Looking for 1st Benchmade?

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Jan 28, 2016
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I've never owned a Benchmade knife, mainly because of cost. I think my most expensive knife is my current EDC, the Dragonfly 2. But I recently sold a couple items laying around the house and am finally willing to spend over $100 on a quality knife. Several Benchmades (along with a Sage 5 and a Para 3 - although I've decided I prefer the Sage 5 over the Para 3 between those two) have made their way onto my short list of choices.

For what I'm going to need my EDC to do I'm really not going to need a blade over 3.25" and would prefer a closed length of under 4.25". Actually the 3.25" blade may be a little large for my daily uses...I tend to find myself using my knife more for control oriented tasks - but something definitely want something bigger than SAK Classic SD.

I've handled the Mini Griptilian with thumbstuds and liked a great deal about it. The blade seemed to be a great length for my needs but the overall size seemed a bit awkward in my large hands...and to be honest it wasn't when I was actually using the knife, it was when I was fidgeting (quick open/close) with the knife. I'm not sure if was the weight or the length, but when flicking it closed I found that I tended to rest the knife in my palm, allowing the blade to almost nick my hand as it closed.

I have borrowed a Bugout and honestly didn't really like it to start with. "It's too thin, it's too light, the blue thumbstuds don't match, what's an Axis lock, etc." But after a day or two I pulled it back out and found that all of those things I was complaining about really aren't true (except the thumbstuds not matching). It's sharp and it's a fidgeters dream. In relationship to my needs, it still seems like a "larger" knife in use...although it completely disappears in my pocket.

In the past I've preferred a "hole" for opening knives instead of thumbstuds so I thought the Mini Grip with the hole would be "the one" for me. But two things may have changed my mind: 1) the awkwardness of how the Mini Grip with thumbstuds felt in my hand, and 2) the Benchmades are just a blast to flick open by pulling down the Axis lock (not even needing the thumbstuds for opening).

So after all of that mentioned above, it seems like the Mini Bugout could possibly be the best option for my first Benchmade knife, but I've got a couple questions for those familiar with the Mini Bugout:
1) Does the MB feel as awkward in the hand (when fidgeting with it) as the Mini Grip or does the lightness of the MB allow you handle it much more easily?
2) Is the Mini Bugout too close in size to my DF2 (I think it's blade is 2 5/16") to where their "roles" would overlap too much, not make the MB a smart purchase.
3) How does the CF Elite handle compare to the Grivory handle?
4) As far as their "Diamond Like Carbon Coated" black blade...how easily will the black on this scratch off with use/sharpening?
5) Is there another Benchmade knife I should take a closer look at other than the Mini Grip, Bugout, and Mini Bugout, that would fall into the parameters above?

Thank you very much for any and all help!!!

TripleB67
 
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Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
279
You might like the Mini Presidio II. The new version has CF Elite scales, so is lighter than the previous 575 with aluminum scales. Blade length is about the same as a Bugout, but the knife is a bit beefier.
 

abbazaba

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Oct 30, 2015
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Bugout is the one for me. Mini Bugout is just a compromised Bugout that doesn't fit as well in my hand. (Kinda like the PM2 vs Para3. I prefer the Sage5 greatly over the Para3 too, FWIW.) CF Elite helps, but I would pickup Ti scales eventually if you want a more robust feel, CF if you want insane lightness with more rigidness. The Valet, Mini Crooked River, and Mini Freek may be worth checking out.

3m5mwRL.jpg

Yes, I post this picture every day for years now
 
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Hands down Bugout, I own a few, but I don't have experience with the Mini Bugout yet. I'm waiting on the first production run to be gone before grabbing the new CF Elite Mini. Oh, and I've not owned a Sage but own many Para 3's and I actually prefer the LW over my G10 models. Have you looked at the Native 5?
 
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You might like the Mini Presidio II.

Thanks for the recommendation. At first I wanted to stay under a 3" blade until I got to play with the Bugout and then I begin to rethink that 3" limit...so I'll definitely take a look at the Mini Predidio II.

Bugout is the one for me. Mini Bugout is just a compromised Bugout that doesn't fit as well in my hand. (Kinda like the PM2 vs Para3. I prefer the Sage5 greatly over the Para3 too, FWIW.) CF Elite helps, but I would pickup Ti scales eventually if you want a more robust feel, CF if you want insane lightness with more rigidness. The Valet, Mini Crooked River, and Mini Freek may be worth checking out.

Yes, I post this picture every day for years now

Considering that I was ready to not give a 2nd look at the Bugout after I handled it the first time, the Bugout really is growing on me. Disappears in pocket, silky smooth action, very high fun fidget factor, like the deep pocket carry, the blue has grown on me (although the spacers/thumb studs not matching bothered me at first), but actually love the feel of the scales...not quite as sharp as the Spyderco knives and at times seems like the blade is larger than I need for my EDC.

I appreciate you mentioning the other knives...but my budget is pretty set at $127 or so.

Hands down Bugout, I own a few, but I don't have experience with the Mini Bugout yet. I'm waiting on the first production run to be gone before grabbing the new CF Elite Mini. Oh, and I've not owned a Sage but own many Para 3's and I actually prefer the LW over my G10 models. Have you looked at the Native 5?

I was able to get my hands on the Bugout, Griptilian, and Mini Griptilian today. After "toying" with each for a good while, here are my thoughts about each:

Griptilian: don't care for this one much at all...too large, too plastic feeling, opening/closing super stiff (not smooth at all), least sharp one of the three...the only thing I like is the blacked out look

Mini Griptilian: love the blade size, super smooth action, great weight to it (solid feeling), actually like where these thumb studs fall better than most, in the hand it feels better than the other two Benchmades...not near as sharp as either of the Spyderco knives (in fact, in comparing them to the Sage 5 and Para 3, all three didn't cut as smoothly)

Bugout...see comments above.

If I had to choose one right now, I, shockingly to myself, would be the Mini Griptilian based on it's size and it's very solid feel.

I will say that I'm going to be able to try out the Mini Bugout next weekend and I'll be able to try the Mini Grip with thumb hole (hoping this will be my favorite) tomorrow.

Failed to mention in initial post, my attire is usually either Khakis, shorts, or warm-up pants.

Again, I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond!

TripleB67
 

Napsterninja

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Dec 8, 2020
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The 3v bailout might fit in. I like the size and it's almost the same size as a regular bugout, just a tad longer. I got it as something different from the bugout trend. Fits well in shorts and athletic wear. Hardly noticable in jeans.

Like others said, for the price the mini presidio II might be a good fit being beefier and not having the plastic feel of the griptilian. Seen it around for $120. Or a 20cv mini griptilian with g10 handles, a few pops up here and there in the for sale section. Don't have a mini griptilian but have two full size ones. I like the dlt exclusive one better than the regular tanto one, more solid without the hollow scale feel. Hoping to find a 20cv mini griptilian in the future.
 
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Strange question (and not meant to offend): Out of the box, is Benchmade S30V inferior to Spyderco S30V?

I've tried the following knives: Bugout, Grip, and Mini Grip. The Spyderco Sage 5 LW (also S30V) cuts much smoother than all three of those. Even the Para 3 LW (BD1N) from Spyderco cuts smoother than these three Benchmade.

Just curious if this is normal or I've got abnormal Benchmade products.

Thanks!

TripleB67
 

Napsterninja

Basic Member
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Dec 8, 2020
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Strange question (and not meant to offend): Out of the box, is Benchmade S30V inferior to Spyderco S30V?

I've tried the following knives: Bugout, Grip, and Mini Grip. The Spyderco Sage 5 LW (also S30V) cuts much smoother than all three of those. Even the Para 3 LW (BD1N) from Spyderco cuts smoother than these three Benchmade.

Just curious if this is normal or I've got abnormal Benchmade products.

Thanks!

TripleB67

It's the blade shape. Spyderco blades are more slicey by design.
 

abbazaba

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I found Benchmades S30v to be fantastic.

Spydercos blade geometry/grind and factory edge is one of best in the business. This is likely what you are experiencing, not the steel.
 
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You might like the Mini Presidio II. The new version has CF Elite scales, so is lighter than the previous 575 with aluminum scales. Blade length is about the same as a Bugout, but the knife is a bit beefier.

After getting in a Mini Grip with thumb hole and trying it along side the Para 3 LW, Sage 5 LW, Mini Grip w/thumb studs, and the Bugout...I think you're on the right track. The Mini Grip just feels a bit too small in the hand - the fidget fun factor on them really doesn't match any of the other three. When closing it using the Axis lock, at times, I feel like the knife is going to nip my palm because of how I have to hold it. I would obviously adjust how I close it but would rather stick with what's comfy...and that comfy position works with the other three knives.

So the Mini Grips are out, the Bugout is still in, I'd say the Mini Bugout is probably out, and I'd like to try another Benchmade around the same size as the Bugout but beefier...and as you mentioned, the Mini Presidio II is probably that knife.

Thanks for the input!


Have you looked at the Native 5?

I have but vetoed it because all my other knifes (except for SAK) have lockback designs...really wanting to try something new - therefore looking at compression and Axis lock knives.

Thanks for everyone's input and the information on the blade sharpness!

TripleB67
 

Sigsog226

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PXL_20210205_205017147.jpg (L-R mini bugout cf elite, mini grip, bugout, para3, pm2)

I'd say if the mini grip is too small for you, the mini bugout is definitely going to be. Not only is the grip smaller, but its way thinner. The mini bugout is also not as fun to play around with then any of the other knives shown imo.

The cf/plastic handles do look cooler and have way less flex then the grivory ones, but I was never bothered by any of that to begin with. But it's still kind of neat to think about what they did to the material to make it stronger/lighter.

I would say for fidgeting, comfort, and being a more usable knife in general, the full-size bugout and para 3 trump the mini bugout and mini grip overall.
 
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After getting in a Mini Grip with thumb hole and trying it along side the Para 3 LW, Sage 5 LW, Mini Grip w/thumb studs, and the Bugout...I think you're on the right track. The Mini Grip just feels a bit too small in the hand - the fidget fun factor on them really doesn't match any of the other three. When closing it using the Axis lock, at times, I feel like the knife is going to nip my palm because of how I have to hold it. I would obviously adjust how I close it but would rather stick with what's comfy...and that comfy position works with the other three knives.

So the Mini Grips are out, the Bugout is still in, I'd say the Mini Bugout is probably out, and I'd like to try another Benchmade around the same size as the Bugout but beefier...and as you mentioned, the Mini Presidio II is probably that knife.

Thanks for the input!

It seems to tick all the boxes you've mentioned, so it's worth looking at. I have the (now discontinued) 575 with the aluminum scales and it's one of my favorites, but it's much heavier than the Bugout (4.0 oz). The 575-1 with the CF Elite scales comes in at 3.2 oz, and still has full liners. It's about the same overall size as the Bugout but has more heft and "beef".
 
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Have you considered a mini-940? If you want fidget factor, the weight/design make it better for that than the others you mentioned.
 
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I would say for fidgeting, comfort, and being a more usable knife in general, the full-size bugout and para 3 trump the mini bugout and mini grip overall.

Beautiful looking knives!!!

I think you may be correct, at least from the ones I've been able to try!

After all the knives I've tried, or bought and returned, the three that really stand out are the Bugout, the Sage 5 LW, and the Para 3 LW. The Para 3 LW was the only one that didn't come with a perfectly centered blade and I had to loosen it's pivot screws in order to get it's action as smooth as the Bugout and Sage 5 LW's action. All three seem to be amazing knives and each have their pros.

While, for me, the Bugout doesn't have the fidget fun factor of the two Spyderco knives, it definitely carries better when I wear my warm-up pants. The Para 3 LW yesterday really pulled on my pants (had to tighten up my pants to make it feel comfortable) - carried the Bugout with the same pants and couldn't even tell it was there. You wouldn't think that .4965 ounces would make that much of a difference but it does.

I appreciate everyone's help!!!

TripleB67
 
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JonesE

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Jan 16, 2015
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Bugout is the one for me. CF Elite helps, but I would pickup Ti scales eventually if you want a more robust feel, CF if you want insane lightness with more rigidness.

3m5mwRL.jpg

Yes, I post this picture every day for years now

Abbazaba, I was able to make a trade for an 535GRY-1. This will be my first S30V bugout. I also ordered Rockscale Designs Critter pattern scales and a black geared back spacer. It was your photo that made it happen. Enabler!

JonesE
 

JonesE

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Jan 16, 2015
Messages
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TripleB67, Are you keeping the bugout? I have only recently warmed up to it after actively avoiding it. I find it carries slightly better than a Delica. It is just as slicy. It has a strong aftermarket so scales and customization is there if you want it. I am now just wondering why I did not give it a try two years ago.

JonesE
 
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TripleB67, Are you keeping the bugout? I have only recently warmed up to it after actively avoiding it. I find it carries slightly better than a Delica. It is just as slicy. It has a strong aftermarket so scales and customization is there if you want it. I am now just wondering why I did not give it a try two years ago.

JonesE

To be honest, the more I use/play with all three of the "contenders", the more the Para 3 LW and Sage 5 LW push themselves ahead of the Bugout.

Love the lightness of the Bugout, how it disappears in my pockets, the Axis lock, how I don't even notice I'm carrying it, and even the blue is growing on me. But both Spyderco knives offer a higher fun fidget factor for me and sharper blades. Love the compression lock and the thumb hole too - both fun ways of opening the knife. But again, haven't decided for sure.

The lightness is definitely a huge advantage for the Bugout, but my thinking is that if for some reason the Sage 5 LW or Para 3 LW feel too heavy for the clothes I'm wearing, I can always carry my Dragonfly 2 which weighs in at 1.0835 oz (compared to 1.7100 oz for the Bugout, 2.6105 oz for the Sage 5 LW, and 2.2065 oz for the Para 3 LW).

All that to say I haven't really decided yet.

TripleB67
 
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