Benchmade Griptilian 551

Up until a few months ago, I typically carried a Gerber Paraframe I knife as my EDC (Every Day Carry), but then I lost it… somehow. To be honest though, before getting the Gerber (about 2 years ago) I had never really carried a knife on me, so when I lost it, I was ok for a while. However, after losing it, I did still find myself reaching for my knife to do everyday things, such as opening the mail or cutting into packages that came in the mail. Needless to say, I came up empty-handed each time…

Then on a recent hike with Brian Green and Gizmo Joe I listened to both of them go through what I considered pretty serious knife talk… this, along with my new-found, often empty hand, made me start thinking about picking up another knife to replace my Gerber, at least for an EDC. (I carry a Ka-Bar Mini Dozier when backpacking.)

A while back I had come across the Benchmade Griptilian knives, but to be honest, the price turned me off, pretty quick. However, after listening to both Brian and Joe talk about their own Griptilian’s, I decided to give them another look. Then, long story short, I found one on Amazon for $78 + free shipping. It just so happened that I had that amount of $$ to spend on “backpacking gear,” so I thought to myself, why not?

So, I ordered it!

Since I ordered the Griptilian, I have watched multiple YouTube videos as well as read lots of different reviews on this knife… all in anticipation of its arrival. Then… it finally came in the mail today!

As I said already, I have never really carried an EDC knife with me until just a couple of years ago, so it is safe to say, I am not a huge knife critic. To be honest, at this point, I cannot break down all the aspects of a knife, the materials it is made from and the scales that are used to compare them by. So, rather than try to break it all down, I will simply post some of the details from the website and the features that stood out to me.

  • Handle: NORYL GTX®: A modern engineered plastic offering high-strength, minimal flex and optimally lightweight properties. Molded to form.
  • There is a hole for a lanyard included in the handle (although, I will not use this).
  • 420J stainless steel liners.
  • Reversible carry-clip.
  • Locking Mechanism: AXIS® A patented Benchmade exclusive, AXIS® has been turning heads and winning fans ever since its introduction. A 100-percent ambidextrous design, AXIS® gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar which rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners, and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped, tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS® bar itself. Available in manual, assist or automatic configurations.
  • Blade: 154CM: An American made premium grade stainless steel originally developed for tough industrial applications. Known for its best all-around qualities, it offers great corrosion resistance with good toughness and edge quality.
  • HRC: 58-60
  • Modified Drop Point.
  • Dual thumb-stud opener.
  • Measured Blade Length: 3.5 inches
  • Measured Handle Length: 4.5 inches
  • Total Opened Length: 8 inches
  • Measured Weight: 3.8 oz
  • Made in the USA

As well, here is an unboxing video that I made earlier today:

To be fair, with my level of understanding about many of the aspects involving any knife, it is hard for me to give a true evaluation of this knife. All that I can say is that I am happy to have it. As I said, after listening to Brian and Joe talk about this knife (an a few others), as well as all the reviews and videos I have come across on this knife, I feel like I have a quality product. Other than this, I can say that, without-a-doubt, this is the sharpest, out-of-the-box knife that I have ever owned. (I have been so impressed with this, I am now missing a fair amount of arm hair on my left arm…)

Now though, I just need to learn how to keep them sharp…

However, I can say that this knife feels good in my hands. It is actually a little bigger than I had imagined, but it turns out that when “gripping” (pun intended) the knife, it feels like a good fit. As well, the Axis locking mechanism is easy to use (although, it will take some more use for me to get smooth with it…) Thanks to this mechanism, it is quite easy for me to open and close the knife, even with one hand, and the blade “feels” locked tight when opened all the way. And I have already commented on how sharp it is…

As I mentioned in the video, I do have a mod planned for this knife. It is a simple one, although I have yet to do it (so sorry, no pictures just yet). I plan to remove the pocket clip and then to remove the black paint and then to polish it so that it has a simple stainless steel finish. Why, you ask? In many of the reviews and videos I came across when “researching” this knife, many had complained that the black paint chips off very easily and quite quickly, even with simple use. So, a number of reviewers have simply removed the black paint and then polished it up. This makes it a bit more “bling-y,” rather than the more appealing duller, black finish, but if it chips so easily, I would rather just skip to the end result. So, in the next few days, depending on work, I will work on getting this done and will post more on it then.

Also, I do not plan to use this knife as my backpacking knife. It is not that I think it would not be able to handle it (I feel like it would do just fine), but rather, I have a smaller, lighter weight Ka-Bar that I carry when backpacking, and it meets all of my requirements, and then some. So, for me, the Griptilian is way overkill for backpacking use. As I said at the beginning of this post, this will be my EDC knife for around home/work use. That said, I am quite certain that I have a very capable, worthy knife. Now I just have to make sure that I don’t misplace this one too…

Thanks for reading!


Disclaimer: I purchased this knife with my own, hard-earned money. It was not provided to me by anyone and I am not obligated to write a “review.” 

3 Responses to Benchmade Griptilian 551

  1. Marko says:

    Welcome to the world of serious knives. Congratulations on your purchase. I hope this knife is still serving you well, it is the one I use for EDC. I carried it in the military as well. Personally I prefer the half serrated style, and I predict if you ever get a half serrated blade you will never go back to a full smooth knife.


    • Stick says:


      Thanks for stopping by and glad to hear that the same knife has worked so well for you. I still have this knife and carry it in occasion, however I am generally sporting one of my Spyderco’s now. They are all great knives though and I am glad to own them all! 🤗



  2. David Sullivan says:

    Chad – For Christmas, my son (in Oregon) gave me a Benchmade Shoki 480-1, which he describes as a “Gentleman Folder,” not intended for backpacking. However, because it weighs only 1.80 oz with a carbon-fiber handle, I have decided to make it my backpacking knife. Benchmade knives are quality. – David


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