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  HPG Forum  Discussions  General  Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang?
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New Post 12/14/2013 3:48 PM
  alpendrms
424 posts
7th Level Poster


Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang? 
Modified By alpendrms  on 12/14/2013 6:20:31 PM)

 Wondering if any of the other HPG Forum folks have a machete, golok, or parang from Condor.  I have a Condor Warlock inbound (looks to be a sort of golok-parang design), to replace a SOG machete I've had for years that I've found to be largely substandard for my uses.  I also have an Ontario SP-8 that I have re-profiled and convexed to optimze it's abilities as a chopper, but I think it's too heavy and too short for where I'm going.  Plus, I don't think it balances quite right for use like a parang style design does.  That usually stays in my truck, anyway.

I've read mostly good stuff about Condor edged tools, especially their blades intended for jungle and bush environments.  I'm getting this thing in preparation for a couple upcoming trips to Latin American countries to conduct some survival and personnel recovery training for some USDOJ folks.  The Warlock looks like it will answer the mail just fine, and it's gotten some good reviews.  I've heard that Condor's main designer and lead is a guy named Joe Flowers.  He attends SHOT and is apparently fairly well respected in his field.  Condor knives are produced in El Salvador, so those folks should certainly know a thing or two about edged tools for jungle and bush environments.

That said, I have read some things where customers had a Condor product arrive and immediately needed to sharpen the edge to an adequate level, and sometimes needed to go so far as re-profiling and sharpening (usually to produce a convex edge) in order to make the tool chop properly.  Others have written that theirs arrived razor sharp.  Don't know if this is a QC thing with Condor or what.  

Just wanted to hear from folks on this forum about any other experiences with Condor or other manufacturer's choppers/machetes/parangs, etc.  Unvarnished truth seems to be a mainstay on this forum, so I figured this would be a good venue, as opposed to simply going with what others have written on other forums and reviews.

Thanks for any info!


HPG Coureurs des Bois. Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post 12/14/2013 4:13 PM
  alpendrms
424 posts
7th Level Poster


Re: Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang? 
Modified By alpendrms  on 12/14/2013 6:53:44 PM)

 By the way....if anybody recommends a different brand, that's welcome info too.

Here's a photo of the Warlock:

Here are the specs on it:

1075 High Carbon; Micarta Scales; Designed by Joe Flowers; Blade 12 1/2" long and 3/16" thick; Overall length 19 3/8"; Weight 2.07 lbs.  Leather sheath.

 


HPG Coureurs des Bois. Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post 12/15/2013 12:09 PM
  scothill
1186 posts
1st Level Poster


Re: Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang? 
Modified By scothill  on 12/15/2013 2:09:39 PM)
Condor makes some sweet looking designs, but I don't have any field experience with them. The ones I have seen in person certainly could use a bit of sharpening and I personally would re-profile them, but then I have some different ideas then most on edge profile. They handles while well shaped seem a bit large in size for me, which is a trait shared with a lot of the machetes and such I have handled over the years. I have a Black Collins design machete that hurts to use for more than a few minutes due to handle size. If you do a search on here, I think it was Jason, did a review on some condor items. You might also check out the Jungle Training Forums, but be aware they are going to have a heavy ESEE bias, with good reason. As far as a recommendation, my favorite of that type to date is the Kershaw Outcast. Great weight, blade design, length, steel, handle shape, great price, and a pretty decent sheath. Expect to re-profile the blade. If I was headed somewhere where I needed a tool like that it would be hands down my choice. An irreverent thought is in the FS when we really wanted to cut the crap out of brush we used high quality loppers. Keep them sharp, get a quality pair, and going up to 2" diameter stuff in one swipe is nothing. You can cut a tone of brush with very little effort expended in a very short period of time. Multi-use they are not, but depending on what you are doing a pair or smaller pair of snipes might be worth a thought.
Co-Owner Hill People Gear"If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
New Post 12/15/2013 2:03 PM
  vaspence
28 posts
No Ranking


Re: Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang? 
Modified By vaspence  on 12/15/2013 4:09:47 PM)
You may want to take a look at Andy Roy's machete(Fiddleback Forge), he takes the blades made by the same place as the Condor machetes, grinds and handles them. I have some time on one and liked the handle.I'd give some thought to Scott's lopper suggestion also. We use those in SAR as they trump anything when you need to clear a litter trail, etc. through a bunch of small saplings, vines, you name it.
 
New Post 12/15/2013 2:05 PM
  alpendrms
424 posts
7th Level Poster


Re: Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang? 
Modified By alpendrms  on 12/15/2013 6:25:16 PM)

 I actually checked into that Kershaw Outcast but it is discontinued.  The Warlock I have inbound supposedly comes with a convex edge, which I am a fan of (especially since I've gotten my Black Jack # 125), but I'm pretty certain I'll work on the factory edge to my own liking.  Most likely I'll get rid of any shoulders from the edge back, and also do some good stropping on it with green honing/polishing compound.  I recently picked up a 1" x 30" belt sander at Harbor Freight (only ~$35.00) and some different belts to use on it.  I have more fine grit belts coming from Lee Valley Tools.  So far, that inexpensive belt sander has really helped me out.  Using that in combination with fine grit sections of sand paper (up to 2000) on a thin foam pad along with my strops (with compound and just plain leather), I've been able to put a keen edge on a few knives in fairly short order.

I'll use that same technique on the Warlock when it gets here.  I've been experimenting on my SP8 and produced a good, strong convex edge on it.  Today I stripped all of the black coating off of it with spray on paint stripper and am currently in the process of forcing a patina onto it with apple cider vinegar.  I'll then polish the edge back up with my belt sander and strops.  I ended up making a strop for the belt sander by using a belt that had smoothed down enough and then applied green compound to the belt.  

Once I get to work on that Warlock, I feel pretty confident I'll be able to get that thing razor sharp and ready to go through whatever I put it against down south.  I'll be mostly using it for shelter building and also to sever some vines for survival water procurement demonstrations and such.  I'll post some pics of how I get it to turn out.  I may post up a couple of how my SP8 turns out, too.


HPG Coureurs des Bois. Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post 12/15/2013 2:14 PM
  alpendrms
424 posts
7th Level Poster


Re: Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang? 

 vaspence wrote
You may want to take a look at Andy Roy's machete(Fiddleback Forge), he takes the blades made by the same place as the Condor machetes, grinds and handles them. I have some time on one and liked the handle.I'd give some thought to Scott's lopper suggestion also. We use those in SAR as they trump anything when you need to clear a litter trail, etc. through a bunch of small saplings, vines, you name it.

Just looked at that site...there are some really nice blades on there!  I didn't see a parang or golok style, at least on in the size range that I want.  But....looking at his designs gives me ideas for the future.  


HPG Coureurs des Bois. Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post 12/15/2013 4:12 PM
  alpendrms
424 posts
7th Level Poster


Re: Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang? 

[QUOTE]scothill wrote
If you do a search on here, I think it was Jason, did a review on some condor items. You might also check out the Jungle Training Forums, but be aware they are going to have a heavy ESEE bias, with good reason.  /QUOTE]

Did multiple searches for the review you refer to....no dice.  I have looked at the Jungle Training Forums....no question there's an ESEE bias, since RAT is closely associated with ESEE.  I've had a couple ESEE blades and they're plenty good.  The only one in their line-up that looks like what I'm after is the Junglas, but I like a parang or golok style a bit better.  I also considered the Condor Boomslang, which looks pretty neat, but decided on the Warlock due to a little more working length and weight forward chopping power, while still a mid-sized tool.  I also looked at the John "Lofty" Wiseman (former SAS) bush parang, but the price was too steep for a tool that I'll only use in certain environments.  The Fox model is also intriguing.


HPG Coureurs des Bois. Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post 12/16/2013 1:21 PM
  scothill
1186 posts
1st Level Poster


Re: Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang? 

I couldn't find it either, but memory serves he got in a couple of different knives and an axe or two, and the over all impression was decent. I haven't spent any time on Jungle Training Forums, but given their focus was hoping they discussed some other blades on there.  Doesn't sound like it. 

Personally, I don't like the larger ESEE blade's handles either, and that includes the Junglas.

Bark River makes a nice golok style, but I don't have any experience. 

Since I am recommending blades you can't get anymore, apparently, I always lusted after a BlackJack Panga when I was a kid. I should have bought the one I found in AK years later, but since I was already buying a Spyderco Woodlander it wasn't in the budget.   

I know at some point I was on a forum that had a whole section just on jungle style knives, but can't remember were.  I just did some checking on possible candidates, and didn't find it.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear"If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
New Post 12/16/2013 2:53 PM
  alpendrms
424 posts
7th Level Poster


Re: Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang? 

 It's all good and thanks for searching!  Anyway, I've got a pretty good feeling that I'll be pretty happy with the Condor Warlock.  No question I'll do some work on the blade, and if the handle feels a little too big I can shape it down with some sandpaper.  Usually, I like a handle that fills my hand.  I may shape it a wee bit to coax a wee downward curve at the back of the handle, and I'll add a paracord lanyard set up to function like I've seen described by Lofty Wiseman.  I have that style of lanyard on my SP8 and like it when doing any chopping in earnest.


HPG Coureurs des Bois. Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post 12/18/2013 3:48 AM
  minirunner
27 posts
No Ranking


Re: Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang? 
Sorry I can't speak for their jungle tools. But I have a Greenland Pattern Axe from them with a 16" handle. I am very happy with it and am impressed with it's quality. It isn't top of the line but at half the price it is a very good axe. I did sharpen it a little out of the box, but it was not dull to begin with. Overall for the cost, I am happy with my purchase.
 
New Post 12/18/2013 5:46 AM
  alpendrms
424 posts
7th Level Poster


Re: Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang? 

 Thanks...still good to know you are satisfied with the product you have from them.


HPG Coureurs des Bois. Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post 12/18/2013 12:26 PM
  alpendrms
424 posts
7th Level Poster


Re: Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang? 
Modified By alpendrms  on 12/18/2013 2:27:17 PM)

 The Condor Warlock arrived today.  Quite a hunk of steel, I must say.  It is heavy, but feels nice in the hand and balances well as far as I'm concerned.  The handle may need a bit of shaping, but I'll confirm that after I test it.  The blade came sharp enough to cleanly slice paper in fine shreds....so no problem there, although I will work on it some to knock the shoulders off and convex it more to a keen but strong edge.  The sheath is really well made, but stiff....it just needs worked and softened up.  

So far, I am impressed, especially for the decent price.


HPG Coureurs des Bois. Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post 12/18/2013 6:18 PM
  Fowler
87 posts
No Ranking


Re: Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang? 

 my only experience is playing with a few at my local knife shop, but I was not impressed with the factory profiles. mostly the machetes with narrow blades (narrow, not thin) like the "parang machete" looked more like the corner of a piece of bar stock more a sharpened edge. The wider blades seemed much better, and for the price I'd certainly give them a try. Also all the handles seemed very round, I'd definitly be taking some material off the sides to make them more oval.

I thought the warlock was one of the better looking knives they make, I'm curious to see how you like it. I've been going back and forth on an ESEE junglas for quite a while now but I think I've talked myself out of one.

 
New Post 12/18/2013 8:04 PM
  alpendrms
424 posts
7th Level Poster


Re: Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang? 
Modified By alpendrms  on 12/18/2013 10:07:37 PM)

 I put it on my 1 x 30 belt sander tonight.  Knocked the shoulders off and convexed the edge back a few millimeters.  Used 40 and then 20 micron belts, then stropped it with green compound and straight leather.  Slides right through a sheet of paper now.  The verdict is still out as to whether I'll shape the handle or not.  I'll need to spend some time chopping with it to see if I need to or not.  Only other things I've done to it so far has been putting a para cord lanyard on the handle and a coat of Obenauf's on the sheath.


HPG Coureurs des Bois. Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post 2/23/2014 6:31 AM
  Wolfman Zack
11 posts
No Ranking


Re: Condor Machete, Golok, or Parang? 

I have been thinking about getting the Condor Villiage Parang lately.

Looks like a great stand in for a hatchet or small axe, but with more potential for breaking trail.

 
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