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Tuesday, 02 April 2024 19:35

Benchmade Bugout 535BK-4

Written by

Benchmade has several knives that are iconic, like the Griptilian, and the 940. Back in 2017 Benchmade released a new knife that would soon become iconic, the Bugout. The Bugout was what people were looking for: utilitarian, ergonomic, lightweight, axis lock, and was made with quality materials. Since then the Bugout has become one of the best selling knives in history. The Bugout comes in two sizes and a ton of colors. Plus there's a large amount of aftermarket mods you can do to truly make it your own.

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Today we're checking out the Bugout with aluminum handles. This Bugout comes with an overall length of 7.46", a handle length of 4.22", and a blade length of 3.24". Notable features include a Black Cerakote blade in drop point fashion with Bohler M390 steel. What's defining over other Bugouts it's the textures aluminum handles, and maroon titanium thumb studs. These extra features don't weight this down either, as it comes in at a featherweight 2.5oz.

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The handles are what defines this knife. The original Bugouts have a Grivory handle, which is a fairly popular material in the knife industry. Popularized by Cold Steel, and a few other companies, this polymer has a great strength to weight ratio. Benchmade has a long history of using Grivory in it's knives like the Griptilian line. Completely flipping the script Benchmade wanted to do something different and with this model offers textured aluminum handles. The pattern is very reminiscent of Wilson or StarTac. This pattern radiates from the pivot like a starburst and provides a unique texture to the handles. The handles provide a full four finger grip with decent jimping on the spine. Where the deep carry clip is it could be a little uncomfortable. But so far during hard usage it hasn't become a problem, I just notice it there.

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The Bugouts use Benchmade's Axis Lock, which has become the companies defining feature. This extremely tough and ambitious lock has become synonomous with the company. Since the patent has expired it seems like every company has adopted the lock in their lineup. You can call it an A-Lock, Cross-bar, or Clutch lock. But it's going to forever be known as an Axis Lock. It not only defined a company but has revolutionized the industry. I love the Axis, it's easy to operate and it's becoming my preferred locking mechanism.

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The meat and potatoes of any knife is the blade, it's what does the work, and a bad blade can ruin a good design. Thankfully Benchmade has a great design team and the Bugout delivers. The 3.24" blade is just big enough to handle all my daily tasks and not look for anything larger. The drop point is great for a variety of tasks and the flat grind zips through material relatively easy. Chewing up a lot of cardboard I did have to push a bit to get it to go through, but it handled the task and said, "more please". The steel they're using on this Bugout is M390, I've got a few knives in this steel but have never really pushed them hard. Benchmade heat treat is spot on and the properties of this steel give it amazing edge holding ability. After cutting down many boxes, I used another box to strop the edge and see if it would come back to shaving sharp. Yes sir, did not disappoint. I've had several steels give up by this point but M390 is a beast.

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The Bugout is every good as people say. It's lightweight, easy to use and performs really well. This knife has definitely earned a place among the other Benchmade favorites. You don't have to have this stashed in a bag waiting for the coming storm to hit. The Bugout is great for everyday carry, either dressed up or put to work, it won't let you down.

David Bowen

As Co Founder of Multitool.org David has been a multitool enthusaist since the 90's.  David has always been fascinated with the design inginuity and uselfulness of multitools.

David is always looking forward to what's new in the industry and how the humble multitool continues to evolve as it radically changes and improves the lives of users.

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