The Gryphon M-10 is generally considered to be one of the greatest compact self defense knives of all time. It is a true classic that for several years was unavailable for purchase unless you could find a used one. A few weeks ago, I was lamenting the M-10 that I lost years ago when a friend told me that they were being sold again by the Cutlery Shoppe.
Not only is the M-10 available once again, the Cutlery Shoppe has made this classic Bob Terzuola design better than ever. Previous versions utilized ATS-34 or AUS-8 steel (I had an ATS-34 version), both of which are fine steels for a knife like this. However, this new iteration features VG-10 steel which is easily my favorite stainless steel (and I don’t even really like stainless steels). VG-10 may be outclassed in edge retention by some modern super steels, but it is no slouch and it is extremely easy to sharpen. Like the original, the blade is 4″ long and 3/16″ thick.
The new version also features a DLC black finish on the blade to cut down on glare. It has been my experience that DLC is a great coating for knives if you have to have a coating. It holds up well to wear and isn’t as thick and pasty as some coatings.
The best thing about the new version is the sheath. Many people try to carry fixed blade self-defense knives only to be turned off by how difficult or uncomfortable they are to carry. Most knives comes with sheaths that are nothing more than an afterthought. The Gryphon M-10 comes with a concealex (kydex) sheath system designed my Mike Sastre of River City Sheaths that offers nearly endless configuration options. My favorite way to carry a knife like this is inside the waistband on my weak side with the handle in toward my center line. This allows easy access with either hand and translates well to handgun retention techniques. Many people are surprised at just how comfortable and easy it is to carry an 8″ long knife once they have experienced a decent sheath.
Thankfully, all of the M-10′s best features are intact. The grippy, well contoured zytel handle is still the same as the original. This handle is part of what makes the M-10 great. It locks the hand in place without favoring any one grip. It also features just enough of a double guard to keep your fingers off the blade without getting your way during certain types of cuts. The well designed blade is still intact as well. It may be 3/16″ thick but the aggressive grinds keep the blade feeling light and lively with a very acute tip.
If you spend just a few moments with one of these knives in your hand or on your belt, you will see why the Gryphon M-10 is so well regarded. I am thrilled that they are back on the market and hope to pick one up soon for a full review.
Check out the Gryphon M-10 on CutleryShoppe.com.