Skip to main content

Gear Review: The Benchmade Bugout 535-3, a Super-Sharp EDC Knife You Can Depend On

Benchmade Bugout
Travis Smola

The Benchmade 535 Bugout is the finest knife I have ever used.

Benchmade Knives have built themselves up as one of the premier names in the business. Especially when it comes to high quality everyday carry (EDC)-style drop-point blade knives that are razor-sharp and hold an edge that rarely needs sharpening.  The Benchmade Bugout line has proven to be extremely popular ergonomic and reliable.

One of the latest offerings to the line is the 535-3 Bugout knife. After carrying this knife and using it often the last couple months, I can safely say it is one of, if not the best pocket knife I have ever used.

Let us dive into what makes the latest Benchmade offering such a great knife and why you should seriously consider adding the Bugout to your EDC carry kit.

Benchmade Bugout 535-3

Benchmade Bugout
Travis Smola

We will start things off by looking at the blade steel. The 535-3 using an extremely high quality CPM-S90V stainless steel with a rating of 59-61 HRC on the Rockwell hardness scale. S90V is a high carbon steel with a reputation for being notoriously tough to sharpen. Do not let that scare you though. This steel has excellent corrosion resistance and edge retention over other premium materials like CPM-S30V steel. In short, it is the perfect steel for an everyday use, folding knife, especially for those who do not like to spend a lot of time continually sharpening their most-used tool.

The blade length on the 535-3 is 3.24 inches and has a blade thickness of 0.09" or 2.286mm, which feels just right for an EDC knife. It's not a very thick blade, I would not try using it for super heavy-duty work, but most lighter to medium-sized tasks, this thing is going to make your life easier. I feel like this blade style would make dressing some game animals a breeze if you are in a pinch. It would be perfect for smaller birds, squirrels, rabbits, and even larger animals like a whitetail if needed. The whole package has a length of 7.46" inches when open. One of the things that shocked me when I picked it up for the first time was the weight. Thanks to that carbon fiber handle, the whole package only weights 2.02 ounces. The mini deep carry pocket clip keeps this folding knife secure so efficiently that it can be easy to forget you are carrying it. Be mindful to double-check your pockets before heading to the airport or another high security area. You do not want a knife this nice and this expensive getting confiscated by TSA!

Benchmade Bugout
Travis Smola

Speaking of that pocket clip, Benchmade made it easily reversible by changing out just a few tiny screws. The knife is also ambidextrous thanks to the AXIS lock mechanism. The blade opens and closes easily with a click. Even while using only one hand. I can open and close it in an instant. I can even do that while using my non-dominant left hand. The handle also features a lanyard hole on the end. It and the opening hardware are a sharp-looking blue anodized. Combine that hardware with the knife's satin blade finish and handle scales, and you have a knife that is a real looker. It just makes it stand out just a bit more than something like the company's griptilian, and CF-Elite mini bugout knives. Who says only fixed blade knives can be beautiful?

Benchmade Bugout
Travis Smola

Over the couple months I have used it, this knife slices effortlessly though corrugated cardboard, light plastics, paper, fishing line, paracord, and a plethora of other light materials. The blade is still holding an edge very well despite all that. At the same time, it remains incredibly well-balanced in the hands despite that incredible light weight. I do not think I have used another blade ever that was balanced as well as the 535-3 is.

The bottom line

Benchmade Bugout
Travis Smola

The fine people in Oregon at Benchmade know how to build a quality knife that looks and works great. Plus, they back them with a limited warranty. The fact that the Benchmade Bugout 535-3 is made here in the USA is another bonus and another good reason to support this company. If you are looking for a simple and high quality EDC-style knife that will not let you down, the 535-3 is an excellent choice. For more information on the new Bugout 535-3 and the company's other offerings, visit the Benchmade website.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels

NEXT: THE AXIS DEER AND HOW THEY'RE IMPACTING PARTS OF THE UNITED STATES

WATCH

loading...

Gear Review: The Benchmade Bugout 535-3, a Super-Sharp EDC Knife You Can Depend On