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Benchmade Mini Bugout CF-Elite :: Field Tested

Benchmade Mini Bugout CF-Elite

I’ve never been a “knife guy”. Never mind everyday carry, I barely ever carry at all. With pockets jammed full of keys, wallet, pens, notebook, and phone, who has space to port around one more item? However, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been caught out on more than one occasion when I needed a blade, and I’ve borrowed more knives than I can possibly remember. The Benchmade Mini Bugout CF-Elite, however, might just make me a convert.

Benchmade Mini Bugout

Weighing in at only 1.5 ounces, this EDC is barely perceptible in your pocket, so much so that in the two months I’ve used mine, I’ve run it through the washing machine three times. The fact that it never shook loose from my pants in the dryer speaks to the holding power of the Mini Deep Carry clip. Check your garments twice before heading to the airport unless you want to make a nice gift for your friendly local TSA agent.

Despite its featherweight status, the Mini Bugout’s handle is big enough that it doesn’t disappear in your palm, and the blade’s useful 2.82-inch length and drop point make it an excellent all-rounder. I’ve sectioned both grapefruits and fuel hose with this knife. The unique AXIS lock spring closure is reassuringly secure yet easy to manipulate with one finger, and there is zero lateral or vertical movement when the blade is opened. Sharpness? Benchmade made its name on the keenness of their stainless steel, and their LifeSharp service means you can use your Mini Bugout every day for all kinds of tasks and never have to worry about dulling it beyond hope. Benchmade will re-sharpen your knife to a factory edge for free for the life of the knife.

The Mini Bugout comes in a range of colors for the blade, the handle, and the hardware that you can mix and match with their custom order tool. Ironically, I now find myself reluctant to lend my Mini Bugout to people just like me.

From $180 | benchmade.com

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Stephan Edwards is the associate editor of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. He and his wife, Julie, once bought an old Land Rover sight unseen from strangers on the internet in a country they'd never been to and drove it through half of Africa. After living in Botswana for two years, Stephan now makes camp at the foot of a round mountain in Missoula, Montana. He still drives that Land Rover every day. An anthropologist in his former life and a lover of all things automotive, Stephan is a staunch advocate for public lands and his writing and photography have appeared in Road & Track, Overland Journal, and Adventure Journal. Find him at @venturesomeoverland on Instagram.