Benchmade's collection of customizable pocket knives recently welcomed a new member: the Bugout. Originally designed with gram-counting backpackers and campers in mind, it's a classic folding design that features a 3.24-inch drop-point blade, but it weighs under two ounces. That fact, plus the inclusion of Benchmade's switch-style Axis lock, has earned it a mass following over just a few years.
Unlike most pocket knife customizers that might let you change a color or add an engraving, Benchmade's lets you adjust nearly every aspect of the knife. Select a plain or partially serrated blade and choose from a menu of high-end steels that includes S30V, 20CV, M4 and, as part of a recent expansion of the program, S90V, an ultra-premium super steel and a Damascus steel option from Damasteel, too.
Benchmade also lets you chose your Bugout's handle material from a list that now includes titanium and carbon fiber in addition to glass-filled nylon and G10, which are available in various colors. You can also add a laser-etched pattern or text and you can even select the color of the screws and thumb stud.
Such a broad spectrum of choice is both a reflection of and prediction of the Bugout's popularity in the EDC category, which encompasses many more than the hikers Benchmade originally made the knife for.
Benchmade calculates that there are 479,760 possible combinations that cost from $170 to $525, but they might as well say "endless." The good news is that if you're intent on trying them all, the visualizer is fast, easy and fun to mess around with. So much so that you might want to wait to begin designing your own Bugout until after the workday ends — you'll be at it for a while.