CONDOR TOOL & KNIFE traces its proud history back to 1787, the year GERB WEYESBERG COMPANY was founded in Solingen, Germany. The quality of the swords, military knives, agricultural tools and household cutlery they manufactured made Solingen the cutlery capital of the world. Over the generations, the world’s largest manufacturer of swords and knives found it necessary to expand operations to other countries to better serve its customers. In 1964, the company formed IMACASA with a new plant in Santa Ana, El Salvador and filled it with state of the art German equipment. Some of the original local employees who were sent to Solingen for extensive training forty years ago are still working in the factory today, turning out the finest quality machetes, shovels and other hand tools.
Outstanding Value – More Of A Knife Than A Machete ~ reviewed by Dirty Boots
This beast easily earns 5 stars in the value category. Fit and finish are very good with the only issue being that the spine is a little rough. Nothing, however that should diminish its performance.
The Handle – Smooth polypropylene molded directly to the tang. It’s pretty hard, not rubbery and although it has a mild texture, it feels a little slick. The tang runs through the handle and has a brass lanyard that passes through the tang. The lanyard hole is about an inch from the end of the handle and could be a little further towards the end, but it’s not a deal breaker. The birds beak at the end of the handle could be a little more pronounced to keep the blade from flying out of your hand during heavy swings. I will definitely use a lanyard to keep the handle secure.
The Blade – The Condor catalog lists the blade thickness at 3/16ths of an inch at the spine and that is definitely accurate! It tapers a bit towards the tip, but carries the full thickness for at least two thirds the length of the blade and is still about 1/8th inch at the tip. It has a full flat grind and is not a slab of thin metal like most machetes. As my title indicates, I would consider this more of a big knife than a machete. It has a lot of blade presence and longs to chop. The edge can shave with a bit of effort but I should be able to get it a bit sharper. The leaf blade comes to a very sharp point and could easily double as a defensive weapon in a pinch. There is also a nice black epoxy powder coating on the German 1075 high carbon steel. Time will tell how durable the coating is but it looks good.
The Sheath – it’s heavy duty, thick black leather that screams of quality. You could easily drop $20 on the sheath alone. The blade fits down snug and the top of the sheath comes about half way up the handle with the blade fully seated in the sheath. The belt loop is riveted to the sheath and swivels. I would like it more if there were a couple of half inch washers sandwiched around the leather between the rivet. As it is, the rivet is about a quarter inch and looks like the leather could tear out over time. There is also a cut out in the belt loop that allows you to center it on one of the belt loops on your pants so that the sheath will not slide around on your belt.
Bottom Line – This is the best $30 dollars (delivered) that I have every spent on a knife. This thing is a beast and I can’t wait to get it in the woods and beat the hell out of it. Pair this with a smaller fixed blade and you should have most of your bush crafting needs covered. It may be a bit blade heavy to use for extended periods as a machete. I would recommend this blade to anyone looking for an inexpensive, tough, survival oriented blade that could double as a defensive weapon. Easily a 5 star product for the price paid. I will definitely be researching a few other Condor products for future purchases.
Best all Around ~ reviewed by 48Ronin
As a past custom knife maker and Japanese sword maker I bought this as a purely utilitarian blade for clearing brush. What an under estimation. This could also be considered a knife fighters dream. Well proportioned and balanced I was impressed with the blade geometry. Handle was solid and big enough even for my big mitts. I did add a little simple checkering for additional grip but other than that I was impressed. Even the leather sheath was of fairly good quality. I would highly recommend this blade and can’t beleive it sells for as little as it does.
Super value fighter! Great camp Tool. ~ reviewed by ROBERT MILLS
Just got this great little blade in and I am very pleased. This barong has a wonderful blade geometry that allows for bushcrafting uses or to be used as a fierce fighter supreme. It is not a thin bladed machete or other disposable type of bush chopper but rather a very large knife with a very acceptable heft -3/16-blade thickness. The handle would be better if Condor put some Micarta grips on this thing -then you would have something really special. The grip on it is utilitarian and tough if not very comfortable to my rather large hand. This is the only personal grip on a totally spectacular blade that will serve me for many years to come. Any serious outdoorsman should give this blade a hard look and for the price its unbeatable. Comes with a servicable and rugged thick leather sheath that will last for years if properly cared for. For the whole package I paid only $30 delivered absolutly outstanding. Get One or more you will not be disappointed.
Seems quality. ~ reviewed by K
I’m glad I got this as an addition to my machete collection. It came fairly dull, but the steel sharpened up to paper cutting edge easily with an extra fine sharping stone. The weight distribution and length is great. However, the handle isn’t terribly nice (needs some hockey stick wrap). Rather good machete, solid with excellent cutting and chopping ability. NO SHEATH……
My favorite Condor machete ~ reviewed by L.V.
I have purchased three Condor machetes through Amazon: the Golock, Barong and Boomslang. I love them. They are beautifully crafted. The Golock is the best looking. A work of art and a great alternative to crap from China. Sore point here. Ordered a SOG field pup supposedly made in Taiwan. Made in China. I would like to tell you I have used these machetes to hack through miles of jungle and decapitate at least a dozen Zombies but, alas, I would be fibbing. I try to stay out of jungles and while I feel we have over populated with the equivalent of Zombies, you know, the third generation welfare folks, the ones who put the big dent in your new car in the parking lot, and my favorite, the nitwits who vote for even stupider politicians, loping off their heads is not PC at this time. These machetes are basically large camp knives and weapons. They are great in this role. The 1075 steel works well in a chopper. Keeps it”s edge for a reasonable time and is easily resharpened. I have only done light chopping with mine and for that it has worked well. Weapon wise the Barong is my favorite. It has a belly on it for chopping and a sharp tapered point. You aren’t going to conceal it very well but when the SHTF that will be a moot point. Do not discount a blade like this for self defense. It’s a great back up to that Glock and just the ticket for quiet work. Stay away from Condor knives. They also are handsome kit but the steel is too soft or not correctly tempered. My experience and I could have got a couple of bad ones.
Great value! ~ reviewed by R
I bought two of these. As with most edged weapons bought online, they do not come “razor” sharp – it’s a liability issue. Both of mine came with leather sheaths.
The CTK Barong is well balanced and fits my hand comfortably. In fact, I actually prefer it to the Cold Steel (r) version. I have not done any test cutting yet, but the weight distribution feels good.
Excellent all around machete ~ reviewed by Aaron Dee Roberts
When I got this machete I wasn’t too sure, until I took it out and used it. I’ve been doing blade arts for a long time, mostly European and Filipino arts. I’ve used a barong in the past but it was a larger one and I’d preferred the straight back or one curving the other way. I got this due to the reviews. I found the 14 inch is way better to move then the 18 inch. Even with the pointed end, it still sunk in as deep as Condor’s golok machete when I tested them. I have the golok, parang, el salvador, and now the barong. The el salvador was a great blade, but not what I really liked. The golok and parang are excellent tools and both keepers. The barong has to be my favourite out of them all. It’s THICK steel, about as thick as the golok when it widens out. It has a pointed end for stabbing if necessary yet still chops like a champ. Mine came shave sharp and after chopping some logs I had drying in my yard for firewood, it sill shaved hair.
The couple things I would change are the handle and sheath. I prefer the more curved in tip of the traditional barong. However, this one works well. What does not is the way too smooth texture of the handle. It’s slightly textured but still slick. I took a dremel tool and checkered the thing which made it much better. The other is the sheath. Ok, it’s great leather. However, it’s rolled over on the back side making it “puffy”. The handle slips down into it resting the tip and blade against the leather. So far I have had no issues. I’m hoping it stays that way. If I had my choice, I would rather have a flat one like the golok uses and have the handle fully exposed. It just seems safer with less wear on the sheath.
That being said, it’s still my favourite. I actually ordered a second one to keep on my pack so I will make sure to always have it available. This does not have the chopping power of the full size parang from Condor, but it seems to do as well as the golok. It’s enough to fell some small trees or baton logs without dragging excessive weight. It’s also a great close quarters combat tool if needed. If I could only buy one, this would be it.
Great Hacker ~ reviewed by doogle
A real “cut” above most ‘chetties, having thicker blade and nice point too, for anything requiring penetration.
The sheath is worth half the purchase price by itself, almost too nice to beat up in bush.
I have several Condor blades, all are aces. Handle is a bit thick for best possible grip, might work it down a bit, but is adequate, only reason I didn’t give it a 5.
excellent tool ~ reviewed by PARAFROG
some have complained about the edge on their barong, mine was perfect. it was not a knife edge, but something between a machete and axe edge, feeling somewhat convex and complex, something which most edged manufacturers neglect for cost of labor and expertise–an edge that is ideal because the heavy weight of this short barong give it characteristics of both. the convex edge is much more resilient than a simple straight edge. chop with this a while, and you will see what i mean.
i just chopped the corners from a 4×4 post with ease. this barong, when chopping in the right part of the blade, is an awesome tool, and after chopping 6 inches from the end of the 4×4, the edge was exactly as delivered, even though the lumber was old and dry.
battoning with and against the grain on the 4×4 was easy, and allowed one hand on the handle, and one on the blade to easily push through even large chunks, without the need to beat the tool with a stick to provide enough thrust. a large knot at one corner would have needed the stick, but i refrained and withdrew. which isn’t a bad idea in the field, if you want to maintain your tool’s edge.
youth pushes on regardless, experience withdraws and evaluates.
carrying this tool in the bush, frees your knife to be a sticking and cutting implement. you no longer need bring a thick broad knife, but something that will fulfill the pointed defensive and cutting role–as a knife should.
and you save weight for the barong.
when battoning, the coating was grazed from the blade. this can be a cause for concern. an overall coating, reduces the impetus to check for rust. at some point i may remove the coating completely, but i doubt it–too much work.
i have found carbon steel responds to bluing as a rust preventative, and i have boiled down white vinegar to increase the acid content, and use a store of this to blue steel, and prevent rust. you could treat the bare steel, and reduce rust.
but then what is rust. i have a 30 year old k-bar i used in the marines during many salt water operations, that has much old rust surface pitting, and it does not diminish the utility of the blade, and to me only increases the character of the knife. the only dangers are when the rust goes beyond surface pitting, and when it penetrates the working edge.
or when you want it to look pristine. but that’s not me.
when found, rust should always be scrubbed off–that is how it stays surface.
my point being–don’t be afraid of rust–just remove it and move on. we all rust with time, and nowadays only the best steel rusts. i despise stainless.
the handle is fat and round. some have found this unusual and uncomfortable, but i think this is for overall safety.
the shape ensures that all contours of the grip are engaged, and stop the barong from fully slipping from the hand.
others have published tips to improve the grip feel. i can recommend sliding the hand forward, closer to the balance point, and even putting the index into the space between the end of the grip and the blade, with the thumb on the back of the blade to do fine work.
this is an awesome piece of gear, that can adequately second as an awesome short, stabbing and hacking sword if needed for defense.
the sheath is of thick, supple leather.
it is a bargain, and well worth the weight to carry.l
why not 5 stars–there was no back rub. and i believe there should be room for the exceptional. this tool is only excellent for the price.
Unstoppable chopper ~ reviewed by Pen Name?
This is my new favorite machete. Great attention to detail with this package. The blade is polished to an almost mirror-finish right out of the box, and though I believe the site said that the blade is flat-ground, it looks more like a convex grind to me. I can run my thumb right along the blade and it won’t cut, but this thing is a beast for chopping through wood. 1-2″ saplings, branches, and brush go down with barely a tug of resistance, and it’s even better for chopping through 5-10″ logs than my tomahawk. The blade is thick, unlike most machetes and the Cold Steel models I usually favor, does not flex at all, and has a considerable amount of heft. The spine of the blade is squared enough to strike a ferrocerium rod right out of the box; I touched it up with a dremel to improve this capability. This is great for getting into coconuts, as well; use the blade to make a pick, shuck, drill a couple holes with the fine point, and when you’ve drunk all the fluid, use the spine to crack it open and get at the meat. The leather sheath it comes with is the real deal; it’s thick, stitched-and-riveted leather with a swiveling beltloop. There is no retention strap, but the blade goes in halfway up the handle, so it’s not going to just come out on the trail. It’s shorter than most machetes, too, but has much better cutting power. I wouldn’t consider it an all-in-one tool, as its axe-like blade is not conducive to fine work, but pair it with a solid bushknife and you’re good to go. This is high-carbon steel, so oiling and maintenance is a must, because the blade will rust if not properly taken care of. This was $50 very well spent. Those guys in El Salvador really know what they’re doing.