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Top 5 Everyday Carry Benchmade Pocket Knives

Choosing the right knife is hard, and choosing the right Benchmade knife can be even harder. Benchmade makes so many great options for everyday carry (EDC) that it can be overwhelming. So we’re going to look at the Top 5 Benchmade knives for your EDC.

A lot of these options are very similar. Ambidextrous or reversable controls, similar locking methods, and blade designs combine into a relatively standardized pocket knife. On top of that, your preferences and local requirements will dictate which knife is better for you. With that in mind, let’s look at your options. 

  • Best Overall Everyday Carry Knife: Benchmade 535BK-2 Bugout AXIS
  • Best Long-Form Manual Knife: Benchmade 940 Osborne AXIS
  • Best Shorter-Form Knife: Benchmade 533 Mini Bugout AXIS
  • Best Everyday OTF Knife: Benchmade 5370 Shootout D/A OTF
  • Best Everyday Carry Automatic Knife: Benchmade 9070 Claymore Automatic

Best Overall Everyday Carry Knife: Benchmade 535BK-2 Bugout AXIS

Benchmade 535BK-2 Bugout AXIS

The Benchmade Bugout is your “plane-jane” pocket knife. A simple drop point blade with an ergonomic handle is not that interesting, but they provide the performance you’ll need on a day to day basis.

Drop point blades provide the widest functional utility of most blade designs. And that performance means nothing if you can’t comfortably use the blade over long periods of time. The clean lines and different color options allow you to get a knife that suits your preferences without compromising the effectiveness of the design.

The plain, single edged blade is securely kept in place with a bar lock and features dual thumb studs for ambidextrous use. The belt clip orients the knife tip up when closed, making it easy to draw and open with one hand.

The Bugout is the perfect knife to use when you don’t need a specialized tool. It can do basic carving, cutting, and slicing tasks. The only limit is your skill and inventiveness.

Pros:

  • Simple, uncomplicated design
  • Easy to open w/ dual thumb stud
  • Textured handle scales provide secure grip
  • Reversible pocket clip
  • Benchmade AXIS-Lock bar lock

Cons:

  • Cost varies greatly with cosmetic designs
Blade Length 3.24 inches
Blade Style Drop Point
Blade Steel CPM S30V
Overall Length 7.46 inches
Locking method Bar Lock
Belt Clip Tip-Up

 

Best Long-Form Manual Knife: Benchmade 940 Osborne AXIS

 

Benchmade 940 Osborne AXIS

Pocket knives usually sit between 2.5 and 4 inches in the blade, the Benchmade Osborne sits closer to the maximum range of pocket knife blade lengths. This makes it fractionally longer than the Bugout. The other major differences between the Bugout and the Osborne are the blade and handle.

The reverse tanto blade design allows for better cutting capacity than a standard/Americanized tanto edge while allowing for a semi-reinforced tip. This means the blade can handle tougher piercing tasks without the tip failing. The more pronounced belly helps with slicing tasks and longer cuts.

The handle is longer and 0.60 inches thinner than the Bugout’s handle. This accommodates the slightly longer blade, but also takes up less room in your pocket. The narrower handle will be less pronounced in your pocket making it easier to carry in different clothing styles. Some knives work best with jeans but are out of place in dress pants. The Osborn can work with both.

Pros:

  • Strong blade point
  • Better slicing ability
  • Narrower overall design than the Bugout
  • Ambidextrous thumb stud w/reversible pocket clip
  • Works with most clothing options

Cons:

  • Less overall cutting ability due to blade width
  • Not as good general utility than a drop point design
Blade Length 3.40 inches
Blade Style Reverse Tanto w/ plain or partially serrated options
Blade Steel CPM S30V
Overall Length 7.87 inches
Locking method Bar Lock
Belt Clip Tip-Up

 

Best Shorter-Form Knife: Benchmade 533 Mini Bugout AXIS

 

Benchmade 533 Mini Bugout AXIS

If you like the Bugout design but not the size, the Mini Bugout will be your best option. The shorter blade means it fits more locations legal requirements since it is less than 3 inches long. The handle and overall length are also shorter than the standard Bugout, making it easier to carry.

The utility of the smaller blade will carry out most standard cutting tasks and a few more depending on your skill. The small size makes it easy to carry everywhere and it can supplement a bigger knife easily, without that much of a weight penalty. However, since the knife is smaller, it does not have as much cutting capacity as its larger sibling.

Pros:

  • Smaller blade allowed in more locations
  • Less space taken up in your pocket
  • Better concealability
  • Light weight

Cons:

  • Can handle fewer tasks than the full-sized Bugout
Blade Length 2.875 inches
Blade Style Drop Point
Blade Steel CPM S30V
Overall Length 6.50 inches
Locking method Bar Lock
Belt Clip Tip-Up

 

Best Everyday OTF Knife: Benchmade 5370 Shootout D/A OTF

 

Benchmade 5370 Shootout D/A OTF

Out-The-Front or OTF knives are a great alternative to “switchblade” style knives. OTF knives are legal in more locations while providing similar speed and ease of use as other automatic knives. The Benchmade Shootout brings a double action mechanism in an attractive package.

The tanto point blade is opened and closed with the slider on the back of the blade. The blade is centered, unlike other OTF designs, for better aesthetics. The tanto point features a nominal belly for more cutting utility than the normal angular design.

Since the blade comes out of the top of the handle, there are less openings for pocket lint and other debris to enter the knife’s inner workings. There is also a window breaker at the base of the handle near the reversible pocket clip. Due to the design, the knife will always be oriented point down in the pocket. It does not feature any external secondary safeties.

Pros:

  • Legal in more areas
  • Quick deploying blade
  • Still provides utility
  • Less openings for dirt and debris
  • Glass breaker carbide
  • Is just plain cool

Cons:

  • Easily mistaken for a Switchblade
  • No secondary safety (comes down to preference)
  • Little to no blade options
Blade Length 3.51 inches
Blade Style Tanto
Blade Steel CPM CRU-WEAR
Overall Length 8.22 inches
Action Method Double-Action
Belt Clip Tip-down

 

Best Everyday Carry Automatic Knife: Benchmade 9070  Claymore Automatic

Benchmade 9070  Claymore Automatic

If you live in an area where Automatics or switchblades are legal, you should look into the Benchmade Claymore. This heavily built automatic provides a combination of utility and style that many other knives in this category lack.

Usually side-opening automatic knives are some sort of stiletto or spear point blade. This blade style doesn’t allow for a lot of uses outside of stabbing things or self defense. The Claymore comes in drop-point and tanto configurations with optional serrations. This allows you to be able to use the knife for more things instead of it just being a status symbol.

The blade deploys with a simple ambidextrous push button and features a secondary safety. The handle is shaped to keep your hand from slipping on to the blade while still allowing for cutting and slicing. The drop point model tackles more cutting tasks than the tanto version, but both can be used for coarse jobs.

Pros:

  • Highly durable design
  • Handle adds safety to use
  • Multiple blade styles
  • Secondary safety
  • Weatherproofed and Ambidextrous

Cons:

  • Not legal in all areas
  • Not as many handle customizations
Blade Length 3.60 inches
Blade Style Drop Point, Tanto w/optional serrations
Blade Steel CPM D2
Overall Length 8.60 inches
Locking method Button Lock
Belt Clip Tip-Up
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