Condor Ironpath Review

Condor Ironpath Review

As Crocodile Dundee said, “That’s not a knife. This is a knife!”. My Australian accent sucks, but the Ironpath certainly doesn’t. It is a real knife! I will explain what makes this product so amazing, why I love it, what I hate about it. I hope you find my Condor Ironpath review helpful, and please share your experience using this machete.

I don’t know what to call this item, knife or bolo machete. First impressions are important! When I first saw this product listed for sale, I said to myself “I have enough knives already, I need a badass blade”. But I later discovered that even though this tool looks like an average kitchen knife, it’s one hell of a chopper – and it’s much bigger than it appears. It behaves like a brutish machete! It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Some people collect stamps, magazines, toys. Others prefer expensive paintings and art. I am a knife-freak! My tastes are less refined, but they definitively have a dangerous edge. I’d never admit it out loud but I think I’m an addict. If you’re like me (I’m sure you are) then check out the following Condor Ironpath review and see whether this item is a welcome addition to your collection and tool-rack!

Condor Ironpath Summary

Quality.

Above market quality. Good materials and well build. Full-tang blade.

Durability.

Tough 1075 steel, heat-treated. Very thick, bulky blade design.

Sharpness.

Steel hardness is average. Nice flat-grind. Comes sharp out of the box.

Ergonomics.

Amazing handling. But the blade is too short, and the sheath is bulky.

Applicability.

Good for heavy chopping. Too short for certain tasks.

Price.

Very affordable blade at top quality, designed by Condor.

Pros

  • Durable, tough, heavy, and thick.
  • Good quality steel, toughness vs harness.
  • Battle ready, sharp, full-tang. 
  • Exceptional chopper for its small size.
  • Great quality to price ratio.
  • Accessible price.

Cons

  • Short size machete.
  • Not very useful for certain tasks like clearing a path, cutting grass.
  • Modest design and aesthetics.

Overall rating:  4.2 / 5

Very tough and durable blade, at an accessible price. The Condor Ironpath is sharp, battle-ready, very effective for chopping. Because of its short size and heavy mass, it is less effective for certain tasks. I don’t like it as much regarding ergonomics.

Feature Specifications

Condor’s latest chopper may seem short, but if you look at the following list of features, it will surely exceed your expectations:

  • General: Fixed blade, sharp and battle-ready.
  • Material Blade: 1075 High Carbon Steel
  • Material Handle: Walnut hardwood
  • Material Sheath: Handcrafted Welted Leather
  • Color & Finish: Polished
  • Blade & Edge: Flat-grind and secondary edge, Drop-Point
  • Steel Hardness: 55
  • Length Overall: 14.75″ (37.5 cm) 
  • Length Blade: 9.88″ (25.1 cm)
  • Length Handle: 5.12″ (13 cm)
  • Thickness Blade: 0.188″ (47.7 mm)
  • Weight: 22.9 oz. (650 g)

Condor Ironpath Review

A machete is a broad blade used as a supplement for an axe, or in combat like a short sword. That a fair description of the Ironpath, although I wouldn’t use it in combat because it’s quite short. Even though it is slightly smaller than a traditional Latin machete, it’s by no means less functional. If I were to classify this blade based on design and geometry, I would say it’s a bolo machete.

This blade is larger than what you would expect, based on the product gallery images. It looks kinda boring, which might turn you off if you are visually motivated, like me. While I wouldn’t give it a magnificent score on style & design, it does have quite a few redeeming qualities.

What Can You Do With the Condor Ironpath?

Machetes had different uses over the centuries, the main one being agriculture, believe it or not. In subtropical and tropical areas, they’re used for slicing through rain-forest undergrowth and cutting sugar cane. The Condor Ironpath has no problem chopping branches and vines, but it is too short for a full-time agricultural job of cutting cane. A longer and lighter tool would be preferable.

In Latin America, machetes are used for household tasks, such as chopping fruits and vegetables, cleaving bone and meat, and even splitting coconuts. Then there’s yard work, clearing bushes, etc. I wanted to see how well the Ironpath performs in a wide area of applications.

From the many resources I researched, this tool is amazing for housework and yard work. Don’t fool yourself with its modest, meek appearance! This blade can deliver a mean punch. But it is still too short for clearing grass or low brush.

How Can You Use the Ironpath Machete Outdoors?

Pathfinding and clearing. I know you don’t live in the middle of the Amazonian rain-forest, but if you do, this machete can clear your way through underbrush, vines and hanging branches.

Hunting. Whether you’re a hunter or a forager, the Ironpath is your best hunting buddy! It’s ideal for preparing and skinning your catch, whether it’s rabbit, deer or boar.

Self-defense. Speaking of hunting and survival – life in the wild is dangerous. The place is crawling with deadly predators and poisonous snakes. If you run into an unwanted intruder, this blade can save your life. Not a bad thing to have at your side – or on your belt when you venture into the wild. Last year (2018), on two separate occasions, reticulated pythons constricted, killed, and ate an Indonesian man and woman. They didn’t bring a machete with them!

Farm work and cropping. Even though this machete is short, you can still use it for certain agricultural tasks: cleaning brush, uprooting weeds and bramble, maybe even cutting crops (such as cornstalk and cane). Are you a gardener? This lovely machete can easily chop compost.

Campsite management. The Ironpath is a great company on any camping trip or hunting excursion!

How Well Does the Ironpath Chop Wood?

It’s time to see what can this machete do. After all, they advertised it as the “latest chopper”. I had my doubts in the beginning, but after seeing this video, my distrust melted away:

The Condor Ironpath review wouldn’t be complete without a chopping video! As you can see, this blade is worth its metal. It excels at chopping and batoning wood. When camping outdoors, you can easily make kindling for the fire – to cook a meal or just get warm & cozy!

Is the Ironpath Visually Aesthetic?

Condor was right on-point (pun intended!) when they designed the Ironpath, as far as functionality goes! But visual aesthetics could use a makeover. It just doesn’t work for me personally. When I see a product on the sales pages, it’s the visual aspect that draws my attention. The only reason I took a chance with the Ironpath because it had amazing ratings. That’s my subjective opinion – I am sure others love it!

Completely unrelated to visual appeal: The Ironpath’s shape is interesting … It kinda looks like a miniature, medieval falchion (short sword, originating from 13th century France). 

Putting appearance aside, I can’t wait to tell you what I love & hate about the Condor Ironpath, so I’m going to dive right in.

What Do I Like About Condor Ironpath?

When I was browsing online, the name grabbed my attention “Wow, that will be my Viking name from now on “… I immediately thought about Bjorn Ironside, the hardy Nordic warrior, and sailor from the amazing TV series “Vikings”. Congrats to Condor for coming up with the coolest name – it almost transports you on a secret mission. It might sound funny, but it’s true. Ironpath just has a nice ring to it!

Here are the most positive aspects of this machete. These are some of the things that I like:

Condor Ironpath Review
Click image to see product. Photo belongs to Condor T&K.

It’s economical. For a very low budget, you get an amazing survival blade that can hold its own even against thick wooden logs. As proven in that video (above), you can even bring down a tree!

Good choice of steel. High-carbon 1075 steel is decently tough and quite hard. Strength and hardness are two important properties of metal, that are inversely proportional. This steel, however, has a good balance of both.

So, you don’t need to worry about damaging the blade, as long as you don’t take it to the extreme (by chopping pipes / breaking rocks).

Hardness offers this knife the ability to maintain a sharp edge for a long time – it will not dull. Off course, 1075 steel is softer than 1095, but it is much tougher. Toughness is the most important characteristic of any tool, blade, or weapon.

Elegant but strong wooden handle. Walnut is an awesome choice for the handle material. It’s prized by woodworkers for its amazing properties: very dense, strong, resistant to shock and scratching, easy to polish and work with. Additionally, it has a fine grain and color. 

The walnut handle is beautiful and designed to be perfectly weighted for a variety of hand sizes. To the touch, it’s comfortable and versatile.

Real leather sheath. This item came with a nice, hardy low-drop leather sheath. It has a belt-loop which you can easily attach to your side. The blade seamlessly slides in the sheath – something you rarely see with these kinds of items.

Handling. The Ironpath feels great in my hand. It’s heavy for such a short blade. It has a thick blade (4.75 mm, at the spine), and that gives it extra mass.

Things I Dislike About the Ironpath Machete

Length is a problem. If you read my previous stuff, you know how stringent I am about length and size. I would have made the Ironpath longer while removing a 1 mm (from thickness) from the spine. Since I prefer kukris for chopping, this longer machete would have been a welcome, complementary addition, next to my kukri. 

Unimaginative design. Maybe it’s a matter of personal taste, or perhaps I’m used to extravagant, eye-catching design – but this blade looks too inconspicuous to me. I can’t get over the fact that it looks like an overgrown kitchen knife.

Sheath. A few people complained about strapping the knife back in the sheath. They said it is a tight fit. I didn’t ever think that was a problem until I read about it. Perhaps it doesn’t manifest itself in my case. The guys in these videos don’t seem to have a problem, so obviously it’s not universal.

User Reviews of Condor Ironpath Machete

The Ironpath can endure heavy duty punishment; It will see your daily backyard chores finished on time. Fabulous quality for the price… But don’t just listen to me! What are other people saying?

I never purchase a product without doing my research first. So I investigated forum posts, user reviews and I even asked a bunch of people about their experience with the Ironpath knife. Here is what I got…

The common consensus is that Condor’s Ironpath is a great blade with great potential, at an accessible price range. I was very pleased not to find complaints about the edge-chipping because I dread nothing more than a damaged sword.

Most agree that this tool is an amazing chopper, and all the machetes that I reviewed are indeed great choppers! I only pick the best products to promote. The video that I linked to earlier shows how impressive the Ironpath is when it comes to wood processing.

Brown Leather Machete Sheath
Leather sheath. Image copyright @ Condor.

A couple of guys reported a funny thing with the sheath. They said its design is too bulky, which can hinder your movement if you walk or hike. I know how awful it feels to have a heavy dangling thingy tied to the belt, hitting your leg on every step. But life in the wild needs discipline, the ability to endure hardship… So, maybe it’s a good psychological exercise.

Joe Flowers, the designer of this knife, referred to it as being “the quintessential chopper”! He called it “crocodilesque”, trying to link the Ironpath with the famous Australian adventurer, Crocodile Dundee. I guess anyone can feel like an Outback bushman with this machete! Check out more user reviews here.

Afterthoughts

Even though this knife doesn’t have the most imaginative design, it can hold its ground in any task that calls for a sturdy machete. 

Short, thick and heavy are some of the qualities of this blade. While these bring some drawbacks, they are the reason this machete is tough and dependable. I think this product is well worth its cost; It is a smart purchase.

Check out the latest price on Amazon, on the left side. If you feel this machete doesn’t suit your needs, we have many other products listed in our recommendations.

Please share your thoughts to enrich this Condor Ironpath review. Check out more machete reviews to our top recommendations.

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