Condor El Salvador Machete Review

Condor El Salvador Machete Review

Call me a traditionalist, but I love this classic survival blade – the Latin machete. This product has been around for at least 10 years; it stood the test of time. And it still sells! So I thought there must be something to it. Let’s delve deeper into this Condor El Salvador Machete review. What makes this blade so special?

I will give you my general impression of the sword. Then we will take a closed look at what features it offers. No review is complete without a pros and cons section.

Finally, I will go through everything in detail, and share other people’s opinions. Let’s go ahead into our Condor El Salvador machete review journey.

Condor “El Salvador” Summary


Love the CS-1075 steel. Not a big fan of Micarta handles.


Tough CS steel, durable. Solid construction, but thin blade.


Average sharpness and edge-retention. Can be sharpened.


Heavy, long machete. Poorly balanced. 


Long and strong. Effective in a wide range of tasks.


Rather expensive compared to similar market products.


  • Solid, thick, strong, well-made.
  • Low risk of damage to the blade.
  • Full-tang, rigid blade, no play.
  • Heavy-duty tool.
  • Acceptably sharp edge.


  • Long, but tip-heavy.
  • Poor balance.
  • Can feel vibration and shock, in my hand.

Overall rating :  3.9 / 5

The “El Salvador” machete is a durable, strong blade which quickly becomes your best friend in every harsh job. Whatever it lacks in sharpness and balance, it makes up for in strength. It’s very resistant for such a thin machete. More expensive than other similar products, but it’s a dependable bush sword.

General Impression

This machete has 16 inches of sharpened edge, the first two inches near the handle are blunt. You can grab that part and choke it with your index finger to get better control over the blade when you feather a stake.

Condor El Salvador Machete Review
Click the image to see the product on Amazon. Image from Condor T&K.

Solid machete, not overly heavy. It has a full-tang that goes all the way through the handle, up to the cap. The plastic handle completely covers the tang which makes it shock-absorbent. So, when you chop, you feel less strain in your wrist. I had hatchets with cheap plastic handles and every strike on the log sent a jolt of pain through my arm.

This machete’s handle is thick and strong. You can tell after a while, and even you feel the weight in your hand. It is well-built. They attached the blade to the handle with rivets – if I had a guess I would bet that after prolonged use, the rivets would give out before the handle.

Long machetes are my favorites and this one is a classic. Long, thin, manageable weight – it is perfect for clearing brush, cutting grass, cutting branches. You can even chop thin logs to make kindling for the campfire.

This machete is a general-purpose blade, good at many tasks and activities, but not especially remarkable. The El Salvador machete is not an efficient chopping tool, compared to my previous review, the KABAR Cutlass machete. These two blades complement each other and work great in unison.

Chopping and cutting are easy and doesn’t fatigue your arm. This makes the machete perfect for domestic tasks like clearing grass to make a path, cutting vines and branches, digging, gardening, etc.

The blade is solid enough for batoning. It is a smarter way of chopping; Instead of hitting the wood with the blade in a vertical motion, you hammer the blade spine to drive the sharp edge through the wood. That way you don’t chip or damage the edge, you scratch the spine.

Compared to the Tramontina machete, which is a light-weight and nimble blade, this one is heavier and thicker. Even though it feels less controllable, I found that I could do more stuff with it. If you want a safe bet, a guaranteed purchase, a good machete overall – the look no further! This tool will meet most of your needs. If you feel uncertain about this product, check out our other machete reviews.

Feature Specifications

This blade is great for many reasons, but before we get into that, here is a list of physical characteristics and features of the tool.

Click the images to see more product information on Amazon.

  • Material Blade: Carbon Steel 1075 / Stainless Steel
  • Material Handle: Micarta
  • Material Sheath: Heavy Duty Thick Leather
  • Hardness Steel: 52-54
  • Color & Finish: Black Powder Epoxy Finish
  • Length Overall: 23.5″ (59.7 cm)
  • Length Blade: 18″ (45.7 cm)
  • Length Handle: 5.5″ (14 cm)
  • Thickness Blade: .125″ (3.1 mm)
  • Weight: 15 oz (425 gr)

Condor El Salvador Machete Review

I admit; General impressions are not my favorite part; I don’t like being abstract and evasive. I rather just go into the nitty-gritty. Detailed analysis is where my engineering skills come into play, so let’s inspect more closely each part of this machete: blade, handle, and sheath. Here is a helpful video:

The Blade

Condor crafted their El Salvador machete from 1075 Carbon Steel – moderately hard steel which preserves the edge nicely and doesn’t easily chip. I like that!

I like their choice of material. In my KABAR Cutlass review, I criticized the 1085 blade precisely because a few buyers reported their machete chipping at the edge. That pernicious combo between high-carbon steel and structural flaws caused cracking and chipping in the steel.

Protective layers of Epoxy black coating powder cover each side of the blade, except for the edge and spine. In my opinion, this is a must-have for every carbon-steel tool. Oxidation is a process that eats away at carbon steel and your machete rusts. I remember back in the day I was chopping twigs with this old kukri that I foolishly forgot in the tool-shed. At one point, when I delivered a good blow at the log, the only thing I was left holding was the handle. The blade seemed OK, but at the insertion point in the handle, the rust almost severed the connection between the two.

Since this is a Latin machete, its aim (at least in theory) is to make life easier in the hot, humid climate of the tropics. We know this environment erodes iron and steel, so a protective coating is more than welcome.

The edge and the spine are uncoated, which leaves them vulnerable to rust. Keep that in mind if you plan on using the machete in swampy areas, or if you live in the warm tropics. Always make sure that after finishing your work you oil the exposed parts of the blade. Store the machete in the sheath afterward.

When I wrote my Condor El Salvador machete review, I realized this tool comes in two slightly different styles / flavors: stainless steel and carbon steel.

These two are easily recognizable; the stainless version has no black coating, leaving its metal exposed. Rust and oxidation don’t affect stainless steel. The handle is made of wood (I think American hardwood). You can choose three colors for the handle:

Micarta and Wooden Machete Handles
Machete handle models and colors. Image from Condor T&K.

Machete handle models and colors. Image from Condor T&K.

The high-carbon variant is obviously more expensive. Both the handle and the blade are of higher quality material. As I said earlier CS-1075 is much better than stainless steel, except for the rust part. The CS-1075 model replaces hardwood with High Impact Polypropylene (or Micarta). This is a strong, resistant material, often used in tool manufacturing.

Since this machete is not specifically for chopping, the blade thickness is only 3 mm. A big contrast compared to the shorter, thicker chopping blades.

Full-tang is always a requirement in my book, and luckily this blade meets this criterion.


Condor provides a black leather sheath with a belt loop. I can’t say much else about it since I never paid much attention to the sheath. For me, this will always be an accessory to the blade, one that I only mention in passing.

Machete sheath
Leather sheath. Image copyright Condor T&K.

Bottom line, I love this machete because of its classic Latin style design. It is long, which is something I like. Short, stocky blades are good for chopping – but the Condor “El Salvador” performs well in many other areas.

I think the CS-1075 flat-edge grind is a better choice compared to the CS-1085 hollow-edge machete, where we saw a few complaints of chipped edges. Even though the second one excels at slicing and precision.


  • Heavy-duty tool.
  • Solid, thick, strong, well-made.
  • Low risk of damage to the blade.
  • Acceptably sharp edge.
  • Full-tang, rigid blade, no play.


  • Long, but tip-heavy.
  • Poor balance.
  • Can feel vibration and shock, in my hand.

What Do People Think?

This machete has a high rating on Amazon. Most buyers gave it a glowing review, which means they are super-satisfied with the product. I found a few 4-stars and 3-star reviews. No overtly negative opinions.

Across the board, everyone seems to agree this machete is a solid, heavy-duty blade that may last a lifetime if properly taken care of. Conversely, the most common criticism is that it is too heavy for its size.

User opinions vary, so let’s see what are the good and the bad things about this machete.

The Bad

I found a couple of disgruntled customers. They were unhappy because the edge was not sharp enough, according to their standards.

I don’t know what to tell you… I hear those criticisms all the time about every sword, knife or machete, whenever I read blade reviews or talk to people on forums. There is always a handful of unhappy campers who think the blade is not sharp even though the rest 95% is fully on-board with it.

As a rule of thumb, I take into consideration only those criticisms that come up about 10-20% of the time. So, if one out of every five people complains about sharpness, then I take it seriously.

Purchasing online is safe and secure, and in fact, that is how I bought my best blades. But it does have an element of chance to it. You may receive a blade with a dent or a chip. Or they could delay your package. I am mentioning this because I read a few complaints about undue delays.

Even so, Condor always puts customer satisfaction first and they try to make up for every inconvenience if a screw-up does happen. They never disappointed me personally.

I never had to return a blade, but I don’t doubt that my turn is coming.

The Good

Most reviews follow a pattern: “Strong, well-made blade that holds an edge even after months of heavy use. A machete you can trust. I cannot wait to take this knife when camping, out in the wild – I am super pleased with it so far. “

More thickness is a good quality for machetes. And heat-treated 1075 carbon steel gives this blade even more strength. In fact, I saw this tool got most of the positive reviews for its toughness.

People said they were pleased with its performance. They could chop weeds, thick branches, small tree trunks. I found it easy to feather and make sharp stakes.

On to the handle now… Lots of customers said the Micarta handle looks amazing, even better than in photos. This is a matter of preference, and even though I don’t necessarily like it, it seems to be popular.

Even though most people thought this blade is super sharp, there are a few unhappy buyers. The ratio is 9 to 1, so I will stick with the majority. The flat-edge grind is a safer bet, even though you can hollow it out – to get a sharper machete.

A common complaint about this product is weight. The “El Salvador” Condor is long and very top-heavy. That is a good thing if you plan on processing wood, cutting thick weeds, and so on.

For more Amazon reviews, click this link to see what users disliked about this machete’s handling.


With an astounding score, this machete meets most requirements in my book: toughness, sharpness, practicality. Check out the latest price for the blade:

My experience with the Condor El Salvador machete has been amazing, and this blade has become my favorite Latin machete in my limited and humble collection.

Maybe a better blade will outrank it soon, after all, Easter is coming, and I got myself some shopping to do.

Please share your thoughts and opinions on the Condor El Salvador to complete this machete review.

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