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Benchmade - Mini Griptilian 556 Knife, Drop-Point
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- HIGH-QUALITY: The 154CM stainless steel blade is tough, rust resistant, and holds an edge well. The glass-filled nylon handle is tough yet attractive, making it ideal for hard jobs and everyday carry.
- WELL-DESIGNED: Benchmade’s AXIS lock is exceptionally strong and fully ambidextrous. The Mini Griptilian 556 is a manual knife that can be opened and closed single-handedly.
- COMFORTABLE: The 556’s smaller, lighter design and handle grips make it comfortable to hold, use, and take anywhere. The reversible pocket clip offers ultimate accessibility.
- VERSATILE: The Mini Griptilian 556’s drop-point, utility blade style and all-around functionality make it ideal for everyday use, outdoor activities, and even tactical applications.
- GUARANTEED FOR LIFE: Benchmade’s limited Lifetime Warranty and LifeSharp Service keeps your knife in the best condition. If your knife needs repair or sharpening, Benchmade will take care of it. Available for knives purchased from an authorized dealer.
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|Blade Length||2.91 inches|
|Item Dimensions||3 x 8 x 10 inches|
|Item Weight||0.18 pounds|
|Model Name||Benchmade 556 Mini-Griptilian Knife|
|Shipping Weight||0.4 pounds|
When it comes to all around functionality, you can't beat the Griptilian. There are more shapes, sizes and colors available in the Griptilian than any other product family from Benchmade. Intended for Everyday or Outdoor use, the Griptilian 556 has a lanyard hole and a standard clip type with a reversible tip-up clip position. Specifications: Designer: Pardue | Mechanism: AXIS | Action: Manual-opening | Blade Steel: 154CM (58-61 HRC) | Blade Length: 2.91" (7.39cm) | Blade Thickness: 0.100" (2.54mm) | Open Length: 6.78" (17.22cm) | Closed Length: 3.87" (9.83cm) | Handle Thickness: 0.51" (12.95mm) | Weight: 2.81oz. (79.66g).
Color: Black | Style Name: PlainEdge/CoatedFinish
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Top customer reviews
Size: Smallish end of medium, with a total length of 6.78" and a closed length of a very impressive 3.87". The blade hits just shy of 3" with almost the entire exposed edge being sharpened and usable.
Usage Rating: Medium going on heavy. The only reason I don't say "heavy" without reservation is because it is, on the whole, rather smallish. Other than that, this is a knife with dual steel liners, an insanely strong lock, and a moderately thick blade-stock which is ground in such a way that it can take abuse. More to the point, the texturing and gripping created by the handle make this a blade that wouldn't slip out of our hands, even if you used it to cape a deer or clean a really slimy fish, like a catfish.
Steel Quality: I almost put this in the "high" category. 154 CM is a slippery fish in that way. It is certainly an order of magnitude better than 8Cr13Mov and lower steels. I'm not sure I'd call it "better" than VG-10, although it does have better wear resistance. It is not as easy to sharpen as VG-10, and while it will take a hair-popping edge, it won't easily get to that "scalpel zone" that VG-10 and Sandvik 14c28n will. Here's the trade-off: with the big ol' carbide structures in 154 CM, it gets toothy on the edge quickly and stays that way for a long time. Put more plainly, it will hold a "utility edge" (can't shave with it but still quite useful) for a really, really long time. Easily a competitor to s30v.
Deployment Method: One-handed ambidextrous. Very old school, field-tested-and-approved thumb studs, both average in size and shape. Phosphor bronze washers around the pivot. Again, the whole crux here is that this an ordinary thing done extraordinarily well. This is one of those knives you really have to handle to appreciate it. I've just described half the folding knives on the planet, but the difference here is that you can easily flick this open with slight thumb pressure, despite the knife's rather petite size. And despite that lightning open, the in-handle retention is still very good. The only competitor I've seen to the action on these things is the ball-bearing systems that are starting to come into use on production models, and even then, this gives those a serious run for the money.
1. Slicing - This blade is a pretty good slicer. Decent amount of curvature and a sabre-grind that starts about 1/3 of the way down the blade, ending in the secondary bevel, make for good performance in this arena. Doesn't slice as well as a full flat-ground blade, but keep it fairly sharp, and you'd hardly notice the difference.
2. Piercing - Despite the petite size, this thing has a robust tip. The curvature of the last portion of the blade makes it a fairly pointy tip, as well. Particularly good piercing for a normal, "non-wharncliffe" style knife.
3. Push Cutting - Kind of "meh" here. Only super thin knives with high grinds are great push cutters. This is further hampered by the fact that the secondary bevel is ground a bit wide (broader than 40 degrees inclusive, in some cases - more on that later).
1. Functionality - this is where we get to the mini-grip's one short-coming I can think of. Clip keeps the knife in your pocket very well. Too well, in fact. The bow of the clip sits on a checkered portion of the grip. The result is a certified pocket-shredder. I won't wear this knife with suits or khaki pants because it will readily tear them up. Even my cargo shorts and jeans wear noticeably after clipping this knife quite a bit. You can cure this by working the clip and sanding the contact point, but from the factory, beware and guard your pants!
2. Discretion - not great here, either. Big, exceptionally wide clip (given the size of the knife) with a good 3/4 of an inch of handle sticking out of your pocket. Everyone will know you have a knife.
3. Versatility - good enough. Good for lefties and righties. Tip up only, but who gives a damn?
Fit and Finish: Sadly, gotta ding it here, too. The first one I got was badly off-centered. Fixing the problem turned it into a fixed blade knife. Didn't rub the sides, but came insanely close. Plastic parts and locking mechanisms were immaculate, though.
Here's the thing. Their customer care is fantastic. I ended up screwing up my blade. Shipped it to them, and for five bucks, they put new axis lock, new springs, new pocket clip, NEW FREAKING BLADE. Cost to me? $5. And they got it back to me a month from when I sent it out. BM also has a free lifetime sharpening service if you're into that action.
Knife was absolutely immaculate when I got it back from them. Super impressed. I guess what I'm saying is that even though fit and finish aren't perfect, you may be perfectly assured they'll make it right if you aren't happy. These people are serious about keeping customers, and I don't doubt this is part of that hefty initial price-tag.
Ease of Maintenance:
Another POTENTIAL problem area. Remember that ultra-wide secondary bevel I mentioned earlier? If you're a sharpmaker guy (or any "set angle" system), your product may not work on this guy. That's how I borked my blade up in the first place, trying a re-profile. If the only tool in your box is a sharpener like that, this could be problematic.
If you just use stones, this is an easy blade to sharpen with its simple shape.
Otherwise, nice low-maintenance knife.
Conclusion: Like I said above. This is a super-solid EDC. Price keeps creeping up (I think they're about $80.00 now), but still worth the money. Great blade, great design, a pleasure to use. There are a lot of reasons this is a long-lived classic. Sometimes simple is best. Just beware of the maintenance issues and the possible pants destruction.
Deploying the blade via the AXIS lock is a joy. A flick of the wrist brings out the blade with a satisfying "snick".
More traditional opening with the thumb stud is also smooth with a nice amount of resistance.
The 154CM steel should be very good at edge holding. The word on the street is that 154CM is similar to 440C, but increases hardness at a slight reduction to corrosion resistance.
Frighteningly sharp out of the box.
Feels very solid.
AXIS locking system.
Frighteningly sharp out of the box. Be careful if you chose to flip it closed. I did a slow speed test flip with my finger in the way and got a nice, clean slice that drew blood. Full speed flip with a fingertip in the way could do some damage.
It looks like the knife was dropped one or twice with noticeable dents in the grip. I doubt benchmade would resell a used knife but it looks a bit odd.
Usually I'm not this critical but with the price tag I'm really expecting a mint condition knife.