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Benchmade 531 Idea

Discussion in 'Benchmade Knife Company' started by Dean51, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. Dean51

    Dean51 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 30, 2014
    I was looking at a 531 at a local sporting goods the other day. I thought it would make a nice sized slicer. But. There were a couple things I didn't like about the handle so I have a few changes I would like to make. So I'll run the changes by the Benchmade pro's here, before I commit to the purchase.
    Basically just rounding the corners a bit at all 4 corners and by the thumb stud relief. It only has a partial liner so I won't be removing any metal.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
    jkarp_53 likes this.
  2. cashville

    cashville Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 12, 2017
    The action on the 531 that I had was the best action I've ever felt in an axis lock. If they did round out the corners, I think that a 531 would be significantly more comfortable in hand than a Bugout. The poor action on the Bugout that I received was what really killed it for me. I'm alright if an Axis lock does smoothly drop free on its own, but I had to straight up swing my previous Bugout to get it closed. I'm fine with a huge Crooked River being like that, but for a smaller Axis lock, I'd really prefer not to have to swing the knife more that a 484 to get it closed. Like I said, the 531 truly had an incredibly smooth action while locking up rock solid with no play in any direction.
  3. Benchmade

    Benchmade BMK Jimmy - Design Engineer Moderator

    Jan 25, 2013
    [email protected] likes this.
  4. Dean51

    Dean51 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 30, 2014
    I found a pic of the 531 & 535 side by side, yes it is what I had in mind. With 154CM it would work perfectly.

    I have a Shori and at first I found S30V to be a bit chippy. I never had that issue before. Eventually I put a micro bevel on it and solved that issue. I only use the knife to cut & slice but S30V just left me feeling, less than confident in it.
    Cypress likes this.
  5. Evany

    Evany Gold Member Gold Member

    May 7, 2007
    There are a few steels I prefer over S30V. M390 or 20CV top my list. Regardless, the Bugout has become one of my favorite knives. I don't find the S30V in it at all chippy, it sharpens relatively easily and gets very sharp. I think it's a step forward from the 531 in ergonomics and overall design.
  6. billym


    Jan 8, 2006
    I was waiting to see if the 535 had the same action as the 530/531. Both of these have a notch in the tang, under the piviot where the Axis Bar sits in when the blade is closed. This keeps the blade in the handle until you pull back the Axis Bar, which also pops the blade out of the handle making it easly to flick you wrist slightly and the blade is open.

    I don't see that notch on any other models including the 535.

    I would want a 535 if it had the same action. Ultralight with S30V is a sweet combo of ultrulight back packing etc.
  7. cashville

    cashville Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 12, 2017
    An uncoated M4 Bugout would be awesome. I don’t think Benchmade does M4 without the DLC, but I’d buy it in a heartbeat. A smoother action would also be really compelling.

    I think the “fixed” 531 would be a lot more comfortable in hand. I found the Bugout to be really narrow and almost sharp feeling in hand when you really grip it. I also really like the look of the G10 pattern on the 531. I would take a “fixed” 531 over a Bugout any day. One of the biggest selling points of the Bugout is the blade to weight ratio, but the difference between the Bugout and 531 in that category is completely negligible IMO.

    I really think a “fixed” 531 would be the absolute perfect edc for me and a lot of others.
  8. Scott321


    Jul 20, 2016
    I am a big fan of making personal mods to handles to fit my preferences. Just be aware, irreversible mods 99/100 times means it probably won't be as desirable to others... professional modders with established customers being the 1/100 exception.

    I've made amateur modifications to a few of my knives that I love, but probably decreased the value if I ever wanted to trade or sell the knives. This is why I'm always hesitant to permanently modify discontinued or exclusive models. If its a user I don't really care about the value ($) dropping.

    Last, although picture mock ups help visualize an idea, always check the handle in your actual hand as you progress on the mods. You can always take more off, but you can't put back what you grinded away (for the most part)... and sometimes what looks good on paper might be different in hand. As always, be mindful of the health hazards with grinding G10.

    Just something to consider.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  9. Dean51

    Dean51 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 30, 2014
    I saw the knife at REI and ignored it because of the handle but the salesman got it out for me anyway.
    The dagger blade on the 530, wasn't for cutting & slicing, Benchmade fixed that with the 531.
    That left me wondering why they didn't design the handle to better match the new blade shape.

    I noticed that and normally I would reject a knife with any assist feature. I'm one of those who always either just rolls the blade out with the stud or pinches it open. It's a personal preference but I like having control over the blade.
    I will carry it tip down in my small Benchmade belt pouch. So I can ignore that feature.
    A Leek opened in my pocket one time, sold it ASAP. A knife should not need a lock to stay closed. Regardless of how it is carried.

    I'm aware it may suffer an irreversible loss of collector value. As long as it works better for me, that's the point of any modification. I agree with scott, very slow and easy is the way to go when making these changes. Do each change one at a time and leave a little more material than you think you want to remove. Then use it for a few days. You can always remove more material later.

    Maybe Benchmade will take notice and fix the handle.
    The major change to the back could be done with out interfering with the clip.
  10. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    The knife is a Mel Pardue design and the original handle shape with the flutes (plus the spearpoint blade) is part of his design signature. I like that aspect of the knife. I have the spearpoint blade and it's a fine EDC.
  11. Adam Timmins

    Adam Timmins

    Apr 4, 2018
    I have the 531 and the back corner of the handle has never actually bothered me while I had it in hand. The cutout for the thumb studs is where I feel it the most, but it's not too bad. I really like how deep the blade sits inside the handle when closed.

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