brand approached its ten-year anniversary, the Portland-based brand unveiled its most ambitious product to date with The Barnes — an ultra-top-shelf integral knife with a frame-locking handle machined from a single piece of titanium billet. And while The Barnes unequivocally represents TJB’s most high-end offering, the company has nonetheless opted to treat the integral folder to an even more high-end update with a new Damascus-bladed variant.
This new version of The Barnes maintains its predecessor’s dimensions, though the original knife’s 3.50” Böhler M390 blade construction has been jettisoned in favor of Damasteel’s Hakkapella DS93X material. This ultra-premium powder metallurgy Damascus steel is comprised of a layered combination of RWL34 and PMC27, allowing it to harness the strength of the former and the corrosion resistance of the latter.
The handle on this version of The Barnes has also been modified. While still milled from a single piece of 6AL4V titanium, the handle has been bestowed with a black canvas Micarta insert on its “show side.” With the extra grip afforded by the Micarta insert, The James Brand was also able to get rid of the micro-textured finish adorning the handle, with the pattern being replaced by a smooth titanium construction. The new Damascus variant also keeps the original model’s integrated titanium billet pocket clip design, stainless steel pivot, and ceramic bearings. Like the original, M390-bladed version of the Barnes, the Damasteel-spec is sold in a special gift box and comes with a paracord lanyard and TJB’s first-ever coin design.
The James Brand’s The Barnes Black Micarta + Damasteel Knife is available now in limited numbers, with pricing set at $1,250.