Benchmade Mini-Griptillian in D2 Blade Steel

Consider When Looking for the Best Hunting Knife

Benchmade knives is an American company that makes a large portion of their knives in the US. The Griptillian is one of these knives that is made in the US, part of their Blue Class of products. They make fantastic knives, often collaborations with custom knife makers. In the case of the Griptillian, it is designed by world renown knifemaker Mel Pardue, who has collaborated with Benchmade on many occasions.Please visit HomepageĀ 

Here are the quick specs:

Blade length: 2.91″

Closed length: 3.87″

Steel: D2 BT Coated

Rockwell Hardness: 57-60RC

Lock: Axis

The Griptillian has a Molded rubbery gripped handle. I believe it is some sort of Polycarbonate handle with Rubber Inserts. It has REALLY good retention because of this, even in water. Also it fits the hand nicely. I have small hands so this might not be the case for people with bigger hands.. you may want to try the full size.

The Griptillian uses the popular Axis-Lock developed by Benchmade, and later copied by many other companies including Sog’s Arc-Lock. It uses a bar that is controlled by 2 Omega springs and slides the bar behind the blade tang to prevent it from closing. To open, you simply slide the bar against the omega spring tension and the blade can be rotated back in. It is one of the better locks out there, but have been known to have springs break in them.. and also can have particles and dirt fall into the lock mechanism causing problems. Liner locks will not have quite as many problems as far as dirt is concerned.


D2 steel is one of the best steels out there. It is a tool steel and has very good hardness and wear resistance, while still maintaning some rust resistance. It is called a semi-stainless steel by some because it’s chromium content of approx. 12% is just below the 13-14% minimum required to be considered a stainless steel. The BT Coating employed by benchmade on the D2 will help it stay relatively rust free, but the blade edge is not coated and will have to be cleaned and maintained properly in moist climates.

Use and Feel
This knife is great. The price is very affordable and the pocket clip works well. It is perhaps the best affordable knife from Benchmade, far better than the Red Class (made off shore) knives that cost almost as muach. There are no really bad hotspots when using this knife and the blade is sharp out of the box, sharp enough to pop hairs or shave a mouse without waking it up.. whichever analogy you prefer!

The axis lock opens smooth, and the knife is just very ergonomic.