Thursday, May 8, 2008

Survival Folder - The Ritter Mini Griptilian by Benchmade

Right after Practice What You Preach (PWYP) 6, I received a Benchmade / Doug Ritter Mini-Griptilian, Model Mini-RSK Mk1™. The Mini-Grip has been my constant companion since and I thought I'd share my thoughts and impressions of it here.

There's something to be said for carrying a knife which was conceived by someone with an outdoor survival mindset and background. "It works." Add in the following components and you have one great knife for either everyday carry in an urban environment or hard use in the field...

1. Griptilian handle & mechanical design by Mel Pardue,
2. AXIS Lock design by Bill McHenry and Jason Williams,
3. Blade Design by Doug Ritter of Equipped to Survive and, and;
4. A great knifemaker like Benchmade to put it all together.

Here's the tech specs on the Mini-Grip Mini-RSK Mk1™:

Blade Material: CPM S30V hardened to 58-60 HRC

Blade Length: 2.88 in. (7.32 cm)

Blade Thickness: 0.100 in. (2.54 mm)

Blade Shape: Wide-Chord Drop Point

Blade Grind: High Flat grind with 30º inclusive edge, 6.9º bevel

Blade Edge: Plain Edge

Blade Finish: Stonewashed or also available with Black BT2

Closed Length: 3.87 in. (9.82 cm)

Open Length: 6.74 in. (17.12 cm)

Handle Thickness: 0.51 in. (1.30 cm) max

Weight: 2.68 oz. (76 g)

Handle Material: Glass-filled Noryl GTX

Liners: 410 Stainless Steel

Pivot Washers: Phosphor Bronze

Pocket Clip: Ambidextrous Reversible Removeable Stainless Steel

Lock Mechanism: Ambidextrous AXIS Lock

Opener: Ambidextrous Dual Thumb Studs

That all adds up to a knife that's easily pocketable, extremely reliable, extremely durable, comfortable to carry and to use, highly rust resistant, and easy to maintain. It throws in an awesome blade shape for general purpose uses that takes and holds an awesome edge.

I've used mine for weeks now, inclusive to use during the Memorial Day weekend at Marty and Aggie Simon's encampment at the Wilderness Learning Center. I've used the Mini-Grip at work for cutting boxes, tape, and cable ties. I've used it at home for almost every routine chore, inclusive to preparing cardboard and plastic recycleables for pickup. I've also used it at camp for cutting 550 cord, boxes, food prep, and any other knife chore I could find...

While I'm at it here, I can truly say the Mini-RSK Mk1™ cuts very easily and cleanly. Special thanks to Fernando Gonzalez (Akabu1) for assisting me with testing by patching me up after just barely touching the blade to my left index finger.

Through all of the use the Mini has seen thus far, it has not needed a complete resharpening. Routine stropping of the blade after every or every other use has kept the blade nearly light-sabre sharp. There has been absolutely no evidence of any edge chipping, and accidentally striking the blade on my polymer cutting board several times didn't even cause an edge rollover. The S30V steel seems to be hardened sufficiently to allow for awesome edge retention without being brittle. I'll try to remember to report back on ease of resharpening when it becomes necessary.
Let me say that I am thoroughly enamored with the Mini-RSK Mk1™. Whether for woods walking or trudging a city street, it's a great companion and addition to my everyday carry equipment loadout...

For what it's worth, this one is so good, I have another on order. I am not going to allow Care to swindle this one from me by batting her eyes - she's getting her own.

Need more info on this one? Check out or go to to order...


UPDATE: Here we are, a hair over a year later. Care not only has her own Ritter Mini Grip, she also has a pink scaled Benchmade Mini Grip.
Mine has been used hard over the course of the year, but you'd never know it to look at it. I used a Dremel tool to take the scarred black coating off the pocket clip. Other than that, there's barely a mark on it. The stonewashed S30V steel really takes a licking and stays very sharp with routine stopping. The Noryl GTX handle is still flawless - I think it would survive a nuclear attack. The AXIS lock is still working well. Occassional use of canned air to get any grit and pocket lint out of the lock keeps it nice and smooth.
Here's a pic from last hunting season...



CallHerJimmie said...

Did you modify the blade on your mini-RSK Mk1? The spine's 'hump' or 'peak' just beyond the jimping looks like its been reprofiled-- ground or filed down to be specific. The blade's side profile seems more flat as a result. Or is this just wonky photog perpective? I love this knife and might try it on mine if in fact you've mod'd it.

SgtMike & Care said...

My mini has not been modified other than to remove the chipped powdercoat from the pocket clip. What you're seeing must be photographic perspective...


Marvin8 said...

Just received my mini Ritter in the mail. Blade movement a tiny bit stiff, which should work out with use or lube. The blade was not at all impressively sharp, especially compared to my Benchmade 707-901 and 707-701. Hmmm....