The Benchmade Bugout is a popular and lightweight folding knife known for its versatility and quality construction. While the knife comes with durable handles, some users may wish to customize their Bugout by replacing the scales. Whether you want to upgrade for aesthetics or practicality, replacing the scales can be a rewarding and straightforward DIY project.
I custom create wood scales (aka wood handles) for both the Benchmade Bugout 535 and Benchmade Bugout Mini 533. I get asked regularly on how to replace the scales on these knives, so I thought I’d make a video on the process.
0:16 About the Benchmade Bugout scales
0:50 Tools needed to disassemble the Bugout
1:30 Disassembling the knife
3:25 Reassembling the Benchmade Bugout with new scales
4:20 Installing a Benchmade Bugout backer
Items needed for disassembly:
- Work tray (optional)
- Mini Torx Screwdriver with T6 and T10 Bits
- Threadlocker (Loctite) Blue Gel (Optional)
- Tweezers (Optional)
Step-by-Step Disassembly Process:
Before beginning the scale replacement process, ensure the knife is clean, dry, and the blade is fully extended. Work in a well-lit and organized space and on a work mat or maintenance tray to avoid misplacing any small parts.
Prepare Replacement Scales:
If you haven't already, choose the replacement scales you want to install. Aftermarket scales come in various materials, colors, and textures, allowing you to personalize your Bugout.
Detach Pocket Clip (if applicable):
Carefully detach the pocket clip from the original scales.
Disassemble the Bugout Body:
Use the Torx screwdriver set to remove the screws securing the current scales. Benchmade Bugout knives use T6 and T10 Torx screws, so having the right size is crucial to avoid damaging the screws. Carefully unscrew and remove the scales, keeping track of any washers or spacers.
Install Replacement Bugout Scales:
Place the new scales onto the knife frame, aligning the screw holes with those on the knife. Insert and lightly tighten the screws by hand to ensure proper alignment. Make sure not to overtighten, as this can cause damage or misalignment.
Use the Torx screwdriver to fully tighten the screws, gradually going around and ensuring even pressure. If desired, apply a small amount of Loctite to the screws before tightening to prevent them from coming loose over time.
Check for Smooth Operation:
Open and close the knife several times to ensure the blade moves smoothly without any obstructions. If necessary, adjust the tightness of the screws until the action feels comfortable.
Clean and Polish:
Once satisfied with the assembly, use a cleaning cloth to wipe down the entire knife, removing any fingerprints or debris. This step will give your Bugout a polished and finished look.
Replacing the scales on your Benchmade Bugout is a simple and rewarding process that allows you to personalize your knife. With the right tools and careful attention to detail, you can enhance both the aesthetic and functional aspects of your Bugout, creating a unique and customized tool that reflects your style and preferences.