Benchmade Griptilian Knife Review

The Benchmade Knife Company is one of the most popular manufacturers of sporting and utility knives in the world and also claim to produce more than 90% of their products in the United States. The Griptilian from Benchmade is one of their most popular knives and has earned a positive reputation with enthusiasts and experts alike. After reading many other positive reviews I was excited to put this knife through its paces and see if it managed to wow me as well.

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Griptilian Models and Variants

Before I start the review I should mention that the Griptilian comes in a wide variety of models and two distinct sizes.

There are three standard size Griptilian knives:
A standard size Benchmade Griptilian.
Model 550HG – modified sheepsfoot blade featuring thumbhole
Model 551 – drop-point blade
Model 553 – tanto blade

The Mini-Griptilian knives also comes in three models:
The Mini-Griptilian by Benchmade
Model 555HG – modified sheepsfoot blade featuring thumbhole
Model 556 – drop-point blade
Model 557 – tanto blade

Important Specifications

The standard Griptilian models feature:
8.07” overall length
4.62” closed length
3.45” (86mm) blade
3.82oz (115g) weight

The Mini-Griptilian models feature:
6.78” overall length
3.87” closed length
2.91” (74mm) blade
2.56oz (73g) weight

Other key features that are found on both models include
Blade Steel: 154CM (standard), D2, N680, S30V
Blade Coating: Black or satin
Blade Edge: Partially serrated or plain
Handle colors: Many available including black (standard), hot and light pink, green, neon, white, blue (royal and light), orange, olive and many more.
Price Range: $60-100

My Impressions and Review

Firstly, I have to admit this is my first review so please cut me some slack. However, I have been collecting knives since my Dad presented me with my first pocket knife when I became a man (ok… It was actually when I turned 13 with a face full of acne and arms like matchsticks).

My first impressions of the Griptilian were certainly positive and it remains one of the most sturdy knives I have ever held. The build quality really is top notch and you can easily tell this knife is a standard above the cheaper mass produced models sold by other manufacturers. The knife is also unbelievably light in the hand considering how sturdy it is. I carried the Mini-Griptilian on my belt and hardly noticed it was there!

Benchmade have done their research and the two size are perfect are a perfect complement to each other. The smaller mini size is a quality knife that is perfect for carrying around all day and the standard size is a genuine heavy duty knife that can be used for a variety of situations, but is still comfortable enough to carry around. Whichever model you choose they really are the perfect EDC knife. Benchmade also offer such a variety of customization options that will keep almost everybody happy.

The blade on each model is high quality premium stainless steel and comes sharpened on both sides out of the box (this is one of the sharpest blades I have ever encountered out of the box). It remains sharp even after being put through some minor abuse and it is covered by Benchmade’s lifetime sharpening service. The blade rates 58-61HRC on the hardness scale and can definitely take some punishment.

The handle features a unique polymer glass-reinforced grip which is comfortable to hold and provides resistance to slipping. The ergonomics of this knife can be summed up in one word – awesome. It fits well into my (standard) sized hand and I think that it would be comfortable in all but the largest or smallest of hands.

A Griptilian knife being folded.The stand out feature of the Griptilian knives is the patented AXIS locking mechanism, which is exclusive to Benchmade. It is advertised as a 100% ambidextrous design and I can confirm that my left handed friends were amazed how well it worked. In terms of the quality of the mechanism the knife always opens smoothly and the hinge action makes it easy to flip open the knife with a simple flick of the wrist (after the lock is pulled back of course). The blade is held securely when it is folded. The lock and hinge mechanism are of the highest standard and this really is the stand out feature of this knife.

The knife features a pocket clip, which can be mounted on either side. There is also a lanyard hole for an alternate way of carrying this knife. It does not come with a sheath, which is a little disappointing, but Benchmade do sell many sheathes that will suit the Griptilian knives. The knife also comes with cleaning instructions and tells you when the knife requires lubrication. They also advise frequent sharpening to keep the blade in great condition.


The full size model Griptilian comes in just under $100, which is at the high end of the market. However, Benchmade list this as one of their “Blue Class” models to show excellence and quality so we can expect to pay a little more. It is hard to argue with that definition and I would agree that it is worth paying a little bit extra for a knife of this quality. The blade and amazing AXIS locking mechanism make this a bargain in the high end folding knife market.

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Conclusion and Rating

The good: Great mechanism, ergonomics, handle and a super sharp (and strong) blade.
The bad: The price may put some people off. Clicking noise when knife is opened may put off hunters and anglers who rely on complete silence.
Wrap up: This is one of the best knives I have ever used. If you can afford it you should definitely consider the Griptilian!
Rating – 5 stars!

5 / 5 stars      

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