Everyday Carry

Build Your Ultimate Bugout for National Knife Day 2023

Authored by:
Jonathan Tayag
Build Your Ultimate Bugout for National Knife Day 2023

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It's National Knife Day! And what better way to celebrate than by building the ultimate version of the EDC classic Benchmade Bugout? Originally designed for backpacking, the slim profile and lightweight folding knife design has made a big impact in the knife industry and everyday carry community since its release in 2017, redefining what a minimalist pocket knife can be. It stood out from other featherweight options by offering a full grip, full ambidextrous control with dual thumb studs, the venerated AXIS lock, plus a premium blade steel. The Bugout is a platform that’s proven to be the right combination of weight savings, ergonomics, and functionality. For those looking to set theirs apart, there is a very healthy aftermarket for options and upgrades, but these will void your warranty, and none of them offer you an upgrade to the blade itself.

By adding the Bugout to the in-house Benchmade Custom Knife Builder, the brand takes the design to the next level in its evolution. And starting today, you can customize and personalize the Benchmade Bugout knife through the official Benchmade online shop, allowing you to build your own ultimate version of this knife, with some of the best materials on the market. Selecting the Benchmade Bugout Family from the Custom Shop leads to an interface that lets you see your chosen customizations in real-time. It features a full 3D render that you can rotate 360 degrees and also lets you see your design with the blade deployed or retracted.

Features Of A Customized Bugout

Blade Choices

Your first choice involves the blade, selecting from a traditional plain-edged Drop Point design or one with partial serrations. The next and more important step is blade steel. Choose between tough and corrosion-resistant CPM-S30V like the original pocket knife, a hard-wearing CPM-20CV that boasts excellent edge retention or upgrade to the M4 steel option, offering a hard-use everyday carry blade that gives superior toughness and edge retention. New this year are two new options: the ultra-premium S90V for extra corrosion resistance or the equally beautiful as it is useful Damasteel Ladder option, offering a mesmerizing pattern that won’t break or wear out any time soon. Although, it is worth mentioning that the Damasteel option is not available with the serrated blade.

Blade Markings

You can laser mark both sides of your selected blade, letting you personalize your knife beyond the usual color and material choices and combinations. You can choose to put text, select from various logos and images that the Benchmade Custom Shop has to offer or upload your own unique image to put on your blade—something that not all knife personalization services offer. You can customize the size and position of your blade markings as well at checkout.

Handles and Hardware

Last but not least are the options at your disposal for handle and hardware. The most inexpensive option is glass-filled nylon, with 12 different colors. You can even select different colors for the show side and back side of the knife, creating your own distinct design. You also have a full G-10 Jade handle combination for a unique look, or you can opt for 6 different colors of classic G-10. Also new this year, you have two high-end options in premium titanium, or you can opt for a stealthier option with carbon fiber.

You have satin or black options for the rest of the hardware, including the nestled inner liner, the handle spacers, the handle screws, the thumb studs, and even the color of the AXIS lock itself. Play around until you can find the perfect combination to match your EDC kit. Or create a themed version with your favorite colors and materials. The choice is yours.

Deployment And Lockup

The AXIS lock is Benchmade’s flagship and hallmark locking solution for their everyday carry folding knives. Their blades feature a manual thumbstud opening, and that combined with the AXIS lock allows for fully ambidextrous operation. Once the folding knife blade is deployed, the AXIS lock ensures zero blade play even during rough hard use.

Is It Worth Buying Customized Bugout?

Building a customized Bugout for your EDC helps ensure you have a unique knife that is all your own. While the Benchmade Bugout is one of the most popular everyday carry knives in the community, with the customization program you can add your own personal touches and carry a folding knife that matches your looks, your style, and your needs.

Make Your Choice

With these new additions, there are nearly half a million combinations that can be created from the options Benchmade currently offers. Depending on which ones you pick, expected prices will range from $175 for the most affordable combination up to $525 for the most expensive, immediately reflected as a running tally every time you make changes to your design. Once you’re happy creating your masterpiece, you have the option of sharing your design with your friends or on social media, and when you’re ready to pull the trigger, click on the Buy button to start the order process.

Because it’s through the official Benchmade Custom Knife Builder, your own personal Bugout will retain the same lifetime warranty and LifeSharp services as any of their regular models. This guarantees that the knife you build is not only uniquely yours, but also yours for life. The Benchmade 535 Bugout was a landmark in knife design, and now you can take it to the next level with a design all your own. Check out all the options available at your disposal at the link below.

Build Your Custom Bugout

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Bugout a good EDC?

The Benchmade Bugout knife is one of the everyday carry community’s favorite knives. It’s a good EDC folding knife with the blade length and ergonomics you need to get the job done day in and day out. If you can’t afford it now, put it on your wishlist and pick it up when you can later.

Who designed Benchmade Bugout?

Benchmade designed the Benchmade Bugout. Benchmade has been making quality everyday carry folding knives (and fixed blades) for decades now. They stand by their high-quality products with a warranty. You can also customize your Benchmade Bugout knife to your exact needs online using their configuration tool.

Is the Mini Bugout worth it?

The Mini Bugout 533 is a smaller, even more EDC-friendly folding knife based on the original Benchmade Bugout. While you lose a bit of blade length you get an even more convenient folding knife with the same Bugout scales and ergonomics you need to do work. The Benchmade Mini Bugout is a good choice whether you’re limited by blade length restrictions or you just want a smaller and even more lightweight knife for EDC.

Can you engrave a Benchmade?

You can engrave a Benchmade Bugout knife directly from them using their Custom Knife Builder. If you already have a Bugout knife, you might be able to put your own design on the knife. That will probably break the warranty and we cannot recommend it.

Jonathan Tayag

Senior Contributor

About the Author
Jonathan Tayag is secretly an information technology and corporate security expert who prefers to moonlight as a creative event and commercial photographer whenever possible. His varied experience and substantial travels have led him to seek, without even thinking about it at first, the best gear for the best use at the best price available. Before the concept of EDC (everyday carry) firmly took hold, Jonathan already spent untold amounts of time optimizing for the best-in-slot pieces of gear, from cameras and lenses to pocket knives, pens, and bags and packs. In November 2015, Jonathan joined EverydayCarry.com and has since written numerous articles and guides to help impart his knowledge to the community as a whole.

Jonathan's photographic works have appeared on numerous online websites, print, video, and television outlets for over a decade. Jonathan's previous clients include Blizzard Entertainment, Red Bull, ESL, Razer, and several other endemic and non-endemic esports sponsors and brands. His work also features heavily in online competitive gaming communities, especially those of the StarCraft and Fighting Game genres. You've likely seen his work if you've spent time in a stream or in-game chat over the years.