Benchmade Bugout AXIS Lock Knife Aircraft Aluminum (3.2" Black) 535BK-4

Item #BHQ-118557
MSRP: $275.00
Our Price: $247.50
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  • Overall Length: 7.46"
  • Blade Length: 3.24"
  • Cutting Edge: 3.00"
  • Blade Width: 1.00"
  • Blade Thickness: 0.09"
  • Blade Material: Bohler M390
  • Blade Style: Drop Point
  • Blade Grind: Flat
  • Finish: Black
  • Edge Type: Plain
  • Handle Length: 4.22"
  • Handle Width: 1.00"
  • Handle Thickness: 0.41"
  • Handle Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Gray
  • Frame/Liner: Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 2.50 oz.
  • User: Right Hand, Left Hand
  • Pocket Clip: Tip-Up
  • Knife Type: Manual
  • Opener: Thumb Stud
  • Lock Type: Bar Lock
  • Brand: Benchmade
  • Model: Bugout
  • Model Number: 535BK-4
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Best Use: Camp/Hike, Everyday Carry
  • Product Type: Knife
  • Black Cerakote drop point blade made of Bohler M390 stainless steel.
  • Dual maroon-finished titanium thumb studs with bronze pivot washers.
  • Textured aluminum handle scales over nested steel liners.
  • Safe, strong, and ambidextrous AXIS-Lock mechanism.
  • Reversible mini deep-carry pocket clip and oversized lanyard hole.


In 2017, Benchmade shook the knife world with the release of the Bugout. It was the knife people didn't know they were searching for. It was simple, utilitarian, ergonomic, lightweight, had an ambidextrous lock and opener, and was made with quality materials. In the years since, the Benchmade Bugout has become one of the best-selling knives in history. Benchmade truly made the Bugout a knife for everyone, and no collection is complete without one.

The Benchmade Bugout comes in two sizes and a multitude of colors, and has great aftermarket customization options as well.

Customer Reviews

This is my favorite Benchmade
Peter P. on Feb 22, 2022

This Aluminum M390 Bugout just set aside the greptilian, 940, 950, mini grip, and the bugout G-10 version… I will say I think it’s a tie between this and my mini-crooked river for pocket time. It was almost perfect out of the box. I had a little side-to-side play in the blade so I tightened the pivot and it just kept loosening and giving the blade playback again for whatever reason. (Maybe I was playing with it too much) Anyhow, A little lock-tite and it is perfect. This knife is worth the money. If you’re seeing this before purchasing your first bugout and debating about ivory or g-10 Just buy this version. You’ll save yourself money. If you don’t like aluminum handles (I don’t either and these ones are fantastic) the BHQ exclusive bugout is awesome as well.

Amazing and worth the wait.
David K. on Oct 26, 2021

I ordered this for the M390 steel. I wasn’t too excited about the handle; so I figured I’d order it and swap the scales with something aftermarket. Was I wrong! This thing is phenomenal. First, the scales are much darker in person and look amazing. Second, the engraving on the scales is not stylistic, it provides amazing grip (which is what I was worried about; it being aluminum). Also, the scales are heavily contoured when compared with the standard Bugout; much thicker at the end, and tapers significantly toward the blade. This is one of my best knives. Wouldn’t change a thing. Standard and exceptional Benchmade quality, upgraded M390 steel on the classic Bugout platform. So glad I grabbed this.

Absolutely wonderful
Christopher s. on Sep 8, 2021

This is the Pinnacle of bugouts. The scales are light weight and amazing, the blade is phenomenal. Smooth put of the box needing very little break in. The listing here says DLC coated but it is in fact not. It's a black Cerakote finish. But don't let that discourage you from this amazing knife. Some of Benchmades best work to date.

Exceptional Quality!
Peter M. on Sep 10, 2021

This is my first Bugout and now I understand why it is loved by so many in the community.

Buy it!
Joe J. on Dec 30, 2021

What a great knife. The aluminum scales not only look great they have a solid non flexing feel, good texture and a great shape far superior the the original bugout. The blade was perfectly centered in the frame it was a sharp and with a little polishing of the blade and it's hair popping sharp. A drop of M-Pro 7 oil a minor adjustment of the blade retention screw about an hour of working the Axis-lock & it's buttery smooth, great lockup and No Play in the blade what so ever. Plus Bohler M390 steel and 2.5oz this knife is 100% legit! And if you catch it on sale it's a great bargain considering the quality. Well done Benchmade

FRED D. on Sep 13, 2021

I have a couple of dozen Benchmade knives. I love how Benchmade does what they do. This is one of the sweetest! I already have Bugouts in CF Elite and Carbon Fiber (and a mini in CF Elite), but I'm very happy to add this to the growing Bugout collection I never expected to accumulate. Every Bugout is a very good knife. Add beautifully turned aluminum and Benchmade quality and you have a work of art. It's a little heavier (it's a whopping 2.5 oz.), but I'm happy to tote the extra weight. Perfect centering. Smooth action right out of the box. Great job, Benchmade!

Quality work!
Jon V. on Sep 14, 2021

I waited longer for this knife than any other, but it was worth it. The grind is very even as opposed to my last two Malibus, and the edge is as sharp as any I have ever seen out of the box. The action smoothed out quickly after being a bit sticky at first. I think this is the best Bugout ever...

My new favorite? Probably
Sam P. on Jun 4, 2022

I have to say I was skeptical when I ordered it that I would like it. Pictures of it don’t do it justice. It’s darker and much better looking in person. I’m not someone that complains about action, centering and sharpness since I can usually fix those myself but this one arrives perfect anyway. Of the 4 Bugouts I own, the carbon fiber 535-3 has been my favorite but this one might have taken its spot. *I did change out the thumbstuds for black ones, not a big color red guy, and I think it looks even better.

Sweet Knife!
Brandon V. on Jan 24, 2022

Just when you thought the Bugout couldn’t get any better. Benchmade goes and makes this beauty! M390 is a knife steel for winners!

What a gorgeous Bugout
JASON D. on Dec 1, 2021

The 535BK-4 was definitely on my list, but I scooped this one up since BladeHQ has these on sale at a significant discount at the moment. If you want a -4, this price is irresistible. All the great qualities of the Bugout but done up in premium materials and with beautiful aesthetics. What's not to love? Fit and finish are flawless on my example too, and it arrived quite sharp. I'm very happy with this knife. It's almost too pretty to put to real use.

Best bugout version
Elson P. on Aug 24, 2022

Absolutely stunning. I ordered both this version and the bladehq exclusive. The bladehq exclusive was a bit off-center and was a little rough but it was an easy fix. This knife, however, was flawless right out of the box. The aluminum is a bit darker than the pictures and has a nice finish with a slight gloss compared to some titanium handles. At first, I thought it might be too slippery but it's so lightweight that it literally disappears in the hands and pockets. Compared to the s90v carbon fiber mini freak, this felt more premium. It is lighter, with a smoother action and a slightly longer blade. Everything about it is top-notch. If I was to nitpick, I would take off a star for the price. Except that if I really think about it, it's much cheaper than a custom and slightly cheaper than the s90v version. I prefer the m390 and the milling on the aluminum is one of the best I've seen from a production knife. It's classy but can still be a workman's knife and for that, it got 1 star back.

Best one
John B. on Dec 21, 2021

A couple of years ago I ordered a bugout with an ivory handle probably sv30. You could squeeze the handle together. I didn’t like it and sent it back. I began to see this model with the m390 which is my favorite steel and I figured the aluminum handle would be strong. It recently went on sale for and I jumped on it. As soon as I got it I loved it. The handle is darker than the pictures so it looks much better. The grind was a bit off but not enough to worry about but everything else was perfect. No break-in was even needed and the edge was hair-shaving sharp. If you’re sitting on the fence on this go for it. You’ll be happy you did.

Good knife but usual Benchmade problems
Logan L. on Sep 13, 2021

Very good looking knife but came with a very bad grind witch could barely cut hair. At the tip it has a very small grind on one side. Blade also came with no lube....My S30V came with a better grind.

Excellent knife but...
ELLIOT J. on Apr 22, 2022

This is one of the best EDC knives I've ever owned. Well built and beautiful. Premium materials is a sure selling point. One big problem though. The grind is terrible! Very rough and uneven. Took a lot of work to clean it up the way I wanted it. It was sharp out of the box but it seems that Benchmade needs to change out their grinding stones.

Stunning piece w/ typical Benchmade CQ
Adam V. on Dec 30, 2021

Let me preface this by saying I have nothing against Benchmade, I own 10-15 different benchmade knives and love most of them, most. This had been a grail of mine for a while and sat in my wishlist not being able to justify the cost seeing as I have 4 other bugouts. Though I was gifted this one for Christmas so now I can review it. Pros: -Absolutely stunning aesthetic. The milled aircraft aluminum scales provide an elegant look, they are slightly slick but with some good jimping it’s not an issue at all as I am able to get a firm grip in all grips saber, reverse, etc. -One of the most evenly ground bevels I’ve ever received on a Benchmade piece, seems to be a near perfect apex and symmetry. I mean this thing slices ribbons. Cons: -As a user before me has stated the action on this piece is nigh nonexistent. I have been able to break in every BM I own day 1 with a slight pivot adjustment and some tufglide. This one, it’s 5 days into my ownership, numerous pivot adjustments, oilings, actuations and retractions and it will still not axis lock open or close even remotely. In fact I wanted to see how loose I could actually make the pivot hardware without successful actuation and the pivot is now protruding with a visible gap between it and the handle scales and still no flip. Never felt such stiff action. I will take it apart and clean the omega springs and washers as I believe that is the issue and update. Conclusion: -Stunning piece, excellent materials, clean bevel and lightsaber slicer, slim and deep carry, just terrible action.

Blade HQ response:
We're very sorry to hear about the trouble you're having. Have you contacted our customer service department yet ([email protected])? We'd like to help you get this resolved. Thanks -BHQ
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