Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable: #3 Benchmade 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. 81 out of 404 respondents said the Benchmade Griptilian should never be discontinued.

Benchmade’s Griptilian Series proves that sometimes a design works perfectly no matter the size. When it’s shrunk down, it makes an excellent all-purpose EDC blade. In its original, full-sized dimensions, it is a tough, fast-deploying, efficient hard-use folder. Released in 2001, the full-size Griptilian quickly assumed its place as Benchmade’s affordable flagship knife, and it has had a 15-year reign as one of the company’s best-selling knives.

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The Griptilian is ready to work, with a 3.45” blade made for hard cutting. If the Mini Grip was built like a tank, the Griptilian is built like a battleship, with a beefier blade and a bigger handle. With that roomy handle and jimping in all the right places, the Griptilian earns its name. But just because it’s bigger doesn’t mean the Griptilian sacrifices finesse, and for those who prefer a bigger blade as their daily companion the Griptilian is a top-tier choice. The 154CM steel on the standard models can take and hold a great edge, and doesn’t fight the stones when it is finally time to sharpen. And, as always, the Axis Lock is ambidextrous, strong, and fast.

The Griptilian series was designed by Mel Pardue. By the time he designed the Griptilian in 2001, Pardue had been making knives for more than 40 years, and that experience shows in the subdued Griptilian design. This is a knife that doesn’t draw attention to itself, but remains quietly capable in any reasonable application. Benchmade has always prided itself on the American-made quality of its blades. The Griptilian’s relative affordability, and the fact that it is offered in more variations than any other Benchmade knife, make it the perfect ambassador for people new to Benchmade, and an old favorite for those of us who are already familiar with the company.

There are many choices when it comes to the Griptilian. You can have a tanto, modified sheepsfoot, or drop point blade, with serrations or a plain edge, 154CM or CPM-20CV steel, and FRN or G-10 scales. Factor in the various colors of FRN scales, different blade finishes, and special editions, and there is a metric ton of variety in the Griptilian catalog.

Visit KnifeNews tomorrow to find out which model is #2 on our list of the Top 25 Pocket Knives that are Indispensable.

Knife featured in image: Benchmade Griptilian Plain Black Drop Point Blade, G10 Handles

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