I’ve owned the Condor Bushlore for over 6 years and it was my very first camp/bushcraft fixed blade knife. It’s been on a bunch of backpacking trips as well as stashed in the trunk in a “get home bag.” All in all, it’s a heck of a knife for just a few bucks. And that’s where this article starts…the price.
I never felt a need to write an in-depth review of the Bushlore since everyone else has already done it and posted YouTube videos. However, I recently did a budget bushcraft round up and I thought the Bushlore would be my first choice. However, the Condor Bushlore is no longer a “budget” knife. Call it inflation, call it market fluctuations, but the $35 knife from a few years ago is now priced at $55.
So the question is, does the Bushlore still warrant the praise and respect now that it’s so much more expensive? Let’s take a look.
Condor Tool and Knife made the Bushlore knife to tackle the toughest bushcraft and camping tasks, and, by extension, help you survive in any natural environment. It’s not quite a survival knife, but it’s definitely a robust bushcraft knife that can handle tough camping tasks.
From carving wood and cutting heavy rope to skinning game and starting a fire, the Bushlore will handle many of the common backcountry tasks you throw at it.
First Impression of the Condor Bushlore
The bushlore knife is made from 1075 high-carbon steel with solid walnut handles. Like any good bushcraft blade, it has a full tang, meaning the blade steel runs the entire length of the knife.
The bushlore knife also comes with a hand-crafted leather drop sheath with the Condor logo carved into the side. Aside from providing a great carry, this sheath is long-lasting; it feels thick and ultra-durable and over the course of several years has worn very well.
The Bushlore Knife Blade
As I already mentioned, the bushlore knife has a blade made of 1075 high-carbon steel. The blade is sharp right out of the box and, being 1075, it’s very easy to sharpen. The blade has a traditional scandi-grind, which also makes it easy to sharpen because the blade angle is much more forgiving with a basic sharpening stone.
The 4.5” blade is shaped in a regular bushcraft style with a slight belly to the blade edge that aids in cutting tasks. It’s a great slicer. The length is more in line with a companion knife, but there is enough purchase on the handle that the Bushlore can be used for some harder tasks.
The knife blade has a blasted satin finish that not only gives it a unique look, but aids in fighting off rust. Being 1075 high-carbon, you will need to oil the blade before you put it away and keep an eye on it for corrosion.
Knife Handle and Ergonomics
The solid walnut handles really set this knife apart from others in the price range. They are beautifully sculpted and have been surprisingly very durable. Other than the normal nicks and scratches, they look almost like new after several camping seasons. The handle scales are easy to care for; you may finish it with canning wax or beeswax to protect it from the elements after a few uses.
Joe Flowers, the Bushlore designer, put plenty of thought into designing the handle; he made it well-contoured to fit perfectly even in an average-sized hand. The ergonomic handle has no hot spots, and I didn’t feel rough spots doing harder tasks such as batoning or using a ferro rod.
The walnut scales are held in place by flush brass rivets. The handle also features a lanyard hole reinforced with a brass ring.
Features of the Knife
The high-carbon steel blade has the knife’s origin engraved on one side, with the other bearing the Condor brand. The blade is 0.125 inches thick and 4.5 inches long. Overall, the Condor bushlore knife is 9.31 inches long. I mentioned the satin finish on the blade above, along with the walnut scales which overall gives the Bushlore a very earthy feel. When you pick it up it makes you want to go backpacking.
Bushlore Knife Leather Sheath
The Condor bushlore knife includes a leather sheath as an extra. The hand-crafted sheath looks fantastic and boasts strong stitching reinforced with two brass rivets. The bushlore knife blade fits in this sheath securely. Now, I asked the question if Bushlore is still as valuable at $55 as it was at $35. Well, when you factor in the high quality sheath, the knife still edges out some competitors in the price range. Typically, the sheath is an afterthought, but in the case of the Bushlore it’s excellent.
What’s the Verdict?
I have to say, there are better knives out there for the price, but the Bushlore has aged very well. If you want a very traditional bushcraft knife that has a long-proven track record, then consider picking up the Condor Bushlore.
Blair Witkowski is an avid watch nut, loves pocket knives and flashlights, and when he is not trying to be a good dad to his nine kids, you will find him running or posting pics on Instagram. Besides writing articles for Tech Writer EDC he is also the founder of Lowcountry Style & Living. In addition to writing, he is focused on improving his client’s websites for his other passion, Search Engine Optimization. His wife Jennifer and he live in coastal South Carolina.