This Simple Four-Item Multitool Is a Masterclass in Minimalism

The Ellis packs plenty of function into a super svelte package

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When’s the last time you used the wood chisel on your Swiss Army Knife? Or the reamer with sewing eye? How ’bout the fish scaler? Point being: unless you’re MacGyver himself, 80% of the gadgets in your average multi-tool are superfluous to the point of parody, adding plenty of bulk but rather limited function.

Which brings us to the Ellis by the James Brand, an exquisite multi-tool that pares the form down to its very essentials: a partially serrated knife, flathead screwdriver, bottle opener and scraper. And even those tools are consolidated down to just two flippable components for max efficiency.

If you’re not familiar with James, get acquainted. A relative newcomer compared to the likes of Victorinox and Leatherman (the company was founded in 2011), they have quickly made a name for themselves thanks to superior construction, modish good looks and buy-it-once durability — all their knives and multis combine stainless steel blades with lightweight aluminum handles and come with a lifetime warranty. 

Released late last year, the Ellis is the newest member of the family, and the brand’s most minimal non-knife to date. If you’re looking for a simple tool that can get most jobs done but still slides into a skinny-jeans pocket with room to spare, you won’t do much better than this.


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