Condor Bushlore – Introduction
It’s a rare occasion when I find a knife that handles any task I throw at it. The Condor Bushlore is one of those rarities. I have a fairly large collection of blades and each one has their pros and cons. The LMF II is limited by it’s hard plastic handle which I managed to break, the Ontario RAT-5 had issues with the finish and edge and so on down the list. But the Bushlore, at least for now, is perfect. After two months of hard use, I can’t find any faults. It holds a good edge, doesn’t rust, has retained its finish, batons like a dream and handles anything task I require it to perform. That is more than can be said of other blades in the collection that cost twice as much, I guess getting a good blade under $100 can be a crap shoot at times. Either way the Bushlore is kicking proverbial ass and taking names so I have no complaints.
Specifications & Background
Now before I get into the actual review, let’s talk specs. The first item that might pop out at you is the blade material, 1075 Carbon Steel. If you’re in the know about different steels or trying to learn, like myself, you know that the 1075 is pretty much the same as 1095 except that according to some opinions, the 1095 retains an edge better, but the 1075 will sharpen quicker. The 1075 steel has less carbon therefore the reason why it tougher (stronger) but doesn’t hold an edge as well as 1095 which has more carbon in it. Feel free to drop me comments or corrections on the differences between the two, I’m going off what I have read and learned on the interwebs.
- Overall Length:9.25″
- Blade Length:4.25″
- Blade Material:1075
- Blade Style:Spear Point
- Blade Grind:Flat
- Finish:Bead Blast
- Edge Type:Plain
- Handle Length:5.00″
- Handle Material:Hardwood
It is also good to note that the handles on the Bushlore are not scales, therefore they are not removable. Some might consider this a downside, I think it’s fine either way. The wood is a hard walnut and I imagine it will take a fair amount of abuse before cracking. The spine on the Bushlore is flat 90 degrees so feel free to break out your firesteel and make some sparks with it, no problem there. Joe Flowers, a celebrated North Carolina outdoorsman is the designer and you can bet that his experiences in the field came into play when laying out the Bushlore concept.
Finally, the knife itself is made by Condor Knife and Tool. They have a long history in the business that goes back to 1786 with roots in Soligen, Germany. Back in 1964, they opened up a plant in El Salvador, filled it with German made equipment and the rest is history.
To The Field
Let’s get into the good stuff now, how Bushlore performs, what are the pros/cons, etc. First off, I wanted to do something a little different with this review. In my last review, the Ontario RAT-5, I did the basic tasks you would do in the field, splitting wood, making some shavings, clearing out some brush, etc. This is what you can expect out of pretty much any review, so for this one, I decided to make a spear.
After returning to my super secret training site deep in the mountains of Tennessee, I setup camp and then headed off to find a suitable tree for my spear. After some hunting, I settled on an 8 foot beech sapling, about two inches in diameter, perfect fit for my hands. Not the best choice of wood, but all the oak trees are about 200 feet tall so they are not an option. Using my trusty Bahco Laplander saw, I took it down and set course back to camp to transform the sapling into a spear.
I found myself a comfortable seat on a large dead tree and got down to work. After sizing the spear down to about 7 feet in length, I got to work on the tip. This is where the Bushlore came into play. I spent maybe 15-20 minutes carving the end with the blade, shaving it down in small and big pieces until a good 2 inch+ point appeared on the end. The Bushlore handled this level of detail with ease. It almost felt like there was some kind of lubricant on the blade itself because it sliced through that green wood with such ease.
After finishing up the spear point, I then cleaned up the length of the spear, using the blade to trim off knots and left over material from limbing. Then, since I couldn’t resist I decided to do a little splitting of the leftover beech.
As expected, the Bushlore did just fine, sliding through the wood with speed, not getting hung up mid way or becoming unbalanced. After splitting, I sat down to take a break and examine the actual blade itself. There was no damage to the edge, in fact, the edge appeared the same as it did before I got started. Granted it wasn’t sharp enough to shave with, but in about 5 minutes, maybe less, I restored the edge and was ready for action again.
It was at this point, after finish the spear, that I should have built a small fire and hardened the tip. Unfortunately, I was short on time, as I usually am, so I had to pack up and head back to the command center IE my house. The fire hardening would have to wait, but in the meantime, feel free to check out this link on the process, there’s not much to it, it’s basically the process of drying out the tip over an open flame.
Survival Skills: Make a Fire Hardened Spear:
So what’s the final conclusion on the Bushlore? Well, like I said in the beginning, it’s perfect. It’s well balanced in my hand, the blade material is good to go, the scandi grind is even and well done, the edge holds well even after hours of hard use and the best part is that the Bushlore retails for less than $40. At that price, you really cannot go wrong. You get a good quality “bushcraft” knife, a nice leather sheath, not a crappy nylon one and fast shipping when you order directly from Condor on Amazon.com
Aside from the Bushlore, Condor also makes machetes, axes and other tools. I’m hoping to pick up one of their axes in the near future, but until then I’ll be using the Bushlore to handle any carving, chopping or splitting.
Here’s the link to purchase the Bushlore and also the video review. As always, thanks for reading the blog, watching the channel, drop me a like or comment anytime!