The Benchmade Pink Mini Griptilian Folder Knife
With a rich history dating back over 30 years, Benchmade is the product of many dedicated employees, a never-quit demand for excellence and the de Asis family’s vision and total commitment to culture, service and innovation.
The Benchmade adventure began when Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives, known as Bali-Songs, he played with as a kid. Using his high-school shop skills, he blueprinted his dream knife before eventually meeting Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali-Song® prototype. Paired with handles that Les sourced from a small machine shop in California, he assembled and finished his first Bali-Song® in his own garage. Proud of his creation, he took this first Bali-Song® into a local gun store and the owner asked, “Could you build 100 more?” This was in 1979.
The next year, Les incorporated as Bali-Song®, Inc. and rented a small shop in a second story mezzanine in California. The original equipment was purchased from the owner of a manufacturing operation who was looking to retire. Utilizing the rudimentary technology available to him at the time, Les began building handmade custom Bali-Songs, along with Jody Sampson, who ground all the blades. The success of these custom Balis spurred the creation of the first production Bali-Song®: The model 68.
Over the next seven years, the company expanded its product offerings into fixed blades and conventional folding knives, and evolving its name from Bali-song®, Inc. to Pacific Cutlery Corp.
In 1987 due to its inability to control quality, price and delivery, Pacific Cutlery Corp. filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved. In 1988, Les reintroduced a new company and new version of the Model 68; This time with a drive to produce product in the US and an even stronger commitment to product availability, quality and customer relationships. The company now needed a new name.
While there was “handmade” and “factory-made,” it was “Benchmade” that described the quality of Les’ product. He was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s position in the market- even to this day.
To this day Benchmade continues to focus on innovation, customer needs, responsible business ethics and operations to bring the highest quality products to the world’s elite.
Today, we will be going over one of Benchmade’s Mini Griptilian knives, this one in pink.
The blade has been made out of CPM-S30V steel. This steel was designed and manufactured by Crucible, which is an American company. They designed this steel specifically with knives in mind, so you know that you are going to get all of the best qualities from it.
When Crucible is talking about this steel, they say, “CPM S30V steel is a martensitic stainless steel designed to offer the best combination of toughness, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance. Its chemistry has been specially balanced to promote the formation of vanadium carbides which are harder and more effective than chromium carbides in providing wear resistance. CPM S30V offers substantial improvement in toughness over the other high hardness steels such as 440C and D2, and its corrosion resistance is equal to or better than 440C in various environments. The CPM process produces very homogenous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grind ability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional processes.”
This steel is thought to have the perfect combination of hardness, toughness, and edge retention. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that it is not easily worked with, meaning sharpening a knife with this steel might prove to be tricky. This is not going to be a pain though, but if you are a beginner sharpener, this might not be the most ideal steel to start with. When S30V steel first was released, it was very expensive because it offered qualities that were near impossible to find elsewhere. However, now there are super steels on the market and S30V has an older brother that has been designed with the same qualities, except easier to sharpen. While this steel is still going to cost a decent amount, it won’t take an arm and a leg like it used to.
The blade has been finished with a satin finish. This finish is one of the most popular finishes in the cutlery industry today and for good reason. Satin will give you a classic look while enhancing the fine liens of the steel and showing off the bevels of the blade. This finish is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing degree of a fine abrasive. The fine abrasive that is most commonly used is a sandpaper. As a key, the finer the abrasive and the more even the lines, the cleaner the finish is going to look. Because this is a Benchmade knife, you can expect to have a very clean satin finish on the blade. This finish also cuts down on glares, reflections, and even a little bit of corrosion. However, this finish does take time and labor, so it can increase the overall cost of the knife.
The blade has been carved into a drop point style blade. This is a blade style that is going to stand up to almost anything while also being able to accomplish most tasks because of the versatility. This blade is one of the most used blade shapes on the market, and you can tell why. The spine of the knife is going to run straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow, curved manner, which gives the blade a lowered point. Because the knife has a lowered point, you are going to have more control over the tip which means that you can perform fine detail work. Plus, the tip on a drop point knife is pretty broad, which is where the style gets all of its strength from.
The Mini Griptilian has been designed as an everyday knife as well as an outdoors knife, so the strength from the tip is going to be ideal when you are using it as an outdoors knife. Drop points also feature very large bellies, that make slicing especially easy. This belly is going to come in handy when you use this knife as an everyday carry knife. The most common task movement with this knife you are going to find yourself doing is slicing. The bigger the belly, the easier the slice.
Drop point knives do have one major disadvantage which is how broad the tip is. This is weird, because earlier we listed it as a major advantage. Well, it’s both. It’s an advantage because you are going to get the strength that you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else. It is a disadvantage because it does take away a lot of your piercing capabilities.
The handle on this is made out of pink Grivory. Grivory is an amorphous nylon copolymer with exceptional dimensional stability. With a Benchmade Grivory, it has 50% or more glass fill. Grivory has been known as the proven material for metal replacement. Some of the benefits of Grivory is that it has high levels of stiffness and strength, resists absorbing moisture, and has good chemical resistance. All of these characteristics make the material durable, strong, and has a long lifetime.
The handle is a standard shaped, with jimping on the spine near the blade as well a near the butt. On the belly of the handle, there is jimping in the finger groove as well as near the butt. On the face of the handle, there is a rectangular portion that has been roughly texturized so that you can have a solid grip on this knife. There is a lanyard hole.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip is not a deep carry clip, which is a drawback. The clip can also only be attached for tip up carry. However, it is reversible for either left or right-handed carry, which helps to make this knife fully ambidextrous.
The knife is a manual opening knife, which means that there is no mechanism to help open it. In terms of legality, this is a major bonus, because you don’t have to worry about any of the strict knife laws that surround automatic knives and some spring assisted knives. However, in terms of efficiency, it does prove a little bit harder to open quickly and efficiently. His shouldn’t be too big of a drawback, but it might deter some people. One of the other benefits of a manual opening knife is that you don’t have to worry about it accidentally deploying. The manual opening knife is much more traditional. While maintenance is not necessarily easy, it is going to be easier than with an automatic knife because you don’t have to worry about a spring wearing out or snapping.
To help you open the knife, the Mini Griptilian has been equipped with a thumb stud. This is a very common opening feature that you are going to see on pocketknives. The thumb stud also allows for easy, one handed opening. The thumb stud is easy to get the hang of and essentially replaces the nail nick that is found on many traditional pocketknives. That being said, there are its drawbacks. The thumb stud is a small barrel that extends off of the blade. Some people feel like this gets in the way, because even once the knife is opened, the small barrel is coming out of the blade. Another disadvantage is that when you are opening this knife, it does put your fingers directly in the path of the blade. There have been plenty of reports of someone trying to open their knife with a thumb stud and slicing their fingers on accident. This should not scare you; you should just be aware that you do need to be cautious when using this feature.
The blade has also been equipped with Benchmade’s AXIS locking mechanism. 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 that 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.
The blade on this knife measures in at 2.91 inches long with a handle that measures in at 3.87 inches long. This means that when the blade has been deployed, the overall length of the knife is going to measure in at 6.78 inches long. This is a smaller knife, weighing in at a mere 2.81 ounces. This Benchmade was proudly made in the United States of America.
The end of 2018 has ushered in a new wave of Griptilian models--retiring the hollow grind and outfitting select models with CPM-S30V blade steel over traditional 154CM stainless steel. The Griptilian family, designed by Mel Pardue, has etched itself into history as one of Benchmade's top selling and top performing models. Offered in both a full and mini size, this folder knife has earned high marks for all around functionality and value. Thanks to the AXIS™ locking mechanism, you can feel confident that this knife will operate smoothly and have a solid lock up. This smaller model comes with a pink semi-textured glass filled nylon polymer (Grivory™) handle, stainless steel liners, a drop point style blade in a satin finish and the reversible pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for a left- or right-hand carry option.
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