Benchmade Griptilian 551 H20 Knife


551 H20


  • Premium AXIS® Function
  • Highly Corrosion Resistant Blade Steel
  • Ambidextrous Thumb-Stud Opener
  • Grip Textured Molded Orange Handle
  • Blade Length:  3.40″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.115″
  • Blade Material: X15 T.N. Stainless Steel
  • Blade Hardness: 58-60HRC
  • Blade Style: Modified Drop-Point; Ambidextrous Thumb-Studs
  • Weight: 3.82oz.
  • Clip: Tip-Up, Silver Polished Stainless Steel Split-Arrow
  • Lock Mechanism: AXIS
  • Overall Length: 8.07″
  • Closed Length: 4.62″
  • Sheath Material: Sold Separately
  • Class: Blue
  • Retail Price: $120.00


November 9, 2009

by Anderson Bowman


I do not think there is a man alive who does not own a knife of some sort.  When I was growing up my father and all my uncles had pocket knives of one sort or another, even my uncle who was a Pentecostal minister carried a pocket knife, even if it was only used to clean his finger nails with, or so he claimed.

It was the greatest thrill of my young life when I received my first pocket knife as a Christmas present and I think this is the reason that I still love the sensation of opening a box to find a new knife inside to this very day.  As a hiker and camper I have always carried a knife more out of its potential use and utility than anything. There is always the block of cheese, piece of webbing, or beef jerky to cut, but I always like to feel like the knife I carry in my pack is tool that could do anything if I needed it to. Do not get me wrong. I have valid uses for a knife on the trail, but I think there is a part of me that always wants to carry way more knife than I will ever need.

When the Benchmade Griptilian 551 H20 knife arrived I was not just happy, but my heart was filled with love for the potential that this knife holds.  The orange color of the handle is not something I would normally choose for a knife I carry everyday, but it is something that appeals to me as a hiker. I cannot count the number of black or brown handled folding knives that I have dropped on the trail, at campsites, or left behind and then was completely unable to locate due to the color of the knife.  Just at a glance I can already tell that there is no way I would miss this particular knife lying on the ground when I do a normal policing of a campsite before a put my pack on and head out.

After some careful handling I quickly figured out how to open and close the Griptilian 551 H20 with one hand. The AXIS locking system is a spring assisted system that allows a quick and easy one-handed opening and closing of the knife.


To close the knife I simply hold the AXIS stud (on the handle) with my thumb and middle finger and push the blade closed with my index finger.  The opening process is similar and allows me to push the knife open with one hand and while never being at risk for cutting myself.  This is a feature that I can really grow to like. Being able to hold something in one hand while getting the knife out and open or closed is a great idea.  While on the trail it seems like I always have a hiking pole in one hand and not having to put it or something else down to use this knife is going to be a huge plus.

Benchmade Griptilian 551 H20 Knife
The blade grayish pewter colored blade appears sturdy and from a quick test with a piece of paper, it is extremely sharp.  I think the color of the blade is related to its advertised corrosion resistant properties, but I sure do like it.  Over all I am impressed with this knife after handling it for a couple of hours.  I am going to replace my current folding blade knife with the Benchmade Griptilian 551 H20 and use the new knife on all my day-hikes, over-night hikes, and fishing trips to see how well it performs on everyday trail tasks and what I consider everyday wear and tear.

Benchmade, but Heaven Sent

January 8, 2010
by Anderson Bowman

After two months with this knife I am more concerned about one of my fishing buddies swiping it than it not doing its job.  Time and time again I have heard the comment “Use my knife, don’t get your fancy one dirty cutting bait or cleaning fish.” I have to agree with them, the Benchmade Griptilian 551 H20 Knife is fancy, but it is also meant for serious use.

I have put it to good use on my fishing trips despite the great concern that my friends have shown for this knife’s well being.  It has been wet, sandy, and nasty in more ways than I care to comment on, but a good quick rinse in warm water has always returned it good condition. I have not held back so this knife has seen a great deal of exposure to water and even on one occasion, salt water, and it does not show any signs of corrosion or wear.

Probably my favorite thing about this knife other than it works and works well, is the orange color of the handle. I have had no issues with putting the 551 H2O knife down and not being able to find it. The color of the handle  jumps right out at me no matter if it is on the floor of a boat or sitting slightly obscured by pine needles on the forest floor. I will not go as far as to claim that I could not lose it if I wanted to, but even with my absent mindedness in full swing, it is a difficult piece of gear to lose.

While the color is eye catching it is the one thing that does not thrill me about this knife. I tend to carry it everywhere and having so visible catches everyone’s attention, even when I would rather it did not.  Other than that, I cannot complain one bit about this knife.

The blade is still razor sharp and opens and closes easily with one hand. It takes some practice to do this, but the AXIS mechanism is smooth and easy to use.  There are no nicks or scratches that I can see on the blade, despite heavy use and as I stated earlier, no rust or corrosion despite being exposed to a great deal of water and moisture.

To close this out I want to comment that I have cut a lot of stuff with this knife. I have cleaned fish, cut squid, cut nylon rope, stripped a battery cable, and other strange uses in the outdoors and around the house.  The blade came from the factory very sharp and it still has its edge despite my heavy and varied usage. There has also been no task that I have attempted with this knife that I could not do. The whole knife is sturdy and well built and there are no loose parts anywhere on it.

Come back in another month to hear my final input on the Benchmade Griptilian 551 H2O Knife.

Final Thoughts on the Benchmade Griptilian 551 H2O Knife

February 4, 2010
by Anderson Bowman

I have been carrying the Benchmade Griptilian 551 H2O Knife pretty much every day for the past three months.  It has been on bird watching, day hiking, and fishing trips of all sorts during this time. This knife has been used for everything from cleaning fish to cutting plastic table clothes at a family reunion.  If there was something to cut, I was usually first on the scene with the 551 H2O.

The blade has remained sharp, with only the plastic table clothes being an issue, but I think that it was a material issue versus a short coming of the blade.  There are some small rust colored spots at different places on the blade, but after some scratching and tasting I am pretty sure that they are stains rather than rust spots.  As often as this knife has been used, I am more than impressed with the way the blade, the handle, and the pocket clip have held up to daily use.

The handle itself is something that I love much more than I thought I would.

Normally I am against bright colored outdoor gear, but for once, I am not. The orange color is not only extremely useful in locating the knife when put down on the ground or on the floor of a boat, but also when it is sticking out of a friend’s pocket. Even better than me being able to see it, I have noticed that while the blade and brand of the knife cause a lot of envy, once other people see the orange handle, they are not so enthused.  Give this thing a black handle and the cool factor would jump up so high that I would have probably been tossed overboard several times just so someone else could have my new knife.  For me, the orange is not only useful, but a great way to discourage sticky fingers who are too worried about the fashion statement that an orange knife makes.

The handle is also very light and I have never had any grip issue with it, even in the slimy arena of bait cutting and fish gutting. It may not be my favorite knife grip but the handle is durable and easy to hold and keep a grip on.

While pocket clips are something new to me in the area of knives, I was very impressed by how firmly the pocket clip on the 551 H2O held the knife in my pocket. There was never an issue with it slipping out or getting lost because the clip held it in place no matter what type of insanity I was up to.  I was also happy that despite being clipped/unclipped so often, the pocket clip also never loosened up. I was very convinced that I would have to tighten it down before the finishing the test period, but I was proven very wrong about this.

To wrap things up, the Benchmade 551 H2O knife is going to be in my pocket for a long time. While the plastic handle has always felt a bit flimsy, it has held up to a ton of use and abuse over the last three months. The entire knife is durable and I really like that the high visibility of the orange color.  I need and use a knife on every trip I take outdoors and knowing that I am not liable to put this one down and lose it makes me very happy.

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