Mini-Grip, Bugout or North Fork?

Discussion in 'Benchmade Knife Company' started by GoPappy, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. GoPappy


    Mar 1, 2018
    I recently bought a full size Grip, and I'm in love with it. I bought it to use around the farm (orange handles makes it easy to find if I lay it down somewhere).

    It makes me want to get a Mini-Grip to carry when I'm at the office or just as an EDC knife.

    But I'm reading all the love for the Bugout, and wonder why or how it might be better for EDC purposes.

    And then I notice the North Fork is almost the same size as the Mini-Grip, and I wonder what the advantages of it might be (besides the fact that the wood scales are beautiful).

    Can you folks help me with some pros and cons? Cost isn't more than $60 difference between the three, so that's not much of a factor.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
    RiffleBrookie likes this.
  2. MattWRog

    MattWRog Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    North Fork is a great little folder but thickest through the handles. If you have the full size grip I'd double down on the Bugout, very suitable office knife and anywhere else for that matter.
  3. SharpieB


    Oct 31, 2017
    Agree with Matt. The Bugout is a great knife.

    The only two Benchmades I own are a Bugout and a full size Griptilian. They cover all the bases IMO.
  4. godzilla78


    Jan 30, 2014
    The Bugout is the standout knife imho
  5. Dfunk1210


    Apr 7, 2015
    North Fork. For the g10 handles. I recommend it for the same reason the others did not. Its a more substantial knife. If you like the frn handles of the Grip you have, you will like the g10 even more
    Pteronarcyd likes this.
  6. fishface5


    Feb 3, 2001
    The Bugout has a very thin handle - it's fine for light tasks if that's all you need it for.
    People sometimes find the handle of the mini grip to be too mini.
    Aside from that it's really a matter of looks.
  7. GatorMedic


    Jan 12, 2014
    Bugout. The only two folding knives I own are the Bugout and a full size Grip. Some of the reasons I personally prefer the Bugout over the Mini Grip include the longer blade length at 3.25” vs 2.91”, the blade shape lending itself better for slicing, the weight reduction, and the awesome short carry clip.
  8. luke86


    Mar 29, 2015
    Bugout. Lighter, more blade length, and better slicer.
  9. Codswallop


    Mar 8, 2016
    I have owned 5 northforks and just about as many mini grips. Between those two even with the variants of the mini grip, I would still choose the northfork all day. The north fork being my most number one carried knife of the 11 benchmades I have it just lends its self much better to hard work. It does have a thicker heavier blade than the others but this in tun makes for a smooth balanced action and have little blade play. The re curve does very well at cutting and it shines when you draw cut something as the re curve assists in cutting. I wouldn't call it a slicer like the bugout but it all depends on what your full purpose is farm work I believe you will enjoy the northfork the most and the wood scales are awesome plus full liners. If you want a light slicer to disappear into the pocket then the bug out is probably the way to go.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  10. hd-bagger


    Oct 13, 2017
    North Fork! I have the north fork, bugout, and gifted a mini grip. The bugout never gets carried. It feels cheap to me in the hand and I just can't get past it. It's been in the box since I bought it.
    The mini grip was good but having a few 707s, didn't carry it either. Great Christmas gift for father in law.
    The north fork sees most of my pocket time! It's a smaller knife but capable of hard use if needed. It has a very small footprint in the pocket. The blade shape is perfect for any task i've needed it for. The recurve is fun to use and i've not had any issues sharpening it. It seems to hold an edge twice as long as my other s30v blades. Plus the wood handles are awesome. It's by far my most complimented knife by other people. I'd be willing to bet that the north fork would completely take over your pocket most of the time. I own a horse ranch and i've yet to need more blade than the fork.
    Pteronarcyd likes this.
  11. GoPappy


    Mar 1, 2018
    Folks, I really appreciate the responses so far. Keep 'em coming.

    I'm surprised the Mini-Grip is getting no love, but I can see that the Bugout and North Fork have some advantages (which is why I'm struggling to decide between the three). I love my full size Grip so much that I expected an outpouring of love for the Mini also.

    My main hesitation on the Bugout is that the blade length is so close to the 940, which I already have. But I sure like the light weight of it, and can imagine it disappears in a pocket even better than my 940 does.
  12. Evany

    Evany Gold Member Gold Member

    May 7, 2007
    I carried a mini grip of one variety or another for several years. Ultimately I decided the blade was slightly too short for a lot of tasks, and the handle just a bit small for my preferences. I've replaced my minis with a Bugout: Longer blade, slimmer in the pocket, lighter weight, easier carry. It's plenty sturdy IMO and the tiny pocket clip is fantastic. I have not tried the North Fork yet.
    colin.p likes this.
  13. Keyman

    Keyman Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 26, 2001
    I have owned and used all three.
    I got the mini grip first (M2 mini Ritter).
    Nice small utility blade that slices very nicely.
    The mini griptilian have full nested liners.

    Next I purchased a North Fork.
    The North Fork is a step up from the mini griptilian in durability and just pure toughness. The NF’s blade is made of thicker stock than the mg. The NF has full liners, made of a thicker stock than the mg’s liner are.
    I got the Bugout last.
    It is true, the Bugout is the lightest and best slicer of the three. However, the Bugout is the weakest of the three also. The Bugout has thinner blade stock and only small partially liners.

    All three are great knives, if they fit you needs.
    I myself, have gravitated towards larger knives like something in the 3.6”- 4” range.
  14. JDennis


    Oct 24, 2017
    I have all 3. I don't like my mini grip. It is too small but got it on clearance from a big retailer for 46.00 new so it just sits in the box. I love the bugout but will be upgrading the scales. I don't like the flimsy scales. I have the North Fork g10 and it is edc perfection. By far my favorite benchmade edc even over my 940's. BUT.... it may be knocked off the throne by my mini crooked river. I only have had my mini crooked river for a week and so far it is on top.
  15. Chariotz4

    Chariotz4 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jul 5, 2016
    Even though the blade length of the Bugout and 940 are fairly close, they're very different beasts imho. The higher blade stock of the Bugout makes it a better slicer (ymmv) than the 940, and while they're both relatively small and thin (with the Bugout being lighter), the 940 is the more durable knife of the two in my opinion (aluminum/CF/G10 vs fairly easily flexible plastic feeling handles). I own both a Bugout and 940, I don't own a Mini Grip or North Fork so take from this what you will.
    hd-bagger likes this.
  16. jaypowell0185

    jaypowell0185 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2013
    I would say northfork. I say this because it is my favorite carry of all time. I feel like the other two are good options, but the northfork feels like it has a "soul"
    Salt Peter likes this.
  17. RiffleBrookie


    Sep 30, 2017
    I have all 3 and they're pretty different. Based on your love of the big grip, Mini-Grip is probably the best bet. It's a more solid feeling knife than its bigger brother because the liners fill almost all of the handle area. The Bugout is a supremely good design and easy choice only if weight and ease of carry is of primary concern. Shop around the Knife Exchange or Fleabay and you can easily find a slightly used CPM-20CV 555/556-1 with G10 scales for not much more than a new Bugout and less than a new North Fork with some patience.

    My diamond wood North Fork is a beautiful knife and perfectly good, but recurves just annoy me and I cannot find any real functional advantage to it over these other two options. It's a little more stout than a mini-grip if that is important to you.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
  18. Gizler00

    Gizler00 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    My vote is for the mini grip. I have had a ton of them. And the same thing always ends up happening.

    I get one just how I like it, then I sell it. Only to end up getting another one later on.

    Tonight I was at our local outdoor shop and they are a Benchmade dealer. Much to my surprise, they had a bugout!!

    I must say that I was a little let down by how thin it was. The handle is definitely longer than the mini grip, but is less than half the thickness.

    Also, the scales are very very pliable. I squeezed the scales nearly together on the open side where the blade sits.

    Long story short.....I have another mini grip in my pocket this evening.
  19. GoPappy


    Mar 1, 2018
    I REALLY appreciate all the thoughts and opinions. I can see that each knife has some advantages and disadvantages, as evidenced by all the varying opinions here. I do have to say that the North Fork has really caught my eye. In the end, all my knives have to serve a purpose, but it's great to have something that you just connect with more than you do with another one.

    I suspect that I'll eventually wind up with all three. So I think I'll keep an eye on the Exchange here and buy whichever one comes along first. And then look for the next one.

    I'm in no hurry as I have the 940 and the full size Grip already, along with several other knives that I can carry.
  20. Kreyzhorse

    Kreyzhorse Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    It's really hard to pick against a mini grip.

    Those are simply fantastic EDC knives.
    Gizler00 likes this.

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