Someone asked me the other day what knife I brought with me to Ranger school. I completed Ranger school back in 2012 and with me I had a Benchmade Griptilian. The criteria of a solid knife in school is pretty limited. First Is it light enough that you would be willing to carry it? This rules out any fixed blade or a folder with a heavy handle.

I picked the Griptilian because it has a light plastic handle that will still provide some traction when wet or wearing gloves. Next you need to be able to open a MRE. Besides slicing open your favorite brown bag meal, all you will be doing with your knife is cutting tie downs or stabbing trees as you walk by. Lastly, will it rust? In school you are going to be soaking your uniform in salty sweat and in Florida you will be chest high in swamps. The Griptilian uses 154 CM as its blade steel. I never experienced pitting or rust as long as I kept up with minimal cleaning. The last thing I appreciate is the hole for connecting a lanyard too. In school there is a reason you tie everything down; because stuff gets lost.

When you are the only guy with a sharp knife it seems everyone wants to borrow it, so attaching it to your belt along with a clip prevents it from walking away. I also recommend attaching a small sharpener to the lanyard to maintain your edge.

This article was originally published on the Loadout Room.

Author – William Hoyt is a former Army Ranger of 1/75. He is now pursuing his bachelors in psychology and coaching swimming.