Everyday Carry

Benchmade in 2022: The 5370FE Shootout OTF

Jonathan Tayag
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Benchmade in 2022: The 5370FE Shootout OTF

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While automatic out-the-front (OTF) pocketknives tend to be more restricted, they find a critical use for many people’s everyday carry, as well as offer an entire product category of collectability. Add to this the fact that Benchmade seldom releases automatic knives, which adds to their rarity and appeal. With the introduction of the Shootout, Benchmade brings their eye for design and prowess in crafting with premium materials to make a truly top-of-the-line OTF blade ready to snap into the new year.


Specs

3.51" tanto blade
PVD-coated CPM CRU-WEAR blade
Flat ground
Automatic out-the-front (OTF) opening
CF-Elite handle
2.80 oz weight


What we like: Benchmade spent a lot of time making sure that the blade on the Shootout was truly centered in the handle, which is a bit of a rarity in most OTF pocket knives. That’s been something that’s irked many in the community, and that attention to detail is well-appreciated. They’ve also given the Shootout a 3.51" CPM CRU-WEAR premium stainless steel blade, with a superior Rockwell hardness of between 63-65. CRU-WEAR is an innovative tool steel that features more vanadium, tungsten, and molybdenum than the standard D2 tool steel that you might be more familiar with, letting it get to impressive hardness while maintaining great wear resistance in the field, without even factoring in the additional protection from its Flat Earth PVD coating. Additionally, the choice to make the blade a single-edged tanto is a bit more practical (and permissible) than the dual-edged daggers that tend to populate the OTF market.

The out-the-front mechanism allows for lightning-quick deployment, and it’s a great choice for emergency or first responder use in tight situations. This is especially important where only one hand might be free to move, or the space is limited for a blade needing to swing out to deploy. In keeping with the emergency use case, Benchmade thought to include a carbide glass breaker at the pommel, as well.

What we don’t like: Automatic knives tend to be hard to carry in certain jurisdictions, making this exclusive EDC knife too exclusive for some, and that’s before getting into the high-end price this knife commands at retail. And while the blade steel is decidedly premium, the fact that the handle is polymer will likely rub some potential users expecting a more premium option, regardless of the advantages of the custom-molded texture. It's a delicate balance of the novelty and rarity of an OTF from Benchmade with permissible locales and prohibitive price points, so the choice to pick one up may not be so clear for many.

Check It Out at Blade HQ

Check It Out at Benchmade

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