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Introducing The 535-191 Bugout®

Introducing The 535-191 Bugout®
By Troy Hellman 2 months ago 48049 Views 41 comments

For years, Gold Class designs have given our team a unique opportunity to flex a little creative muscle. Eye-catching materials, heightened attention to smaller details, and subtle hidden features are intended to provide a touch of class to popular production designs that will cater to enthusiasts and collectors alike. Despite the focus on dressed-up aesthetics, we haven’t forgotten the simple fact that a knife is a tool at the end of the day, and functionality is by no means compromised amidst the Gold Class offerings.

In the same vein as Benchmade’s standard production models, the ideation phase begins with concepts from the Product Line Manager. Once a knife has been chosen, the Industrial Designer will use the pre-existing sketches and CAD design as a platform to add or remove desired materials. Design Engineers are pulled into the process, to provide their respective expertise in regards to proper fit and function. When the team has landed on a final design, prototypes start to work their way through a small corner of the factory in Oregon City.

Our Gold Cell team is comprised of factory-veterans that exhibit a high level of knowledge and experience in knife-making, with an unrivaled passion and attention to detail. As a result, we are able to design knives for the Gold Class that utilize ultra-tight tolerances, as well as new materials and finishes, with an expectation for the highest level of quality in the finished product. On occasion, Gold Class designs are restricted to a specific production quantity (Generally 150-250 units), while Unlimited Limited Gold Class knives like the new Bugout 535-191 are manufactured throughout the course of a single calendar year.

For 2019, our team decided to give the Gold Class treatment to the 535 Bugout; an incredibly popular ultra-light EDC design that has been in production since July of 2017. “It’s a great platform that speaks to a variety of consumers. It’s well suited for every day carry, maintains user-friendly ergonomics, and has a slim profile in the pocket. The Bugout was the perfect candidate for a Gold Class design.” explains Design Engineer, Jason France. The intent behind the design was to maintain the modus operandi of the ultra-light Bugout by selecting new materials that wouldn’t add unnecessary size or weight, while paying homage to the original blue color scheme.

The 535-191 Bugout provides a unique blend of these modern mediums that share visual and functional similarities with the original 535 design. Known for its strength as a lightweight material, Product Line Manager, Vance Collver chose ghost carbon fiber to craft handle scales for the Gold Class Bugout. As a tip of the hat to the original colorway, these handles are outfitted with blue C-Tek inlays, and the titanium thumbstuds were anodized to match. Despite the simplicity of an inlay, the narrow profile of the Bugout made it difficult to incorporate the additional feature. “Machining the recess for an inlay in the thin handle, while still maintaining strength and allowing for fasteners to secure the C-Tek proved to be one of the bigger challenges from an engineering standpoint.” states Design Engineer, Mark Delplanche.

The Gold Class line is commonly furnished with the high-alloy Damascus patterned blade steel from Damasteel; a notable steel manufacturer located in the historic Swedish town of Söderfors. Damasteel’s Munin™ pattern is accentuated by the high flat grind of the Bugout's blade, creating a strikingly beautiful aesthetic that doesn’t sacrifice performance. To round out the final touches of the design, the liners, pocket clip, and hardware were treated with a smoked grey PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coating, providing a smooth and durable finish that blends nicely with the color of the ghost carbon fiber handles.The end result, is a creative expression of artisan-level craftsmanship, that embodies the core principles of the Bugout’s original design.


Britt Burton 2 months ago at 9:08 AM
I prefer a more well-rounded grip, so it’ll not be uncomfortable in use. I find these ultra slim handles to not be comfortable after 10-15 minutes of use.
Faisal 2 months ago at 9:50 AM
Awana have it? What is the price??
Benchmade 2 months ago at 8:34 AM
$750 MSRP
A.J. 2 months ago at 9:59 AM
Received a bug out for Xmas. Love the blade and slim design. Handle seems cheep though. Love to see an option for handle upgrade for all of us current owners.
Doug Sizemore 2 months ago at 10:19 AM
How do I get on the list to buy one?
Benchmade 2 months ago at 8:34 AM
They will be available in February. You can either purchase directly through our website, or through one of our many authorized dealers!
Jonathan 2 months ago at 10:37 AM
Cant wait to get mine
Caden Lasyone 2 months ago at 11:09 AM
That looks awesome!
Joe Wright 2 months ago at 1:14 PM
Make this in a boost version and I will buy it!
Matthew S., NR-P 2 months ago at 2:39 PM
Beautiful.. just beautiful!
Theodore Schlink III 2 months ago at 3:11 PM
Is the Gold Standard an automatic open knife?
Benchmade 2 months ago at 8:33 AM
Nope, manual opening!
Allex 2 months ago at 6:14 PM
Why not?
Benchmade 2 months ago at 8:38 AM
The standard Bugout isn't an auto. We use the Gold Class more as an opportunity to play around with new materials, rather than changing the mechanisms/function of an original design.
Bruce Satow 2 months ago at 5:55 PM
I wish it had the AXIS assisted opening mechanism. The manual opening seems slower due to the lack of weight and snap.
Bear 2 months ago at 11:33 AM
You need more practice is all. A seasoned knife user can open just about any knife at the same speed. This is aside from knives like lockbacks and and slip joints. The blade will fly out if you put your hands in the right place and slightly pull back when opening. You aren't compromising time if you just put your fingers in the right spot when grabbing. Either way, if you pratice it will come naturally. I race people who have automatics all the time. I've always been able to deploy an axis, liner or frame lock faster than otfs or automatics. I find them to be slower and less dependable.
Bill Davis 2 months ago at 6:25 PM
It’s a real beauty. What is the price range? Thanks
Bill Davis 2 months ago at 6:29 PM
I just found the price. I’ll be 70 in March, and I just found my birthday present. Thanks again
Gary Satuffer 2 months ago at 7:34 PM
This is a beautiful knife.
What is the cost?
When will we be able to purchase?
Benchmade 2 months ago at 8:32 AM
$750 MSRP, and they should be available in February!
Chief walkienomo (cherokee nation) 2 months ago at 9:22 AM
Ho lee sheet. $750?!
Knife prices have gotten insane
Bear 2 months ago at 11:35 AM
You mean knife material advancement has gotten insane. Technology comes with a price.
Adam Davis 2 months ago at 7:47 PM
Wow nice design very well made... as is every Benchmade!!
Hosey Mask 2 months ago at 7:48 PM
What is the price of it in is it automatic. Is it good use for everyday and at work.
Benchmade 2 months ago at 8:30 AM
$750 MSRP. The knife is not an automatic. Definitely capable of being an everyday carry for you at work if you're comfortable with it!
Steve Guibord, USMCRetired 2 months ago at 8:21 PM
Your knives are so nice! They are well made with class and style! I just wished they were a bit more affordable! Are there any package deals? I would love to purchase one for each of my three boys and three girls, if I purchase one knife times six, is there a possible discount? SEMPER FI, for God and Country....!
USAMU83 Retired 2 months ago at 6:28 PM
Benchmade is one of companies to honor a military discount and LE and 1st responders discount. This is one company that actually puts their money where there mouth is!!
Semper Paratus!
jimmy brown 2 months ago at 9:50 PM
Are you ever going to make a bigger bugout like with a 3.5 to 4 inch blade?
Robert Teran 2 months ago at 11:11 PM
I know what I’m buying myself for my birthday in February!!
Ted H 2 months ago at 9:48 AM
Benchmade is a great knife and I have several, however at $750 (price of an AR) this is a rich mans knife
S. Guibord (USMC ret.) 2 months ago at 10:36 AM
Wow, I would have to agree! Beautiful and well made, but $750, little to much for a working man! Price must be firm as they never responded back to my question regarding a discount for more than one purchase!
Bear 2 months ago at 11:38 AM
Their Military discount information is here on the website. They also sell through dealers that receive limited amounts usually. Except this is an unlimited run for the whole year. So you can go to your local authorized benchmade dealer now, and try to work out a pre-order.
B. R 2 months ago at 10:28 AM
I want it...but 3.6 or 4.0
RW 2 months ago at 2:56 PM
Unfortunately, this veteran can't afford anything this expensive. Nice looking knife though.
Joe Adank 2 months ago at 5:00 PM
Love my bug out. Easy to wash out and keep hinge clean.
Sgt. Schmazz 2 months ago at 8:25 PM
Be nice to see the bugout offered with G-10 scales before all this fancy stuff.
The factory scales are junk. Broke mine the first day. I know the intent is to be lightweight. But, to not use a better material for the cost is a bit insane.
Pretty expensive piece of metal. Considering what S30V costs to buy.
I put Titanium scales on mine. Guy out of CA MrRockScale sells them for around $95. Put those on your 535 and its a game changer.
I bought mine just because those scales were available. Another guy in Australia makes Titanium pivots for the 535 and 940. As well as Titanium screw sets.
$270 knife in my pocket. Worth every penny now that its fixed right.
MrRockScale also has Titanium back scales for around $30.
The knife shown is pretty. Pretty out of reach for a working man to buy.
Patrick 2 months ago at 11:56 AM
I would have preferred to just gotten one with a full liner and possibly micarta or g10 scales. Reason I've sold both versions already is the flimsy feel to grip/scales.
Jonnybolt 2 months ago at 12:06 PM
Is there any way I could get it sooner
Phil Raiche 1 month ago at 9:18 PM
When?
John H 29 days ago at 12:09 PM
Discount for military on this piece?
Benchmade 28 days ago at 2:40 PM
Hey John, our military discount does not apply to Gold Class product.