Mini-griptilian questions

Dec 31, 2002
hi all, im considering the benchmade mini-griptilian and have a few questions you might be able to help me with...

1 - when comparing the mini-grip with spyderco's endura or delica, it's said to be "thicker" - how much thicker? and more importantly is this a big deal when daily carrying it? i reckon if a folder is too heavy or thick/big i might leave it at home... thats why i pretty much left everything out over 3oz. on the other hand, i've read that the handle for example is thinner than the bm 705 (and easier to carry) and this was one of the other knives i was considering...

2 - i've read that it now has "new bronze washers" what does that mean? what's the new bronze washers?

3 - is there anything else thats different with the current versions of the mini-grip compared to the first batch when it was originally released? (don't want to end up with an old version if there's been improvements since)

4 - "Modified Drop Point" what does this mean? (yeah as you can tell im a total beginner to folders) ;)

i think thats all for now, basically im looking for a lightweight edc folder, considering spyderco delica or endura, or bm705... for self-defense/last resort use... thinking logically mini-grip seems to be the best choice, it's cheap, strong lock, good grip, good blade materials etc. 705 costs nearly twise as much. and the spydercos got a weaker lock (and possibly not as 'grippy) (i reckon lock and grip is important things when it comes to last resort kinda situations...)

thanks for any help guys, and oh yeah - happy new year!

I just bought a mini-griptilian a couple days ago, so far its been an excellent knife. I find spyderco far too ugly to even consider buying. The bronze washers are just a semi-self lubricating bushing, they seem to work fine. Modified drop point is just a name benchmade gives to that type of blade, there are millions of droppoint blades out there, all of them different, it just applies to a general style. IMPO it looks good. If your looking for a self-defence weapon, the minigrip isnt very practical, too small, not very intimidating, get a ontario->hells bell. The grip is great, fits medium sized hands just fine. Wether you want the sheeps foot, o the drop point, depends on what your using it for, I went with the 556 drop point.

Good Luck,

1) The entire Griptilian line has a hand-filling handle shape. It's not bulky, but it basically has swells on both sides, instead of being flat. If you really need a thin knife, then you don't want a Griptilian, but I often carry a full-size Griptilian in dress pants (not clipped) and don't notice it. When I carry a mini-Griptilian, I forget it's there. Although these knives are a bit wider than most, they aren't outrageously thick, and they're a actually pretty light because of the handle material. You may need more input from someone who actually carries the knife clipped, although I don't think the thickness is anything to worry about, especially since the advantage of the shape is so great: it fills the hand perfectly.

2) Apparently Benchmade has started to phase out teflon washers in favor of bronze ones (just what I've read here on BF). The teflon wasn't a problem. There doesn't seem to be any practical difference between the two materials. Although teflon may seem a cheaper material, lots of high quality production and custom folders use teflon, and some people prefer it. All my "old" Griptilians use teflon.

3) Like most Benchmades, the Griptilians have gotten pretty high praise from people who use them. Aside from the washers, I don't think there have been any problems or changes since the knives were introduced.

4) Dunno why it's a "modified" drop point. I believe I read somewhere that "drop point" refers to the fact that the top of the blade has been machined down towards the tip so that the point is "dropped" below the spot were it would be if the top edge were left unshaped. Most blades are shaped like this, so I suppose most knives are drop points. The Griptilian has a blade with a good all-around shape.

I agree with Inner10. The full-size Griptilians are excellent SD blades. The minis are very usefull smal knives, but I would want something bigger for SD if at all possible. If you are absolutely limited to the mini because of blade length restrictions, then it's as good a knife as you'll find in that size, and a good value.

Welcome and you have chosen a great daily carry knife. For the money ther is only one other knife I consider to be in that class and that is the Camillus EDC. The 555/556 is an outstanding knife! It is tough as nails and very light. As has been mentioned, it is NOT bulky, just rounded. It is a very pocketable knife and you won't regret the purchase. The 556 has the modified drop point with thumb studs, the 555 is more of a modified sheepsfoot. Both are very serviceable and the 440c is great steel! Benchmade really outdid themselves on these given the pricepoint!

I have just ordered a BM 555 myself to add to my EDC rotation stock. I have heard alot about the Griptilian series. I chose the modified sheepfoot as it is a great utility design and the 440c is a good steel with a nice edge retention, sharpening, and corrosion resistance balance. now I just have to wait for it to arrive so I can test it out. Good luck with your choice! :)

I've had a 551 for nearly a year,and for approx 7-8 months this was my EDC. Tough, very smooth axis action and fits the hand nicely.
Well you've heard it :) I think the Griptilian is simply a terrific knife in it's price range, and of course the Axis lock is wonderful. I think you'll really like it.

I've given at least 5-6 of them as gifts and everyone loves them so far.

"Hunters seek what they [WANT].., Seekers hunt what they [NEED]"
I have the 555 and it is very comfortable for pocket carry. However, the handle feels better to me with the pocket clip removed. Also, I usually carry lockbacks and slipjoints, which are much more biased towards staying closed than the Axis lock. So, the tip-up pocket carry concerned me a bit. I now carry it tip down, with pocket clip removed, in a belt sheath.
can't think of a knife out there that I'd rather spend $53 on, the 555/556's are absolutely addictive to open and close, in fact, I think mine will wear out from that instead of actual use some day. They are so easy to use it's ridiculous. I have sent many a knives with better steels, handles etc. etc. to the drawer in favor of this fact alone, not to mention the 440c that BM uses is great itself.

The BM 556 plain has replaced all my others as my main edc over the past year and I like the fact that Im NOT spending anymore money trying to find a better edc, as far as I'm concerned this is THE $50-$60 knife to beat and until something else comes along that has proven itself like this model has, it will remain my edc. Until then I'll be able to keep saving my money!! wahoo. For now, my attention is onto smaller(@ 2" bladed knives) from Spyderco....mmmmmmm I like that Mouse and those Navigators!!! With Spyderco covering my 2" knives, and the mini-grip covering my medium knife needs, I think I'll be able to finally put my ultimate edc search on hold for a while and bank some money again .:D
I agree with Sticky (and just about everybody else!). I have a BM 556S as my EDC and it is FANTASTIC. It has, without a doubt, the best opening and closing feel that I have ever felt in a knive. It is NOT too thick. My Spydie Navigator and Delica have been sitting in the drawer since I got the mini-Griptilian.
It is probably too small for SD but anything large may be a concealled carry problem.
DarkHelmet, I'm actually a dedicated
( or is that "committed"?) Spydie collector, but, I do occasionally "step out of the "norm"", and in this case bought the BM 556 "mini"
Griptillian PE ( no combo edge was to be had at the local Sports Authority here in Ft. Laudy ; unless I went for the "larger" 551 ); It "fills the hand" & is not "bulky" by ANY means. "Scary sharp"( although I've not seen a BM where this has NOT been so!;)) & as for the "bronze washers" I haven't paid them much mind. This knife's a WINNER! I "rotate" it occasionally with my other EDC's. But, as the SE Spydie
Cricket won my heart, it'll sadly end up "drawer music" sooner or later. But it'll get less use, and may one day end up a "collector"!

AET ;)

DarkHelmet to Col. Saunders : "Boy,I'll bet she gives GREAT HELMET!;)