537 Bailout by Benchmade

Editor: Johnny LeMaster

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Just the Facts:

Looking to fly under the radar? The slim and ultralight design of the Bailout® offers users an optimal strength-to-weight ratio. Black Grivory handles, a tanto CPM-3V blade, and aluminum pommel complete a package that cuts weight while maintaining durability. The Bailout®: Two ounces of confidence to your kit.

Blade length: 3.38in (8.59cm)

Blade Thickness: 0.090in (2.29mm)

Open: 8.07in (20.50cm)

Closed: 4.71in (11.96cm)

Weight: 2.05oz (58.4g)

Handle Thickness: .041in (10.40cm)

Clip Type: Mini Deep-Carry

Clip Position: Tip-up

Blade Type: Plain Tanto, Serrated Tanto,

Blade Finish: Coated (Gray)

Blade Steel: CPM-3V

Handle Material: Black Textured Grivory

Molle Compatible: No

Use: Everyday, Tactical

My Story:

Benchmade makes quality knives geared towards first responders, military, and the day to day person who wants a knife in their pocket that they know they can depend on when they need it.  If you are like me, you are a person that always has a knife on you.  The new Bailout by Benchmade is a knife that you can carry rather discreetly no matter what the dress code, and no matter what the situation.  I am excited about the new designs and features from Benchmade.  The Bailout is one such design that exhibits some new great features that set this knife apart from your typical folding pocketknife.

At first glance the Benchmade Bailout looks a lot like your average folding pocketknife with a tanto blade.  The overall length at just over 8” and blade length of 3.38” puts this knife on the upper end of a medium sized pocketknife.  Large enough to comfortably handle, and small enough to easily stash in your pocket when not in use.  As soon as you turn the knife sideways and look at the profile of it you can see that it is much different than typical knives.  This knife is very slender and even more impressively very light.  Weighing in at just over two ounces you almost forget you are carrying the Bailout.  To be honest this was something I had to get used to.  I typically like a larger knife.  Something that just feels stout in your hand.  The Bailout is the opposite.  I felt like it was just going to break in my hand when I picked it up.  Not because the product is flimsy, or weak in anyway.  It is in fact quite the opposite.  This little gem is well built.  The givory handle and CPM-3V hardened steel blade are meant to handle the abuse you throw at it in day to day usage.  The more I carried the Bailout, the more I started to really truly appreciate it.  It really grew on me, until it was a knife that I found myself wanting to carry regularly.

The more I carried the Bailout the more I really like the narrow, light weight design.  It slips away in my pocket held up by the mini deep-clip nearly making it disappear.  If it wasn’t for the aluminum slotted pommel of the knife peaking over the edge of your pocket and the small clip you wouldn’t see it at all.   Its low profile and lightweight makes you all but forget you have it on you.  The slender handle flairs near the pivot helping to reduce slipping in the hand.  The molded grivory handle has textured scales to increase grip and reduce slip on the handle.  For those unfamiliar with what givory is, it is a high-performance semi-crystalline polyamide known for having a high strength, resistance to chemicals, good surface quality, and being economical and easy to work with.  These qualities make it ideal for use as a knife handle.

One of the best features of the knife is the Axis locking system.  The Axis consists of a hardened steel locking bar that slides forward and back in the slot machined into both sides of the liner and givory grips near the back of the knife.  The hardened steel locking bar is snapped into place as the blade opens by a spring.  The locking mechanism is accessible from both sides making very easy to unlock one handed.  In my opinion the Axis is one of the best locking mechanisms on the market for folding knives, and one of the strongest locking mechanisms created by Benchmade.  Unlike many other locking mechanisms out it will not wear out a fast and is not easily unlocked by accident when engaged.  I have had a few knives that depending on how it is gripped during use the locking mechanism is easily unlocked by mistake which has bit me in the past.  There is not much worse than putting a large amount of pressure on the back of the handle when trying to cut something tough and having the knife snap close on your fingers.  The Axis is a thing of beauty.  It is not easily unlocked accidentally but is very easy to unlock with ease with a single hand when wanted.

Also easily opened with either hand by way of the convenient dual sided thumb studs is the tough CPM-3V steel tanto blade.  The blade is a flat grind tanto style blade that either comes in a plain edge or a semi serrated edge depending on your preference.  Personally, I typically prefer having a semi serrated blade whenever possible.  The additional boost provided when cutting tough materials by using the serrations is always welcomed.  CPM-3V steel is a great steel for knife blades.  The steel is made using a powdered metallurgy process.  When compared to traditional steel this process more evenly distributes the carbon making the steel less brittle and thus less likely to break, fracture, or chip. These are important features when looking for a knife steel that will stand up to the rigors of day to day use in demanding environments that are often characteristic of military, first responders, outdoorsmen, and the working class.  The blade holds an edge for a long time and is fairly easy to put an edge back on it when needed.  This is one of the best properties I have found regarding the blade steel through extensive use when carrying the knife in the field hunting, fishing, camping, backpacking, and daily every day carry situations.  To me these are the most important characteristics when choosing a blade steel.  If your knife dulls quickly and takes a lot of work to sharpen it is not worth carrying.  I want my knife to be sharp and ready to use at all times when I need it.  Like most everyone else I do not have a ton of free time to just dedicate to sharpening a knife.  I need a blade that doesn’t require constant maintenance, and the maintenance it does require is minimal and fast.  The one drawback to the CPM-3V steel is that it is not stainless.  It does have a fair amount of chromium in it that does help it resist corrosion, and the cerakote does help add additional protection to the blade.  Depending on the abuse and environment you are in you will more than likely not have any issues with corrosion on the blade, but in certain environments it can happen over time.

The Bailout by Benchmade is a great knife.  I have spent a lot of time carrying the knife as an everyday carry in varying situations and used it in many different circumstances.  The Bailout is just as suited for cutting into your package from Amazon as slicing through the hide of your recent harvest.  The more I carry this knife regularly the more I want to carry it.  This is a very well made knife that is perfect for anyone wanting a light weight all purpose knife.  I love the new stuff that has come out by Benchmade.   They are definitely moving in a direction I can get behind.  I cant wait to see what new stuff they will come out with next.

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What Could Be Done Better:

I give this knife 5 stars.

I really like all of the features of this knife.  I do not think there is anything I would do differently.

  • Functionality
  • Value
  • Ergonomics
  • Durability