The Coast Story

The Coast Story

Quality for a century

Our Approach

The COAST way. Listen, design, build

That’s how we meet real-world work problems with smart, durable answers. When Henry W. Brands, our founder, first talked to fisherman and dockworkers, he discovered they had a problem to solve. So he went home and designed the answer: a sharper, more durable fillet knife suited specifically to the job. That’s still how we do it today—whether it’s a headlamp worn on the oil rig or a flashlight carried by law enforcement.

Since the very beginning, we’ve made innovations that make people’s lives easier and jobs safer. And we’re still at it. It all started with a salmon fillet knife on Oregon’s coastline. And today it’s world-class LED optical technology and pocket tools. One thing has never changed: COAST innovations are trusted tough.

Our People

The COAST Workforce. A culture of excellence.

Doing the minimum doesn’t even hit the radar. The people of COAST take every opportunity to transform job responsibilities into business opportunities. Never satisfied, we chase the horizon of our technologies and tools to ensure that our customers can be as confident in their gear as we are in each other.


Real people, real work, real needs. The design for every COAST product starts with a strong dose of all three. What problem can we solve for the professional working 60 – 80 hours a week? That means it’s never about gadgetry or gimmicks. COAST lights, knives, and multi-tools are engineered in state-of-the-art labs to solve state-of-the-field needs. And the result is tools with excellent function both inside and out made possible by a long list of patented innovations.


Durability is the name of the game. COAST tools are manufactured to stand up to constant use in the most extreme work and recreation environments. Our flashlights are constructed with top-grade aluminum, stainless steel, and poly-nylon on the outside with custom-designed battery cartridges and heavy-duty O-rings on the inside. Our knife blades are constructed with high-carbon stainless steels toughened to the core by treatment with extreme heat and severe cold. Knife handles come in four materials: G10 (a specialized composite made from layers of fibrous material and resin compressed under extreme pressure), aluminum, nylon with fiberglass fill, and natural wood impregnated with high-strength resin.


It doesn’t count if you can’t count on it every time. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities produce lights, knives, and multi-tools with technical specs consistent down to the micron. That’s the only way for people working in the most hazardous, high-stakes jobs—from law enforcement to chemical manufacturing—to be sure their device will perform exactly the same every time. We guarantee our products for life.

Our Heritage

Our Heritage

Chasing the Horizon

Our heritage isn't just history. It's a family way

For three generations, the Brands family has pursued the mission to make the working professional’s job safer and life easier. In 1919, when Henry W. Brands moved west from Illinois, he set out on a path of discovery our company has never left since.

The original salmon filet knife that was created by COAST, the knife has a wooden handle and a spoon at the end of the handle.

Practical meets professional. Henry arrived in the rugged Pacific Northwest as a hardware salesman but quickly realized some of the tools in the back of his Model T weren’t suited to his new home. Fishermen on the Oregon Coast told him they needed a stronger, sharper knife to fillet the 50-pound Chinook salmon still common then. So Henry went back to Portland, designed a better knife with a metal cleaning scoop on the back end of the handle, and returned to the dock with a knife that became so popular he couldn’t keep up with demand. It was COAST’s first innovation.

Knowing our customers’ work and play. It’s still true for us today: Nothing can replace a handshake, a conversation, or a cold beer. We spend time with our customers to hear first-hand what they’re working on because knowing their real needs lies at the heart of all our designs. Whether it was the scribner’s knife that helped timbermen mark trees for felling or the multi-tools we pioneered for tradesmen in the early 1980s, at every step we’ve focused on products that make a practical difference. Later, we took the market lead on handheld LED lighting and optical technology—with many patented technologies that transform a single light into a major workhorse. Today, COAST lights are a favorite among police officers, home DIYers, recreationalists, and more.

Never satisfied, always in pursuit. Roll up your sleeves, show some grit, keep on going. That’s how we live out innovation at COAST. In everything we do, we start with function and work our way to sensible, streamlined designs. New products stand the test of tough work, just like the original fillet knife—and that’s why the next product isn’t just about technology, it’s about tenacity on the job. We are committed to the working professionals who rely on our gear to get work done today and do it again tomorrow. After that, we hope they go big on the weekend.

An animation of professionals using COAST products in a work setting including a fisherman, a construction worker, a miner, and a hazmat worker.