Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable: #14 Benchmade Mini Griptilian

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In June, we took a survey to learn which pocket knives our readers believe should never be discontinued. Respondents were asked to name as many or as few pocket knife models as they wanted, and no brands or blades were off-limits. 404 respondents named a total of 268 models and the average respondent named 4.1 pocket knives. 53 out of 404 respondents said the Benchmade Mini Griptilian should never be discontinued.

Mel Pardue, custom knife maker and senior design team member at Benchmade, is responsible for several great Benchmade blades. The Presidio, the 530, and the Reflex all have their fans, but Pardue really struck gold when he drew up the Griptilian series. Built from the ground up for EDC, the Benchmade Mini Griptilian offers a lot of horsepower in a tiny engine. The rounded handle scales and omnipresent jimping keep it in your hand no matter what the conditions. The Axis Lock is smooth, ambidextrous, and, after more than 15 years in production, extremely reliable. It isn’t flashy, but when it comes to something you can count on to do what you need, the Mini Grip is at the top of its class.

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Benchmade began life as Bali-Song, Inc. in 1980, when company founder Les de Asis worked with a friend to produce a handmade balisong knife. An order from a local gun store for 100 of these knives marked the first real business venture for the young company. As the years went on, de Asis renamed his business Pacific Cutlery Co. to reflect the increasing diversity of its product line. Financial and logistic woes forced Pacific Cutlery to close down in 1987. In 1988 de Asis launched his company again, determined to make it work. The remnants of Pacific Cutlery Co. became the foundation for Benchmade Knife Company.

You can get the Mini Grip with three different blades: tanto, drop point, or modified sheepsfoot. The sheepsfoot blade utilizes a thumb hole instead of a thumb stud. Serrations and blade coatings are an option as well.  Earlier this year, Benchmade released an upscale version of the Griptilian series, with gray G-10 scales and CPM-20CV blade steel.

Visit KnifeNews tomorrow to find out which model is #13 on our list of the Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable.

Knife featured in image: Benchmade Mini Griptilian

#25 Microtech Ultratech 14/404
#24 Emerson CQC-7 15/404
#23 Victorinox Cadet 18/404
#22 Benchmade Adamas 20/404
#21 Zero Tolerance 0562 21/404
#20 Cold Steel Ti-Lite 24/404
#19 Opinel No. 8 25/404 
#18 Zero Tolerance 0350 28/404
#17 Cold Steel Voyager 30/404
#16 Case Trapper 41/404
#15 Ontario RAT Model 1 43/404
#14 Benchmade Mini Griptilian 53/404
#13 Spyderco Manix 2 54/404
#12 CRKT M16 57/404
#11 Kershaw Skyline 58/404
#10 Kershaw Blur 62/404
#09 Cold Steel Recon 1 63/404
#08 Spyderco Endura 4 70/404
#07 Chris Reeve Knives Large Sebenza 21 75/404
#06 Kershaw Leek 76/404
#05 Benchmade 940 78/404
#04 Spyderco Delica 4 79/404
#03 Benchmade Griptilian 81/404
#02 Buck 110 Folding Hunter 90/404
#01 Spyderco Paramilitary 2 94/404