Benchmade: Mini Griptilian

by on 06/20/2016

When I was 21, I started working at a gun shop in Upstate New York. It was there that I bought my first Benchmade. At the time, I needed a quality work knife, comfortable enough for everyday carry, durable enough to slay any box and yet affordable enough on an employee’s salary. I had considered many folders until one in particular caught my eye.

The Benchmade Knife Company began over 30 years ago out of the back of a garage. Since that time, it has built a fine reputation of making custom cutlery for every day carry in the rescue, tactical, survival, outdoor and hunting markets. Best known for their first production knife, the Bali-Song, a butterfly knife for which the company shares its insignia. Benchmade has a long tradition of working with world class knife makers to produce quality fixed blades and conventional folding knives such as the one featured in this article.

Mel Pardue has been designing knives for a long time. “His style has a class and simplicity all its own.” They are distinctive, offer great utility and all around functionality for every day use which is why I like them.

The Mini-Griptilian series of knives is the smaller version from the Griptilian family and is available in several different options. It is manually opened and features Benchmade’s proprietary Axis locking mechanism. This lock is comprised of a spring-loaded bar that rides on a track and is manipulated by sliding the thumb studs to the rear on either side of the handle. A notch in the rear of the blade engages the bar as it is opened and closed. The Axis is easy to use with one hand and is completely ambidextrous which is importantly particularly when working in a shop.

At the time I bought this knife, it was available in 440c which has the highest carbon content from 400 stainless steel series and heat treated to reach hardness of 58–60 HRC. It has since been surpassed by the current offerings of 154CM (58-61 HRC) and CPM-20CV (59-61HRC).

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Simple and durable. Ambidextrous. Easy to operate one handed.


A little pricey for what it is.

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Great for working in a shop and/or every day carry.

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