Saturday, February 22, 2014

Review - Condor Barong Machete

Last time, we looked at the Condor Heavy Duty Kukri Machete. If you haven't read that review yet, then click HERE to see it. Keeping to the Condor theme, we'll look at another great new blade, the Condor Barong Machete.

The Barong machete has a very unique, and attractive blade shape.
Like all Condor blades, the Barong is made in El Salvador, a country known for their machetes and knives. Their quality and affordability is very high, which is part of the reason why I like Condor blades so much.

Right away when looking at the Barong, you see a very unique blade shape. The shape takes its roots from the Southern Philippines It has almost a teardrop shape, but then curves back towards the handle. This is a great shape for piercing and slicing tasks.

The blade shape of the Barong makes it excellent
for piercing and slicing tasks.
The Barong has a 14" blade that is 0.20" thick. The blade is made out of Carbon Steel with a black coating to protect against rust and tarnish. The blade has a very sharp convex edge, which makes it strong and easy to sharpen in the field. The handle length is 5.3", with a handle thickness of 1.2". The handle is made out of polypropylene material that is textured. There is a brass eyelet in the handle for attaching a wrist lanyard, which can help with grip.

The blade has a full tang, which makes it very strong and resistant to breakage. For those who do not know, a full tang is when the metal from the blade, extends all the way to the end of the handle.

Like most Condor blades, the Barong also
comes with a high quality leather sheath.
Like most Condor blades, the Barong also comes with a high quality leather sheath. The sheath holds the blade with friction, so there's a slight chance that the blade may fall out. However, I have not found this to be an issue, since the blade is long and heavy enough that it wants to stay in the sheath. For added comfort, the belt loop on the sheath has a swivel, which will keep the blade oriented downward, no matter what position your belt is in, whether you be standing, crouching, kneeling, etc.

The main purpose of the Barong machete would be to slice through light to medium brush, as well as self-defense use. The blade looks very intimidating, which is great if you're ever in a position when you would need to defend yourself from either 4-legged or 2-legged predators. It would be highly functional in such a role.

Like I mentioned earlier, the Barong is very unique-looking. Personally, I think it has a very attractive blade shape. I would suspect that most people purchasing this machete are doing it to have a interesting-looking knife, with any sort of function being secondary. If you're anything like me, then you'll definitely enjoy owning and using the Barong machete by Condor.

Do any of you have any experience with the Condor Barong Machete? If so, let us know in the comments below!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Review - Condor Heavy Duty Kukri

To deviate from my last posts, which all seemed to be about Mora knives, this time we'll take a look at once of the thickest, strongest knives that I've come across. The knife I'm referring to is the Heavy Duty Kukri, by Condor Tools and Knives.

The Heavy Duty Kukri is an incredibly strong chopper!
For those who don't know, Condor is a knife manufacturer from El Salvador. They are known for making affordable but durable and strong knives. Their knives look good, but that's only secondary to their functionality.

The first thing that you notice when you pick up the Heavy Duty Kukri is the heft. The blade thickness is 0.30" thick! That is absolutely incredible. This knife is basically a thick slab of steel. The thickness extends throughout the handle, about halfway down the lenght of the blade. At about halfway down the blade, it tapers down towards the tip, where it forms a fine point. I should mention that the blade is also 10" long, which I think is a very good size for this knife.

The blade thickness on the Heavy Duty Kukri is 0.30"!
The blade thickness helps in chopping. The reason being, when you swing the blade, you have more momentum with your swing, which translates to more penetration with each chop. This is further helped by the amazing blade shape. The kukri blade shape is perhaps the most efficient chopping blade design. Whatever you're cutting through gets caught in the hook area of the blade until all the energy in the blade is used up, splitting whatever you're impacting. For its size, kukris generally outperform similarly-sized blades when it comes to chopping.

The Heavy Duty Kukri, like many Condor knives, has a convex blade edges. These types of blade edges are easy to sharpen and provide a nice, strong blade edge. This type of edge is also easy to sharpen in the field with a sharpening stone, should it ever need touch-up.

The handle on the Heavy Duty Kukri is made out of hardwood. Condor does not specify the type of wood used, however. The handle is held onto the full-tang blade with three brass pins.

The handle is 5.1" long and 1.3" thick. It has a palm swell near the bottom of the handle, which prevents your hand from slipping off. This handle is large enough to fit both large and small hands. One gripe about the handle that I have is that it is very smooth. I would imagine that if your hand were wet, it would be difficult to hold on to. However, there is a lanyard hole, which can aid in making sure the Kukri doesn't slip out of your hand.

Like most Condor knives, the Heavy Duty Kukri
 comes with an excellent leather sheath.
Part of what makes Condor knives so great is their sheaths. Almost all Condor knives that I have seen have beautifully crafted leather sheaths. The Heavy Duty Kukri is no exception. The sheath on this knife is made out of a darkened leather and secures the blade with a metal snap. The sheath is carried securely with a belt loop. The belt loop has a swivel on it, making it more comfortable to carry as well.

I have yet to put this blade through its paces, but from what I've seen so far, the Condor Heavy Duty Kukri seems like a real winner. As an affordable but high quality Kukri knife, this is definitely a knife to consider.

Do any of you have an experience with the Condor Heavy Duty Kukri? If so, let us know in the comments below.