Contest Winner Jeff O. Shows Off His New Mini-Griptilian


Editor’s Note: Jeff O. is the winner of our Gun/Knife writing contest. FNH-USA working to send him his brand-spanking new FNS-9, which we’ve been told will still take a few weeks to ship. He didn’t have to wait that long for his new Benchmade Mini-Griptilian, however. We’re thrilled that he’s taken some time to compare it to his previous EDC knife, the excellent Kershaw Shallot ZDP. Read and enjoy…

Image courtesy Jeff O.

Top: Benchmade Mini-Griptilian. Bottom: Kershaw Shallot ZDP

When my new Benchmade 556 Mini Griptilian® arrived yesterday (thanks TTAK!) I was surprised just how different it is from my current EDC knife, a ZDP-189 Kershaw Shallot, but then as I played with my new toy, er, I mean tool, I discovered that I really liked it, in many ways because it is so different. I still love my Shallot, but my new mini-Grip is really growing on me.

The mini-Grip is closer to the Kershaw Leek in size, and I chose the Shallot over the Leek because I wanted a larger blade and I really liked its graceful lines. However, over time I’ve found that smaller knives tend to be more nimble and easier to control.

Here are the specs on these two great knives. The ZDP-189 Shallot is discontinued, but you can still find Shallots in Sandvik 14C28N, and eBay still has a few Damascus models available if you want to pay a premium.


Kershaw Ken Onion Shallot 1840CBZDP (2008) Benchmade Mel Pardue 556 BKSN (2013)


“Composite” ZDP-189 (63-64HRC) edge bonded with a 14C28N spine 154CM stainless steel blade (58-60 HRC) with BK-1 coating


Flat ground, recurve clip point Hollow ground, drop point


410 stainless steel, bead-blasted finish, with G-10 spacers Valox with stainless steel liner


SpeedSafe assisted opening with a frame/liner lock AXIS Lock with thumb studs

Clip Options

Tip Down or Tip Up Tip Up only, Ambidextrous

Blade Length

3.5″ 2.91″

Blade Thickness

0.09″ (2.25mm) 0.100″

Handle Thickness

0.35″ 0.510″

Overall Length

7.375″ 6.78″

Closed Length

4.375″ 3.87″


4.2 oz. 2.56 oz.

They are quite different, but someone looking for a good EDC knife will appreciate the strengths each one offers.