Pros: Lock Type, Blade Material, Lock Ease of Use, Handle Material, Overall Quality, Handle Feel, Ease of Opening, Blade Sharpness
Wonderful Knife, Great Steel, Sharpening Isn't Easy, Buy It
I'll start this off by saying that I absolutely love this knife. I have it as a part of my EDC and it has served me well so far. The G10 handle feels great. It is my first non-metal or non-wood handle, so I was a little uncertain about it when purchasing, but it turned out to be really nice. This was also my first Benchmade knife. I had never been able to justify the price on the knife, but I decided I would try one out anyway. It was worth every penny. Fit and finish is excellent and no blade play to speak of (really none at all, but if you push on it pretty hard with your hand you'll get the smallest bit of movement at the tip). The one thing that wasn't good about the fit and finish is that the blade came a little bit unevenly sharpened. Both sides of the blade (left and right) were sharpened at the same angle, but one side was left on the grinder for a slightly longer period of time than the other. Not immediately noticeable, but noticeable nonetheless, and only at the tip. Also, the blade edge came with some of the marks from grinding still on it (when I say this, I am talking about some marks that, after closer inspection and zooming in, you can see when you look at the picture online, though they look worse online than in real life). At first, I was a little unhappy about that. I had paid good money for this knife, and I'd be darned if I was going to have it come from the factory with an edge that looked unfinished. Also, the knife wasn't perfectly razor sharp. It did all of the standard cut tests (paper and shaving), but not quite as well as I like. I now understand why. I decided that I would put the perfect edge on it and remove those pesky lines that made it look unfinished. After a little bit of sharpening with an Arkansas translucent, there was no change in sharpness, and no change in the marks. I took a medium Arkansas stone and went to work on it with that. A couple hours later, the blade was marginally sharper and I could still see the lines left from the grinding wheel. I called it quits after that, deciding that the steel was too hard to sharpen with stones (or maybe I just can’t keep a consistent angle as well as I thought). A bench sander would be easier, but would still take a while. Now, months later, and after enough use that I would usually have had to sharpen most blades at least a few times, the blade is almost as sharp as it was then. I haven't been really tough on it, though I have done a good amount of cutting on some cardboard, but I've cut enough to realize that this is some really hard, wear resistant steel. To quote a review that I read about the steel elsewhere but didn't quite believe at the time, "it takes the patience of a saint to sharpen". At least, with an Arkansas stone it does. With a grinder, it would be a little easier. With Benchmade’s LifeSharp service, it would be even easier. Whatever few complaints I may have, this is a really great knife. If I got another Griptilian though, I think it might be with a slightly more sharpenable steel. Or I’ll just make use of the LifeSharp service. Only time will tell. Final thoughts? Benchmade definitely has a customer for life. Also, I would definitely recommend this knife to anyone looking for a solid, dependable EDC knife that they don’t want to have to sharpen very frequently (though if you’re doing work were you’ll have to be using the knife really hard, like cutting cardboard all day every day, maybe look for something easier to sharpen, or use a diamond stone). You won't be disappointed if you buy this knife.