The Kershaw Skyline is one of the more popular low price, high volume models in Kershaw’s lineup, sitting in the same bracket as the Leek and more tactical looking Cryo. So, if you’re looking for a budget EDC that you don’t mind scuffing up a bit…read on.
In 1977, Kershaw Knives became a subsidiary of the KAI Group, and manufacturing of Kershaw Knives is done primarily out of Kai USA’s factory in Tualatin, Oregon, with some knives being produced overseas in Japanese and Chinese factories. The good news is that the Skyline is 100% manufactured in the USA!
- Blade length: 3.125 inches
- Overall length: 7.375 inches
- Closed length: 4.25 inches
- Weight: 2.5 ounces
- Blade material: 14C28N
- County of origin: USA
- Price range: About $35
Designed by Kershaw’s in-house designer Tommie Lucas, the Kershaw Skyline features a 3.1” long, 1/16” wide spear/drop point blade, with a 4.3” long handle. The overall length of the knife opened is 7.4”, and the Skyline is a mere 4.25” closed in your pocket.
The Skyline weighs only 2.5 ounces, so this knife will not, by any means, weigh you down when you carry it. With the clip installed on the knife, the Skyline is about .5” thick; without the clip, it is a mere 3/8” thick. This is an EDC knife that you can carry discretely, since it won’t make a noticeable bulge in jeans or slacks.
The Skyline’s blade has a spear-point shape with a slight drop and hollow (saber) ground. The blade is made from Sandvik 14C28N steel, a Swedish steel known for its high edge retention and sharpness factors. Kershaw used to fit these knives with the inferior 13C26 steel but that changed in around 2009.
Sandvik recommends 14C28N steel for such applications as chef’s knives, so the steel is designed to be readily sharpened to razor sharpness, with excellent edge performance, decent hardness, and impressive resistance to corrosion.
Sharpening is surprisingly low effort on the 14C28N too. Trust me when I say you’ll struggle to find a better steel on a knife in this price range. So far, so good.
Handle and Ergonomics
The Skyline’s handle is made from textured G-10 scales which are also nicely rounded-off to avoid any annoying sharp edges. G-10 is an advanced, modern fiberglass with excellent toughness and light weight. G-10 scales are typically so durable they are practically indestructible, which is something you typically want on an EDC knife.
The texture of the scales provides the Skyline with an excellent grip, so you don’t have to worry about the knife slipping out of your hands during use. Damn this thing is grippy! To add to this, the blade features a finger groove that your index finger can rest in, helping with grip and to prevent the knife from folding closed on your hand. You won’t find any jimping here but to be honest you don’t really need it on a knife of this size/weight.
Deployment and Lockup
Opening the Skyline can be done using either the ambidextrous thumb stud or the flipper. The thumb studs are not my favorite as they’re quite close to the handle which makes it tricky to pull off a swift opening with your thumb each time. I prefer the flipper.
Using the flipper, once you’ve practiced it a bit, you can flip the knife open quickly and easily using just your index finger. You won’t find any spring or mechanical assist here folks, this baby is manually opened by your fingers alone. Still, I’ve gotten opening this knife down to an exact science and can deploy the blade as quickly with just my index finger as I can any spring-assisted knife. Kershaw’s intelligent use of quality bushings pays off here.
The liner lock on the Kershaw Skyline is a bit of a unique design, only wrapping on one side of the blade. This keeps the weight down on the knife, and doesn’t seem to prevent the knife from staying open when in use. It locks up nice and tight, and the finger groove adds an additional layer of protection if you are nervous about the knife closing on you unexpectedly.
Features, Fit and Finish
The Kershaw Skyline comes with a reversible pocket clip and pre-drilled holes in the handle for tip-up or tip-down carry. It rides pretty low but not as low as some others I’ve seen (e.g. Leek).
The pocket clip is a bit tight at first, but loosens up just enough for easy use after a few days of carry. Like most knives, the Skyline does require a bit of a “breaking in” period for everything to work smoothly, and the pocket clip is the one that usually needs breaking in the most.
The important thing is that the pocket clip does not loosen up too much, as I’ve experienced with some EDC knives; it still retains the knife in my pocket when I need it to, even after months of everyday usage.
At this price point you’d expect only the bare minimum when it comes to fit and finish. I find many sub-$40 knives suffer from off-centered blades, poor production materials, significant blade play (or wiggle), weak locking mechanisms and generally uneven finished on the handle and blade. Not so with the Kershaw Skyline. I’m not saying this stands up to a premium EDC knife but in this price bracket I was very impressed. Everything seemed smooth, tight and even.
First thing that struck me in using the Kershaw Skyline is that’s it’s pretty well balanced. I often have people ask me what exactly I mean by “well balanced” so let me explain. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it will balance on my finger when placed between the blade and handle. A knife is well balanced when it’s comfortable to use in a variety of different styles, angles, grips, etc. The handle is not overly heavy nor too light. The blade is not overbearing nor too small. Everything just feels right in your hand.
I’ve used my Skyline for everything from cutting through cardboard to slicing apples at the chef’s station at camp, and the knife feels right every time. The hollow grind of the blade gives the edge a slightly concave shape that makes it very well suited for slicing.
The blade on the Kershaw Skyline is reasonably strong yet flexible, but its thin width means I would not recommend using this particular knife as a prying tool. That’s perhaps one downfall of the knife, but it’s a trade-off that has to be had to maintain it’s thin profile. I’ve used the Skyline for light prying, but I could see the blade snapping if you tried prying something with too much force.
In my real-world experiences, I was able to use the Skyline to cut through 10 or 15 long cardboard tubes easily, and still pass the ‘paper-test’ thereafter.
Kershaw Skyline vs Leek: Similar size and both made from 14C28N but the Leek has ‘assisted opening’ so it’s going to deploy a little quicker. Personally I find the blade shape of the Skyline to be better suited to EDC tasks than the Leek. Also prefer the G-10 handle on the Skyline to the more slippy steel handle on the Leek. BOTH great knives but the Skyline has the edge in my book.
Kershaw Skyline vs Spyderco Tenacious: The Tenacious is a thicker, heftier knife but also has great reviews and performs very well. Again, both great knives and I would go with the Tenacious if you need something a little more rugged, otherwise the slimmer Skyline wins.
Kershaw Skyline vs Blur: The Kershaw Blur is beefier, more durable and more solidly built with dual steel liners, aluminum scales, and thicker stock blade. Oh it’s a little pricier too. Similar equation here to the Tenacious comparison in that I would choose the Skyline over the Blur unless you need something with more muscle.
Make no mistake, the budget EDC segment is very crowded indeed. Even when you filter out the crap you’re still left with a pile of decent contenders. Thankfully, the US-made Skyline stands out from the crowd.
To sum everything up, I find the Kershaw Skyline to be an excellent EDC knife for someone with limited budget who doesn’t really want to advertise that they are carrying a knife. With or without the pocket clip, the knife is slim and lightweight, but the knife is still large enough to have a myriad of uses in the bush or in the garage.
The Skyline holds an edge quite well, the pocket clip is adjustable to your particular style of preferred carry, and the G-10 scales are grippy yet darned near impossible to break or mar. This is one of my favorite EDC knives, and for good reason—it’s robustly useful and small enough to fit in with all of the other things I need to carry in my pockets.
I see it’s currently priced around $40 but I’ve seen it drop as low as $30 from time to time. Either way it’s a deal. If you’ve never been a fan of EDC knives, give the Skyline a test spin. It might just make a believer out of you!
Pros: Nice size, lightweight, decent blade, great value for money
Cons: Somewhat weak tip, ineffective thumb studs
Bottom Line: With limited money to spend the Skyline is a no-brainer
It’s no surprise that Spyderco is one of our favorite brands here at BestPocketKnifeToday.com. The Colorado based company continues to demonstrate a dedication to high quality and innovation by designing folding knives that strike an acute balance between high performance and practicality. Still, not everything that leaves the Spyderco factory is perfect but every now and they produce a real winner.
I tend to look at a whole bunch of factors when deciding whether a pocket knife meets the gold standard. It has to be more than just sharp! In my earlier review of the Spyderco Tenacious I felt that they got the balance of quality, function and price almost perfect. For the budget EDC category I find the Tenacious is hard to beat. In moving to the higher end offerings there is one particular knife that is talked about a great deal in the community and it’s gathered a staunch following over the years. Of course, I’m talking about the Spyderco ParaMilitary 2.
I felt like a solid review of the ParaMilitary 2 was warranted because I’m often asked whether this knife lives up to the hype and is it worth the money? Also, I often get asked why this particular pocket knife is so damn popular? Well, I’ll attempt to explain that throughout the review. So, let’s get into it.
As you may have guessed, the ParaMilitary 2 is the successor to the original ParaMilitary which first debuted in 2004. The ParaMilitary came about primarily as critics complained about the overwhelming size of the otherwise highly regarded Military pocket knife. So, Spyderco released the ParaMilitary as a mid-sized version at two thirds the size of the Military. It had a top quality S30V blade which extended just over 3 inches long and accompanied by a G-10 handle with a first rate compression lock. The ParaMilitary really was at the top of its class for a mid-size survival knife.
So why the need for the ParaMilitary 2? Well, Spyderco is one of the few companies that continually strives to better itself and outperform on a regular basis. It rarely chooses to sit on its laurels and wait to be outshone by a competitor before bringing something new to market. The experts at Spyderco loved the ParaMilitary but knew they could do better and hence the ParaMilitary2 was born in 2010.
Below is a summary of the key changes made to the original ParaMilitary.
- The G-10 handle has been slimmed at the end to improve handling and overall ergonomics.
- There’s an upgraded pocket clip with 4-way positioning for tip up/down carry and left/right handed. The clip also positions the knife deeper into the pocket for increased concealment.
- They introduced skeletonized liners on both sides and in particular where it sandwiches the pivot area.
- The blade has been elongated a little and carries jimping on both the spine and finger choil.
- A new pivoting system with bushings has been added for an improved deployment action which is more fluid.
- The pivot pin is now recessed.
- The blade is slightly thinner and the corner no longer sticks out when closed.
- The lanyard hole has been made larger.
As you can see the differences are subtle but in aggregate they make for much improved performance and simply a better knife all round. Let’s get into some of the details…
- Blade length: 3.44 inches
- Overall length: 8.28 inches
- Closed length: 4.81 inches
- Weight: 3.75 ounces
- Blade material: S30V stainless steel
- Country of origin: USA
- Price range: About $150
The Spyderco ParaMilitary 2 is a mid-sized EDC (slightly on the larger end) measuring around 8.3 inches in total. It has a premium full flat ground plain edge blade which is manufactured with the remarkable S30V steel as standard. The blade measures about 3.4 inches in length with a cutting edge of just over 3 inches. I measured the blade to be about 0.15 inches thick. The handle is made of the ever popular G-10 material and measures around 4.8 inches long. It’s about half an inch thick and comes with stainless steel liners that are skeletonized. Retail price is about $120 which I’ve come to realize is somewhat of a bargain for this baby.
The ParaMilitary 2 is not particularly heavy for its size at 3.75 ounces. It feels tremendously stable and firm in the hand as you tend to expect from Spydie’s these days. The trademark Spyderco thumb hole is unusually large and a joy to use. The locking mechanism is a compression lock which I’ll touch on a little more later but overall works exceedingly well. The pocket clip is 4-way adjustable so you have the best of all worlds.
The design of the US made ParaMilitary 2 is really what sets it aside from the competition in my opinion. The original ParaMilitary was an excellent knife but this one is a real step up. Everything about this knife screams Spyderco from the moment you see it to when you perform your first cut. By that I mean it’s quality. You rarely see ergonomics work as well as this on a pocket knife. It’s tough to describe but everything about it just feels right.
I found my thumb and forefinger fell naturally at the thumb ramp and finger choil. You’ll find rounded corners everywhere and some nice jimping on the thumb ramp, finger choil and the liners placed behind the thumb ramp. The jimping has a pleasant feel tool – not too rough. No surprise to see that the blade is perfectly centered. Note the spine of the blade is perfectly flat contrary to the slightly curved appearance sometimes seen in pictures.
The Spydie hole is larger than normal and permits opening with gloves. The G-10 handle has just enough scaling to resist slipping without feeling uncomfortable. It’s for sure a larger EDC but you’re able to use it with the same maneuverability you have with a much smaller knife. Pick one up and you’ll know what I mean.
Overall fit and finish is excellent. Everything was tightly manufactured and I saw little to no “factory mishaps”. The blade is a real work of art. It’s basically a clip point (or some say saber style) with an extra long and pointed tip. Sure, it’s relatively big but the knife means business and you’ll find that length comes in handy more often than not.
The steel is one of my favorites on higher end knives – S30V. I assume most of you know what this is but if not just trust me when I say it’s damn good. The S30V performs very well indeed and arrived razor sharp as you’d expect. I’m consistently astounded at how sharp Spyderco is able to get its factory production knives to be. S30V is a relatively hard steel (though I notice this version is not as hard as I’ve seen on other knives) and will maintain its edge far longer than most all of your ‘cheaper’ knives I assure you. Yes it’s a little bit of a challenge to re-sharpen to the uninitiated but well worth it in the end.
I found the blade to be super effective at a multitude of cuts – slicing, stabbing, thrusting, chopping, you name it. The blade is ground very flat and to great effect. It has more of a belly than other Spyderco offerings such as the Delica. At first I was a little concerned that the tip seemed a little too thin, but after using it extensively and since I tend not to use my knives to pry things open then it wasn’t an issue and I actually welcomed the design.
Opening and closing is very impressive. It’s almost like it operates like an assisted opening knife – so easy, so smooth. The new bushing pivot system on the ParaMilitary 2 is nothing but high end and results in a sweet gliding motion that you wish all your knives had.
In speaking of the compression lock I was again very impressed. When it’s locked up this thing is solid, I mean rock solid. This type of lock should never fail under normal use. Technically the only reason it would fail is if the blade tang would crush the locking tab that fits within the slot in the tang. It’s really not possible under even the most extreme conditions. Imagine combining the liner lock of your Tenacious with the Axis lock of your Griptilian and you sort of have an idea of what’s involved here. In fact I’d put it in the same category as the locking system found on the Sebenza. A word of warning though – if your hands are on the larger side you may encounter the possibility of the lock pinching your palm. It’s not been a problem for me but a couple of buddies mentioned that to me. Still, easy to use, reliable, durable and extremely resistant to all kinds of abuse. Perfection.
In rounding off the rest of the details I find the lanyard hole to be very useful in that’s it’s a little bigger than normal and will take two lengths of 550 paracord easily. After many months of use I’m still super happy. I’ve had the blade deep in all kinds of “gunk” and find it real easy to clean with regular soap and water. After numerous cleanings like this the deployment action is still like it was when I first took it out of the box. It’s really built to last.
The knife comes in four standard varieties: black handle with stainless standard edge blade (C81GP2); black handle with black finish blade and clip (C81GPBK2); digital camo handle with stainless standard edge blade (C81GPCMO2); digital camo handle and black finish stainless blade and clip (C81GPCMOBK2).
I personally like the digital camouflage look with the black blade. You will also see a number of limited edition varieties such as with blue handle and M390 steel. Unfortunately even with all these varieties the sad truth is that the Spyderco ParaMilitary 2 is frustratingly hard to come by these days. You’ll typically find most retailers are out of stock. Bummer I know.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2 vs Manix 2: I find the Manix 2 equally comfortable in my hand compared to the PM2. The Manix 2 comes with more jimping so provides a little more traction. Also, the PM2’s pocket clip has four mounting positions versus only two on the Manix. Where the PM2 excels is the compression lock which is perhaps the best out there and superior to the Manix 2’s ball lock in my opinion. I also find it easier to open/close the Paramilitary 2 with one hand.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2 vs Benchmade Griptilian: It’s no secret the Griptilian is one of my favorites but overall the PM2 is simply a better knife. You’ll pay for it though, at roughly 1.5x the price. The Griptilian is comfortable but it feels totally different in your hands versus the PM2. The Grip fills your hand a little more but feels far more plasticky which can put some people off. The PM2 has superior steel (S30V vs 154CM) and while the Benchmade AXIS lock is excellent it’s sub-par against the PM2’s compression lock. Again, the PM2 wins overall here but perhaps not a fair match given the price difference.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2 vs Benchmade 940: Wow this is tough. Both formidable EDC’s but I give a slight edge to the PM2. The 940 is super light and thin in your pocket. It’s stainless steel handle won’t rip up your jeans as much as the PM2’s G-10 but at the sacrifice of far less grip. The PM2’s blade is better at cutting given the flat grind and extra belly versus the 940. Consider the 940 as a high performance gentleman’s knife whereas the PM2 is more of a tactical warrior.
To wrap up, for what you’re getting I find that the ParaMilitary 2 is easily one of the best value knives out there. This is clearly evidenced by the fact they these knives are often sold out and really quite hard to come by. Seriously people, if you see this knife on sale at your favorite online retailer (I check Amazon regularly) then you should consider grabbing it. If you just happen to see it for under $120 then don’t even think – just buy!
Pros: Superb ergonomics, feels nimble and light, excellent steel and blade shape, amazing locking mechanism, quality construction
Cons: The thin tip may not be suited for all applications
Bottom Line: If you can afford it, buy it. If you can’t, buy it anyway.
*update* after using this for a while im not overly impressed with the performance, the build quality is great but the AUS8 blade steel is just lacking when combined with such a small cutting surface.
(skip to 3:00 if you just want to see the knife)
Al Mar S.L.B. (Stout Little Backup)
STEEL: AUS 8. Rc 57-59
BLADE LENGTH: 1.75″
BLADE THICKNESS: .10″
WEIGHT: 1.5 oz. (mine weighs 1.9oz)
ACTION: Liner Lock
SCALES: Black Linen Micarta
CLIP: Black, S/S
Credit to: V6outdoors
Gerber Ripstop I
The Gerber Ripstop I is a lightweight knife with sleek, cool features. It’s skeleton frame of stainless steel gives the Ripstop I its bold design, and it’s why the knife is so light at 2 ounces. This doesn’t make it a flimsy knife. It’s solidly constructed and strong.
Gerber Gear is an American brand founded in 1939 and still manufacturing knives out of Portland, Oregon. They’ve been a brand that have built a reputation on quality craftsmanship and innovation. This legacy is apparent in the Ripstop I. It’s sleek form and innovative design far surpass other knives that try to be original and unique.
The Gerber Ripstop knife is a bit futuristic looking but it’s a fully functional knife that is easy to carry every day. The knife measures at an overall length of 5.75 inches. The size and low weight allows it to be a great EDC knife. It’s a delightful piece of steel to own, and it would make a great gift for a knife lover who might only have traditional knives.
The Gerber Ripstop 1 has a clip point stainless steel blade with a fine edge that can be sharpened easily. The blade is extremely sharp from the factory, but at some point it will need to be sharpened and the 440 steel Gerber uses on the Ripstop is quick to take an edge.
There’s two ways of opening the knife. The first way is to use the dual thumb studsto quickly flick the knife open one-handed. The second way is to use the square cut out opening at the top of the blade to pull the blade from its seating. Either way, the blade will open smoothly and locks tight into the open position.
The unique skeleton handle is made of stainless steel, but it has a polished, brushed steel look and not a cheap chrome or shiny coating that will become scuffed. The brushed steel gives it a luxurious finish. The handle has a regular sized pivot screw but with an embellishment that makes the pivot screw look larger and more interesting.
The Gerber Ripstop has a very strong pocket clip that rides high on the knife so that the knife itself isn’t visible above the pocket line. This gives the knife a discreet appearance, which is important in some situations. An every day carry knife does not always have to be obvious.
The handle has a length of 3.4 inches. This is relatively small for an EDC, and it’s great for an inconspicuous carry. This knife is comfortable in larger hands, but it might be more comfortable in smaller hands. This is something to consider when buying the knife for yourself or for a gift.
•The Gerber Ripstop I is very lightweight.
•It has a unique handle design for showing off to friends. It’s the perfect knife for a collector.
•The blade length is under the requirements for most every day carry knives.
•The clip allows the knife to ride low in the pocket.
•The handle might be more comfortable in smaller hands.
•It’s so lightweight that some owners might forget they are wearing a knife.
While many collectors have traditional knives that are heavy and bulky, they might not have a streamlined, skeleton handle like the Ripstop. One guy mentioned that he felt a little like Mad Max carrying the knife. If you know someone who might want to have a fun, little knife in their collection that still does fine cutting work, the Ripstop I is perfect. A birthday, Father’s Day or an anniversary are all perfect times to give that special someone a bold, unique gift like the Ripstop.
The Verdict on the Gerber Ripstop I
While the Gerber Ripstop I may seem too lightweight to perform every day tasks, it’s not. The design is unique and bold, yet sturdy and strong. This isn’t a flimsy knife that is a pleasure to look at only. It’s a knife created to be the perfect EDC knife. It’s pleasant to look at, a delight to show off to friends and still a great knife for performing basic cutting tasks. The Ripstop I doesn’t give up functionality just because it’s a beautifully designed knife.
Credit to: Pocket Knife Life
Benchmade Griptilian 551 Folding EDC Knife Review
You can get your Griptilian from Blade HQ here.
The Benchmade Griptilian has been a mainstay in the Benchmade catalog for many years, and its reputation as an excellent EDC knife has always been touted. It’s an extremely utilitarian knife, both practical and neutral from top to bottom, making it as functional of an everyday carry knife as you’re really ever going to get. Available in a wide variety of options, from different sizes to different colours, as well as other slightly varied features, it seems to me that if you’re in the market for a Benchmade Griptilian, you’ll find at least one that suits you just right.
Benchmade Griptilian Folding Everyday Carry Knife – Amazon
When I first held the Griptilian, the first thing I noticed is how light it really is. At 3.8 ounces (108 grams), it’s truly a remarkable weight, especially taking into account how meaty the blade is for an everyday carry knife.
The overall length of the Benchmade Griptilian is 20.3 cm (8 inches). The blade is a solid 8.8 cm (3.45 inches) of that. It’s a nice change to review a knife where more or less all of the blade has an edge. Very little to no space is wasted, and for its size, this knife packs a lot of cutting power.
The handles are the biggest, and really the only, draw back to the Griptilian. The scales are made of a material called Noryl GTX. To be honest I don’t care very much for branded names, to me the handles are just plastic, and unfortunately, unlike the Spyderco Endura & Delica, the Griptilian scales really feel like plastic, in that cheap, hollow sorta way.
A lot of this has to do to the way the scales are molded, with arches and nested liners that don’t travel across the entire length of the handle. It’s a shame, but realistically, this lightweight construction has to have some sort of downside. Luckily, the downside is worth the extremely lightweight end result.
The Griptilian comes in many different flavors. My Griptilian, the 551, features standard thumb studs. They are removable, are attached using torx screws, and function extremely well.
It’s worth bearing in mind that if you love the idea of the Griptilian, but not the deployment method, you do have the option of getting one with a hole. The Benchmade Griptilian 550 features a Spyderco-like hole, making deployment much easier if it’s what you’re used to. Options are always nice, and with the Griptilian you have many of them: from color, to steel, to size, to handle material, and finally, even the hole as well. Impressive variety; good job on that Benchmade.
The axis lock on the Benchmade Griptilian disengages unbelievably smoothly. If you’re even considering purchasing this knife, you should pick it up and give it a shot. It’s almost glass smooth and I found myself flicking the knife open and closed so many times that Elise got annoyed and confiscated it from me for the evening.
I also own the Benchmade Adamas, and by comparison, the action on the Griptilian is much much smoother. Actually, I don’t think I own another knife that comes close to being as smooth as this. Damn nice.
The clip on the Griptilian is extremely good looking in a very old school sorta way. Reminds me a lot of the Emerson style clips. Functionally, it doesn’t carry deep like a Spyderco Sage would, but it’s discreet enough for everyday use.
The Benchmade Griptilian’s 154CM 8.8 cm (3.45 inch) blade is very well ground, with a very lean saber hollow that’s barely noticeable and is actually almost a flat. The knife does have uniform grind marks under the stonewash, but in terms of pure function, I saw absolutely no defects or imperfections. Nice.
The tip is a good compromise between having a needle point and a good all round EDC blade. It’s tough enough for everyday tasks, but certainly don’t pry with it.
Balance on the Griptilian is, for all intents and purposes, perfect. Another reason why 99% of knives should use nested liners as the Griptilian does.
Centering was terrible, but functionally, honestly that doesn’t matter. The knife functions perfectly, and the blade does not drag against the handles. Adjustments with the pivot proved futile, so I left it as is.
As you may remember from the Spyderco Military review I did (yes, if you’re new around here, I do have a lot of Spydercos), I have nothing but love for nested liners. The Griptilian is the perfect example of this. It’s almost absurdly light at 3.76 ounces (106.6 grams), and that’s no small part due to its nested construction.
Interestingly, the jimping on the Noryl GTX (similar to Grivory) handles happen to be sharper and more aggressive than the jimping on the steel liners. Nicely manufactured, I like it.
Deployment of the Benchmade Griptilian is ridiculously fast. The glassy action on the axis lock makes the blade lash out like a demon out of hell. It’s a wonderfully smooth mechanism, and I gotta admit I am pretty addicted to it! Hands down, the deployment is one of my favourite things about this knife.
Absolutely no choil to speak of on the Griptilian. The heel of the blade is sharp, and should the lock fail, although it is extremely unlikely, say goodbye to your digits.
In saber grip, the Griptilian is very natural, with extremely strong retention due to the neutral ergonomics of the handle, as well as the generous amount of jimping scattered all over the knife. There’s just no way this knife will slip out of your grip. Mel Pardue really thought through the ergonomics when he was designing the Griptilian.
Choking up on the blade is average in comfort. The guard sweeps down relatively aggressively, so the point does tend to bite into your pointer finger. The Griptilian is obviously biased toward a saber grip, and taking into account how comfortable the saber grip was, I see nothing wrong with that.
Reverse grip is extremely neutral and much like the saber grip: very comfortable.
Pinching up on the blade would have been comfortable were it not for the thumb stud digging into my flesh. That being said, I am not sure you would want to use this knife for field dressing game anyway, as blood and other fluids may find themselves inside the axis lock mechanism. I haven’t used this knife for messy tasks so if anyone has used an axis lock around blood and entrails, please let me know how the clean-up was.
If you’re thinking of giving the axis lock a try (and I fully recommend that you do), the Benchmade Griptilian is an excellent reference. Its smoothness when disengaging is on another level, so if you’re a sucker for that kind of thing, you’ve gotta test this one out.
Benchmade has been a dominant knife manufacturer from the very beginnings of my interest in knives. The Griptilian is quite likely Benchmade’s single most purchased knife, and so, like many others, the very first Benchmade I owned was a Griptilian. It only takes a short amount of use to see why this one is has been a mainstay in the Benchmade line up. From its neutral ergonomics to its glassy smooth action, this knife is an excellent, extremely practical everyday carry folder, and whilst I do wish the price point was a touch lower, I have no regrets purchasing it.
I just wanted to take another look at my Spyderco Dragonfly.
Overall Length: 5.44″
Blade Length: 2.31″
Blade Material: VG-10 (Stainless)
Lock: Front Lock
Closed Length: 3.22″
Handle Material: Foliage Green G10
Weight: 2.00 oz.
Country of Origin: Japan
Thanks for watching!
Credits to: BT Blades
The plain-Jane Spyderco Endura 4 may be lacking in exotic blade steel and handle material but it is a classic design that is nearing it’s 25th Anniversary! The original Spyderco Endura was released in 1990 and in the decades since it has become the standard bearer for the modern pocket clip EDC knife.
- 4-way Clip; Screw together construction; Skeletonized steel internal liners; Phosphor bronze brushings; David Boye Dent
- FRN Bi-Directional Textured(TM) Handle; Enlarged opening hole; Spine Jimping; Flat saber-ground blade
- Specifications: Closed – 5″; Overall 8-3/4″; Blade – 3-3/4″; Blade Steel – VG-10
- Weight – 3.6 oz.; Handle Material – FRN
- Hole Diameter – 1/2″; Blade Thickness – 1/8″; Plain Edge
The Spyderco Endura 4 has excellent ergonomics. The funky handle shape will never be confused for the classic lines of a Buck 110 but it just feels right in your hand. I’ve carried one model of the Endura or another since getting my first one in 2002 and I’ve yet to find one that offers anything but comfort in all grips.
The Spyderco Endura 4 introduced what is called “bi-directional” texturing to the Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon (FRN) handle. This is an excellent design and I think it really elevates what might be considered a low end handle material into something special. It makes for a positive grip in any reasonable way you might hold onto the knife
The blade on the Spyderco Endura 4 is made of VG-10 steel. Vg-10 is no longer considered a super steel but it still beats out a lot of the competition especially when Spyderco’s excellent heat treatment is factored in (More Than Just Surviving recently had an excellent post on Super Steels, it is worth a look if you are into EDC knives).
The plain-Jane Spyderco Endura 4 has a Sabre grind instead of the Full Flat Grind that a lot of the other Enduras have (Spyderco Endura 4 FFG or the Spyderco Endura 4 ZDP-189). This gives the Spyderco Endura 4 a bit more overall blade strength particularly in the tip where the full flat ground blades are so delicately thin. I wouldn’t start prying open ammo boxes with it but the extra tip strength is noticeable.
In knife circles these days there is a lot of negative hype about the simple lock back style lock that the Spyderco Endura 4 has. I’m not one to bash on it. I think that the Spyderco Endura 4 is clearly an EDC knife and as such I don’t expect to have to take on the Stygian Hordes with it. For all but the most extreme tasks the lock back will be fine. It does have a small David Boye dent for a little more piece of mind that you won’t some how disengage the lock while using the knife. In my personal use I have never accidentally disengaged any lock back folder, so I really think this is just Internet hype.
Carrying The Spyderco Endura 4
What can I say about carrying the Spyderco Endura 4? It is light and compact, it’s 4-way adjustable pocket clip conforms to any typical style of carry, and it lacks any pocket shredding hot spots. I can’t even nit pick on it. It might be a tad big for some office environments but it’s smaller cousin the Spyderco Delica 4 is for the indoor crowd.
The Spyderco Endura 4 is a 4.5 out of 5 STARS in my book. It is one of the first knives to combine the features that would become standard in EDC knives. It has a premium steel, a pocket clip, is comfortable to carry, and has a good grip/ergonomics. It only loses out of a 5 Star rating due to the Sabre Grind. In my mind the enhanced cutting ability of the FFG models is what elevates them to 5 Star status. Having said that I still carry my old faithful Spyderco Endura 4 on a regular basis as it has become an old friend by now.
Spyderco Delica 4 FFG
The Spyderco Delica 4 FFG is an awesome piece of resin and steel, and wholly deserving of a review!
The Spyderco Delica 4 FFG is essentially a smaller version of the excellent Spyderco Endura 4 FFG, of which I am an unabashed fan! The Delica’s blade shape differs a little bit from the Endura’s, but if you are familiar with the Endura the Delica will seem like an old friend.
The Full Flat Ground version is a special edition of the Spyderco Delica 4. Spyderco has taken the regular Delica 4 and added a full flat grind on the blade and offers it in a variety of colors.
- 7.125-inch open length
- 4.25-inch closed length
- 2.875-inch VG-10 steel blade
- 2.56-inch cutting edge
- 0.5-inch blade hole
- 0.09-inch blade thickness
- 2.5-ounce weight
- FRN handle material
In my review of the Spyderco Endura 4 FFG I raved about what a good job Spyderco had done in achieving such a lightweight carry knife. Well, all of what I said still holds true but it goes double for the Spyderco Delica 4 FFG! The Spyderco Delica 4 FFG is an incredibly svelte 2.5 ounces. To achive this Spyderco has gone with their excellent Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon (FRN) as a handle material and the knife has skeletonized liners.
The Spyderco Delica 4 FFG is also blessed with an excellent bi-directional texturing job on the handle. In conjunction with some well placed jimping the Spyderco Delica 4 FFG is glued to your hand whether you have gloves on or not.
The Spyderco Delica 4 FFG has an amazingly thin VG-10 blade. VG-10 isn’t a gee-whiz wonder steel anymore but it is a favorite of mine. It sharpens to an almost unbelievably razor sharpness and has decent edge retention. It isn’t nigh indestructible like the M4 on my Benchmade Contegobut it is more than adequate for a lightweight EDC knife. It does sharpen a lot easier than something like S30v.
Like a lot of Spyderco’s the Delica 4 FFG has a bit of a funky blade shape but it works well for me as an EDC knife. The oversized Spyderhole makes opening the Spyderco Delica 4 FFG a breeze under all conditions. The blade doesn’t have enough mass to SNAP open with a flick but with some practice it can be flicked open pretty fast.
The Spyderco Delica 4 FFG should not be used for prying under ANY circumstances! The thin blade is just dying to break under some misuse. Just use it as the superior slicer that it is and be happy!
The Spyderco Delica 4 FFG gets through life with just a lock back to keep the blade open. For a light use knife like the Spyderco Delica 4 FFG I think it is more than adequate. The Delica 4 FFG is just plain doesn’t need a super heavy duty lock as it really isn’t meant for heavy use. I you are looking to storm the castle armed only with a pocket knife and a loin cloth the Spyderco Delica 4 FFG isn’t for you.
Carrying The Spyderco Delica 4 FFG
The Spyderco Delica 4 FFG practically disappears into my pocket. Those 2.5 ounces are easy to forget about until you need it. The blade is ultra sharp and handles light cutting tasks with ease. In my daily work the Spyderco Delica 4 FFG excels at cutting rope, twine, and opening boxes. In a pinch I’ve used to strip some cable but feel that there are a bunch of heavier tools for that job but the Delica 4 FFG did make it through the ordeal.
The Spyderco Delica 4 FFG is another 5 out of 5 Stars EDC knife. It is a joy to carry in your pocket so it will be there when you need it and it’s highly capable VG-10 blade will handle most daily cutting chores. As long as you understand that it isn’t a prybar the Spyderco Delica 4 FFG will give years of faithful service.