The Benchmade Bugout (535 series) and the Benchmade Griptilian (551 series) are both excellent choices of American-made folding knives. There are a few key differences between the two however, that may influence which knife would be the best fit for you.
The griptilian is bigger and heavier and can handle heavier tasks, Benchmade specifies that this a tactical class knife, and the extra blade and handle dimensions equip for use beyond typical pocket-carry knives. Though it's sized to comfortably carry in your pocket, it doesn't try to hide itself and it doesn't try to hide the fact that it's built for work. The full-size Griptilian is designed for no-nonsense practical tasks and larger EDC carry.
The bugout is slimmer, lighter, and smaller than the heftier Griptilian. If you are wanting something more everyday carry the Bugout 535 is a great choice while occupying minimal space in your pocket or 'bugout' pack. The build gives it a light load for your pocket and perfect for hiking or backpacking, but don't be fooled into thinking it performs like a "lightweight!" The Bugout 535 is a strong, dependable choice for all-around use.
The Bugout 535 is equipped with a 3.24-inch blade. The blade is made out of S30V stainless steel. This type of material is outstanding at combating corrosion as well as being very durable. This blade is also hardened to 58-60 on the Rockwell scale making its durability comparable to the Bailout. The blade has a satin finish to protect against corrosion and making it a great indoor and outdoor option.
The Griptillian 551's blade is crafted from the same S30V steel as the Bugout 535 and also measures in at 3.24 inches. That means both of these knives are up to whatever task you have for them. They're incredibly sharp, tough, and can handle exposure to the elements, so you know they are built to last.
The bugout 535 is available with an eye-catching blue handle to prevent misplacement and also a ranger green handle on the 535gry model. The handle itself is made out of either Grivory (fiberglass infused) or cf-elite (carbon fiber infused) which is a more rigid and lighter option. For the Bugout 535, the handle measures in at 4.22 inches.
The Griptillian 551's handle is crafted from Noryl GTX, a blend of polyamide (PA) and modified polyphenylene. This material aids in water and heat resistance. The sleek black finish on the handle is an attractive option. The handle is 4.55 inches long making the full length of the knife when extended 8 inches, and when folded 4.62 inches.
Specifications - Bugout 535 | Griptilian 551
Lock Mechanism: AXIS® | AXIS®
Opening: One-Handed Manual-opening | One-Handed Manual-opening
Blade Steel: CPMS30V (58-60 HRC) | S30V (58-60 HRC)
Blade Length: 3.24" (8.23cm) | 3.45" (8.76cm)
Blade Thickness: 0.090" (2.29mm) | 0.115" (2.921mm)
Open Length: 7.46" (18.95cm) | 8.07" (20.50cm)
Closed Length: 4.22" (10.72cm) | 4.62" (11.73cm)
Handle Thickness: 0.42" (10.54mm) | 0.64" (16.256mm)
Weight: 1.85oz. (52.45g) | 3.88oz. (110.00g)