1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

BM Griptilian - bit of an oxymoron?

Discussion in 'Knives' started by Dobe Man, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. Dobe Man

    Dobe Man Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think it's a little funny that the Griptilian is called that when the scales are, IMHO, the weakest part of the knife.

    Obviously, that's not what Doug Ritter was thinking, and what he changed was the blade shape and material, but when you have a couple different manufacturers making aftermarket scales just for the Griptilians, there are others who are thinking like me.

    The scales feel so cheap, almost brittle, especially in comparison to layered G10. If it weren't for the superb Axis lock and smooooooth bushings in the pivot, it wouldn't even be worth the $65 I paid for it.

    Don't get me wrong here - I love this knife, but definitely the scales could use some help.
     
  2. crossroads

    crossroads Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    4
    If you really want to change them, look up Wilkins grips. They cost an arm and a leg though, and unless it could make my lunch and save me in a :censored: scenario, it's not worth it IMO for scales, no matter how ergonomic they are.
     
  3. zshiner

    zshiner Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,015
    Likes Received:
    2
    I have 3 mini grips.

    I agree they feel like there should be more there - but in fact - the grip really works.
     
  4. Buzzbait

    Buzzbait Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    399
    There is no oxymoron. You just happen to be dealing with a superior material, which defies your preconceived perceptions of toughness. There's nothing cheap or weak about Griptilian scales. From a functional standpoint, the Noryl GTX is sensational. The scales are not brittle. Temperature resistance is good. Low water absorption. Great chemical resistance.

    The scales just happen to be hollow, to make the knife as light in weight as possible. Functionally, almost any other scale option is a downgrade. An aftermarket scale may feel tougher to you, but any actual increase in toughness would come at a cost of decreased functionality.

    A change in scale material will earn you some bragging rights, but that's about it.
     
  5. shrap

    shrap Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,845
    Likes Received:
    204
    The scales do sort of feel cheap (especially with the skeletonized liners on the full-sized Grips), but I haven't seen anything that would make me believe they don't work.
     
  6. troutpool

    troutpool Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    20
    This discussion is very helpful to someone like me who is considering after-market scales but is still undecided. I hope others will add their own comments and opinions.
     
  7. twistedtrees

    twistedtrees Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Although I don't have one yet (will be getting a mini grip before long), I wondered about how the grips would do going in and out of a pocket. I like the idea of better grips, but if they are going to "stick" when pulling the knife out of my pocket then there's not a good reason to get them. Any advice would help, thanks.
     
  8. zshiner

    zshiner Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,015
    Likes Received:
    2
    The Mini Grips are not sticky ... the feel is solid and they carry very well.

    I think the idea that the scales need changed is severely overrated.

    My 555HG is my favorite carry.
     
  9. Andy Wayne

    Andy Wayne Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Messages:
    370
    Likes Received:
    6
    I've been carrying mine since I got it. It's so SMOOTH opening, like glass. My Spydercos haven't been carried since I got it. Well, except for my Ladybug, but I carry it always.
     
  10. souptree

    souptree Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,024
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think changing scales on a Griptilian is a purely cosmetic endeavor. There is no utilitarian need that I know of to be served by scales that is not served very well by the factory scales. The Wilkins grips, etc. look fantastic and if the looks are worth more to you than the knife is worth, have at it. But you aren't adding anything to the knife itself in doing so.

    That said, I'd like to see someone roll a pickup truck over one and see what happens to the factory scales. I was very impressed by the video of someone driving a truck over an XM-18.
     
  11. PBJS II

    PBJS II Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    7,629
    Likes Received:
    18,698
    Agree completely! There is nothing wrong with the grips on my Tanto Grip.

    Sure, it would be easy enough to have something prettier, or something I MIGHT like better. But there is nothing WRONG with the standard scales.
     
  12. shrap

    shrap Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,845
    Likes Received:
    204
    I think it makes a lot more sense to sell the Griptillian and buy a different Benchmade, instead of getting Wilkins scales.
     
  13. Dobe Man

    Dobe Man Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    I certainly appreciate all of the opinions presented here. For me, this knife is about the way it feels, the way it works, the way it handles, the way it cuts. And to those ends, it excels, with the exception of the way it feels in my hands. As I had stated before, the scales "feel" cheap, I didn't say, and I don't think, that they are cheap or inferior in terms of overall functionality.

    I have an inexpensive CRKT Crawford Kasper which could definitely use some help in the smoothness department when it comes to opening and closing. But once it is open (or closed) the overall heft and tactile sensation that I get from the scales leave little to be desired. If only the 550HG were available from Benchmade with G10 scales, I would get another one in a heartbeat, leaving my current one to backup/survival kit duties.

    I have an HP 20S calculator from the late 80s that I still have and use. Why? Besides the fact that it does its job well, I love it because of the way the buttons feel. Perfectly positive and crisp action to this day. You know when the key has been depressed or not. Same goes for my Blackberry Curve - awesome tactile feedback. I drive a '97 BMW 540i 6-speed with over 250,000 miles - why? Because of the way it feels - perfect for me (albeit tastefully modded by me to suit me :)) Anyways, I say these things to give a little background as to where I am coming from, and why I feel the way I do about the scales on my beloved 550HG.
     
  14. Drobax

    Drobax Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    2
    Dobe Man,

    I completely agree with you about how it feels in hand. I actually bought one a few weeks back and ended up returning it because I wasn't 100% sure that I liked the "feel" of the handles. And for the price of it, I better be :censored: sure. Also, I may be one of the few but I would also like the Griptilian to have some more weight or heft to it. I actually picked up a Kershaw Packrat and even though it's a little different looking, I am in love with the heft (4.2 oz), and the G10 handles. Of course it has a lot of other things going for it but not important to state here.

    I have looked over and over the Benchmade catalog and can't find one single knife that has the 550HG blade, Axis lock with G10 handles. I would even pay more if they made one.

    It's frustrating...


    JUST TO NOTE: I am NOT saying that the overall quality or durability of the Griptilians handles aren't solid but just "feel" hollow or cheap.
     
  15. archer

    archer Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a number of griptilians and trust me when I tell that it will hold it's own when compared to any knife as far as durability.
    That scales were made light to lower the weight becuase there is a demand for a lightweight edc foldind knife.
    It is a personal preferance, what some have done is remove the scales and filled up the hollow holes inside with expoxy and that added weight to the feel of the knife.
    I have beat the crap out of my grip with all kinds of tasks and all around it is my best working knife.
     
  16. tradja

    tradja Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    2
    I agree that the full-size Grip and to a lesser extent, the MiniGrip subjectively feel cheap. If aftermarket grips add to the aesthetic experience of the knife, have at it. But I agree with others here that I have no concerns about the strength or durability of the Noryl GTX. I'm sure it is possible to crack or chip it, but stresses of that magnitude would probably damage G10 too.

    For pocket carry, I strongly prefer the Noryl GTX (or CF, or micarta, or FRN, or aluminum) to G10. I don't like how the typically-textured G10 shreds my pocket edges.
     
  17. Dobe Man

    Dobe Man Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I did something about the scales tonight. I filled many of the voids on the interior of the hollow scales with Fast Steel. Fast Steel is a mastic epoxy used for fabbing small parts, repairing breaks. The stuff is very strong and pretty dense. I also cleaned out the pivot which has accumulated a little dust and dirt from EDC. I relubed with just a smear of Permatex engine assembly lube (it has great adhesion qualities and of course is ultra slick). The bushings and liners are highly polished - no doubt in an effort to minimize friction. I can see how a lubricant will float between the liners/bushings and blade.

    The blade moves slightly smoother and faster than before and the real treat though is in the way the scales feel now. They feel (and sound) substantial without adding significant mass to the scales. When opened quickly, the entire knife no longer "rings" - that is the impact feels damped. It also makes a different sound (very hard to describe, but no longer the "crack" that I used to hear). When even just handling the scales, it sounds and somehow feels a little different as well. It simply doesn't have a hollow sound to it anymore, because it isn't!!

    All the epoxy was added to the interior of the scales, the exterior was left completely aloine.
     
  18. carrot

    carrot Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    402
    The hollow handles are exactly why I sold off my Griptilian. It is obviously a tough, solid knife, and comfortable to use, but I just didn't enjoy the feel and balance of the knife. I do miss it though. On the other hand, Spyderco's Manix 2 is in the same price range and a better deal.
     
  19. Timbokhan

    Timbokhan Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    7
    I personally like the material and the way it feels in my hand. I typically rotate between two big clip knives (and one Case Trapper): My 550 Grip and a Spyderco Endura. Different ergos for different knives, obviously, but truth be told, I have never had a problem with either material used for the scales. At the end of the day, I just want something tough, and the material that Benchmade uses has thus far been perfectly acceptable.

    Having looked at some of the custom grips, I can say that they are cool and look pretty good. I personally won't pay for them, but your knife isn't mine. Do what makes you happy, man.
     
  20. PBJS II

    PBJS II Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    7,629
    Likes Received:
    18,698
    I could see putting putty (fast steel) inside my grips.

    I was putting strips or lead and lead fishing weights into the handles of light Airsoft guns to give 'em heft a couple years ago.

    Not that I think my Grip NEEDS it of course....