This is the best of times and the worst of times for EDC knife lovers. It’s the best of times because there are a slew of manufacturers making more great knives featuring great designs with top notch materials than every before. It’s the worst of times because…well, actually no it isn’t. It really is the best of times for anyone shopping for a knife in just about any use or price category.
One of those truly great designs that just seems to do everything right is the Benchmade Mini Bugout.
The original Bugout is a classic in and of itself. But some people just prefer to carry a blade that’s smaller and less, well threatening to some delicate souls. Plus, the Bugout has a 3.24″ blade. There are still some states where carrying anything over three inches is illegal. For some damned reason.
For about 95% of the jobs people need to do with an everyday carry knife, a simple, classic drop point is ideal. And the Mini Bugout’s drop point is as good as it gets. It’s razor sharp out of the box and the DLC-coated S30V steel — while no longer considered a premium steel — holds an edge well and takes a sharpening easily enough.
So when Benchmade shrunk the dimensions of the Bugout, birthing the Mini Bugout, they made what is, for many of us, the perfect EDC knife.
The famous Benchmade Axis lock is among the best knife locking designs ever made. That’s why, now that its patent has expired, it’s being used by so many other knife makers now.
Benchmade has wisely kept the Mini Bugout’s clip plain and simple. Which just about always also means pleasantly functional.
It’s a small, unobtrusive deep carry tip-up design that can be flipped to the other side if you’re a lefty.
As for the scales on this model, the 533BK-2 has a blend of carbon fiber and polymer that’s exceptionally rigid and tough. You can see the grid design in the photo above that keeps those liner-less from flexing at all unless you REALLY press down hard, trying to flex them.
That makes the Mini Bugout slim and strong. The build quality is exceptionally good with no play in the action at all and the blade is perfectly centered when closed.
This incredibly useful little package — which weights a scant 1.5 oz. — will probably be the most easily-carried EDC knife you’ve ever had. At about $150, the American-made Mini Bugout isn’t inexpensive, but it’s going find its way into your pocket more often than any knife you own.