Benchmade 556 Mini-Griptilian Knife

Priced: $89.21 - $102.00 Rated:   - 5 stars out of 5 by 27 reviews.
Benchmade 556 Mini-Griptilian Knife
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Color: Plain Edge / Silver
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Benchmade 556 Mini-Griptilian Knife -
The mindset of innovating for improvement is alive and well throughout Benchmade, it goes into every design, and comes out of every product. The Benchmade 556 S Mini-Griptilian is no exception to the rule. The Mini-Griptilian knife is small in size but not in quality. The 154CM blade is only 2.91 inches but constructed to be durable. The AXIS locking mechanism is easy ti use and keeps you safe while using the knife. The knife's molded hand design makes the Mini-Griptilian easy to manage.


  • 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!


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

The Benchmade Mini Griptilian Knife combines the unmatched function of the AXIS locking mechanism with the simplicity of a molded handle design in a smaller more manageable package than its big brother. Safe, reliable, smooth, and affordable, the Mini Griptilian is available with a combo or plain edge. Unleash the Mini-Griptilian's performance with a simple thumb rotation. The hand settles naturally over the palm-swelled shape and its textured skin.


Small but mighty, the lightweight Benchmade 556 Mini-Griptilian knife features a tough stainless-steel blade, molded handle and smooth AXIS™ locking mechanism in a compact design.

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

Made in USA.

The 556 Mini Griptilian 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.

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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Blade Hardness:58-60HRC
Blade Length:2.91 in / 7.3 cm
Blade Material:154CM Stainless Steel
Blade Style:Modified Drop-Point; Ambidextrous Thumb-Studs Weight
Blade Thickness:0.100
Closed Length:3.87 in / 9.8 cm
Handle Material:Valox with stainless steel liner
Handle Thickness:0.510
Knife blade type:Straight edge
Lock Mechanism:AXIS® locking mechanism with dual thumb-stud opener 154CM stainless steel blade (58-61HRC)
Locking Mechanism:Axis Lock
Locking blade:Yes
Material:154CM stainless steel blade (58-61HRC)
Max blade length (in.):2.91 inches
Number of blades:1
One-handed opening:Yes
Opening Style:Thumb Stub
Overall Length:6.78 in / 17.2 cm
Pocket Clip:Black, Reversible, Tip-Up
Sheath Material:Sold Separately
Weight:2.5 oz / 70.8 g
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Benchmade 556 Mini-Griptilian Knife Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

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

mini-grip 556, a decent carry blade

The Benchmade Griptilian knives are a well-known, well-liked and well-used series of blades.
The mini-grip is a good knife, albeit top of the food chain price. Although, I find my straight edge blades get more use, I prefer the mini-grip with the combo blade. That is because, this is a short knife. It is perfect for all day everyday, because of it's lightweight and size.
I have put this knife to the test and don't have any issues with it, even when used along side carpentry tools (which means I am cutting roofing one minute and an apple the next) (a little dirt on your sandwich won't kill you)
Once the factory edge is corrected, the knife holds an edge fairly well, and is simple to sharpen on a diamond plate.
I'd prefer one a little more "flashy" in color but the black/silver was in stock and I went for my third 556... and my 4th or 5th benchmade. I do prefer other knives for edc, but this is such a sweet little knife, I got this one for my daughter then let her pick between this, a scallion and dragonfly.
I do believe Benchmade will sharpen any of their knives, forever, for around $5 shipping... just send it back to them. (Instructions in every box.) I took off a star for the factory edge, the unpolished presentation and the 'standard' color vs. price point... but it's a 5-star performer over time. I would replace this knife with the same were I to lose it.
fingling at REI on 08/08/2013

Heck Yeah!!

This is now my favorite knife. I own many knives from Buck, Spyderco,Victorinox, and Kershaw. I bought a 530 Pardue (also a Benchmade) once and I HATED it. I thought the designed lacked in mutiple areas, so I returned it. I thought I wasn't going to buy from Benchmade again, but I heard so many good things about these Griptilians that I gave Benchmade another try. When I received the knife (again, great job on the shipping REI!) I was sold. I've used it for EDC (Every Day Carry) and a little whittling also. So far it has preformed superbly. The 154CM steel is excellent. It sharpens up relatively easily, and it holds a RAZOR'S edge for a long time. My favorite thing about the knife is the Axis lock. It's the smoothest/strongest locking mechanism of all the knives I own (that doesn't mean you can go out and baton with this, it's a FOLDING knife). The Mini Griptilian may be a little small for bigger cutting chores, and for people with smallish hands (I wear medium sized gloves, and the Mini Griptilian fits my hand perfectly), but luckily Benchmade makes the larger Griptilian (I just might have to pick up one of those in the future!) Next time I buy a knife, it's gonna be a BENCHMADE!!
Mtn Man at REI on 03/03/2012

Best EDC knife I've ever owner

Best everyday carry knife for me. Perfect factory edge out of the box. Fantastic action with zero play, this knife is fun to open. Snappy without making you wonder if it might accidentally open like a spring assist. Over time action can be oiled/adjusted. This knife cuts cardboard, hard-plastic packaging, rope, small copper wires, soft wood, and keeps on going. I am hardcore about sharpening my knives and this one didn't need a touch up for quite awhile. Use it camping, woodworking, hunting, fishing and it's small enough I don't get second glances if I need to cut something at the office. It's light enough that you'll grab it with your keys and cell phone. Had it when my boss's BMW tire tread seperated and was able to cut the piece loose to get to get him home. Handle resists all sorts of chemicals, blade hasn't shown a spot of corrosion despite saltwater exposure and cleaning fish and deer. Do yourself a big favor and spend the extra cash on benchmade I've destroyed other brands. Also I'm a big fan of the non-serrated edge. Serrated knives are great cutters until they go dull and you can't resharpen them. Not heavy enough for survival, I'd reserve that for fixed blade full tang setups.
Bass Earl at REI on 11/11/2010

Perfect for Lefties!

I'm a lefty and had a very hard time finding a quality knife with easy one-handed operation and a truly ambidextrous design. Some knives allow you to move the clip but the lock may still be hard to operate. I've had this knife for six years now and have it on me almost every day of the week.

The quality is top-notch. The size is big enough to do what I need it to do without lugging around a huge knife.

One note - when I first bought this knife I noticed the clip design is not typical of many knives in this size. When it's in your pocket, the axis lock points down (where many clips would attach near the lock). It seemed backwards but it really is better. When you pull the knife out of your pocket, it's already in the correct position to be opened.

I'm a huge fan of the axis lock. It is easy to operate and feels rock solid.

I can't say enough good things about the knife. I have my original and have given two away as gifts. It doesn't get much better than this.
BradCW at REI on 11/11/2010

Perfect size for everyday carry.

I initially bought the regular size Griptilian, but found it to be too big to comfortably carry in my pocket. I returned it for the Mini-griptilian, which is the perfect size for everyday carry. The blade is razor sharp out of the box. Opening letters and boxes, or cutting rope and cardboard is a breeze. The Axis locking mechanism is smooth and secure. I don't use the thumb stud. The REI associate showed me how to open and close with one hand by just releasing the Axis lock and flicking your wrist. The grip shape and checkering allow a secure and comfortable hold in my hand. It's expensive compared to other knives, but it's "Made in the USA" quality is hard to deny.

I accidentally washed my pants with the knife still in the pocket once. The knife body was easy to disassemble with a star head screw driver to dry it out. Everything was tight and smooth again after being put back together. After getting over the sticker shock, you won't be disappointed by this knife.
Robert M at REI on 03/03/2013

I received this knife as a gift and loved it so much that I bought one for my girlfriend almost 2 years later. I've taken the knife on several multi-day backpacking trips and it's my go-to blade. It's small enough to comfortably fit in your pocket, but the handle is still sufficient to get a solid grip on it quickly and easily.
Some other reviewers have mentioned difficulty with a one-handed open or close of this knife - I have had no such problem. Like any new toy, it takes a few times practicing to get it just right, but I can one-hand open or close this knife in my sleep without ever missing.
The colors are great too. Mine is the dark army green with the black blade and the one I bought for my girlfriend is turquoise-blue with the silver blade. Both have the combination blade, which I recommend. The pictures are true to the color.
Overall, this is a great, sturdy knife that looks sharp and stays sharp.

tra2457186 at on 09/12/2013

This is pretty much the best medium-sized knife you can get for everyday carry (without going into the three-figure price range). Flawless construction, perfect balance, easy open and close, not too big or too small. If you like quality craftsmanship, then you'll find the Mini Grip a true thing of beauty. The photos here on Backcountry don't really do it justice. It's a good-looking knife, and I'm not even into the whole tactical look.
The only thing I hate about this little guy is the pricetag. Nearly $100 for a knife is pretty steep. And it's definitely true that there are much cheaper alternatives out there that will do the job. They won't do it with the same effortless style, though. If you're looking for quality and can afford to drop a big chunk of change, check out the Mini Griptilian. As an added bonus, you'll know you're support manufacturing jobs here in the US.

Ben Reff at on 12/10/2010

Satisfying quality

I own a full size Griptilian and love it. It was the first knife of Benchmade quality I'd ever had. I would never give it up but it's kind of big for everyday carry. So I figured the Mini-Griptilian would be of the same quality. It certainly is, I love it. The smaller size is an easy carry. This is a lightweight knife but the quality and heft of the steel and the shape of the grip make it a satisfying knife to hold and use for general purpose like opening boxes, scraping some glue or gunk from parts or something, cutting rope. Small and balalnced well enough for whittling. If you know what whittling is and know what old Buck lockbacks feel like, you'll probably appreciate the feel,balance and smoothness of action. Lighter in the handle than the old Bucks for sure, but play with it and you will grow to appreciate it.
No Tango at REI on 01/01/2010

I love this knife!

I love my 556 mini. It's smooth as silk, of solid construction and sharp as hell right out of the box (mine is still holding a good edge after months and months of everyday use).

There are a few small things that aren't ideal however:

The clip scratches easily and didn't look too great after only a few months (but does look great now as I stripped the paint using a wire wheel).

Also, the jimping leaves a little to be desired, but only a little; the grip is still fantastic despite the shallow grooves, but I do think they skimped just a little bit here.

All in all, I would buy this knife again and again. It goes everywhere with me and I truly love it.
Gibran at REI on 06/06/2013

Negative Reviews:

bites in your pocket

I've heard good things about benchmade and wasn't disappointed in the quality of materials. What hurt was when I slipped my wallet in the same pocket with the kinfe, only to pull my hand out bleeding. The thumbstud caught my wallet edge and popped it open. I was previously carrying a buck nobleman which carry's tip down and avoids this problem. This knife was to be an "upgrade." I don't trust sticking my hand back in my pocket so I am returning it.

It does carry light and has a reasonably sharp edge. Aside from the open assist, it was not that much of an upgrade over my $30 nobleman.
outdoorpastor at REI on 01/01/2011