Benchmade Bugout Voted Best New Manual Folder 2017

Presented by: Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpeners

We are pleased to announce that the Benchmade 535 Bugout is the KnifeNews Dealers’ Choice for Best New Manual Folder 2017. Votes cast by dealers indicated that other great new blades in this category included the Fox Knives TUR, Kizer Feist, Spyderco Para 3, and Zero Tolerance 0920.

Benchmade drew up the Bugout with the explicit purpose of making a lightweight yet sturdy knife for those outdoorsmen who count every ounce they carry. The company leveraged the talents of its entire production arm to balance weight-savings with strength. “It started with our Product Line Team and Design Engineering Team finding every way to shave weight off the knife, but still have plenty of blade for the toughest of tasks,” says Benchmade’s Derrick Lau. “Of course it’s strong and reliable.”

Knife enthusiasts will be familiar the usual tricks for saving weight. Manufacturers can skeletonize the handle, utilize lightweight composites like Grivory or FRN, or implement a thinner blade for less mass. Benchmade checked all of these boxes but went even further in their pursuit of the lightest mid-size folder possible. “Weight saving efforts can be seen in the mini deep carry pocket clip, titanium DLC coated AXIS® lock, Grivory handles, and aluminum thumb lugs,” Lau explains. “All of these add up to a 1.85 oz knife that feels good in the hand and is incredibly functional.”

Benchmade 535 Bugout

The Bugout is also a tribute to the Axis Lock itself. Benchmade’s signature locking mechanism doesn’t need much real estate to operate. Even with its small footprint, it brings the muscle, able to withstand the rigors and abuse of outdoors cutting. It’s the perfect lightweight folder lock. The Bugout platform showcases one of the knife world’s favorite locks at the top of its game.

Hitting that incredible 1.85 oz. number makes the Bugout the lightest folder in Benchmade’s Blue Class. Even with a 3.25-inch S30V blade, it comes in at a lower weight than smaller folders like the Valet or even the Proper. Lau tells us he considers the Bugout “one our most exciting releases of 2017.” And he’s not alone. Although designed to cater to a specific sub-market it turns out the affordable, durable, and useful Bugout had a universal appeal. “This knife was definitely a team effort to make it the success it has been.”

Visit tomorrow to find out the winner of the KnifeNews Dealers’ Choice Award for Most Innovative New Knife 2017 (See the nominees below).


Cold Steel Golden Eye: Cold Steel aimed to impress with the HTR opening mechanism, which debuted on the Golden Eye and combines a thumb ramp and opening hole.

Cold Steel Golden Eye

CRKT Daktyl: Tom Hitchock’s Daktyl design is a double shot of innovation: the Hole in One and Slide Lock mechanisms.

CRKT Daktyl

ZT 0055: Gustavo C. Cecchini’s SLT hidden flipper tab saw its first-ever production iteration with a knife inspired by the GTC Airborne.

Zero Tolerance 0055


Best New Tactical Fixed Blade 2017 
WINNER: Spartan Blades Hybris

Best New Outdoor Fixed Blade 2017

Best New Multitool 2017

Best Knife Upgrade 2017
WINNER: Spyderco Maxamet Manix 2 Lightweight

Best New Automatic Knife 2017
WINNER: Buck Knives 110 Auto

Best New High-End Knife 2017 (MSRP of $300 or more)
WINNER: Benchmade 781 Anthem

Best New Value Folder 2017 (MSRP of $100 or less)

Best New Manual Folder 2017
WINNER: Benchmade 535 Bugout

Tuesday, November 21: Most Innovative New Knife 2017

Wednesday, November 22: Best Overall New for 2017 Lineup