On the way back from the Scout Course in Tennessee (you can read a couple of great After Action Reviews here and here), NC Scout and I stopped (again) at Smoky Mountain Knife Works – the largest knife store in the world. While there, I set off in search of a quality machete. Having see first hand the quality of the knife Scout purchased on the way to the course, I settled on Condor. The one that caught my eye was the Condor Ironpath Knife SS.
The Ironpath has an overall length of 14.75″ and a blade length of 9.75″ while sporting a 0.19″ blade thickness made of 420 Stainless Steel. Sporting a walnut handle, the blade has a great balance to it and it seemed heavy enough to cut through decently sized trees and shrubs with little effort.
I am in the process of building a shed in my backyard, and I decided to use the Ironpath to clear the small trees in the area – mostly Sassafras and Black Cherry saplings.
Each of the branches of the Black Cherry sapling came off in a single swing in which I let the weight of the knife do the work. For the actual sapling, which was a little over 2″ thick, it took about a dozen well placed swings. The overall exertion of effort was minimal, and I cleared about 10 small saplings of similar size in about 15 minutes.
The sheath itself is a big selling point for me. It is made of leather, and doesn’t hang on a belt so low as to get in the way. It is comfortable to wear and I think it looks pretty damn good.
The Cons? For one, the stock handle is slippery – particularly when it is cold out as it was in this pictures (34 degrees). Taking a grinder to the handle to provide some texture is probably in order, as is adding some paracord. Additionally, the stock edge is completely sufficient for its desired role, but could use a little bit of refining in order to get a more consistent feathering of the wood.
Overall, for the price point, The Condor Ironpath is an absolutely solid knife for clearing brush and other Bushcraft related tasks. I am not really a “knife guy”, but this is one that I am now glad to have in my collection because it is a great complement to my other Bushcraft knife, the Ontario RD-6.