Benchmade 551 Griptilian

Priced: $70.13 - $99.00 Rated:   - 5 stars out of 5 by 39 reviews.
Benchmade 551 Griptilian
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Color: Orange / Plain Edge-Silver
Available Colors: $70.13
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Regularly: $114.95 $97.71
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Regularly: $114.95
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Regularly: $114.95
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Benchmade 551 Griptilian -
The Benchmade Griptilian Modified Drop-Point Knife combines the unmatched function of the AXIS locking mechanism with the simplicity of a molded handle design—it's a new species of knife. Safe, reliable, smooth, and affordable, the Griptilian is available in plain and combo edge versions, as well as with a BT2 blade coating. Unleash the Griptilian's performance with a simple thumb rotation. The hand settles naturally over the palm-swelled shape and its textured skin.


  • Molded nylon handle is lightweight and easy to grip; features lanyard hole for an alternate carry option (lanyard not included)


  • Reversible pocket clip makes storage and transport easy—just clip it on your pocket or belt and go!


  • Benchmade's Free Knife sharpening for life - $5 for postage
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Ambidextrous blade is easily opened with a simple push of the thumb-stud openers
  • AXIS locking mechanism with dual thumb-stud opener
  • Strong, spring-loaded AXIS locking mechanism adjusts smoothly for ease of operation
  • Stainless-steel blade is strong and sharp enough to slice through food, wire and ropes with ease

The 551Griptilian from Benchmade features their innovative AXIS locking mechanism with a dual thumb-stud opener and reversible steel pocket clip. This knife is not only safe, it durable and reliable.


A cinch to use, the lightweight Benchmade 551Griptilian knife features a tough stainless-steel blade, molded handle and smooth AXIS™ locking mechanism.

Please Note: This product is not able to be shipped to addresses in New York.

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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Blade Length:3.45 in / 8.7 cm
Blade Material:154CM Stainless Steel
Blade Style:Drop Point
Closed Length:4.62 in / 11.7 cm
Handle Material:Valox with stainless steel liner
Knife blade type:Straight edge
Locking Mechanism:Axis Lock
Locking blade:Yes
Max blade length (in.):3.45 inches
Number of blades:1
One-handed opening:Yes
Opening Style:Thumb Stub
Overall Length:8.07 in / 20.4 cm
Pocket Clip:Yes
Weight:3.82 oz / 108 g
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Benchmade 551 Griptilian Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

One of the best around

I have owned my Griptilian for almost a year now (sadly REI doesnt carry the other colors, light blue, yellow, pink and orange) its travels in my right pant pocket everyday.

This is one of the best every day carry knives you can buy I believe.

The deployment is smooth and extremely fast, and once you hear the distinct click you know its ready for business.

The AXIS lock is my favorite locking mechanism of all time. Very easy to manipulate. And there is no way it will close on you unless you push the Axis lock back.

Blade shape is wonderful, it covers many many tasks. Has a nice belly for cutting. It could cut smoother if the blade width was slimmer, but that would also make it weaker, so the choice is up to you.

Tip up carry is what I prefer, it makes for quicker and natural deployment, and I would not worry about the blade opening up in your pocket, it closes itself until you pass it to a certain point.

Complete disassembly is nothing to hard, I would not recommend it though for most users. The hardest part is lining up the blade and washers (slim disks that help for smoother blade deployment)

Also a note- the black coating on the pocket clip does not last long at all, I dont mind it though, personally I like the worn look. But its worth pointing out, the black will come off and under it is silver.

I have had no rusting in the internal metal pieces, and just slightly a little on the blade, but just keep it dry and even slightly oiled (use vegetable oil if you will be preparing food) and it will be fine. And if you are really worried about rusting and still want this model of knife, you are in luck (well mostly, REI doesnt carry it) Benchmade makes a X15 T.N stainless steel blade model, its a corrosion resistant material designed for water use. It is a little more expensive, but nothing crazy.

The black draw cord pouch that comes with it is a very nice touch!

Ok I better end this,
I love this knife.
Its extremely well made (what else do you expect from Benchmade?)
Blade material is above average.
Handle material is nice, with good grip (well the jimping could be more aggressive on blade spine, I am talking about the indents on the spine of the blade, it allows for better grip and control)
The weight (3.25oz) is not bad
the width is a little bulky, but it does allow for a nice hand filling grip at the cost of slimness. I love it.
Its a great size for harder work.

Ok I said I was going to end this review!

Its a wonderful knife, and it has served me without fail for nearly a year and still going strong.

One of the best.
Kevin Hillstrom at REI on 11/11/2010

My first higher quality knife

I have owned other folding knives in the past, in the $20 to $40 range. While some of these knives have been adequate they did not always feel high quality, did not come sharp out of the box, and once I did get them sharp they did not tend to keep that sharpness. Well, a dull knife is a dangerous knife as they say, so I thought that I would give a Benchmade a try.

First off, this knife came out of the box razor sharp. It is also a very sturdy build, it felt like quality the instant I picked it up. The handle is a composite plastic type of handle but it does have a stainless steel liner, so despite the lightness it is very sturdy.

I have not needed to sharpen this knife yet, but I have no doubt that sharpening will not be a problem. The blade is made of a steel grade called 154CM, which is a good steel for "edge retention and sharpening", which is a fancy way of saying it will take a sharpening and hold it's sharpness well.

Originally I chose the 551S, which has the partially serrated blade, but ended up exchanging it for this no-serrations version, simply for the fact that the blade was so sharp I was not sure that I needed the serrations, plus a plain edge is easier to sharpen.

One other note to potential buyers is that Benchmade offers their own "Lifesharp" service which will for $5 give the blade a factory sharpening. They also have a lifetime warranty on the knife, assuming you don't try to take it apart or modify it.

Overall I would recommend this blade to anyone looking for a good folder for hiking or camping. It may cost a little more but it's worth it.
thepaals at REI on 01/01/2013

I'm VERY picky when it comes to shopping for a knife. I ended up buying 8 different knives to test them all out and find out which one I want. The Griptilian and Griptilian Mini knives were in my top favorites for ease of use. They both were SUPER easy to open and close with a wrist flick, but I noticed that if you open them to hard the AXIS lock will stick and will make it hard to close. When you flick it closed the blade will bounce and most of the time won't close all the way after it bounces. That was the deal breaker for me on not choosing the Griptilian knife. I did like the Griptilian Mini slightly more than the Griptilian just because of the size of the knife for everyday use.
- Well made.
- AXIS Lock is awesome.
- Fun and quick to open and close.
- Great size.
- Black clip.
- AXIS lock sticks if you open blade to hard.
- Blade bounces and won't close all the way if you flick it closed to hard.
- Doesn't feel as quality/solid as the SOG Spec Elite 1 knife.
- Handle feels a little cheap and plasticy, not to much, but just a little...
I would recommend this knife to anyone who is looking for a non assisted opening knife who loves to and wants to easily and quickly open and close the knife one handed and with extremely minimal effort.
In the end I kept the SOG Spec Elite 1 knife since it had everything I liked about this knife but without the Cons.

Jeff Guest at on 02/19/2013

Benchmade's flagship

So wow, where do I start? this is one of Benchmade's best sellers for good reasons. The blade steel, handles and locking mechanism are excellent. I have owned one for a long time now and being a huge gear nerd... well lets just start this:

The blade - it's Benchmade's most commonly used blade steel 154CM. It has good edge retention, can become very sharp and has good corrosion resistance (i went swimming with this knife many times) The blade has a good shape for every cutting task you will need from a EDC knife (every day carry) The thumb studs work great also.

The handles - this is not a thin knife and because it's not it fits very very comfortable in your hand. They come in a lot of other colors also. The black clip on them will start to wear because its painted on so don't expect your clip to look like how you first got it, but it is a good clip it retains the knife in your pocket without worry.

Locking masochism - the Axis lock, wow do i love it. It is my preferred lock over all else. I absolutely love it. Its quick, its extremely sturdy and equally smooth.

Over all this knife rocks. I love it. Sadly I lost mine on the Appalachian Trail, but hopefully some lucky through hiker will make good use of it. I plan on buying another one.

Benchmade makes some wonderful knifes and I would recommend checking them out
Kevin Hillstrom at REI on 10/10/2011

Amazing knife!

I currently own 4 other knives/tools for multi-day/weeklong backpacking trips. I have 3 Gerber blades (Paraframe, LMFII ASEK, and the Obsidian) and a Leatherman Skeletool CX. I'm definitely not a knife expert, but I know what I need and what I like.

I got my roommate the Mini-Griptillian with the serrated blade for Christmas and really wanted a Griptillian myself after seeing how much he dug it. I just wanted a bigger handle and razor edge, well here it is.

This knife trumps all of the Gerber knives I own easily. The Obsidian has a similar opening system, but doesn't work like the Benchmade. When you hold the button down on the Griptillian and flick your wrist, the knife opens fully immediately. It is just as fast as a switchblade or an automatic knife in my opinion. It works smoothly with one hand, and no need to even use the thumbstud, just flick the wrist and bam, its open.

The blade is incredibly sharp. It cuts effortlessly through anything you throw at it. The handle grip feels great and its lightweight too. This knife is going to be the only knife I use now. It's weight replaces the LMF, its sharp blade and weight replaces the Paraframe, and its smooth opening system replaces the obsidian.

It comes with a small microfiber bag too, which is awesome.

Nothing bad to say about this great knife, get one!
OC Aubrey at REI on 04/04/2009

*Disclaimer* - I was issued this knife while serving in the Armed Forces.
After 2 years of faithful service I had broken the tip off of my Griptilian's blade while conducting military operations in Iraq. Still fully functional it remained my go-to folder. I quite literally put this thing through hell..
Upon returning home, one of the first things I did was send my knife back to Benchmade to have them install a replacement blade. I had requested to have the knife converted to the modified sheepsfoot blade of the 550HG. I supplied my billing information on the RMA form, as the reason for failure was not a failure on Benchmade. Needless to say within a week, the knife was returned to me free of charge! They didn't even charge me return shipping!! Benchmade cleaned and lubed the knife and replaced the blade with the one requested. This level of customer service and dedication to customer satisfaction has made me a customer for life.
Top tier product and service (should you need it)!

Justin Hebert at on 12/19/2013

Perfect for My Needs

I have had Spyderco, Gerber, Leatherman, you name it. And while they are all pretty good in their own right, this Benchmade Griptilian is the last knife I will ever own. Knife could split a hair out of the box, very sharp. And the lifetime free sharpening is a nice benefit that lets you keep the blade sharp forever for the simple price of postage to Benchmade... if you want them to sharpen it. Very smooth and fast opening and closing. The black clip is very sturdy and the knife stays put in my pocket; I have no fears of this knife falling out of my pocket or even my toddler son getting nosy and trying to pull it out. Its just a superb all-around knife that suits all my needs. I opted for the non-serrated blade because I didn't want to deal with having to figure out how to keep the serrations sharp, and I don't regret it. Great great knife by Benchmade.
Matt K at REI on 11/11/2012

Best knife for the money - Bar none.

I am a self proclaimed knife guru. I have been collecting pocket knives since my father first allowed me.

For the money I believe the Benchmade Griptillian is the best knife currently available for the price point. Sure you can get knives with better blade steels and more exotic grip materials, but those will undoubtedly come with a price to match.

My favorite part of this knife is the warranty that Benchmade has. Their customer service is the best in the industry. I sent my knife in to have it professionally sharpened, and not only did they restore the factory edge, but they cleaned it replaced the springs, and fitted a new pocket clip - now that's what I call service.

Don't be afraid to drop some money of a quality knife. This will last you years.
MMiklasevich at REI on 04/04/2011

Very useful

This knife is great as a utility blade. Used it as a backup blade. Used it on gutting and scaling trout, stripper, bass. Performed awesome there. Used it on field dressing. Performed good. It required sharping after cutting through thick hides and skin fats. However, goes through meat like butter. Great for small games, not so much for large game. Used it on small bushcraft tasks. It did good.

For a pocket knife, it is awesome. If it were the only knife on hand, I would still have confident in it. For survival, no. For day hikes, utility use, camping use, definitely a yes.

Would highly recommend this product.
Guy123 at REI on 08/08/2011

Smooth operator

This knife is awesome. It came razor sharp, and opens/closes smoothly. I don't use the thumb stud. The REI associate showed how to open/close the knife by unlocking the Axis and flicking your wrist. This makes it easy to open/close with one hand. My only gripe is that it's rather large and thick, so it feels uncomfortable in my small pockets. For everyday carry I got the mini-griptilian, which is just as awesome. The large, thick handle though makes this knife very comfortable to hold. I saw other reviews and videos online about the knife's durability, so I'm confident I made a great purchase.
Robert M at REI on 04/04/2013

Neutral Reviews:

too much buck, not enough bang

I have only owned this knife for two days, but I can already tell that this knife has a quality locking mechanism,a good stainless tool steel,and comes hair shaving sharp.that being said, my only complaint is the handle material. the handle scales are some sort of plastic that feels REALLY cheap and kinda reminds me of how a plastic soda cap feels. This is a big let down and I had higher hopes being that is made a few miles down the road. Im sure its still durable and will preform well, but if your looking for a quality looking and feeling knife this is not your best bet, you can find better for near half the price.
KillaZilla at REI on 11/11/2013