When the Benchmade Bugout came out, it was an immediate hit. People loved how lightweight it was, nimble, and yet capable. All while still being affordable. I only recently got one and it’s a true gem — and well worth your money.
Recently though, Benchmade released the Mini Bugout — same great knife, just smaller. This “mini” stuff can be hit and miss, but with Benchmade this is a common theme which they often pull off quite well (see also reviews of the Griptilian and Mini Griptilian). I waited, rather impatiently to get one of these so I could first test out the full size Bugout.
Long story short: this is the best knife on the market, no caveats.
The Bugout is really good, supremely good, but the size can be off putting for some, and overkill in many scenarios. And even possibly illegal in more restrictive areas. Thus, the Mini Bugout in a lot of ways is a better knife for most people. And, specifically, I have been looking at getting a knife which might be better than my standard bearing Chris Reeves Small Sebenza, or my office-carry Benchmade Propers.
And this, the Mini Bugout, is the standout for that possibility so here we are.
First things first, cutting stuff is the primary purpose of any knife. And on that point, the Mini Bugout is a hell of a slicer. The blade is thin, and nimble to cut with.
You won’t be chopping things with this, but the blade is also not so small that it leaves you wanting in anyway. The S30V steel might be a little on the older side (or a lot), but Benchmade makes the best S30V out there, and it performs really well. Easy to sharpen, holds a great edge, and is generally worry free.
All while keeping prices down. This knife can cut.
So the knife can cut, met the lowest of low knife bars there. But the thing this knife excels at is in the carry of it in your pocket. If you think the Bugout is light and thin, then the Mini Bugout is that and everything else. Once you drop this knife in your pocket, it basically disappears. Clip it on the side of your pocket with the short deep carry clip, and it is like it’s not there.
It is thin enough not to ‘print’ through your clothes easily. It is light enough that there is never a good excuse not to carry it. Point blank: I’ve never like carrying a knife as much as I enjoy carrying this one.
Size in Hand/Use
When I am reviewing an item, I often keep a running note of thoughts I have about that item, here’s what I wrote about the overall size of it: makes you wonder why you would need anything larger. Since I received this knife, I have not wanted to use another knife. I have flipped between knives as part of the testing process from large to small knives.
What I kept coming back to is that this is just an ideally sized knife. It is nothing in your pocket and yet it fits in my hand very nicely and has a large enough blade that you’ll never be left wanting — only if you are outdoors and bushcrafting might you need something larger. That’s the only time I can think of a reason why.
Top knife: Bugout. Bottom Knife: Mini Bugout.
I don’t know that I can point out a downside to this knife, because I haven’t found it. It is both surprisingly small, and perfectly big enough to use for anything.
It has an orange handle, sure, but it really has grown on me to the point of me actually liking how the brightness downplays the severity of the slicey-edge. It weighs nothing, but is not at all fragile feeling.
This could be, and likely is, all most people need. And if there is a more perfect knife for dropping into your pocket, then I have yet to see or hear about it.
Is it perfect? No? But it’s close enough that you are not likely to find this much perfection in any other knife. Give me some modern super steels and change nothing else, you might as well take all my damned money at that point Benchmade.
Until then, I look forward to more handle colors, as I shall buy them all.