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EDC Competition: Paramilitary 2 vs. Griptilian

Nothing drives a knifemaker like a little competition, which is why great knife brands like Benchmade and Spyderco thrive off of a good-natured rivalry. They are constantly pushing themselves to create better knives by using premium materials and the best manufacturing processes available, all so they can edge out the rest to take home the crown for the best knife. Two specific models have reached the apex of that goal: Spyderco’s Paramilitary 2 and Benchmade’s Griptilian.

While they may not have identical price tags, we chose the Griptilian and the Paramilitary 2 because they’re both American-made, the same general size, intended for similar tasks, and equipped with comparable locking mechanisms. Speaking of locks

 

 

 

 

The Griptilian comes equipped with an AXIS locking mechanism. The lockbar extends through the frame of the knife and is completely ambidextrous, and it allows easy one-handed operation.

 

 

The Paramilitary 2, on the other hand, sports a Compression Lock. It works like a liner lock that’s disengaged from the back of the knife. Just like Benchmade’s AXIS system, the Compression Lock makes one-handed opening a cinch.

How do they compare? Both locks make it possible to open and close the knife without your fingers crossing the path of the blade, making them safer to operate than many other lock systems. They’re also both high-strength options, so you’re unlikely to see them break from heavy-duty use alone. Hop onto any knife forum and they’ll tell you that the omega springs in the AXIS lock tend to experience wear faster than a coil spring, so keep that in mind. The Compression Lock shares the same near-spotless reputation as the AXIS Lock, but there have been reports of a little blade play that comes along with it in some cases.  

 

 

 

 

The Griptilian’s base models feature 154CM steel and glass reinforced nylon handle scales. The ergonomics are stellar and thanks to the gentle curves of the handle, it works in a variety of handholds and with all kinds of hand sizes. The Griptilian family is also relatively broad – there are plenty of profile options, from drop point to modified sheepsfoot blades to Western-style tanto variations. You can even get a plain edge and a combo edge, which is unsurprising given the longevity of the lineup.

 

 

Benchmade also makes it a priority to put out a ton of handle colors, not just your typical OD green or coyote brown options. We’re talking real bright colors like blue, orange, yellow, even pink. For those familiar with the knife industry, you know it tends to favor dark handles, so seeing a slew of color handle options feels like a breath of fresh air.

 

 

If the standard Griptilian model is a stripped down racer, the upgraded iteration is a luxury sports car. That 154CM steel has been upgraded to a premium CPM-20CV blade, and the GRN handles were upped to contoured G10 with blue liners and anodized standoffs.

 

 

The base models for the Paramilitary 2 are a little pricier, but that’s because their materials outclass the components on a standard Grip. That G10 handle scale and S30V blade make all the difference. The Paramilitary 2’s handle may not have the same rounded nature as the Griptilian, but it does offer up a forward finger choil that gives even more real estate for larger hands. The four-position pocket clip and extra large lanyard hole add plenty of versatility to the design.

 

 

The Paramilitary 2 doesn’t have the Griptilian’s diverse blade profile selection, but there are models with a fully serrated edge – an option you won’t find in the Grip family.

 

 

Just like Benchmade’s Griptilian, the Paramilitary 2 has higher end variations that range from regular models to Sprint Runs equipped with fancier handle scales and exotic steels like 52100 tool steel or S110V stainless. The Paramilitary 2 edges out the Grip in terms of premium materials, but for overall diversity, Benchmade takes the gold medal.

 

 

 

The Mini Griptilian offers the same range of blade styles and handle colors as the full-size Grip, which we’ve already counted as a win for Benchmade, and that includes the high-end G10/20CV variant. The miniature version of the Paramilitary 2 is the famous Para 3. While the standard version of the Para 3 has a slightly less sharpened edge than the Mini Grip, it does have a larger handle. The Para 3 is also offered in upgraded versions, often duplicating Sprint Runs from the Paramilitary 2 lineup.

Long story short, these are two incredible EDC knives that are pretty evenly matched with small deviations that could make-or-break which knife you choose to EDC. The good news? They’re both tried and tested knives of the highest caliber, so it’s not like you can make a bad choice.

 

Weigh in with your favorite in the comments below!

 

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Thank You, Veterans!

It’s with pride that we salute the brave veterans who have made countless sacrifices for the betterment of our great country.

“There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.” – Alexander Hamilton

 

 

In honor of their courage and devotion, two percent of all of our sales through Monday, 11/12/18 will be donated directly to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Thank you to all veterans for your service, fortitude, and valor.

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The Last of Spyderco’s Discontinued Knives

We’ve had a few whirlwind weeks since Spyderco announced their annual list of discontinued knives, and we’ve got only a few models left that will never be produced again. These (now super collectible) knives have been severely discounted, so check out the last of what we have to offer before they’re all gone for good!

 

 

 

Spyderco Chaparral Folding Knife 2.79” CTS-XHP Blade, Blue Stepped Titanium Handles

 

 

This model is one of three Chaparral folders we have left, and this one is particularly eye-catching because of the unique blue handles. After a complex initial machining process, the stepped titanium scales are color anodized to give them a brilliant blue hue, and then they’re machined again to make the alternating layers that create the unique pattern.

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The Latest Custom & Mid-Tech Knives at KnifeCenter

Matthew Lerch Custom Mako Flippers

Matthew Lerch Custom Mako Flippers

Extreme precision, superb action, and stunning aesthetics are just some of the features you’ll get in a custom Mako from Matthew Lerch. This former watchmaker puts in the time to refine every aspect of his work to craft these mind-numbing pieces of art that perform as good as they look.

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KnifeCenter’s Favorite ZT Knives

Zero Tolerance Knives is a relatively new brand that first debuted in 2006 with products that were specifically designed for tactical applications. They saw a need in the industry for American-made knives that were built for heavy-duty combat use and could meet the needs of military and law enforcement professionals, so they stepped up with beefy folders like the 0200 and award-winning models like the 0500. While ZT may not have as long of a history as its sister brand Kershaw, they’ve made up for lost time by racking up several awards for their collaborations with famous knifemakers like Rick Hinderer and Dmitry Sinkevich.

ZT is dedicated to the highest caliber manufacturing processes available, and they don’t shy away from taking risks with their designs. We’ve picked what we feel are some of the best knives from ZT’s lineup, starting with one of the best EDCs in their arsenal…

 

Zero Tolerance Hinderer 0562 Flipper

 

 

ZT is known to frequently collaborate with knifemaker Rick Hinderer to create some pretty incredible knives, including the 0562. This folder takes Rick’s exclusive “slicer” grind and adds all the best hallmarks of modern knife construction, easily making this one of the best titanium frame lock flippers on the market. The lockbar features a replaceable hardened steel insert that interfaces with the tang of the blade, and that steel-on-steel interaction is going to last longer than steel on titanium and help prevent lock stick as the knife is broken in. You also don’t have to worry about overextending the lockbar, as there’s a disc on the back that prevents it. The cherry on the cake is the S35VN steel, which can be sharpened to hair-popping levels.

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The Best Flashlights on the Market

Sometimes it feels like we focus so much on the bladed portion of our EDC that we take for granted all of the awesome gear that should be added to any rotation – and that includes a capable flashlight. Dropping a ton of cash on a flashlight may seem silly, but its utility can’t be debated. A flashlight is a lot like a knife, you never know when you may need one, but it’s always best to have one on hand.

But first, let’s address the obvious: what the heck is a lumen? To put it into perspective, a 60 watt incandescent light bulb is equal to about 900 lumens. While a watt is technically the amount of energy it takes to power a light, it’s the lumen count that describes how bright it shines. Here’s our ranking:

Now that we’re all much wiser about a flashlight’s lumenosity (get it?), there are many different styles of flashlights – and one size doesn’t fit all. We’ve broken these flashlights down by their specific utility so you’ll be able to find the right fit for you.

 

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Great Tactical Knives and Gear at KnifeCenter

Spyderco Para 3 Combo Edge and Plain Edge Limited Edition Folders

Spyderco Para 3 Combo Edge and Plain Edge Limited Edition Folders

 

We’ve got two limited edition variations of Spyderco’s popular Para 3 with peel-ply carbon fiber handles and 52100 carbon steel, which provides exceptional wear resistance and edge holding capability. The newest variant is now made even more versatile with a partially serrated edge. These premium materials combined with the Para 3’s open-backed construction and patented Compression Lock mechanism make this a workhorse knife ready to be used, no matter which edge you choose.

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Annual Spyderco Closeout

Annual Spyderco Closeout

That’s the Ticket!

SEE THE SALE!

This is Spyderco’s annual clearance of their discontinued knives. We have reserved as many as we could of these incredible deals from Spyderco, but we don’t know how many we will actually get. Quantities are not guaranteed, so get your order in at these super low prices!

Top Five Best ESEE Knives

Try this: whip out your phone and text the biggest outdoor and survival knife enthusiast you know and ask them this – “who makes the best survival knives in the business?” Chances are, they’re going to tell you that ESEE ranks pretty high (if not the highest). Since 1997, Jeff Randall and Mike Perrin have been changing the game when it comes to the wilderness industry. Their goal is to offer realistic tools that are designed for people that are going to use and abuse them, which is why their brand has been so successful. Their ‘no questions asked’ warranty doesn’t hurt, either – you’re essentially covered for everything but rust. If you break it, they will replace it.  

Even in the company’s philosophy, it clearly states that one of the most important aspects of the business is that ESEE won’t provide a piece of gear that hasn’t been tested in the real world. How seriously do they take that mission? Considering that ESEE’s founders also run an adventure and training company that regularly does jungle survival courses in the Peruvian Amazon, we’d say – very. Anyone who regularly handles outdoor knives knows the power of 1095 carbon, and ESEE is able to get more out of that steel than any other production knife company thanks to their famous heat treatment.    

You know the drill by now – as the leading cutlery retailer, we’re overqualified to cherry-pick the best ESEE knives for you. Let’s begin with the knife that started it all…

 

ESEE-3

 

Best Application

General purpose field and utility knife that’s perfect for bug-out bags or survival kits

Why We Love It

What the ESEE 3 lacks in size, it more than makes up for in strength. It’s the very first knife that Jeff and Mike debuted at ESEE, essentially making it their flagship knife. The National Tactical Officers Association gave it a 4.77 out of 5, cementing its reputation as a favorite with law enforcement and military teams.

Why You’ll Love It

Like we said before, you’re going to get more out of that 1095 carbon steel than you will from any other knife company. This knife is comfortable and easy to carry thanks to its size and versatile sheath. Because this is such a popular knife model, we have over 40 iterations of the ESEE 3. From combo blades to Venom Green finishes to highly visible orange scales, we can pretty much guarantee there’s a model out there for even the most eccentric knife user.

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Top Five Best Benchmade Knives

Benchmade is one of the most widely recognized knife brands in the business – just one look at that distinctive butterfly logo tells you you’re holding a top notch blade. Benchmade has a unique origin story. Les De Asis, the owner and founder, originally wanted to create a high quality version of the cheap butterfly knife he played with as a kid. Once that design was created after working with gifted knife maker Victor Anselmo, he took his prototype to a local gun shop – whose owner immediately wanted 100 more. Thus, Bali-Song, Inc. was born, and that eventually led to the company we now know as Benchmade Knives.

Benchmade says that they have one ultimate goal: make the best knives in the world. We’ve always been wowed by their wide array of distinguished knife designs – I mean, have you ever held a Griptilian? It’s downright sexy. Choosing only five of their top knives is pretty tough, but luckily we did the work so you don’t have to. Buckle up and get ready to scroll through the best knives Benchmade has to offer. From the designs to the materials to the aesthetics, these five Benchmade knives easily reach the caliber expected of such a great knife company.

 

Benchmade Griptilian Folding Knife

 

 

What other knife can you kick off a Benchmade list with other than the famous Griptilian folder? Like many of Benchmade’s knives, the Griptilian features Benchmade’s patented AXIS lock, which is a 100% ambidextrous design that functions due to a riding, hardened steel bar that is machined into the steel liners. Not only is it strong, but it is also safe to use, as you can operate the blade without your fingers crossing into the path of the edge. The Grip’s designer, Mel Pardue, brought his passion for functionality to this design. The driving force behind Pardue’s collaborations with Benchmade is that less is more, and the focus has always been function over form. There are more iterations of the Griptilian than any other knife Benchmade offers. Our favorite is this upgraded design with G10 handles and premium CPM-20CV steel.

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