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OWNER REVIEW - Benchmade Mini Griptilian Knife

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  • Catherine Kerry
    Benchmade 556-Mini Griptilian Folding Knife Personal biographical information Name: Catherine Kerry Age: 41 Female Height: 5 5 (165 cm) Weight: 140 lbs (64
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 3, 2005
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      Benchmade 556-Mini Griptilian Folding Knife

      Personal biographical information

      Name: Catherine Kerry
      Age: 41
      Female
      Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
      Weight: 140 lbs (64 kg)
      Torso: 17.5" (44.45 cm)
      Chest: 35" (89 cm)
      Waist: 29" (74 cm)
      Inseam: 31" (79 cm)
      Email: a4naught (at) linkline dot com
      Orange County, CA, USA
      Date: October 3, 2005

      Backpacking background: Grew up day hiking. Sporadic handful of
      backpacking trips for the last 15 years, day hiking mostly, with car
      camping about two weeks a year. I recently decided I�d have to go solo
      to do any more backpacking. Went on my first three solo overnighters
      last year. Looking to get out more and longer in the area: Angeles NF,
      San Bernardino NF, primarily. Mild to crossover weather. Don�t like to
      suffer much or hurry but have tender, hard-to-fit, thin feet. All bugs
      love me and drive me insane, so I must tent. Last pack was 23 pounds
      without food or water. Usually must pack water, so trying to go lighter
      for my feet�s sake.

      Product information

      Manufacturer: Benchmade
      Year of manufacture: 2004?
      URL: http://www.benchmade.com
      Listed weight: 2.56 oz (73 g)
      Weight as delivered: 2.5 oz (71 g)


      Field information

      This little knife has gone with me on trail runs, day hikes, several
      car camps and a couple of overnight backpacking solo trips. I�ve used
      it to cut cordage, bagels and packaging, modify webbing, spread peanut
      butter and threaten invisible menaces (for practice). It has
      accompanied me from the beach to rock climbing to 9,000' in the local
      mountains, everything from flat and rolling to rocky sierras. The
      weather has been mostly mild and sunny with only a single instance of
      drizzle when it was used to hastily cut nylon rope for a tarp. It
      ceased raining immediately upon completion, of course.

      A friend told me that Benchmade was a maker of high quality knives. I
      was looking for an all-around folding blade that I could use
      backpacking, hiking and maybe even climbing that would be light and
      sturdy, fit my hand well, tie or clip to my body or pack and also, in a
      pinch, be used to ward off any stray mountain lions or, more likely,
      stray Lions Club members. I researched several brands and makes of
      knife looking for such a blade. The Mini-Griptilian was one of the very
      few made in the U.S. When I am able to pay more for a quality, durable
      item, and I can find it (big caveat), I prefer to go with a U.S.
      manufacturer, on principle. This little knife fit the bill. And it came
      in cool, easy to spot colors. I decided on the bright purple, modified
      drop point, plain edge version, which, unfortunately can no longer be
      had from the manufacturer, but might still be available from a
      distributor. It still comes in a fairly wide variety of other colors,
      and edges, however.

      This is indeed a sharp (in every sense), quality knife. The overall
      knife presents a slim, sturdy and flawlessly assembled and fitted
      appearance. All of the tiny torx screws holding it together are counter
      sunk into the handle for a more streamline feel and appearance. The
      Zytel handle feels sturdy and is checkered on the center section of the
      body. It provides an excellent grip without being bulky or too
      diminutive. The knife design is entirely ambidextrous, with the
      removable clip (for wearing on a belt or waistband, for example) usable
      on either side, and thumb studs (for one-handed opening and closing) on
      both sides of the blade. The company�s Axis locking mechanism is not
      only incredibly smooth but definitive in its action and inspires
      confidence when opening, closing and using the knife. No bending ones
      thumb nail trying to pry open the blade! In addition, when in the open
      position, there are rounded metal teeth built into the blade end of the
      handle assembly that provide an extra non-slip grip for thumb and fore
      finger, a very functional touch.

      One of the qualms I often have with easy opening folders is the fear
      that they may be so easy to open when worn on a lanyard that they may
      accidentally open if hooked on something in passing. While this might
      be a possibility in an extreme case, I have never had it happen when it
      has been hooked to the outside of my pack or belt (nor when it has been
      inside a pocket, for that matter) and have had no indication that this
      would happen, as the mechanism exerts a nicely positive force when in
      the closed position. There is a small hole in the handle�s end for use
      with a lanyard. And, if you really want to get at any stray dust, gunk
      or pieces of old cheese left over from the trail, the entire knife can
      be taken apart with a couple tiny torx head wrenches. (As an aside, the
      company also makes a convenient little tool with all the required torx
      head sizes needed to take apart their knives, if you don�t already have
      the tools at hand.)

      The version I purchased has a satin finish blade. All Benchmade knives
      come factory sharpened, which is to say �very�. In fact, all Benchmade
      knives also come with a lifetime warranty and, if you are not good at
      sharpening your own or you have neglected the edge for a while, you can
      send the knife back to Benchmade along with $5 and they will re-sharpen
      it to it�s original factory-sharp edge (plain edges only, not serrated
      portions), inspect it for any warranted defects and �tune� it up for
      optimal performance. Having had at least one knife ruined by a crummy
      local knife shop sharpening (or rather, dulling), this will be well
      worth it in the future.

      Some basic specifications from the manufacturer:

      Length: 2.91" (74 mm)
      Blade Thickness: 0.100" (2.54 mm)
      Blade Material: 440C
      Blade Hardness: 58-60HRC
      Blade Style: Modified Drop-Point
      Lock Mechanism: AXIS�
      Overall Length: 6.78" (172 mm)
      Closed Length: 3.87" (98 mm)

      For comparison to the following dimensions of the knife, my palm
      circumference is 7.25" (184 mm) as measured from the crux of my thumb
      across. The Mini-Griptilian fits perfectly in my palm and I don�t have
      to modify my grip in the sort of delicate fashion that one must with
      things like the micro-sized mini tools and �gram weenie�-sized devices.

      I suppose that my only critiques of the knife would be that the
      removable clip that attaches with three miniscule torx head screws are
      not countersunk, making a sort of clumpy bit towards the end of an
      otherwise svelte handle. Of course, I screwed them back into the handle
      after removing the belt clip so that they would not become �crud
      catchers� and I wouldn�t lose the lilliputian screws in case I wanted
      to ever put the clip back on. But, as I don�t like clips on my knives,
      I would have preferred that it come without. However, it was removable,
      and it makes it more versatile for those who do like clips. Lots of
      guys seem to like to clip them to the insides of their pockets, so this
      is probably a recommending feature for many. Personally, I could do
      without the clip and the little holes that come with them, as I know
      that if something is not firmly attached (as in tied or carabinered) to
      my person, it will fall off/out/away and I will lose it somewhere where
      there is no lost and found to call (I don�t imagine many would actually
      return such a find, it is such a beautiful, well-made little knife).

      The other part of replacing the little screws back into the handle
      thing is that I just noticed for the first time is that without the
      extra width of the clip,. the one torx head screw comes within a
      "squintillionth" of the actual tip of the blade. But the tolerance for
      the action is so tight that it just misses the actual cutting edge.
      This is indeed a picayune criticism, however, I must say.

      In summary, I would highly recommend a Benchmade Mini-Griptilian to
      anyone who wanted a versatile, quality blade. In fact, based solely on
      my experience with this single knife, I�d recommend any Benchmade
      blade, this knife so exceeded even my high expectations at every level.
      It is a functional work of art and a pleasure to own and use.

      What I liked:

      1. Quality workmanship and materials
      2. Compact and lightweight
      3. Precision action
      4. Cool color!
      5. Made in U.S.A.

      What I did not like:

      1. Tiny holes left when clip removed
      2. Clip screws not flush with handle body

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • chcoa
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 3, 2005
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner
        Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. Do
        not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our
        Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an
        official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response
        from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this
        timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben@....

        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask
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      • Christine
        Hi Catherine, Welcome to BGT! Thanks for the great report. I have a couple of edits for you. After you ve incorporated them, please post the revised version
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 8, 2005
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          Hi Catherine,

          Welcome to BGT! Thanks for the great report. I have a couple of
          edits for you. After you've incorporated them, please post the
          revised version back here with the word REPOST in the subject line.
          If you have the HTML ready, you can post that version in the
          Test>Owner Review folder on the bgt.org website for me to look at as
          well.

          You've got the vast majority of the BGT rules down, congratulations!
          I have a couple of general edits for you that will apply to any
          report.

          1. Whenever you list a measurement, be sure to include the metric
          equivalant.
          2. Never use the word "you". Always change it to "I".

          You've got good description of how your knife looks, and I'd like you
          to include a little more description of its use in the field.
          Details are below.

          Thanks again,
          Christine Korhonen
          BGT OR editor
          _________________________

          Benchmade 556-Mini Griptilian Folding Knife
          EDIT: It's a new rule to have the date under the title

          Personal biographical information
          Torso: 17.5" (44.45 cm)
          Chest: 35" (89 cm)
          Waist: 29" (74 cm)
          Inseam: 31" (79 cm)
          EDIT: Only height and weight are required. Other measurements are
          added as it applies to the item, i.e. for a shoe report, include your
          shoe size. These measurements don't add info for the knife.

          Backpacking background: …Angeles NF,
          EDIT: Spell out NF the first time and put the abbreviation in
          parentheses after: National Forest (NF)

          Last pack was 23 pounds
          EDIT: since you used an abbreviation above, abbreviate lbs here.
          Add metric conversion: 23 lbs (x kg)

          Product information
          Year of manufacture: 2004?
          EDIT: Since you don't know the year of manufacturer, put year
          purchased.

          Field information
          It has accompanied me from the beach to rock climbing to 9,000'
          EDIT: add metric

          No bending ones thumb nail
          EDIT: one's

          EDIT: Please add a description of the "modified drop point"

          One of the qualms I often have with easy opening folders is the fear
          that they may be so easy to open when worn on a lanyard that they may
          accidentally open if hooked on something in passing. While this might
          be a possibility in an extreme case, I have never had it happen when
          it has been hooked to the outside of my pack or belt (nor when it has
          been inside a pocket, for that matter) and have had no indication
          that this would happen, as the mechanism exerts a nicely positive
          force when in the closed position. There is a small hole in the
          handle's end for use with a lanyard.
          EDIT: The first sentence doesn't relate with the rest of the
          paragraph since you've never worn the knife on a lanyard. Maybe
          remove "when worn on a lanyard" in the first sentence.

          And, if you really want to get at any stray dust, gunk or pieces of
          old cheese left over from the trail, the entire knife can be taken
          apart with a couple tiny torx head wrenches. (As an aside, the
          company also makes a convenient little tool with all the required
          torx head sizes needed to take apart their knives, if you don't
          already have the tools at hand.)
          EDIT: Avoid the word "you" Change to "I". In next paragraph as
          well.
          Question: Have you ever taken apart the knife?

          Some basic specifications from the manufacturer:

          Length: 2.91" (74 mm)
          Blade Thickness: 0.100" (2.54 mm)
          Blade Material: 440C
          Blade Hardness: 58-60HRC
          Blade Style: Modified Drop-Point
          Lock Mechanism: AXIS™
          Overall Length: 6.78" (172 mm)
          Closed Length: 3.87" (98 mm)

          EDIT: move this info up under Product Information

          For comparison to the following dimensions of the knife, my palm
          circumference is 7.25" (184 mm) as measured from the crux of my thumb
          across. The Mini-Griptilian fits perfectly in my palm and I don't have
          to modify my grip in the sort of delicate fashion that one must with
          things like the micro-sized mini tools and "gram weenie"-sized
          devices.
          EDIT: I'm not sure what a gram weenie-size device is. Maybe end the
          paragraph after "mini tools".

          I suppose that my only critiques of the knife would be that the
          removable clip that attaches with three miniscule torx head screws are
          not countersunk, making a sort of clumpy bit towards the end of an
          otherwise svelte handle.
          EDIT: Is the critique that the clip is not countersunk or the screws
          are not countersunk? Verb agreement either way. "the removable clip…
          is not" or "the…screws for the removable clip…are not"
          EDIT: Change "clumpy bit". Suggestions: marring the smoothness,
          leaving raised edges

          Of course, I screwed them back into the handle
          QUESTION: can you leave the screws off to have a smooth handle?

          Lots of guys seem to like to clip them to the insides of their
          pockets, so this is probably a recommending feature for many.
          EDIT: This is a report of your preferences, so avoid talking about
          other people's preferences. Remove this sentence.

          The other part of replacing the little screws back into the handle
          thing is that I just noticed for the first time is that without the
          extra width of the clip,. the one torx head screw comes within a
          "squintillionth" of the actual tip of the blade. But the tolerance for
          the action is so tight that it just misses the actual cutting edge.
          This is indeed a picayune criticism, however, I must say.
          EDIT:
          1. Remove "thing is that I just noticed for the first time"
          2. no period after clip
          3. use another description instead of `within a "squintillionth"'
          4. I don't understand how the screw is near the blade. Isn't the
          screw on the outside of the handle? Please explain.

          EDIT: Please add a section on using the knife. Is the knife long
          enough to cut what you want? Long enough to cut the bagel? You've
          mentioned that the knife is sharp. Have you noticed it dulling?
          Easy to open and close with one hand? How did it work spreading
          peanut butter?
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