I’m a big fan of James Brand and their design work. Due to their prices, I always just sort of assumed their products were made in the USA. However, a user on garagejournal.com told me otherwise.
So… I investigated and yes, it appears as though most James Brand products are made in China. In my mind, there’s nothing wrong with that if your prices are inline with other products sourced from the same country.
With James Brand, however, that is not the case. Pictured above is the James Brand Elko knife (one of their most popular offerings) and the Whitby Sprint EDC knife.
It appears as though Whitby simply knocked off the James Brand design and had it reproduced in China – possibly even at the same factory. The price for the James Brand example is $85 while the price of the knock off is a little over $20. Both appear to use similar blade materials and some YouTubers claim that the Whitby actually has better fit and finish than the James Brand.
I don’t know how to feel about this. I love the design work that James Brand does and hate to see any kind of IP get so viscously and obviously stolen, but… at the same time, it’s really hard to justify the James Brand price strategy.