Measuring just 6.78 inches when open with a 2.91-inch blade, Benchmade’s Mini Griptilian was an instant classic as soon as it was introduced. Incorporating the same design as the highly successful standard Griptilian, the Mini Griptilian has a hefty feel despite its light weight and small size. Benchmade’s mini-classic enjoys an enthusiastic group of owners who happily offer their endorsement for this handy little knife.
Innovation and basic problem solving are evident throughout the design of the Mini Griptilian. It’s apparent that Benchmade stepped back and took a sober look at the potential for a pocket knife as a daily-use tool. With integrated features optimized for daily use, Benchmade’s little knife has become an industry standard.
The main reason for this leadership position is its high-quality precision construction. A classic drop-point blade of European-specification 154CM steel is reinforced by precision-machined stainless steel inner plates. The grip scales, made of Valox fiber-reinforced nylon, are quite durable in real-world work use. Owner ratings received by Benchmade mention the Mini Griptilian surviving calamities such as being dropped long distances, getting run over by vehicles and spending weeks in the weather or at the bottom of a pool with no problems.
Smart Design Package
Benchmade has packed an impressive list of features into this small package, such as comfortable thumb relief for both-ways handling. Another thumb feature is the choice of either a thumb loop or a thumb stud to open the blade. The Axis locking system brings the design of everybody’s old standby pocket knife into the high-tech arena of the 21st century.
Axis is intended to replace systems like the locking back spring used by Buck Knives or the typical side-press cam seen on Uncle Henry’s small knife locking system. Early concerns about this type of lock’s staying power were unfounded. After years in service, the Axis lock seems to perform at least as well as the Gerber Outrigger’s plunge-type locking system, and the Mini Griptilian is both smaller and easier to open.
The Mini Griptilian has a blade half an inch shorter than the full size Griptilian. Even though this is a small, lightweight knife, it’s easy to achieve a four-finger grip. The texturing on the grip, its comfortable shape and the serrations on the thumb relief make for a very secure hold on the knife in situations that demand it. Wet-weather use is confident and sure, and the stud-type blade is easy to open while wearing gloves.
Attractive and Stylish
The Mini Griptilian’s grip scales are available in a wide variety of colors. Besides standard colors like black and olive drab, Benchmade offers versions with yellow, satin or pink handles. Other colors such as red and blue are offered as dealer exclusives through certain outlets. Each of these colors is offered in combination with either a satin or black flat-ground blade. Buyers can choose either a plain or partially serrated edge on the blade. For even more variety, Benchmade also offers a tanto version of the Mini Griptilian.
The Final Word
No knife is perfect. The Mini Griptilian could be improved, although not by much. The standard black pocket clip is reversible, which is good, but a persistent complaint among owners is that the black finish scratches easily and shows wear quickly. There is a polished stainless steel clip available that conceals scratches and wears much better than the black finish.
Another area to consider is the grip handle material. The Valox fiber-reinforced nylon grip scales have shown themselves to be up to the demands of their job. However, the choice of a natural material like stone, wood or antler would be nice. Another improvement Benchmade should consider is a clip-on lanyard like the one featured on the Gerber Outrigger. These are small complaints that reflect the maturity of this knife’s design.
With everything taken as a whole, the Mini Griptilian furnishes quality construction, durable performance and thoughtful design. Benchmade has done a fine job of distilling the best parts of the standard Griptilian into an excellent choice for a smaller, more lightweight knife for everyday carry. This is a great choice for outdoorsmen, farmers and ranchers, construction workers, maintenance personnel and police or fire officers. For daily chores, get a Mini Griptilian and get the work done.