Para 3 vs Bugout

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Sep 1, 2019
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Hi Guys

I’ve been looking at getting a new knife for nearly a month and can’t decide. I’m looking at both the Spyderco para 3, and the Benchmade Bugout. Which ever one I’d get id like blood red / maroon scales mod done soon after, the I’ve seen some great Bugout scales in the perfect colour but it’s a full knife you have to buy, in the U.S and although legal in the uk I risk it being seized, so 2 questions really, 1) best places for custom scales that will ship to Uk. And 2, I know they are both great company’s and I watched both the factory videos online I like them both, but I do hear that QC is better at Spyderco, is this still true?

Thanks
 

halden.doerge

I'll Sharpen Your Knife
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Out of these two, I'd recommend the Bugout. Complaints about Benchmade's QC are vastly overstated on the forums and Spyderco Para3 LWs have had plenty of issues of their own. The Bugout has been in production for a few years now, and Benchmade is doing a really good job putting them out with consistency at this point, in my experience.

Add to that better steel (in the base models), lighter weight, more cutting edge, smaller footprint in the pocket, for me the choice is the Bugout. Though I love the Para3 design, until the LW version starts coming out in some sprint runs or higher end steel's it's not going to displace the Bugout as my ultralight knife of choice.
 
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The quality control is definitely better with Spyderco. Benchmade can be pretty hit or miss these days and even though they will warranty it. It's still a pretty sketchy proposition for someone in your situation. Is there any local knife stores where you live? You may spend a little more but at least buying it in person you will get to see what you like, and you can make sure that you get a good one.
 
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Yeah it’s annoying, very little knife stores anywhere near me, anything I get will be online, is there any other apart from the above I should look at? £150ish budget with options to mod
 

Hackenslash

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Out of these two, I'd recommend the Bugout. Complaints about Benchmade's QC are vastly overstated on the forums and Spyderco Para3 LWs have had plenty of issues of their own. The Bugout has been in production for a few years now, and Benchmade is doing a really good job putting them out with consistency at this point, in my experience.

Add to that better steel (in the base models), lighter weight, more cutting edge, smaller footprint in the pocket, for me the choice is the Bugout. Though I love the Para3 design, until the LW version starts coming out in some sprint runs or higher end steel's it's not going to displace the Bugout as my ultralight knife of choice.
What he said. Covered anything I could want to say.

The OP never specified whether they were looking at the Para 3 or the Para 3 LWT. If we're comparing the original Para 3 to the Bugout, it's not even close. The original Para 3 has issues all it's own. Many improvements were made in the LWT version, but I still give the nod to the Bugout. I had a G10 Para 3 and gave it away, I still have a LWT but it get's carried less than my Bugout.
 
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What he said. Covered anything I could want to say.

The OP never specified whether they were looking at the Para 3 or the Para 3 LWT. If we're comparing the original Para 3 to the Bugout, it's not even close. The original Para 3 has issues all it's own. Many improvements were made in the LWT version, but I still give the nod to the Bugout. I had a G10 Para 3 and gave it away, I still have a LWT but it get's carried less than my Bugout.


Thanks, Bugout seems a good choice, where best place for custom bits? Scales and screws etc?
 
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I currently own both the bugout and the para3 lightweight. Honestly, I think both are a fantastic win and a refreshing move away from everything being overbuild and unnecessary heavy.

Because I have both I conducted a few of my own “test” to see what would “perform” better in terms of cutting performance and overall utility. For basically every test I conducted I found the Para3 LW to come out on top for most everything by a very small margin (mostly due to ergonomics and blade shape) with the exception of the two categories that are often overlooked, but potentially the most important for some – pocket friendliness and looking un-offensive. Like many, I work in an office setting and these 2 items carry more weight than overall performance for a lightweight knife. The traditional lines make the Bugout less tactical looking to the non-knife person and the deep carry clip/the reduced weight make it more pocket friendly. Thus, the bugout for M-F wins for me and the Para3 LW sees some sunshine on the weekend. Although when it comes to the weekend unless I’m in shorts you may find me just sporting the Para 2 as it’s a purpose-built racehorse and outperforms both when in casual attire.

At times, the scale flex with the bugout bothered me so I upgraded to Carbon Fiber scales. I have no fear of failure just wanted to try an upgrade. The Para3 LW does not seem to have this issue with flex. Both the Bugout and Para3 LW can have some QC issues notably the un-centered para LW blades and side to side play with the Bugout. I would recommend selecting in person if you can. I think the bugout will open more doors for future mods than the Para3 LW so the bugout would be my recommendation for M-F carry and snag a Para2 for the weekends someday. Hope that helps. KN.JPG
 
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Bugout is a better knife for the money, in my evaluation. You get a better blade design, more wear resistant steel, lighter weight, better lock, and better carry for a slightly higher price.

Spyderco has decent QC, slightly better than Benchmade's in my personal experience, but neither company puts out consistently perfect knives and both are generally fine out of the box. I don't agree that QC issues are overblown with Benchmade, but rather believe that both companies could stand to improve quite a bit.
 
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T
I currently own both the bugout and the para3 lightweight. Honestly, I think both are a fantastic win and a refreshing move away from everything being overbuild and unnecessary heavy.

Because I have both I conducted a few of my own “test” to see what would “perform” better in terms of cutting performance and overall utility. For basically every test I conducted I found the Para3 LW to come out on top for most everything by a very small margin (mostly due to ergonomics and blade shape) with the exception of the two categories that are often overlooked, but potentially the most important for some – pocket friendliness and looking un-offensive. Like many, I work in an office setting and these 2 items carry more weight than overall performance for a lightweight knife. The traditional lines make the Bugout less tactical looking to the non-knife person and the deep carry clip/the reduced weight make it more pocket friendly. Thus, the bugout for M-F wins for me and the Para3 LW sees some sunshine on the weekend. Although when it comes to the weekend unless I’m in shorts you may find me just sporting the Para 2 as it’s a purpose-built racehorse and outperforms both when in casual attire.

At times, the scale flex with the bugout bothered me so I upgraded to Carbon Fiber scales. I have no fear of failure just wanted to try an upgrade. The Para3 LW does not seem to have this issue with flex. Both the Bugout and Para3 LW can have some QC issues notably the un-centered para LW blades and side to side play with the Bugout. I would recommend selecting in person if you can. I think the bugout will open more doors for future mods than the Para3 LW so the bugout would be my recommendation for M-F carry and snag a Para2 for the weekends someday. Hope that helps. View attachment 1197555

Those carbon scales are the one! That’s how I would go, did you get the tan/olive one for the black blade?
 
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What part of the UK do you live in OP? I see Hennie Haynes carries both Spyderco and Benchmade.
 
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OP, if you're wanting blood red scales, look at the North Arms Skaha 2. Mine arrived today and it is BLOOD RED. Blade shape is similar to the Bugout, but with a flipper and liner lock. A little fatter in hand and pocket than the very thin Bugout. Action, opening and closing, is about the best I've experienced. A little over your budget, but not much after you figure in aftermarket scales. And you'll have time to save up, since they are about 6 months behind in production.
 
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Have both Para 3 and BugOut awesome knives in their own ways. That said just different knives for me design wise.

The Bugout is crazy lite weight and small imprint pocket friendliness. It’s really insane for its blade size very little knives if any offer as much blade for weight ratio. Steel is S30v which holds edge well yet easier for most folks reshaping when needed.

Para 3 I have the Maxamet model (same size/weight), however the Para 3 digital camo S30v is a better price/steel match for comparison. The Para 3 is awesome smooth, feels heavier built and awesome grip in my hand. The draw back is a touch increase in size and weight.

Personally If I feel a need a slightly heavier duty blade that day Para 3 for me.

If I’m going to carry a lot and cut a-little Bugout for me.

Both are awesome
 
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Nov 13, 2013
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That is the kind of choice that is actually easy... since both are very good , whatever will be your pick you will the fine with it ;)

Personally I would take the Bugout
Good steel (Benchmade really does great things with s30v) and so light !
I am not a fan of the lanyard hole but the grivory handle it really good

The flex is really not annoying and considering the takes this knife is made for I prefer to keep it light

Actually I have been quite surprise by how pocket friendly it is for what is almost a mid size blade

I am waiting for a pm3 salt to replace my salt 2
But for basic edc I am good with the Bugout
 
Last edited:

atdegs

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I’ve handled both, and I prefer the Para 3. Better ergos with a less finicky lock. Better QC and it’s not made of plastic.

He already said he's replacing the scales.
 
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