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Gold Class Griptilian - Review

With a black coated CPM-M4 tool steel blade and carbon fiber-textured handles, the popular Griptilian has now become a collectible item. So as you can imagine we could hardly wait to get our hands on it. The following are the specs of the Griptilian Gold Class:

AXIS® locking mechanism
Modified drop-point blade style with ambidextrous thumb-stud opener
CPM-M4 tool steel with black coating (60-62HRC)
Carbon fiber-textured handle with black G10 back spacer and reversible black nickel carry clip
Blade Length: 3.45"
Blade Thickness: 0.115"
Handle Thickness: 0.640"
Blade Material: CPM-M4 Premium Steel
Blade Hardness: 60-62HRC
Weight: 3.25oz.

The Gold Class Benchmade Griptilian - is truly a work of art - it is everything we love about the Griptilian and more. The CPM-M4 steel on the Griptilian Gold Class makes the already amazing 154cm steel on the Blue class look like garbage.

If you have the money - The Gold Class Griptilian is probably the best knife you will ever own.

(The links on this post link to Blade HQ - probably the best place to buy a Gold Class Griptilian)

Griptilian 551S Vs. Griptilian 551

When it comes to picking what Benchmade Griptilian you want to buy - you have to ask yourself a tough question (not do I want a Griptilian, that is obvious - of course you do).

The question is if you should buy a Benchmade Griptilian with a plain edge or one that has a partly serrated edge. Both come razor sharp, both will cut through just about anything with ease - But how do you choose one over the other?

Now, with the Benchmade Mini Griptilian we, while a great knife no matter what kind of edge you choose, often suggest getting the one with the plain edge becuase since the blade is smaller than that of the regular sized Griptilian you don't get enough serrated section to use it as intended.

With the regular size Griptilian the deciding factor in our arguments around the office about what kind of edge to get for your EDC blade depends on how much you are in, or around, cars.

It may sound silly but a serrated edge can cut through a seatbelt like butter - while the plain edge would give you a more difficult time (The sharpness of the Benchmade Griptilian would cut through that belt plain or serrated). This is absolutely not the end-all-be-all advice - but it is something to think about.

Griptilian 551 - Our Favorite Griptilian

If you have never checked out a Benchmade Griptilian you really need to. I would say that Benchmade makes the best knives on the market. There are four production classifications that Benchmade has for their knives. Red Class, Black Class, Blue Class, and Gold Class. This is what Benchmade has to say about their different classes.

From the Benchmade Site: Gold Class - Our Gold Class clearly sets the new standard of what is possible in premium knife manufacturing. It’s quite simply the best of the best.

Blue Class - Our Blue Class represents the heart of everything that is Benchmade. These USA made products are designed and built for the individual who appreciates the difference that a high-quality cutting tool can make.

Black Class - Our Black Class products are designed, developed and tested for extreme duty. They are the preferred cutting tools for Law Enforcement, Public Safety and Elite Military Troops around the globe.

Red Class - Our Red Class offers “best in class” value. These edged tools possess the same Benchmade mindset of leading innovation, modern materials and quality manufacturing. Although the Red Class Series are discontinued for 2010, there may still be in-stock items here at the factory as well as at your local dealer.

The Griptilian 551 is a Blue Class knife and comes in a nice blue box. A couple of things I love about Benchmade is their Lifetime Warranty (defects and workmanship) as well as their “LifeSharp” service which allows you to send the knife back to the factory for a resharpening to “factory edge” for only $5 to cover shipping! Speaking of sharp, Benchmade ships their knives with a razor edge, heed the warning on the box “Handle With Care – Benchmade knives are packaged extremely sharp.” I of course didn't think that my Griptilian would be as sharp as it was and it didn't take very long before I cut my finger from closing the blade too fast without thinking where my finger was.

I loved my Benchmade Griptilian just about as soon as I opened it. The grip is great and it just feels right I have a larger hand and longer fingers but this knife doesn’t get “lost” in my hands like some. The handle is a grip textured “Valox” material which is a high strength polymer I think. Some people think it feels cheap because it is so light but I have used this as a hammer (I don't recomend doing that though) and it stood up to the job like a champ.

The blade is 154CM Stainless Steel, Benchmade describes this steel as “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.” Its hardness is 58-60HRC. I have noticed a lot of people market this knife as "Stainless steel" and that just doesn't do it justice. This 154cm steel keeps an edge like you wouldn't believe - the only time I had to send it back for sharpening is when I was cutting a peice of plastic and didn't know there was a large wire inside - but it still cut through. I could have just sharpened it myself but for $5 for them to professonally do it why not!

The Griptilian 551 uses the patented Mel Pardue locking system. This was the main reason I bought it. This is probably the best and most reliable locking systems you can get on a folder. What does that mean? Well, it means that chopping stuff is a little more safe with this (again, I wouldn't recomend using your folding Griptilian as an axe, but you can. I have been may knives in my day that were a bit more cheaply made and with just a little too much force and they would close on your hand. And this is great if you don't want to lose I finger, I sure know I don't.

The whole knife is held together with regular star screws. This makes it really easy to adjust the knife’s tension or switch the side of the pocket clip (and that's great for me being left handed, the clip comes on the side for the right pocket). You can also just take the clip completely off if you don't like pocket clips.

All in all this knife is tough, sharp, and comfortable. Benchmade Griptilian Locking System has functioned amazingly so far. It only takes a little bit of oil every now and then to keep it sliding very easy.

Benchmade Mini Griptilian

I recently went out and bought a Mini Griptilian and am just so happy I did. Everything that I love about the regular size Benchmade Griptilian is the same on the mini griptilian except it fits in the pocket a little bit more comfortable (if you wear jeans right out of the dryer). I was worried that the size of the Mini Griptilian would be a problem with my hand size, but it isn't.

If you are looking for a small knife that will stand up to any challenge you need a knife for - the mini griptilian will not let you down. The only thing I wish about the Benchmade Mini Griptilian is that I bought one a little bit sooner.

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