I’m always on the look out for inexpensive knives worthy of my belt in the bush. I kept hearing about the Condor in survival forums. People were raving about the blade while others had some reservations about its utility as a true bushcraft knife. Needless to say I checked it out. There are certainly pros and cons to consider. Let’s crack into the review.
|Blade Length||4 5/16 inches|
|Total Length||9 5/16 inches|
|Blade Thickness||3 mm|
|Blade Material||Carbon steel with Scandinavian grind|
I ordered the blade from Amazon. It arrived promptly and I immediately began the procedural unboxing ceremony. I love this part of the process. I don’t know why but I thought it would have been heavier than it actually was. It’s a very lightweight blade. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a lightweight knife – but you will be limited with what you can do. Processing thick firewood will be very difficult. Many survivalists will interject at this point and tell me that knives aren’t meant for wood batoning. I don’t believe this, my bk2 has served me quite well in this department and it’s lighter than a hatchet.
There was one aestetic feature I had a good laugh at. The knife looks like a steak knife. This is largely due to the Condor Bushlores hardwood handle. You wouldn’t give it a second look if it came out of your knife block in the kitchen. I actually love the utilitarian look. It’s refreshing to see something unique and different.
The handle is made of hardwood and would be easy to sand down to create a more ergonomic fit for your mitts (there’s also a micarta version available.) On the end you have a lanyard which I personally never use, but I respect the function. The sheath is simple, functional, and bears the logo of the Condor right on the leather – a nice finishing touch.
Now, were talking about carbon steel with a Scandinavian grind. Carbon steel requires a bit of maintenance to keep the rust away and scandi grinds tend to be fragile – but just because I say fragile doesn’t mean you have to treat it like the worlds finest china. Take care of the blade and you will have a trusty companion for years.
Time to dive deep into the nitty gritty. How does the Condor Bushlore stack up in the bush? I like to take every blade I review straight out into the bush for a proper pounding. I see how well it performs in a variety of tasks:
Making feather sticks – A knife should be sharp enough to feather a piece of kindling using the tip portion of the blade. I found the blade was not all that sharp straight out of the box. Feathering a piece of kindling required me to choke up on the handle and use the thicker parts of the blade for leverage. As you can see, it still got the job done:
I have no doubt the blade will sharpen right up with some leather. I wouldn’t take a stone to it this early in the game.
Batoning – My favorite part. In my opinion, any good bushcraft knife should baton wood with ease. The Condor Bushlore carries itself well but the blade is too light to go full mad-man-mode. I did not feel like I was going to break the blade but the weight is certainly a disadvantage. The short length of the blade does not lend itself well to batoning – and you’ll notice it curves into a drop point. A proper baton requires a nice straight portion of the blade to really drive deep into the wood.
Overall this blade did great for smaller pieces of kindling but dropped the ball with the bigger pieces. No big deal in context of the price compared to other knives. Tasks like carving and skinning game would be so smooth with this blade, I have no doubts about that.
There’s a lot I like about this blade. Is it my favorite? Not by a longshot. But for the price the Condor Bushlore is a strong companion in the bush. With the right care the blade will sharpen to a razors edge and last years.
Thanks for checking out the review of the Condor Busholore. Post up with a comment below and let me know what you think about this knife.