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Knife Review: ​The Benchmade Gold Class Bugout Folder Knife

Knife Review: ​The Benchmade Gold Class Bugout Folder Knife

Posted by SD on Jan 7th 2021

The Benchmade Gold Class Bugout Folder Knife

For over thirty years, Benchmade has been designing and manufacturing world-class products for world-class customers.

When Benchmade was founded, the mission was to create something better; something exceptional. Today, they continue to innovate with the goal of taking performance and reliability to the next level. To exceed what is expected.

Benchmade says, “Whether you are using a Griptilian® for every day duties or taking the fight to the enemy with the Infidel®, our knives are built to perform. When you choose to purchase a Benchmade, you do so because you want the best. You demand it. And programs like our LifeSharp Lifetime Service and Warranty are the foundation of our commitment to excellence. We live it and breathe it, and we know what you mean when you say: It’s not a knife. It’s my Benchmade.”

Their ideal knives start with ideal materials. Benchmade builds knives for the most demanding customers, from special operations forces to elite backcountry hunters, and building for the best requires the best raw materials. Benchmade says this about their materials, “We select premium blade steels and pair them with aerospace-grade handle materials to create premium-grade knives and tools that provide great value for our customers.”

The next thing that makes Benchmade knives so top notch is their mechanisms. The mechanics of opening and closing a knife are essential to its function. Benchmade asks themselves questions like Is it easy to actuate? Can it be opened with one hand? Is it ambidextrous? Will it absolutely not fail when you need it the most? They ask these questions because they are critical considerations when it comes to the mechanism.

Next is how they manufacture. The Benchmade factory employs modern laser cutters and CNC machining centers that offer control and tolerances commonly found in the aerospace industry – often to tolerances half the width of a human hair. Their commitment to modern machining techniques and rigid quality control has allowed Benchmade to bridge the gap between custom and manufactured.

The last thing that makes Benchmade really unique is their LifeSharp service. Benchmade describes this, “Benchmade knives are all supported through a team of skilled technicians. Their only function is to ensure your Benchmade is in optimal working condition for your entire life. This service is called LifeSharp®. A name that speaks for itself. When you send your knife to the Benchmade LifeSharp team, the knife is completely disassembled and all worn parts are tuned or replaced. The knife is then lubricated and reassembled, a sharpener applies a factory edge to the blade and the knife is shipped back to you. All at no cost to you.”

Today we will be talking about the Benchmade Gold Class Bugout folding knife. This knife is coming soon to BladeOps, so keep your eyes peeled for when it hits stores.

Gold Class:

Benchmade says that their Gold Class knives are more than just a knife. They say, “Go ahead and show off. Gold Class knives are a rare combination of materials, design and artistry. A knife this fine is hard to come by.” The Gold Class is full of collectors knives with artistry and quality that you really can’t come by anywhere else.

The Blade:

The blade has been made out of Damascus steel. The name itself on this steel dates back to medieval cultures. The Gold Class Bugoutname does refer to a craftsmanship style that comes out of India. This was round 300 B.C. which was a time when craftsmanship was large. This steel name was most likely named for the region where it comes out of, in Syria. Damascus was originally used for swords. These swords were known to be tough, almost resistant to shattering, and even capable of getting a very fine edge on it.

At the time, Damascus steel was known as almost a superplastic, because it was hard and durable at the same time. Today, our Damascus steel can outperform the ancient Damascus steels, but many legends have come out of the Damascus steel history.

The Damascus steel is known for the bands and mottling that is welded together in a patterned fashion to create a decorative blade. Often times, this pattern is compared to flowing water. To create this steel, the manufacturer is going to combine different pure metals, depending on what they want to get out of the specific Damascus steel.

  • Rich history behind the steel itself.
  • Extremely strong.
  • Made out of multiple types of steel, which means you can get the characteristics you are looking for.

The blade is finished in a Damasteel style, which is most often found on a Damascus blade. This is because of how the steel is made. Like I mentioned, this steel is made when multiple different metals are melted together and then hardened. Because of the different densities, melting points, etc., the steel has a molted look to it. On this Benchmade Gold Class knife, the Damasteel style is full of circles and waves. It gives a unique look that you aren’t likely to find on other knives or through other brands.

This finish is known for being very beautiful—definitely more for aesthetic than performance.

  • Elegant pattern.

The blade has been carved into a drop point style blade, which is the most common blade shape that you are going to find in the cutlery industry. The popularity of the shape is no surprise when you find out how tough and versatile it really is.

For starters, the spine of the blade curves down to meet the point, creating a lowered point. This is the first advantage of the drop point shape: the lowered point is going to give you more control. The dropped point is also broad, which is where the strength of the blade comes from. The drop point blade shape is such a popular option because it is so tough and strong. It is able to take on many different tasks without the concern of it breaking.

The last reason that this is such a popular option is because the belly is large. The large the belly, the easier it is for something to slice with.

The Handle:

The handle is mostly made out of carbon fiber, but it does have a blue C-Tek inlay.

Carbon fiber is a material made out of thin strands of carbon that are tightly woven together in a pattern and then set in a resin. The resin and weave make carbon fiber a crazy strong material that is also lightweight. You will see this characteristic immensely in this knife, which is an average size, but definitely on the smaller weight scale. However, because of the manual labor that has to go into making carbon fiber, it does end up being an expensive material.

The other major drawback to a carbon fiber handle is that it does suffer from begin brittle. This is because each of the strands of carbon are arranged in a single direction. In that specific direction, the material is crazy tough, strong, and durable. When the handle is stressed in other directions though, the material is going to begin to break apart.

  • Carbon fiber is classy, strong, and lightweight.
  • Carbon fiber is expensive and brittle.

The carbon fiber is a well-worn gray color. The C-Tek inlays are bright blue and look as if they have “scales.” The blue and the gray go well together and create a sleek contrast. There is a large lanyard hole carved into the spine side of the butt. Other than that, this handle is simple, yet elegant and comfortable.

  • C-Tek inlay adds an artistic flair that is on par with the rest of the Gold Class distinction.
  • Large lanyard hole that will fit almost any lanyard.
  • Handle is elegantly shaped.
  • You will have a comfortable hold on this handle.

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Bugout Gold Class is a reversible and deep carry clip. The clip can only be attached for tip up carry, which is the more common tip carry. However, it is reversible for either left or right handed carry. This helps to make the Bugout more ambidextrous, which also means that it is going to be slightly safer, as you are carrying it in the ways that are most comfortable to you.

The deep carry aspect is also an advantage because it does mean that the knife is going to rest lower in your pocket. This does two things: it first keeps it more secure as you go about your day. Second, it conceals it slightly better, as it is riding so low in your pocket.

  • Ambidextrous friendly.
  • Deep carry.

The Mechanism:

The Bugout Gold Class has been equipped with the AXIS mechanism as well as a brightly blue anodized thumb stud.

The thumb stud is the most common opening mechanism; especially when it comes to one handed opening mechanisms. The thumb stud allows you to easily and smoothly open the blade. It has been anodized a bright blue, which does contrast with the blade, but matches the C-Tek inlay in the handle.

This knife has been equipped with the AXIS lock as well as a dual thumb stud. When Benchmade talks about the AXIS lock they say, “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.”

  • AXIS lock is easy to use.
  • AXIS lock is durable and safe.

The Specs:

The blade on this measures in at 3.24 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.22 inches long. This creates an overall length of 7.46 inches long when the knife is opened. This is an incredibly lightweight knife, weighing in at a mere 2.1 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.


The Bugout which was first introduced last year quickly rose through the ranks and became one of Benchmade's top sellers to date--which is why the new Gold Class model of 2019 is a souped-up version with all the bells and whistles. The traditional Bugout is the latest installment to the Benchmade Blue Class Line and another notch in the belt for their ultra-lightweight models--now sporting a new color that is sure to blend into nearly any environment. 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 Gold Class model features ghost carbon fiber handles, blue anodized titanium thumb spacers with DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coated hardware, a drop point style blade in a Munin™ pattern Damasteel® damasus finish and the reversible deep carry pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for a left or right hand carry option.

Shop all available Benchmade Gold Class Knives right here.