Author Topic: Condor Woodlaw bushcraft knife (overview)  (Read 246 times)

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Offline Moe M.

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Condor Woodlaw bushcraft knife (overview)
« on: February 15, 2017, 01:35:53 PM »
  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. 
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Offline upthecreek

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Re: Condor Woodlaw bushcraft knife (overview)
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 05:37:25 PM »
So I guess I have to google a picture of it.....

Creek
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Condor Woodlaw bushcraft knife (overview)
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 08:52:19 PM »
So I guess I have to google a picture of it.....

Creek

  And for that I am truly sorry my friend,  hopefully someday I'll get someone to walk me through the art of posting pictures on the forum.

  But while you're on Condor's site you might as well check out the final Frontier knife, with any luck at all I'll be trying that one out soon as well and doing it now will save you the trouble of doing it later.  ( I'd include a smiley, but my stupid computer won't let me do it ever since we up graded to windows 10)
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Offline Unknown

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Re: Condor Woodlaw bushcraft knife (overview)
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2017, 10:26:29 PM »
their wood law is one of their nicer looking blades. That's the extent of my experience with the company, looking at their catalog online. Felt uneasy, like I had seen most of their lineup and designs before, but not at condor. :shrug:

It's also funny how we're attached to numbers and such. Very recently I saw  that YP blades are 1075... somehow I felt let down, disappointed. I cannot be sure really, since those are made in Finland, and the euro, Russian equilivant might not be called 1075 I don't know. Sooo... I had to do some online experts sourced research. There's plenty of good things being said about 1075 that might make it beneficial for a bushlore use blade.




Offline Moe M.

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Re: Condor Woodlaw bushcraft knife (overview)
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2017, 08:41:42 AM »
their wood law is one of their nicer looking blades. That's the extent of my experience with the company, looking at their catalog online. Felt uneasy, like I had seen most of their lineup and designs before, but not at condor. :shrug:

It's also funny how we're attached to numbers and such. Very recently I saw  that YP blades are 1075... somehow I felt let down, disappointed. I cannot be sure really, since those are made in Finland, and the euro, Russian equilivant might not be called 1075 I don't know. Sooo... I had to do some online experts sourced research. There's plenty of good things being said about 1075 that might make it beneficial for a bushlore use blade.

 Like you, I'm no expert on metallurgy, so like you I have to depend on the information of people who appear to know more about it than I do,  from what I've been able to gather 1075 high carbon steel is well respected as a blade steel, more so in Europe and other parts of the world than here in the USA,  from what I've read it is the common use steel used in much of the different types of knives used by indigenous people in the less developed countries of the world who use them to earn their living either harvesting natural resources, building their shelters, and processing their foods.
 Why this is the case I don't have a clue,  it may be because it's less expensive or easier get, I have no idea,  in my opinion there are better steels available.
 Like many steels,  heat treat and temper can make the difference between a good knife and a POS blade,  1075 has some pro's going for it as well as some con's,  it has a lower carbon content than say 1095, it's a bit softer steel, but it's easier to work than 1095 if allot of hand shaping is involved,  it's a bit easier to sharpen, but it doesn't hold it's edge as well as the harder steels and it is more prone to rust than steels with a higher carbon content, but doesn't break as easily, but it doesn't throw sparks from flint or other hard stones.
 I have been told (but don't know how much truth there is to it) that Condor has been using 1075 because it's a good all around steel,  they can use it for there knives, hatchets, and machetes instead of having to deal with several types of more specialty steels for different applications.
 Evidently Condor has listened to it's customer demands for better steels,  and is offering some new models in the spring that will be made from 1095 steel, and they will be offering their stainless blades in 440-HC. which is a big step forward for the company,  and if their price structure doesn't change much, good for the consumers as well.
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Offline Unknown

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Re: Condor Woodlaw bushcraft knife (overview)
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 02:38:49 PM »
The knife I was speaking of did not become one of my favorites because I thought there was something wrong with it, or that it could be better. It's not really noticeable that it losses its edge faster than another simple high carbon steel  knife, its way better than some( it's hard to compare different design , geometry though-imo)

Just like the customer demand you mentioned, I had that moment after finding out the blade was made of lowly 1075, what the heck, it could be so much better if a better steel was used.

But really, it might be, or it might not be better.

What I was faced with was, that I had an opinion that was not based on anything more than what I read from someone else saying so. If the blade did not perform well, then the idea that a better steel is what's needed here, might seem to be the answer.

Probably because the numbers, the type of steel is the easiest thing to talk about, blade shape, geometry may be just as important but harder to describe and discuss? Almost all of my knives are some type of scandi puukko, it works for me. It was just very surprising to see, in a more or less blind test after many 10s of hours in hand use, that 1075 would be in the top 3.