https://www.benchmade.com/535bk-2-bugout.html I went out to grab the mail today, and my new Benchmade Bugout was in the box. I was almost a little reluctant to open the box. Having read many reviews and watched enough video reviews to fill a few hours. Some said it was a great little knife. Others said it was an over priced piece of garbage. It seems that is the way the internet works. Split 50/50% down the middle. I held off for ever on the purchase of my Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter. Mostly because of reviews stating the handle was blockly and poorly designed. Once I received that knife, I kicked myself for not grabbing one earlier. It has become one of my favorite woods knives. Lesson Learned. With the Bugout at least. I was smart enough not to wait that long. Some folks say it feels cheap. Others say it’s so light it feels like a toy. *So I reexamined my need parameters. What I wanted was a reasonable sized knife with a decent blade that could be carried unobtrusively in my pocket. Others talked about the mechanism feeling gritty. Some complained you couldn’t close it without a hefty hand snap. *So I reexamined my need parameters. What I wanted was a reasonable sized knife with a decent blade that could be carried unobtrusively in my pocket. Many said it was too expensive for a knife with scales you could flex with your thumb. *So I reexamined my need parameters. What I wanted was a reasonable sized knife with a decent blade that could be carried unobtrusively in my pocket. Some folks said the blade wasn’t centered when closed. *So I reexamined my need parameters. What I wanted was a reasonable sized knife with a decent blade that could be carried unobtrusively in my pocket. Moving forward with my parameters in mind, I ordered one. First impressions? ***First a disclaimer. I am a fixed blade guy. I am a woods guy. I am not a connoisseur of folder intricacies. I use my knives. What may drive other folks crazy, I may not even notice. What may be a major short coming in a folder, may not bother me at all. If the knife cuts what I need cut. I will most likely be happy! As I unboxed the knife with equal amounts of excitement and trepidation. I anxiously worked my way through the multiple layers. Shipping box, Benchmade box, Benchmade pouch, and assorted paperwork. Finally, I had the Bugout in my hand. It is light. I wanted light! It is thin, I wanted thin. Then, (and here is where it gets ugly) I opened the knife. It opened a tad stiff. Not gritty, not difficult. Just a tad stiff. (I can live with Stiff!) Now here is where it gets really bad. I mean really bad! I pulled the axis lock back and gave the Bugout my best internet inspired hand snap to close it. Much to my horror. The blade remained fully in the open position. “The Horror” I immediately called Benchmade Customer Service and complained. I informed the Better Business Bureau of my disgust. Finally, I sent a letter to Congress asking for a Special Prosecutor to look into Benchmade’s business practices. I sobbed openly. What a mistake this purchase was. Then, I took a few deep breaths and closed the knife with my spare hand. It closed fine. It was just a tad stiff! (I can live with Stiff) I figured with things going as bad as they were. I might as well finish things off and check the blade centering. It is spot on. I mean center. Center is like pregnant. Either it is or it isn’t. It is! Just for kicks I glanced at the centering on my Spyderco Manix ll. The Bugout is centered. The Manix is not. I feel so violated! I have been using the Manix for years with a blade that wasn’t centered when closed! How could I have been so ignorant?? With my fury growing stronger by the minute. I examined the less important things so I could nit pick this knife to death. This is the internet after all! I checked the actual blade grinds. Huh, they seem spot on. Clean, symmetrical, and very nicely done. The coating also seems fine. The fit and finish of the scales appears to be done very well too. The jimping on top of the axis lock that runs toward the front of the slabs is noticeable, but not overly aggressive. The balance point is just in front of the Axis Lock. Giving it a nice neutral balance point. Did I mention this thing is light? Oh Crap, more horror! I can’t believe this. That little pocket clip. You know, the one that allows the knife to be carried so unobtrusively in your pocket. The screws (Bolts?) that hold the clip to the knife. They aren’t recessed. How can this be?? They didn’t recess the screws! Then there is the steel. S30V? Who still uses this steel. S30V is so yesterday! I can’t even kid about the steel. My 162 is S30V. I have beat the sneakers off that knife.’ It is no worse for the wear. I’m fine with S30V! OK, That’s a pretty good handful of findings for an initial impression. But what does this all boil down to? So far, I am really liking this knife! It looks very cool. Being all blacked out. The balance is great. It feels great in the hand. The blade is centered. The blade is sharp and well ground. Right out of the box it push cuts curves in copy paper, and causes hair to leap off my arm. *As a side note. I have a Wilson Combat 1911. I cycled the slide on that piece 400 times before I ever put a round through it. Break in folks! Break In. I’m sure the blade on the Bugout will break in. Like a quality learher sheath, a bit snug in the beginning is a good thing. Final Thoughts; *I reexamined my need parameters. What I wanted was a reasonable sized knife with a decent blade that could be carried unobtrusively in my pocket. Benchmade Bugout=Homerun!