Are you looking at buying a quality and relatively inexpensive knife that would be suitable for everything from camping to wilderness survival to general-purpose use at your home? If so, you might want to take a close look at Condor Tool & Knife.
In this Condor knives review, we’ll take a closer look at what to look for in a Condor knife, and then I’ll outline and discuss my top five favorite Condor knives and why I think they’re great.
Condor Knives Recommendations
- Condor Bushlore Camp Knife
- Condor Woodlaw Knife
- Condor Hudson Bay Camp Knife
- Condor Primitive Bush Knife
- Condor Bushcraft Basic Camping Knife
Who Makes Condor Knife and Tool
Condor is a German knives company (Condor Knife & Tool), although they build most of their products out of El Salvador and Florida. They make a wide variety of different knife models, but most of their knives are known for the three following traits:
- They are high quality.
- They have a classic look and design to them.
- Knives always ship with a high quality sheath.
This stands in contrast to other brands, such as KA-BAR, which are also known for quality in the blades, but poor quality in the factory sheaths (which are usually outsourced).
What to Look for in a Condor Knife
Condor is one of my favorite brands of knives because their blades are suitable for a wide variety of different purposes (such as hiking, camping, hunting, home use, and bushcraft), are well-built, and are not incredibly expensive.
How Good Are Condor Knives?
There are many people who believe that you need to spend upwards of 100 or even 200 dollars on a truly high quality knife that will last you a lifetime but the truth is, you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
Condor knives are proof of that. Their knives won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and the value that you’re getting is excellent due to their quality, and not only of their actual knives but also of their sheaths.
Most Condor knives are built out of either 420HC stainless steel or 1070 carbon steel, and their blades are built for anything from agricultural to tactical to bushcraft purposes. Besides knives, they also manufacture saws, machetes, shovels, hatchets, and axes. Their products have also been used by military and law enforcement units all over the world, in addition to regular use by civilians worldwide.
Condor knives are known for their very classic look, as most of their blades feature wooden handles with traditional blade designs, while still using the highest quality materials available. The sheaths that the company build add to the overall value of their products, as the sheaths are built using high quality leather with excellent stitching work.
This stands in stark contrast to other knife companies who will outsource the construction of their sheaths to third-party companies, and they will usually outsource them as cheaply as possible. An example of a company that does this is KA-BAR; while KA-BAR’s knives are undeniably excellent, the sheaths that their blades ship with are usually flimsy and necessitate the buyer to get a higher quality sheath from a separate manufacturer.
Needless to say, when you buy a Condor knife you should be comfortable knowing that you’re buying a high quality product at excellent value.
Where are Condor Knives made?
Condor Tool & Knife’s parent company (Gebr Weyesburg) dates all the way back to 1787, when it was founded in Solingen, Germany. Solingen is known as the ‘cutlery capital’ of the world because of the high quality metal products that are manufactured there, swords, knives, tools, and cutlery.
The company made the decision to move operations to El Salvador in 1964, with the birth of a new company (Imacasa). It equiped the plant with the best German equipment and started producing hand tools, axes, knifes, and other tools. Imacasa developed Condor Tool & Knife in 2004, to fill the need of the American and European markets for high quality tools and knives.
What to Look for in a Condor Knife?
As with any knife company, there are certain qualities that you will want to look for in a Condor knife. Again, you already know that you’re buying a quality knife when you buy from Condor (so you don’t need to worry about the blade being built out of high quality materials, for instance), but still, there are a few things to look for.
The first feature to look for is to make sure that you’re getting a knife with a full tang, meaning that the blade will continue down into the grip rather than stopping where the grip begins. This will greatly improve the durability and longevity of your blade. Trust me, a blade without a full tang will not be suitable for heavy duty tasks (such as splitting wood or prying things open).
The next thing to look for will be to make sure that you are buying a blade for your intended purposes. The good news is that Condor makes a wide variety of different kinds of blades, but still, you need to carefully research what each type of blade is designed for. A bushcraft knife built for heavy duty use will be great for splitting wood or defense, but a rather poor choice for more precise work, such as skinning game, because the blade will be too thick. It’s just something to think about.
Our Five Best Condor Knives
Let’s dive into my five personal favorite knife models:
The blade to this knife is rather thick, so it will be very efficient at splitting wood, building shelters, and personal defense, but not as good for skinning game, carving wood, and so on. The blade measures 4 1/4″ and is very practical, as it’s neither too large nor too small.
The blade is built out of a durable 1075 high carbon steel, with a blasted satin finish to help with rust and corrosion resistance. The handle is built out of hardwood and really adds to the look of your knife if you prefer a more classic design.
As with all of Condor’s knives, the Bushlore Camp Knife ships with a very high quality 100% leather sheath, and it won’t be necessary for you to buy a separate sheath from another aftermarket manufacturer.
All in all, if you need a mid-length, thicker blade that can stand up to the rigors of heavy duty use, the Bushlore Camp Knife is a great option to consider. As an added bonus, it’s not expensive either.
- 100% leather
- Hardwood handle
- 1075 High Carbon Steel blade with blasted satin finish
- Excellent option for bushcraft and heavy duty use
- Blade length of 4 1/4 inches is practical for most uses
- Poor choice for more precise work due to a thicker blade
With a blade length of 4″ and a width of 3mm, this is an excellent blade to use for wood carving, preparing food, skinning game, and so on. However, it will be too thin and fragile of a blade to use for heavier duty tasks such as batoning wood.
In addition, the Micarta handle on this knife is a departure from the hardwood found on other Condor knives, and also offers excellent traction in more slippery conditions.
- Four inch blade is convenient
- Ships with high quality leather sheath
- Durable 1075 high carbon steel construction
- 3mm blade width is good for more precise work
- Micarta handle offers good traction
- Not the best choice for heavy duty use
A larger sized knife from Condor is the Hudson Bay Camp Knife. With a blade length of 8″, this knife will be superior to the Bushlore Camp Knife for tasks like splitting wood, defending yourself, or building shelter, but greatly inferior for skinning game, preparing food, or more precise work.
As with the Bushlore Camp Knife, the Hudson Bay Camp knife is built out of a durable 1075 high carbon steel, so you won’t need to worry about it failing on you. However, the blade will need to be sharpened when it arrives to your house (as it will be a bit too dull for use right out of the box) and the finish is also admittedly a bit crude in contrast to other Condor knives.
All in all, if you’re looking for a larger sized knife from Condor that can get heavy duty tasks done without worrying about the blade’s appearance, the Hudson Bay could be the model you need.
- Excellent quality leather sheath
- Durable 1075 high carbon steel
- Longer 8″ blade length is great for heavy duty tasks
- Will need to be sharpened when it arrives
- Finishing work is rather crude
- Larger blade size is a poor choice for more precise work
Another larger bushcraft knife from Condor will be the Condor Primitive Bush Knife. As with the Condor Hudson Bay Camp knife, the Primitive Bush Knife has a blade length of 8″, with an overall length of 16″.
This is also a more attractive knife than the Hudson Bay Camp knife, thanks to its blasted satin finish and pretty 420 HC stainless steel finish, which is very rust and corrosion resistant in addition to being durable (although not quite as durable as carbon).
A big negative to the Primitive Bush Knife is that it ships from the factory rather dull, so you better have a sharpening stone ready to go when it arrives.
- Durable and rust resistant 420 HC stainless steel finish
- 8″ blade length is great for heavy duty tasks
- High quality leather sheath
- Blasted satin finish
- Quality wood handle
- Larger blade length is a poor choice for more precise work
- Needs to be sharpened when you receive it
This knife is built out of a durable 1075 high carbon steel and a hardwood handle, making it both quality in its build and classic in its appearance. The black powder coating over the blade is designed to make it more rust resistant, although it, admittedly, is not the most attractive option either.
In addition, the thicker blade is great for heavy duty tasks, but not the best for more precise work. Overall, if you’re looking for a cheaper bushcraft Condor knife that lacks the features found on the higher end models, this is a good option.
- Ships with high quality leather sheath
- Hardwood handle
- 1075 high carbon steel construction
- 5″ blade construction
- Thick blade is good for heavy duty tasks
- Sharp out of the box
- Black powder coating is not the most attractive
- Thicker blade is not the best for precise work
Our Choice and Conclusion
Which of these Condor knives would I personally want? Well, if I wanted a bushcraft knife that would be good for heavy duty tasks, I’d go with the Bushlore Camp Knife. The blade is thick enough to handle tasks like batoning wood, and yet short enough to not get in the way and to carry around conveniently.
But if I wanted a thinner knife for more precise and intimate work such as skinning game or preparing food at home, I’d take the Woodlaw Knife in a heart beat. Again, it really all comes down to what your intended purpose for your Condor knife is.