There may come a time when things get a little weird, society falls apart, and we find ourselves duking it out over cans of beef stew — and for that day, many folks invested in the Benchmade Bugout knife.
But it wasn’t that. Benchmade never intended the Bugout to be anything more than a light-duty knife for outdoor enthusiasts (and it is, in fact, one the best such knives in our testing). When Benchmade realized what was going on, it came out with the Bailout — a more robust blade that eliminated the Bugout’s handle flex — and aimed that at the tactical crowd. But even the Bailout wasn’t meant to be a workhorse.
Enter the next evolution, the Redoubt, with style cues from the iconic Griptilian. It was the answer for folks seeking a knife for Overlanding, living off the grid, and generally being prepared.
So why the heck haven’t we heard that much about it? The Redoubt is a knife that needs our attention — it does what you think the Bugout can do.
In short: The Redoubt is everything you want in a long-term-use, utilitarian workhorse. Like the Griptilian, it’s a knife that you can use and abuse and then hand down to the kids when they’re old enough to get into the grind, off the grid. It might be a juiced-up freak compared to the Bugout, but I’d rather have a knife that’s overbuilt and fills my hand.
Benchmade Redoubt Knife
- OAL 8.29”
- Blade length 3.55”
- Blade steel CPM-D2
- Blade shape Drop point
- Grind Flat
- Hardness 60-62 HRC
- Lock type Axis
- Carry Reversible, tip-up, deep carry
- Weight 2.8 oz.
- CPM-D2 blade steel
- Lightweight for its overall size
- Excellent grip and hand feel
- Designed to be abused
- Lives in the shadow of the Bugout
- People hate on Grivory handles
- Gunk can get encased inside the knife easily
- Maybe on the larger side for EDC fanatics
Benchmade Redoubt Review
Like the line of Griptilians that have graced the market for more than two decades, the Redoubt is built off a steel frame and uses Grivory — an injection molded thermoplastic — for its handle enclosure to add impact and heat resistance.
But the Redoubt sets itself apart with its textured insert, which greets your palm and won’t let you let go. Benchmade refers to the juxtaposition of color and texture as “Overlander Grey with Forest Green Grip.” That’s pretty good marketing and right on the money.
The Redoubt features a deeper-than-deep pocket clip, Benchmade’s unbeatable Axis lock, and, in a solid move, uses black coated CPM-D2, in drop point form, for the blade.
I was especially excited to play around with the knife’s CPM-D2 steel, which should not be confused with D2. CPM-D2, by Crucible Industries, is a powdered steel designed to iron out imperfections in the original D2 recipe. The result is stronger steel with improved edge retention and corrosion resistance.
Benchmade breaks up its knives into three classes: Blue for EDC use; Black for more tactical, aggressive use; and Gold, a regal, premium-material knife that pulls out all the stops.
The Redoubt falls into the Black class, and — based on the reviews, people seem shocked and appalled that it doesn’t look tactical enough. But looks can be deceiving, and in the case of the Redoubt, they most certainly are. It’s a friendly reminder that tactical isn’t just in form but in function as well.
As such, the Redoubt is robust. It’s thicker than most knives in the Black class and has a considerable amount of touch points and a rock-solid build that allow it to do all that the aforementioned knives in this article cannot.
There’s no way to ignore the design similarities between the Redoubt and a Griptilian. It’s a smart move by Benchmade, as the Griptilian line is the brand’s most successful line of knives to date and sets a standard for EDC design and function across the production knife market.
In the Field
The Redoubt fills your hand and feels ready for aggressive use. Its Grivory handles have a rough finish and jimping on all major touchpoints. The grippy green overlay, which partially encloses the blade cavity to help block debris, keeps the knife in place in your palm, whether it’s wet or dry.
Because it’s not meant to be a fancy knife, I didn’t mind getting it wet and gritty. In fact, I did a little work on my truck, shoved the Redoubt into all sorts of dirty and rusty crevices, dropped it on the driveway, and let it roll around in the oil pan.
And I didn’t feel bad about it.
No need to wrap it in a diaper and find a shaman to bless it clean. Nope, I hit it with a hose and let it dry out for a while. In short, it’s a blue-collar beast — like Pabst Blue Ribbon and double-knee Carhartts.
And, when you consider its bulky looks and stout build, the Redoubt also feels surprisingly lightweight. That’s the beauty of an injection-molded Grivory body — you can cut weight without sacrificing durability.
My one gripe is that Benchmade coated the blade steel. As someone whose favorite steel is D2, I wanted to see where the improvements against corrosion happened. But Benchmade did not directly disclose what the black coating on the blade is.
Still, the CPM-D2 on the Redoubt, like standard D2, didn’t feel razor sharp, even though it was. I sliced through some rubber hosing and shaped it up a bit for some modifications I was making on my truck without struggle.
I don’t know why it feels like the Redoubt is living in the shadows. It came out last summer, and I didn’t hear much, but maybe it’s just me? Though there are quite a few video reviews about it, they mostly consist of people poking at the Redoubt’s looks.
By and large, folks love the blade and hate the handle. They think it should be more tactical, which again begs the question, “What do you think tactical looks like?”
The Redoubt is a knife that’s meant to work for you. You won’t feel bad being a little rough and messy with it. For $200, which is around the same price as the Bugout, you can have a pocket knife for all occasions.
I’ve owned various Griptilian models since 2004 and have always enjoyed using them since they were built meant to work. With the Redoubt, multiply that exponentially. The way the handle swells into your palm, covered in green grippy bits, feels reassuring.
The CPM-D2 steel, dipped in a rough textured coating, indicates that you can jam the blade into a tight spot and do a little prying, slicing, and stabbing without worrying about it flexing, snapping, or getting banged up.
Ultimately, I’d love to see everyone using a knife they can rely on. If you’re looking for a pocket knife you can be messy and aggressive with without having to worry about much of any upkeep, definitely check out the Redoubt.