Carbon steel blade doesn’t make the grade

The Bushlore by Condor Knife & Tool is manufactured in El Salvador. It is made from three millimetre thick 1075 carbon steel with a 4 5/16 inch long spear-point blade.

The Bushlore I used came with a leather belt sheath.

The knife is intended for bush crafting purposes. This kind of design is good for general outdoor tasks including camp chores, processing game, survival and wilderness wood working.

The Bushlore I used had a full tang handle for strength. The handle was made from hardwood and had brass pins and lanyard hole. The wood had obvious tool marks on it and was lightly treated with a stain finish.

It seemed the wood had shrunk since its manufacture because the metal spine felt wider than the handle. The brass pins were not finished completely flush with the wood and were easily felt when gripped.

The handle materials and design provided sufficient grip when wet, but the wood showed immediate signs of exposure and wear, even after the first drying.

The 1075 carbon steel is a moderately adequate choice when considering the jobs the knife would be expected to undertake.

The blade had a single Scandinavian style grind to create the cutting edge and tip.

This style of grind is good for working wood but only OK for processing large game. The grind bevels were uneven and the edge was barely sharp out of the box.

The Bushlore cut well after touching up the blade. Unfortunately, the metal did not hold an edge even under moderate use. An owner would need to frequently maintain the edge.

The blade body had a blasted finish. Although visually attractive to some, this kind of rough surface is susceptible to corrosion, particularly with carbon steel. An owner would need to be careful about exposing this knife to moisture, which would be a concern when outdoors in changing weather conditions.

Carbon steel with a more polished surface should resist corrosion easier than a blasted one. As a result, creating a textured surface with this kind of metal was not the wisest design choice by Condor.

We were impressed with the leather belt sheath. Although it was of simple design, the sheath was quality made and held the knife securely. It was well stitched and riveted. We could detect no flaws in its construction, design or materials other than perhaps adding a drain hole.

The Bushlore is a crudely made knife with many design and material shortcomings. Prospective owners should seriously consider refinishing the handle and polish the blade face themselves. However, this is a lot of work to invest in what is a relatively cheap knife.

The saving grace for Condor here is the sheath. We are tempted to simply replace the Bushlore with a similarly sized but more quality knife in the Condor sheath.

Although the purchase price for the Condor Bushlore is low, the knife itself was cheaply made. Despite the Bushlore’s solid design, its knife manufacturing and materials fall short. The sheath was the only thing that made the product stand out.

Kim Quintin is a Saskatoon outdoor enthusiast and knife maker. He can be reached for column content suggestions at [email protected].

Kim Quintin is a Saskatoon outdoor enthusiast and knife maker. He can be reached for column content suggestions at [email protected]

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