My First Knife


February 2, 2003, 12:37 AM
No, it's not a Sony. But it _is_ my first folder:

Benchmade 556 Mini-Griptillian MDP.

Picked it up today on a total impulse buy - seems very solid. Main need I have for a knife is for opening packages, mail, etc...

So far, I'm hooked. I can't stop flicking it open and closing it - some close calls so far (near nicks from the blade). I'm storing it in the 'coin pocket' of my jeans - totally concealed, and quick to access.

Anyone have recommendations for websites covering safe knife usage, opening/closing techniques, grips, etc?



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February 2, 2003, 12:50 AM
Great knife, great first choice. Probably makes everyone's top 10 or top 15 list for folders. Here's a slightly dated link, in case you haven't seen it:

Since then, over the last 7 or 8 months, the praise has only increased.

Jim March
February 2, 2003, 03:14 AM
Good piece. GREAT lock, good grip design, doesn't look all that "gonzo commando" but it'll fight just fine for it's size class.

Bit small for my tastes ;).

Don Gwinn
February 2, 2003, 10:02 AM
My advice would be to stick to one boring method of opening and closing the knife. To open, just hold it in more or less a normal grip and push the stud with your thumb. With a well-designed knife you should be able to push your thumb in a straight line parallel to the body of the knife as if you were pushing the stud straight out the end of the handle. This is the fastest safe method. People will tell you others, but most are either unsafe or awfully hard on your knife and give you absolutely no advantage.
I'm sure this is the method you've been using, and it seems like the experts have something better. They don't, with the possible exception of simply switching to an Emerson with the Wave or an automatic.

The grips you want to practice in right now are called "hammer" and "saber." Hammer grip is just what it sounds like. You wrap your fingers and thumb around the grip and hold tight, just like a hammer haft.
Saber is almost the same, but you will place your thumb on the back of the grip or the back of the blade. You probably use your knife this way already. Most people prefer it for light cutting because it allows more control. Hammer, though, is much more secure if you have to hack through something heavy (cutting the hawser on a pirate ship to facilitate your escape, for instance) or in a fight.
Have fun!

February 2, 2003, 11:43 AM
Cool! nice lookin' blade there Sven!

here is my first "MicroTech" folder.:)

I will make a nice set of "Birdseye Amboina"wood grips for it.

February 2, 2003, 05:45 PM
It's not your knife until it makes you bleed!!! :D

February 2, 2003, 06:19 PM
G19 and Emerson Commander

February 2, 2003, 09:27 PM
Congrats on the new blade Sven. It's a nice-looking blade. I really like the Axis lock and own both a 705 and a 710. I might have to give that Griptillian or Mini Griptillian a look.

February 2, 2003, 10:48 PM

Thanks for the operation advice - will do as you say - sounds intuitive and that has been my preferred method of opening so far. Only reason I questioned it is that the "Knife Guys" at the sporting goods store always like to 'flick' them open. I found that by lightly pulling back on the axis lock button, I could decrease the force necessary to cause the blade to begin moving, and WHACK that edge out in a split second...

Unfortunately, I found that 2% of the time I would fail to release my pressure on the axis lock button, and the blade would fail to stay locked, presenting a potentially dangerous situation were I already into my full grip and engaging.

Now I need to learn how to 'draw' the knife out of the coin pocket without having the clip's lip snag on the edge of my jeans.

February 3, 2003, 08:45 AM

You chose well in picking the Griptilian as your first knife. It is well designed and well made and should give years of service.

What is it that you want to do with the knife? Don's perfectly correct that the safest/surest way to open the knife is pushing the thumbstud all the way to the locked position in either a in-line manner or in an arc folloing the path of travel of the stud. Either way works and will keep you off of the edge. The way you've been trying will cause the blade to bounce back or not completely lock up. Stick with the way the manufacturer intended the knife to be opened for a while and you'll be fine. (Think of how silly it would have been trying to quick-draw/trick-shoot your Glock the first few times you handled it:D )

Try carrying it in your waistband just about where your jeans watch pocket is. Withdrawing the knife only depends on a strong pinch grip in the watch pocket, but IWB allows you to pinch the top and cup the bottom of the knife with the rest of your fingers while you slide it out. Pinch the top, drop the rest of your fingers down the front of you pants and under the bottom of the knife and push. It shold slide the knife right off the waistband.

Grip depends on what you want the knife for. If you want to use it as a fighter you need to base that on what training you've had in martial arts. If you've been used to western boxing then the overhand/icepick grip may work best for you. Simply grip the knife in your fist with the blade forward coming out of the bottom of your hand. Punch so that the knife hits your attacker instead of your hand. Other techniques require more training and if you think that you might carry the knife as a weapon instead of only as a tool you need to train with it.

I don't advocate using your utility knife as a weapon since most folks won't keep it sharp all of the time. You also need to understand that a knife is not a less-than-lethal weapon and will not be treated as such by law enforcement if you use it.

Don Gwinn
February 3, 2003, 09:25 AM
No problem. My advice is free, and worth every penny! But I've put in my time learning, for example, to hold a Spyderco by the hold and flip the handle off the blade, after which you're supposed to be perfectly positioned for a very fast immediate slash with the blade still pinched between forefinger and thumb.
Sounds silly, doesn't it? Well, it is. The guy who taught it to me said it was the way Sal Glesser used his, and it's tempting to do it the way the expert does. But then, I never did find out whether Sal actually recommends doing this or not. What I did find out is that it's not very reliable and more often than not you lose the knife when you try to make that super-cool first slash against an actual target. A cardboard box is enough to turn the knife in nasty fashion, because you don't really have a grip--even your thumb and forefinger are really just in the hole. And honestly, once you get good with the thumbstud you'll be just as fast.

Now, your method at least involves keeping a good grip, so it makes a lot more sense. However, if you practice with the thumb stud I bet you'll find it's not any faster to "flick" it in that fashion, and the stud is much more reliable and positive. If you ever have to get that thing open in a hurry to break the car window and save your baby (or conquer a tactical situation involving a rogue bagel) you'll prefer a positive, smooth, solid technique even at the cost of speed.

Which doesn't mean you can't play with the thing and flip it around all you want, of course. I just did Sal's trick with a Benchmade Ascent for old time's sake.

When people who know you no longer ask what that snick! sound is when you're on the phone with them, you're practicing enough. :D

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