In my continuing interest in inexpensive bushcraft knives I've acquired one of the two knives that are at the head of my "want to try list", both are Condor offerings, one is the Woodlaw, the other is the Final Frontier, I recently had the opportunity to pick up a new Woodlaw model.
I purchased the knife on the secondary market on another forum, the knife was purchased as a blade blank, the owner is a budding new knife maker, he's been buying blade blanks and finishing the blades with micarta and exotic woods and has been making some matching ferro rods as well.
On the one I bought the guy followed the overall size and contours of the factory micarta scales, he handled mine in tan micarta with green and white spacers, he used brass mosaic pins and a brass lanyard tube, he also included a matching ferro rod, in my opinion he did an excellent and clean job of finishing the knife.
Factory finished Condor woodlaws sell for about $58.00 with micarta scales and a good leather sheath, bare knife blanks sell for just under $20.00 and don't come with a sheath, mine didn't come with a sheath, but at $50.00 shipped to my door I couldn't complain.
What got me interested in the Woodlaw model are the video reviews on u-tube, most included field tests, all but one gave the knife five stars out of five stars on performance and looks, and a couple of reviewers called it a poor mans Skookum Bush Tool, as far as the blade and handle design it is close except for the lack of a pommel plate.
The knife is about 8-1/2" long, the cutting edge is 4" long and 3/32" thick (just a hair under a full 1/8th. inch), the edge is a full scandi grind and comes from the factory very sharp (from what I'm told), mine was sharp enough to shave hair, after a few passes on my leather strop with green compound it went to crazy sharp, the handle is shaped more like a paring knife than the typical coke bottle bushcraft knife, I have a large hand and I found it very comfortable to hold and work with, no hot spots or chaffing anywhere.
I haven't had the chance to get it out in the woods yet, but I do have access to my fire wood pile which contains seasoned Oak, Swamp Maple, and Box Elder, all pretty hard wood when well seasoned, the spine of the knife easily shaved the bark off of wrist sized pieces of hardwood, it bites deep and cuts like a lazer, I'm not an expert at making feather sticks and I was amazed at how well I was able to get long fine curls and heavier plane like shavings with this knife.
I didn't Batton with the knife, but I did cross batton in order to carve notches on a try stick, made a couple of pot hooks and tent stakes, the knife worked well beyond it's price point and was a pleasure to work with and sustained absolutely no edge damage, after doing this work I gave it the paper cut test and it sliced through it like butter, that said, it did dull a little when it came to
shaving hair, a few passes on the strop had the blade scary sharp again.
In my opinion there's only one thing on this knife that I would change, and that would be to have it made out of 1095 or 01 Tool Steel, while the 1075 does take a fine edge and the heat treat seems to be good, I do think it would keep it's edge longer if made out of 1095 or 0-1, for those that haven't heard, Condor will be offering some new models in the spring that will be made with 1095 high carbon steel, and their stainless models will be made of 440-c which is a nice step up for Condor, my hope is that they will be making 1095 available as an option for their existing models as well.