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Benchmade Bugout Chinese Fake Comparison & Tear Down

The NK crew, a group of knife enthusiasts, joined forces a few years back to embark on an exciting video series. In this unique series, we embark on a quest to uncover the finest imitation knives in the market, conducting comprehensive teardown comparisons.

As our series has grown, an intriguing revelation has surfaced. We've discovered that numerous Chinese manufacturers seem to source their heat treatment processes from a common supplier. With just one notable exception, all the imitation knives we've examined consistently exhibit a Rockwell hardness rating in the 52-55 HRC range. Moreover, they tend to employ a comparable stainless steel composite.

In this particular video, we dissected a Benchmade 535 Bugout knockoff, reminiscent of those found on What stood out was the remarkable design and the use of fiber-reinforced plastic scales that had undergone intricate milling. The entire manufacturing process and design of this imitation 535 seemed to embrace a brute force, labor-intensive approach, favoring manual craftsmanship over injection molding and automated machining like the real Benchmade.

This is a novel way to make a tool when you dont have or dont want to spend money on the tech to replicate what Benchmade is doing. The fake 535 suffers from this because it adds a lot of weight without adding toughness or rigidity.

While we did confirm the presence of a stainless steel blade in the counterfeit Benchmade 535, its HRC rating left much to be desired, raising doubts about its edge retention capabilities. Nonetheless, it offered an intriguing variation on the lightweight and everyday-carry-friendly Bugout design.

We urge you to exercise caution and avoid paying a premium for subpar tools. Additionally, we strongly condemn intellectual property theft from American companies, or from anyone for that matter, as it is ethically reprehensible.

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