With a rich history dating back over 30 years, Benchmade is the product of many dedicated employees, a never-quit demand for excellence and the de Asis family’s vision and total commitment to culture, service, and innovation. The Benchmade adventure began when Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflects the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives, known as Bali-Songs, he played with as a kid. Using his high-school shop skills, he blueprinted his dream knife before eventually meeting Victor Anselmo, who helped to grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali-Song porotype. Paired with handles that Les sourced from a small machine shop in California, he assembled and finished his first Bali-Song into a local gun store and the owner asked, “Could you build 100 more?” In 1987, due to its inability to control quality, price, and delivery, Pacific Cutlery Corp. filed for bankruptcy and was dissolved in 1988, Les reintroduced a new company and new version of the Model 68; This time with a drive to produce product in the US and an even stronger commitment to product availability, quality and customer relationships. The company now needed a new name. While there was “handmade” and “factory-made”, it was “Benchmade” that described the quality of Les’ product. He was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s position in the market—even to this day. With its first ten years of manufacturing experience behind it, and by working with world-class custom knife makers like Mel Pardue and Warren Osborne, Benchmade perfected a business model that involved lending manufacturing processes to custom knife designs; affording a level of innovation and quality to the larger market that was previously unavailable. This eventually led to Bill McHenry and Jason Williams approaching Benchmade with the AXIS lock… and the future of cutlery was born. To this day, Benchmade continues to focus on innovation, customer needs, responsible business ethics and operations to bring the highest quality products to the world’s elite.
The blade on this knife has been carved out of CPM S30V steel. This steel was designed and manufactured by Crucible Industries, which is an American company. They designed this steel alongside Chris Reeve, famous knife designer, specifically for knives. This means that you are going to get all of the qualities that you searching for when you purchase the Benchmade Bugout knife. For starters, this steel is tough, and since it is a stainless steel, maintenance is pretty low key. This steel is going to be able to stand up to a challenge. This steel is known for resisting rust effortlessly, which is why this steel is often found on survival, hunting, and kitchen knives. S30V steel is known for having the perfect balance between edge retention, strength, and toughness. This is actually a hard combination to master because in most cases, the tougher the steel is, the less strong it is and vice versa. Crucible industries really nailed this balance. There is a drawback, and that is the fact that because it is a harder and tougher steel, this blade will be moderately difficult to sharpen. This isn’t a huge issue, unless you are a beginner sharpener—then it can get a little tricky. All in all, this steel gives you some of the best bang for your buck. You get all of the qualities that you could desire and you don’t have to shell out a fortune for it. Especially since Crucible has released an upgraded version of this steel, so S30V’s price has significantly dropped in the last few years.
The Bugout blade has been finished with a satin finish. This is the most popular knife finish you are going to find on knives today; the satin finish gives you a very classic look. The finish is achieved by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with an increasing level of abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. This finish has a luster that falls in between a mirror polished finish, which is very reflective, and a matte finish, which offers no reflections. This finish is designed to show off the bevels and fine lines of the steel. One of the best qualities of this finish is that because it is so traditional it will never go out of style. The Bugout will look sleek for as long as you own it. The satin finish does work to cut down on glares, reflections, and wear and corrosion slightly. Because of this, the steel does get a bit of a boost for durability.
The blade on this Benchmade knife is a drop point blade shape. This knife has been designed to be the perfect everyday carry blade. From the steel, to the finish, to the blade shape this a classic, tough, and versatile knife. The drop point blade shape is one of the two most popular blade shapes that is in use today. This blade style is tough, versatile, and can take on almost anything. The blade shape gets its name in a very straightforward way—the point of the blade is lowered. The unsharpened edge of the blade runs directly from the handle to the tip of the blade, which creates the lowered point. Drop point and clip point blades are very similar because they are both popular and versatile, but the tips are where they differ. They both do have the lowered tip that makes detail work a breeze, because the lowered quality makes it easy to control. However, the drop point blade has a much broader point than the clip point does. This means that the drop point blade shape is going to excel in tactical and survival knives, because they are durable. The broad tip makes them tough and strong and not likely to break. However, this also means that your stabbing capabilities are diminished quite a bit. The clip point knife shape features a much finer, thinner, and sharper tip. This means that while you do have your stabbing capabilities, your knife blade is much more likely to break or snap off if you try to use it in a more rugged setting. The drop point blade shape is the perfect option for the Bugout because it prepares you for almost any situation you could happen across. The drop point blade is also one of the most versatile knives, perfect for everyday use, because it features such a large belly. A blades belly is what you utilize when you are slicing or performing push cuts, which make up a high majority of cuts that you are going to use throughout your day. If you are in the market for an everyday knife, you should be looking for one with a large belly, which means the Bugout is going to be the perfect option for you.
This knife does sport a combo blade. This means that the upper 2/3 of the blade is a plain edge and the lower third is a serrated edge. The hype surrounding a combo blade is that you get the best of both worlds with it. You can perform your slices and detail work with the upper portion of your blade, but when presented with thicker materials, you also have your saw portion to get through them. The plain edge section is going to give you cleaner cuts; while the serrated portion is going to give you jagged edges. But, because serrated edges are most often used on ropes or branches, you won’t have to worry about the edges being clean. While many knife enthusiasts swear by a combo blade, because they feel prepare for any situation, another big chunk of knife enthusiasts worry that because the blade is smaller, you aren’t getting the best of both worlds. And, because each portion of the blade is even smaller, you aren’t able to effectively use either. Personally, I don’t think that it’s necessarily black and white like that. And, with the Bugout preparing you for most situations, I think the combo edge was the perfect option for this knife.
The handle on this Benchmade knife is made out of blue grivory. This material has been replaced as a replacement for metal. Grivory is used because it has high levels of stiffness and strength, it has little change in property values after absorption of moisture, it does not absorb moisture almost at all, and has really good surface quality.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip on this knife has been designed for tip up carry only, but it is reversible, meaning that it is eligible for either left or right hand carry. This is a deep carry pocket clip, which is a huge benefit in my kind. Deep carry pocket clips keep the knife much more secure inside of your pocket and you won’t have to worry about it jostling out as you go about your everyday activities. Another one of the perks that comes with a deep carry pocket clip is that it is easier to conceal in your pocket when you are carrying. This pocket clip is black, matching the rest of the hardware on this knife which contrasts nicely with the bright blue handle scales.
The Benchmade Bugout features an AXIS locking mechanism. This is a patented Benchmade exclusive, AXIS has been turning heads and winning fans ever since its introduction. A 100 percent ambidextrous design, AXIS gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega-style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS bar itself.
This folding knife also features thumb studs to assist you opening the knife. This is arguably the most common one-hand-opening feature and is used by many knife manufacturers. A thumb stud essentially replaces the nail nick found on more traditional knives. The principle is pretty straightforward—you grasp the folded knife, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open. Once the blade is opened, the blade locks into place because of the AXIS locking mechanism.
The blade on this knife measures in at 3.24 inches long with the Grivory handle measuring in at 4.22 inches long. The overall length of the Bugout knife when it is opened is 7.46 inches long. This Benchmade knife weighs in at 2.3 ounces, which is the perfect weight for your go to everyday carry blade. This knife was made in the United States of America.
The Bugout is the latest installment to the Benchmade Blue Class Line and another notch in the belt for their ultra-lightweight models. Even though the profile is ultra-thin, its abilities remain pronounced with its premium stainless steel blade deployed effortlessly with the AXIS™ mechanism and the nature of the handle keeps moisture off and your grip tight. This Blue Class model, the 535S, features a blue polymer handle, partial stainless steel liners, a drop point style blade, which is partly serrated, in a satin finish and reversible deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for a left or right hand carry option. The combination of the durable steel, the traditional satin finish, and the drop point blade shape mean that you will be ready to take on the world with this knife. This bright blue handle is attractive and gives you a very secure grip on your blade in almost any situation. Pick up your Benchmade Blue Bugout Folder knife today at BladeOps.