The holidays were a great time for me and my family. I hope everyone enjoyed their time. It was also a great time to carry gear pretty consistently and didn't find myself swapping gear since I only had a couple of items during my travels. The Benchmade Bugout has been in my pocket for several weeks now and it has quickly risen to the top of my favorites and is easily in my top 5 if not top 3 favorite knives. More on the reasons below. I know that I'm a little bit late to the party with the Bugout but I worked my way up to it once Blade HQ dropped the exclusive blackout version.
Blade Length: 82.3 mm (3.24")
Cutting Edge: 76.2 mm (3")
Closed Length: 107.2 mm (4.22")
Overall Length: 189.48 mm(7.46")
Weight: 52.45g (1.85oz)
Blade Thickness: 2.29 mm (0.09")
Blade Material: CPM-S30V
Handle Material: Grivory
Pivot: Bronze Phosphorous Washers
Blade Design: Drop Point
Locking: Yes, Axis Lock
Opening Mechanism: Ambidextrous Thumb Studs
Pocket Clip: Yes, Left/Right Side Tip-Up
Additional Features: Lanyard Loop
The Bugout definitely lives up to its reputation as a lightweight knife. You pretty much forget that it's in your pocket until the moment you reach for it. That being said, it still feels sturdy and perfectly suited for any EDC task. No, I don't suggest trying to baton wood with it, it might be able to do the job but that was not the intended design. On that note, this is my first Benchmade and thus my first Axis-Lock. I know that a ton of people swear by this lock while others complain about the Omega Spring. So far the lockup feels amazing and I'm not worried about the blade closing on me. I do recognize that with such a small but integral piece of hardware the spring might eventually break but this is a risk I'm willing to take. The blade feels perfectly suited to my everyday needs. With three inches of cutting area, the drop point design is ready to tackle anything that I come across in my daily life. Many a box and package have been broken down by this compact package. For some reason, when I look at the blade it seems to be much smaller but I think that most of this is due to just the low profile design as a whole. That being said, it has proven to be more than adequately sized for my usage. The pocket clip is very well designed and placed, it fits securely on my pocket while only exposing a small amount of the handle. I have yet to have this knife come out of my pocket accidentally. Another thing to note is that there are several makers of scales for this knife so you can definitely customize with additional materials like brass, carbon fiber, and titanium. Lastly, I want to come back to the lock. I knew that the Axis-Lock had a reputation for being fidget friendly, so I was happy to verify it first hand. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting familiar with the mechanism.
As much as I like the Bugout it's not perfect and I do have a couple of problems. First, I have had some trouble occasionally when deploying the knife with a flick of the thumb studs. There is definitely some of this that is user error but I have noticed that the pivot is not always smooth and overcoming the Axi-Lock on deployment can be a challenge. This is more of a problem when using the meat of my thumb, but if I use the back of my nail it is far more consistent. In the meantime, I have become far more comfortable pulling the lock and flipping the blade open. I also have noticed that the scales could use some additional grip. Where there is texture its fine for the most part, but I would like some further up the body towards the blade, as well as some more aggressive jimping on the spine. The only other thing I will point out is that the blackout version is a Blade HQ exclusive and currently sold out. You can still pick up the original blue version and the green version which is the direction I almost went.
As I said, the Bugout is not perfect but it is still a solid knife. I have absolutely enjoyed carrying it and have had trouble swapping it out. There are several other knives in my drawer that need pocket time but almost every morning I found myself gravitating back to this knife. I am really tempted to try and get a green version so that I can also grab some brass scales, the blade with that version looks a bit lighter and the thumb studs aren't black, plus I would like the Ranger Green. I know that it took me a while to get a Bugout and it really isn't new anymore but I am glad I finally did as it will definitely stay in my collection.