The Full Size Griptillian; My New EDC and Why.

The Benchmade Knife Company, Inc. is a relatively new organization. It was founded in 1988 in California as a manufacturer of Bali-Song (butterfly knives). The business was moved to Oregon in 1990 where the company’s dedication to quality and customer service enabled it to grow rapidly and expand its product line. In the early 1990’s the Designer series was introduced, which laid the groundwork for what Benchmade has become today.
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The Full Size Griptillian; My New EDC and Why.

Post by orvet » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:41 am

I see a lot of people have the Mini Griptillians and seem to be fond of them. I have two Mini Grips and I like both of them. I don’t like the thumb hole as well as I do the thumb stud because of the arthritis in my hands but I do really like the sheepfoot blade. However, from watching eBay and checking online it appears the sheepfoot blade was only made with the thumb hole, and not with the stud.

For about a year I’ve been carrying a Kershaw Blur BDZ-1 steel in a tanto blade. This has become one of my favorite knives of all time. I love the corner in the cutting edge because it really allows for detail cutting and removing very fine slivers of material, and the steel is amazing in its toughness and edge holding ability.

Last week the mailman delivered my first Benchmade full size Griptillian. I bought a new in the box Griptillian 553 BK, the fine edge tanto blade with the black coating. I am not a huge fan of the black coating but it has great steel, 154CM and it’s the blade shape I wanted. I felt very fortunate I got it for considerably below the going rate on eBay; full-size Griptillians are currently running $90 plus with 154 CM steel and the standard black Valox handle. I purchased this one NIB with papers just under $65 with shipping. Not the bargain of the century but definitely a good deal on a knife that will be used.

Within the first few days I have found a number of things I prefer about the Griptillian versus the Kershaw Blur.
The Kershaw has SpeedSafe assisted opening and it opens rather easily, however the sharp edges on the thumb stud are uncomfortable especially if you have a cut on the end of your thumb. This has been my main complaint about the Blur. The round thumb stud on the Griptillian opens with just a flip of the thumb or you can open it by flipping the knife or operating the Axis lock and allowing the weight of the blade itself to open the knife. It is very easy with one hand just by slighting the Axis lock button to both open and close the knife without repositioning your fingers on the handle. The Blur requires you exert a fair amount of pressure on the thumb stud to activate the SpeedSafe but then to close the knife you must shift your grip so you can depress the liner lock with the tip of your thumb and start closing the blade with your index finger and then move your thumb around to finish closing it. I do it without thinking because I have used the Blur for so long, however the Griptillian is surprisingly far easier to open and close!

The Griptillian is slightly longer than the Blur by 1/10”, not really a huge difference but what I really like better about the Griptillian is the handle. The Valox handle is thicker than the aluminum handle of the Blur however the weight of the Valox is much less than the weight of the aluminum and on my postage scale they weigh exactly the same; 3.9 oz. Because of the larger size of the Valox handle it at least feels like I have better control of the knife.

I have been a fan of Kershaw knives since I first started selling them in the early 1980s. I met Les de Asis and his small crew before Benchmade began producing knives and we were the first retail account Benchmade had and we received the second order they ever shipped. My point is I’ve known a long time and am a big fan of Benchmade as well is Kershaw.
When I compare the Kershaw Blur, tanto blade, fine edge, BDZ-1 steel with SpeedSafe opening to the Griptillian 553, tanto blade, fine edge, 154CM steel with the Axis lock I am really impressed by the Griptillian! I have just found my new favorite EDC provided the 154CM steel is anywhere close to BDZ-1 in edge retention.
Griptillian 553 a.jpg
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Re: The Full Size Griptillian; My New EDC and Why.

Post by SteelMyHeart85420 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:47 am

Glad ya found your new edc, looks like a comfortable knife. What is it about the tanto blade you prefer? I never cared for that blade shape.

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Re: The Full Size Griptillian; My New EDC and Why.

Post by Colonel26 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:37 am

A good looking knife for sure Dale. I've always thought the griptillian was a right handsome knife.

I find your assessment of the tanto shape interesting. I don't think I've heard anyone else talk about it as a precision cutter. Very interesting.
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Re: The Full Size Griptillian; My New EDC and Why.

Post by colin.p » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:42 pm

Awesome knife. I recently bought the mini grip and just love it, but I do find that it is just a tad on the small side, not too bad mind you. I said to myself that after getting the mini, I wouldn't buy any more modern style folders for awhile (ya right) and turn my interest to traditionals, but I am eyeing the full size griptilian none the less. Up here though, they are quite dear, $139 for the grip and $129 for the mini and never mind the price for a Sebenza........ :shock:

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Re: The Full Size Griptillian; My New EDC and Why.

Post by Willintheweeds » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:55 pm

I've carried, mostly, a full size Grip since 2003 or so. I never could warm up to the thumbstud and prefer the older style oval hole, probably just because that is what I'm used to. I broke down and bought a green handled one (also with a 154CM blade) to replace my first one, the topmost grip in the picture (if the picture posts) when my sister in law gave me a hard time about carrying "such a big, mean, looking knife" I was slicing linked brats with it at a family cookout. Tried to reason with her, gave up, and bought the green handled one thinking it would be less threatening to my urban and suburban inlaws. Still too big and dangerous looking according to those gentle souls, so I tried carrying the mini-grip with the non-coated, nice bright blade (in 440C), and it was just too small for me - can't cleanly slice a big fat tomato with it, but it is fine for the office.

So now I carry a Case mini trapper with caplifter to family outings, a nice traditional, and completely acceptable to everyone (so far) but I've reverted to the green handled grip for EDC, and use a mini when the full size one is dull or I just want to change things up.

The bottom full size grip I bought off a coworker, he didn't like it, and it was basically unused, has a 440C blade, and the price was right. The two newer mini's were bought as the price was right at the time.

One of the mechanics were I work prefers the tanto style blade, he says it is fine for opening boxes and uses it to cut gasket material, scrape off silicone, cut hose, etc.

I can get the 154CM blades hair shaving sharp, but then they seem to dull quickly to a good, sharp, working edge and hold it for awhile - sharp enough to slice open the mail, boxes, right through a bagel, just not shaving sharp. The serrated section lets me cut nylon wire ties and the like. For me the full size grip is the best all round EDC knife, easy to carry and open, easy to maintain, light and fits my hand well.
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Re: The Full Size Griptillian; My New EDC and Why.

Post by mikek » Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:58 am

I've been using the 551, thumb stud, drop point for a work knife the last 3 years. I work in a grocery warehouse and cut shrink wrap and vinyl strapping all day long. The one handed opening and closing is the best I've ever used, fast. Would love to see the same knife with the Emerson wave hook on it. That with the axis lock would be one heck of a work knife. Mike
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Re: The Full Size Griptillian; My New EDC and Why.

Post by roseandthistlecustom » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:26 pm

This guy in M4 and G10 has been one of the best knives ever for me, I'm hooked on full size Griptilian too.

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