Summary: The Bugout is very nice and light, with an excellent blade. The handle’s too thin for a sturdy grip, so I wouldn’t want it in a knife fight. It could be easily knocked out of my hand. Easier to drop, I think, than the Griptilian or Mini Grip. Still, the Bugout nice and practical for a pocket knife, and the Axis is my favorite locking mechanism.
Benchmade describes the Bugout as “designed for the modern outdoor adventurer, incorporating the lightest, best performing materials in an extremely slim yet ergonomic package.” Well, that’s not me: I’m an urban work-at-home adventurer who likes having a knife in my pocket whenever I got out, whether it’s to the store, a technical conference, or for a walk around the neighborhood. (Sadly, I can’t take a knife when I fly. Sniff.)
What’s good about the Bugout: Light (1.85 ounces, says Benchmade), blade length (3.24”) steel (S30V), pretty blue handle, thin (0.42”). The blade is thin (0.09”).
Compare to the Griptilian, seen here with a black handle and silver blade. Slightly longer and thicker blade than the Bugout (3.45” and 0.11”), much thicker handle (0.64”) and twice the weight (3.79 ounces). Many choices of steel.
Compare to the Mini Grip, seen here with a black handle and black blade. Shorter but thicker blade compared to the Bugout, (2.91” and 0.10”), thicker handle (0.51”), and greater weight (2.68 ounces). Many choices of steel.
What’s not so good about the Bugout: Beyond the slightly hard-to-grasp handle, it’s the lack of essential options. With the Griptilian and Mini Grip, you can choose the steel. You can choose the blade shape. You can choose the colors. Not so with the Bugout, at least not yet, so I’m stuck with the drop-point and blue.
With the Grip and Mini Grip, I’ve chosen knives with the sheepsfoot point. I like the flip-out hole, even though it makes the knives bulkier. The only real option on the Bugout, at least at present, is a plain or serrated drop-point blade. (I would buy another Bugout if it came with sheepsfoot, and give this one to my son.)
Oh, you can do custom engraving on the Bugout blades. Nice if you’re giving one as a gift.
Bottom line: The Bugout is a very nice, very civilized EDC. I’m happy to wear it with nice trousers, or at any time where slimness or light weight are paramount. (Those are the scenarios that Benchmade touts, especially for packing into a backpack or other “bugout” gear.) The big loser here is the Mini Grip, which has been supplanted by a lighter knife with a longer blade.
Go ahead, bring on the apple, bring on the wrapped package, bring on the rope/cord. The Bugout has it covered.
That said: For going out on walks, or other outings with jeans or cargo pants, when weight is not an issue, the Griptilian will still be my #1 EDC.