From the old school Bali-Songs to the new age Axis-Lock knives, the company with a butterfly logo has always been known for the quality of its products. However, it is definitely not only the material or the innovations that make a knife valuable. Mel Pardue, as one of the oldest designers working with Benchmade, has always been a person fond of functionality and, as such, reflected it in all of his blades. Today we are going to talk about one of the most famous company’s knives – the Benchmade 556 Mini Griptilian.
Benchmade Mini Griptilian is a little brother of a full size Griptilian. It is has closed length of 3.87″ and weighs just about 2.81oz. The knife is a real best seller and can be found in a number of scale colors, blade shapes and coatings. The Mini Griptilian we received has drop point, non-serrated satin blade with black FRN scales. It is American made and has a lifetime warranty.
- Blade length: 2.91″
- Overall length: 6.78″
- Closed length: 3.87″
- Weight: .2.56 oz.
- Blade material: 154CM Stainless Steel
- Locking mechanism: AXIS
- County of origin: USA
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Benchmade 556 Mini-Griptilian
If you’re looking for a quality mid-range EDC very little comes close to the outstanding Griptilian.
Benchmade Mini Griptilian has the blade length of 2.91″. It is 0.100″ thick (or is it better to write ‘thin’) and has time-proven drop point shape with hollow grind. Such a combination makes it easy to pierce, slice and process objects with ease. The blade has a tiny tip which makes it a perfect weapon-of-choice for precise work like getting a splinter from a finger, cutting cords or carving. Speaking of the devil. Mini Griptilian appeared to be really good with wood work, which I personally found quite surprising. Considering the overall and blade length, the knife just rips off pine, oak and cedar wood chips. What else to say, I just love the blade’s profile and working grinds.
The blade steel on our model here is American-made stainless 154CM. Basically it is a modification of a well-known 440C. The steel combines three main elements: carbon, chromium, and molybdenum which are crucible for corrosion resistance and edge retention. 154CM is actually regular steel for industrial machinery and parts. However in knife making it shines with features. The blade on Mini Griptilian is a thing that will remain sharp for months with moderate everyday use like cardboard cutting, letter and package opening. Sharpening the edge is also great pleasure. Forget about expensive systems and hours spent sharpening super hard-steel blades. Ceramic triangle or a pocket Lansky rod is more than enough to make a little guy like this hair shaving sharp in 15 minutes or less.
The last but not the least thing worth mentioning about Benchmade Mini Griptilian is satin finish. Well, yes I am a fan of all types of coatings on the blades (preferably stable ones). It is functional, military, tactical and awesome, yada, yada. But the way Benchmade model 556 looks at you from the box is just a thing to see and experience. Long story short, it is beautiful and looks just in place with the rest of knife’s details. Plus it appears to be scratch resistant (cut boxes and branches with it, hundreds of them), thanks to blade steel again. Frankly speaking, I wouldn’t get a knife like this, other than with a satin finish blade on it. Besides, there are many other handle color schemes to combine with coated blades, that you might consider choosing.
The handle scales on Benchmade Mini Griptilian are made of Grivory, also known as glassreinforced nylon. Like Zytel, this new-age polymer consists of plastic, glass and Kevlar particles, making it an even stronger compound. It is less sensitive to scratches and other mechanical damages. It also withstands low outdoor temperatures and aggressive chemical substances. In other words, it is less probable for Griptilian handles to crack during winter frosts and constant falls (we all tend to drop the knives now and then).
What is most important – the Grivory handles are light as feathers, and that is exactly what a perfect everyday carry pocket knife should have. Underneath the FRN scales we have nested steel liners which however add some weight. But such is the specific nature of AXIS lock knives.
Considering the Mini Griptilian handle shape profile, it is extremely comfortable and grippy. The scales have some ridges right behind the thumb studs, on the back and inside on the choil section. Plus there is the diamond pattern on the belly of each scale. For a small knife like this it is a 10-out-of-10 on how well the scales provide traction for the grip.
Ergonomics (lock, clip and deployment)
So, first thing to make clear – we are now talking about a small EDC knife. I’ve been using it for various tasks, outdoors including. And the thing is – it is truly THE GRIPTILIAN kind of animal. I mean, there are some tactical blades with thumb ramps and gimping in all the handle places, but, man, this thing beats it all. It looks like a humble city dweller but bears the potential to chop and feather-stick branches. However, let’s hold the horses and cover all the points step by step.
Benchmade Mini Griptilian has the standard black belt clip with the company’s logo on it. It is not deep carry, however, combined with a huge lanyard hole below the clip screws, it works perfect. The clip has just the right amount of tension on it. So it won’t rip the pockets of your pants, shorts or whatever you carry the knife on. Mini Griptilian is right or left, tip-up carry only, which I personally find very comfortable (you don’t have to turn the knife in hand before deploying).
The knife has patented spring operated AXIS lock on it. It is absolutely ambidextrous and works smooth as hell. You take the knife out from the pocket, flick it open with the thumb and do the job. After all, you depress the lock with the index finger and swing it to close. Simple as that. You can also deploy the knife by pressing the lock and throwing the blade out with a light wrist shake. Anyway, there will be no wiggling or blade-play whatsoever. The lockup is steady and stiff.
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20 thoughts on “Benchmade 556 Mini-Griptilian Review”
What is the warranty on the Mini Griptilian?
What is the price of the Mini Griptilian?
Does the Mini Griptilian come with a pocket clip?
Can the Mini Griptilian be disassembled for cleaning?
What is the blade length of the Benchmade Mini Griptilian?
The Benchmade Mini Griptilian is available in several different blade lengths, so the answer to this question depends on the specific model you are referring to.
Here are the blade length options for some of the most popular Benchmade Mini Griptilian models:
-Mini Griptilian 556: The blade length is 2.91 inches.
-Mini Griptilian 555: The blade length is 2.82 inches.
-Mini Griptilian 557: The blade length is 2.91 inches.
It’s worth noting that Benchmade occasionally updates their product offerings, so the blade length of a particular Mini Griptilian model may change over time. If you have a specific Mini Griptilian in mind, I recommend checking the product specifications on Benchmade’s website to confirm the blade length.
What type of steel is used in the blade of the Mini Griptilian?
The type of steel used in the blade of the Benchmade Mini Griptilian varies depending on the specific model. Benchmade offers the Mini Griptilian in several different blade materials, each with its own unique properties and characteristics. Here are some of the most common blade materials used in the Mini Griptilian:
-154CM: This is a high-quality stainless steel that is known for its toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance. It is a popular choice for everyday carry knives like the Mini Griptilian.
-CPM-S30V: This is a premium stainless steel that is known for its excellent edge retention and toughness. It is a bit more expensive than 154CM, but many people consider it to be worth the extra cost.
-CPM-20CV: This is another premium stainless steel that is similar to CPM-S30V, but with a higher chromium content for increased corrosion resistance. It is also known for its excellent edge retention and toughness.
Again, the specific steel used in a particular Mini Griptilian model will depend on the model itself. If you have a specific Mini Griptilian in mind, you can check the product specifications on Benchmade’s website to see what type of steel is used in the blade.
Is the Mini Griptilian a good EDC (everyday carry) knife?
Yes, the Benchmade Mini Griptilian is generally considered to be an excellent choice for an everyday carry (EDC) knife. Here are some reasons why:
1.Quality: Benchmade is known for making high-quality knives, and the Mini Griptilian is no exception. It is built to last, with a strong and durable blade and a rugged handle.
2.Size: As its name suggests, the Mini Griptilian is smaller and more compact than many other folding knives, which makes it easier to carry in your pocket or on your belt. It’s also lightweight, so it won’t weigh you down.
3.Versatility: The Mini Griptilian is a versatile knife that can be used for a variety of tasks, from opening packages to cutting through tough materials like rope and cardboard. Its blade is available in a variety of shapes, including tanto, drop point, and sheepsfoot, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
4.Comfort: The Mini Griptilian’s handle is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hand, even during extended use. The textured grip provides excellent traction, so you can maintain a secure grip on the knife even in wet or slippery conditions.
Overall, the Benchmade Mini Griptilian is a great EDC knife that is durable, versatile, and comfortable to use.
What is the handle material of the Mini Griptilian?
The handle material of the Benchmade Mini Griptilian varies depending on the specific model, as Benchmade offers the knife in a range of handle materials. Here are some of the most common handle materials used in the Mini Griptilian:
1.Glass-filled nylon (GFN): This is a durable, lightweight, and affordable material that is commonly used in entry-level versions of the Mini Griptilian. It is also known for its resistance to impact and abrasion.
2.G10: This is a high-strength, lightweight composite material that is made of layers of fiberglass cloth and resin. It is known for its excellent durability, grip, and resistance to moisture and chemicals.
3.Carbon fiber: This is a premium handle material that is both strong and lightweight, making it an ideal choice for high-end versions of the Mini Griptilian. Carbon fiber is also known for its stylish appearance and resistance to corrosion and wear.
4.Aluminum: Some versions of the Mini Griptilian feature an aluminum handle, which is lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant. It also provides a solid grip and a sleek, modern appearance.
Again, the specific handle material used in a particular Mini Griptilian model will depend on the model itself. If you have a specific Mini Griptilian in mind, you can check the product specifications on Benchmade’s website to see what type of handle material is used.
Is the Mini Griptilian ambidextrous?
Yes, the Benchmade Mini Griptilian is designed to be ambidextrous, meaning it can be used comfortably by both left-handed and right-handed users. Here are some of the features that make the Mini Griptilian ambidextrous:
1.Axis Lock: The Mini Griptilian features Benchmade’s patented Axis Lock mechanism, which allows you to easily open and close the knife with one hand, regardless of whether you are left-handed or right-handed. The lock is also reversible, so you can move it to the other side of the knife to accommodate your preferred hand.
2.Pocket Clip: The Mini Griptilian’s pocket clip is reversible, so you can switch it to the other side of the knife to accommodate your preferred hand. This allows you to carry the knife comfortably and securely in your pocket, regardless of whether you are left-handed or right-handed.
3.Textured Grip: The Mini Griptilian’s handle features a textured grip that provides excellent traction, regardless of which hand you use to hold the knife. This allows you to maintain a secure grip on the knife even in wet or slippery conditions.
Overall, the Benchmade Mini Griptilian is an excellent choice for both left-handed and right-handed users, thanks to its ambidextrous design and features.
What is the weight of the Mini Griptilian?
The weight of the Benchmade Mini Griptilian varies depending on the specific model and handle material. Here are some general weight ranges for different Mini Griptilian models:
-Mini Griptilian with glass-filled nylon handle: 2.56-2.90 ounces
-Mini Griptilian with G10 handle: 2.81-3.25 ounces
-Mini Griptilian with carbon fiber handle: 2.44-2.88 ounces
-Mini Griptilian with aluminum handle: 2.56-2.90 ounces
Again, these are general weight ranges, and the specific weight of a particular Mini Griptilian model may vary slightly. If you have a specific Mini Griptilian in mind, you can check the product specifications on Benchmade’s website to see what the exact weight of the knife is.
Yes, the Benchmade Mini Griptilian comes with a reversible pocket clip that allows you to carry the knife securely in your pocket. The pocket clip is designed to be ambidextrous, so it can be attached to either side of the knife to accommodate your preferred hand. The clip is also adjustable, so you can position it for tip-up or tip-down carry, depending on your preference. The pocket clip is typically made of stainless steel and is finished to match the color and style of the knife’s handle.
The Benchmade Mini Griptilian comes with a limited lifetime warranty. This warranty covers any defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the knife. If you experience any issues with your Mini Griptilian that are covered by the warranty, Benchmade will repair or replace the knife free of charge. However, the warranty does not cover normal wear and tear, misuse, abuse, or modification of the knife. If you need to make a warranty claim for your Mini Griptilian, you can contact Benchmade’s customer service team for assistance.
Yes, the Benchmade Mini Griptilian can be disassembled for cleaning, but it is important to note that disassembling the knife may void its warranty. If you decide to disassemble the knife, you should be careful to keep track of all the parts and take note of their orientation, so you can reassemble the knife correctly.
To disassemble the Mini Griptilian, you will need a T6 torx driver and a T10 torx driver. Here are the general steps for disassembling the knife:
1.Use the T6 torx driver to remove the screws that hold the pocket clip in place. Set the screws and the pocket clip aside.
2.Use the T6 torx driver to remove the screws that hold the handle scales in place. There are two screws on each side of the knife. Set the screws and the handle scales aside.
3.Use the T10 torx driver to remove the screw that holds the pivot pin in place. Carefully remove the pivot pin and set it aside.
4.Carefully separate the blade and the liners from the handle. You may need to gently pry them apart with a flathead screwdriver.
5.Clean the knife’s components with a mild detergent and warm water. Be sure to dry all the components thoroughly before reassembling the knife.
To reassemble the Mini Griptilian, simply reverse the disassembly steps, being sure to correctly align the components and screws. Once the knife is reassembled, you can apply a drop of oil to the pivot pin to ensure smooth operation.
The price of the Benchmade Mini Griptilian can vary depending on the specific model, handle material, and blade type. As of my knowledge cutoff of September 2021, the starting price for a Mini Griptilian with a plain edge blade and glass-filled nylon handle was around $105 USD. However, the price can go up to over $200 USD for models with premium blade steels, upgraded handle materials, and other additional features. It’s important to check with the specific retailer or Benchmade’s website for the most up-to-date pricing information.