Oregon-based Benchmade Knife Company has been making knives since 1988. This particular review is about its Griptilian knife, a folding blade with an overall length of 8.07 inches with the blade fully out. Closed, the knife measures 4.62 inches in the length, with the blade alone being 3.45 inches long. You can find this knife for a medium price. At the time of this review, its price on Amazon was medium.
Now that the technical specs have been discussed, lets take a look at the knife itself. It has been one of the most popular models of Benchmade, and is considered as one of the top everyday carries or EDCs in the market today. It is slightly larger than the average size of EDC and has most of the qualities you would expect in a tactical knife. It also comes in a smaller version, called the Mini Griptilian, which is more of an EDC than a full-sized Griptilian being discussed here.
The blade, which uses 154 cm stainless steel, has a classic drop point design with a nice swedge towards the tip. Till a few years back, the steel used in this knife was rated as one of the best. While the steel used today is as sturdy and good as of yesteryears, it no longer finds a place in the list of top few as newer, sturdier, and better steel is now used in many EDCs. Nevertheless, it is still quite strong and easy to maintain and sharpen. The reinforced tip makes the knife capable of thrust cuts and penetrating cuts through fairly thick materials. The high hollow grind of the blade also makes it great for slicing. Overall, the blade is good for most purposes except for prying.
The Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon (FRN) handle has constantly received mixed reviews since its launch; some just love it, while others hate it. The same is the case today. The FRN is a lot like reinforced plastic, with adequate strength but light weight. It is criticized for giving the knife a cheap appearance, and on the first glance it does appear a lot like low-grade plastic. In reality, however, the material is quite strong and lasts for years without any issues like cracking or scarring that are common in knives with cheap plastic handles.
Another good thing about the handle material is that it keeps the knife nice and light, which is great for those who carry it all the time. The liners used in the folding mechanism are not full; they go around two thirds of the length of the handle and are slightly tapered. Moving on, the knife comes with a tip-up pocket clip that can be removed and attached to either side. It keeps most of the knife concealed with just a couple of millimeters showing out. The ergonomics, while not astounding, are just decent with comfortable grip in most holding positions.
If you are looking for a light-weight, durable, and fairly well made knife that is just a tad bigger than most EDCs, Benchmade Griptilian is the perfect match for you, provided you do not mind the cheap-looking FRN handle. On the other hand, if you prefer more solid but weighty tactical knife that serves as a secondary EDC, this may not be right for you.
The knife has 16 reviews on Amazon, with nine 5-star, five 4-star, and 2-star review. One reviewer says, Its a good knife with a sharp blade from a great company. Quite expectedly, another user has to say this about its handle, the handle feels cheap.