Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Equipment Review: Benchmade Griptilian
The Benchmade BM551 Griptilian Zytel Satin Drop Point Plain Blade Knifeis my EDC (Every Day Carry). I was looking for a quality folder and had heard very good things about Benchmade so I picked it up a few months ago. The knife has a drop point blade and comes with a pocket clip, no sheath. This is absolutely fine with me as I clip the knife to the inside of my front pocket for ease of reach (the knife in in the pocket, the only thing visible outside would be the clip). You will notice the blade is a regular blade, no serrations. I prefer this setup on a smaller knife over a blade with serrations. I do have a fixed blade with more blade length that has serrations if I need them. The blades uses an ambidextrous thumb stud to control the locking mechanism (the clip is ambidextrous as well and can be moved to the other side of the knife if you prefer). The thumb stud makes it extremely easy to "flick" the knife open with one hand...this is extremely important if your other hand is injured and you only have the one hand available to manipulate objects. It closes just as easily as it opens; below is a video of myself "flicking" it open and closed with one hand...the other hand is operating the camera.
The knife is extremely well built...the blade is 154CM Stainless Steel and the handle is made from Zytel which is extremely light and durable.
Below are Benchmades specs on the knife:
Blade Length: 3.45" Blade Thickness: 0.115"
Blade Material: 154CM Stainless Steel
Blade Hardness: 58-60HRC
Blade Style: 551 Modified Drop-Point; Ambidextrous Thumb-Studs; 551T Trainer
Clip: Black, Reversible, Tip-Up
Lock Mechanism: AXIS
Overall Length: 8.07"
Closed Length: 4.62"
Sheath Material: Sold Separately
Benchmade designates this knife in their "Blue" class which is one below their "Gold" class. The following from their website describes class Blue products: "Staying true to blue, the Blue Class represents the heart of everything that is Benchmade. For years it’s been where people have come to expect greatness. Whether it’s folders or fixed blades, the Blue Class knife is designed and built for the individual who appreciates the difference a high-quality cutting tool can make."
I can tell you this. I have dropped this knife on concrete, used the blade to pry stuff open (bad practice, I know), gotten it wet (salt water) and generally abused the crap out of it. I clean it up, put a drop of oil on the mechanism and sharpen it on my stone and she's as good as new. The blade holds an edge well, I use this everyday so I have had to sharpen a few times, no issues - takes a sharpening well. I remember I was in the market for a blade and I came across Doug Ritter's site...Equipped To Survive. I liked the fixed blade he was offering (which is a repackaged Benchmade) but it was too expensive...I searched around not really knowing much about Benchmade and found that this knife could be had for well under $100 bucks.
I have had, and still do have, Buck knives and Gerber's (love my Gerber fixed blade) but as far as a folder goes this one was the perfect fit for me...good-looking, high quality, functional (I prefer the drop point), light and backed by a company with a good reputation. I give this knife high marks and have no problem recommending it to folks.
...that is all.
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