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Knife Review: Benchmade 535-3 Carbon Fiber Bugout Folder Knife

Knife Review: Benchmade 535-3 Carbon Fiber Bugout Folder Knife

Posted by SD on Sep 2nd 2021

The Benchmade 535-3 Carbon Fiber Bugout Folder Knife with a CPM S90V Satin Blade

Benchmade knives are known for being high class, high quality knives. When it comes to a Benchmade, there isn’t much that ever goes wrong. And when it comes to the Bugout, well, this is a legendary knife. The Bugout is a fan favorite with features that everyone adores. The Bugout is known for being a super lightweight, classy EDC. This new version, the 535-3 Bugout is no different than its predecessors. It has all of the features that you have come to love, but this is an elevated version of the Bugout. This one features carbon fiber, blue accents, and a CPM S90V blade. This is a premium version of the Bugout, one that is ideal for your EDC. This next-level EDC is sure to be your new favorite.

The Blade:

Each and every aspect of this version of the Bugout has been elevated into the highest of class and quality. For Benchmade 535-3 Bugoutstarters, the blade has been made out of CPM S90V steel. Crucible is the manufacturer and designer behind this steel, which already means that you are going to be able to rely on it. Crucible is known for making high end steels, such as this CPM S90V. This is a super steel. Yes, that is how high of quality that it is, which is one of the many reasons that this new Bugout is as great as it is—Benchmade made sure to give you the very best. This steel is known to be super tough, have high wear resistance, retain its edge unlike any other steel, and it has high corrosion resistance. Typically, you aren’t going to get all of those qualities in one steel, but Crucible managed it.

The wear resistance is important because with an EDC, you are going to be using this knife more often than the other knives in your collection. The wear resistance will ensure that this high-end knife stays that way, it helps guarantee that you don’t have any problems when working with this knife, and it ensures that you can rely on this knife to be your go-to EDC. Just because it looks so classy, doesn’t mean that it can’t work dirty. Along with the wear resistance is the edge retention of this steel. CPM S90V steel is known to have some of the best edge retention in the market. Some people find it almost impossible to dull a knife that is made with this steel. Again, this is an excellent quality for this classy EDC, because you don’t want to always be worrying about getting it sharpened or the maintenance behind a more easily dulled blade. With the edge retention, you can use this blade time and time and time again and it will still deliver like you pulled it out of the box. Of course, the toughness and corrosion resistance levels are just cherries on top of an already great steel. This steel really seems to provide you with practically every single quality that you could want. This starts to set the blade on this Bugout apart from the competition as well as from other Bugout knives. This one really is that good.

The blade has been finished satin, which is the perfect option for this knife. The satin finish is common, yet classy. The look of it doesn’t detract from you noticing the rest of the knife. It’s a simple finish that is often found on EDC’s, but it pairs perfectly with the carbon fiber handle scales and blue accents. The satin finish on the 535-3 Bugout creates a simpler look, so that the knife doesn’t look quite so busy. Instead, this Bugout looks elegant.

Finally, the shape of the blade. This knife features a drop point blade shape, which has the design elements of giving you the best of all the other blade shapes. Like the satin finish, the drop point blade shape is commonly found on EDCs. However, it is for good reason. The drop point blade is designed to really provide you with the ability to take on the widest variety of different tasks. The shape features a large belly, which allows you to excel at slicing. Further, the tip is dropped, which gives you the control for fine detail work. Also, the point is sharp enough that you can do some piercing, but not so sharp that you are going to have to worry about it breaking.

The Handle:

After going over the blade, it’s hard to believe that the rest of this knife could even begin to compare. However, the handle came to compete and is not about to be outdone by the blade. It has been made out of carbon fiber, which has many benefits. Carbon fiber is a material that is created by weaving thin strands of carbon tightly and then setting it in a resin. This process yields a material that is crazy strong, but still lightweight. The strength of carbon fiber is the first detail that starts to set this handle apart from others. The blade on this Bugout is strong, tough, durable, and reliable, which means that you could be using this knife for heavy-duty tasks. This means that the handle strength is a must. Fortunately, the carbon fiber does give this strength. In the direction of the weave, it is particularly strong.

The next detail about carbon fiber that is a major advantage to this knife is the lightweight aspect. The different Bugouts are all known to be super lightweight, yet high quality EDCs. Carbon fiber is one of the more lightweight materials that you can find on a knife. And although this is a larger knife, it weighs in at a mere 1.85 ounces, thanks to 

Benchmade 535-3 Bugout w Carbon Fiber

the carbon fiber handle scales.

While all of the Bugout’s are known for being lightweight and high quality, this version of the Bugout, the 535-3 Bugout, is also known for being super high class. This is where the look of the carbon fiber comes in. The look of carbon fiber is unique to the way that it is weaved. This is because the light reflects off of the weave in different ways depending on how the carbon has been woven together. This handle features slightly diagonal rows of reflective weave, creating an almost basket-like appearance to the handle. This look is high-end, classy, and elegant. The look of carbon fiber is unique, which further sets this EDC apart as being so high-end.

The actual design of the handle is nothing to turn your nose at either. While the handle design is simple, it is effective and classy. The spien is relatively straight, with a slight curve to it to provide comfort. The belly of the handle does have a finger guard, which is going to add protection and increase your grip on it. The center of the belly features a bulge, which creates inward curves on either side of it. This increases your grip and comfort. You can use this Benchmade EDC for longer periods of time and the ergonomics of the handle work to reduce the stress that your hands will feel while using it. Finally, the butt of the handle flares out slightly, which again, increases your grip and ensures that your hand isn’t slipping all over the place.

The Details:

The first detail on the 535-3 Bugout is the mini deep carry, reversible tip-up clip. While the clip is mini, it does still allow you to have a deep carry, which is a must for an EDC. Deep carry capabilities ensure that you can move about your day without having to be concerned about whether or not the knife is still in your pocket. You don’t want to lose such a high-quality EDC as this one, and with the deep carry pocket clip, you won’t have to worry about this. The clip is strong and will keep it attached to your pocket.

The pocket clip is also reversible, for either left or right-handed carry. This helps to create an ambidextrous knife, because you can carry it in the way that is most comfortable for you. While it is left or right-handed reversible, it can only be attached for tip-up carry.

The next detail that is unique to the Bugout is the signature blue accents. The thumb stud is a bright blue as well as the skeleton of the lanyard hole. On the butt of the handle, there is a portion carved out on the upper corner, with the metal skeleton still there, which creates a large lanyard hole. This hole is incredibly useful to attach to whatever you feel like you need to. The lanyard can easily attach this knife to a belt, a pack, or anything else. The blue of this metal makes it pop and adds to the elegance of this version of the Bugout.

Finally, the safety mechanism on this knife is carved out of the entire handle. This means that the safety is inset in a hole, which allows you to see under the knife. This is purely for aesthetics but does contribute the lightweight appearance of the knife.

The Advantages:

While every version of the Bugout is known to be a good one, the 535-3 Bugout is known to be especially next level. The first part of the knife is the blade, which is incredibly high-end, especially for an EDC. The steel that this knife features is CPM S90V steel, which is known to provide practically every quality that you can look for. From corrosion resistance to wear resistance, to toughness and edge retention, this steel steals the show. It is tough, reliable, and crazy high end. The other aspects of the blade—the satin finish and the drop point blade shape—work to enhance the design of the simple, classy knife. With the design of the blade, you really get the best qualities that are out there and very few of the bad.

The handle is just as great, with a n elegant carbon fiber weave. Not only does the carbon fiber has aesthetic advantages, but it is also strong as well. The design of the handle focuses on comfort and grip, ensuring that you can use this EDC for longer periods of time without really feeling it in your hands.

Finally, the reversible pocket clip ensures that you can carry this knife in the way that is most comfortable to you. Also, the deep carry pocket clip is strong and will provide you with peace of mind, because it will stay snugly in the pocket that you put it in.

This knife has been designed to do a lot, and to do a lot really well. This Benchmade knife really is a high-end EDC.

Final Thoughts:

The Benchmade Bugout 535-3 feature a CPM S90V satin finished drop point blade and stunning carbon fiber handle scales. With all the features you love about the Bugout, this premium version is perfect for EDC.

The milled carbon fiber handle is comfort personified for your hand. The knife has signature blue highlights. This Bugout features a mini deep carry, reversible tip-up clip. This next-level Bugout is certain to be your new favorite carry.

Benchmade says, “Since its inception, the Bugout has achieved unmatched dominance as the premier ultralight EDC pocketknife. Now, it gets the elite Benchmade upgrade, in the form of the all-new 535-3. This latest addition to the Bugout line retains all the crowd-pleasing features you love, while pushing its performance to the next level.”

With the attention to details that Benchmade is known for, as well as the extra high-quality materials that are used on the 535-3 Bugout, you cannot go wrong with this EDC. Not only is it a lightweight EDC, but it is an elevated EDC, with materials that aren’t going to let you down. I’m sure your current EDC is good, but do you really just want good? 

Go for great and order the Benchmade 535-3 Bugout today from BladeOps.