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September 2, 2013 Comments (0) Blades & Tools, Reviews

Condor Greenland Pattern Axe

I’ve done my fair share of Condor Knife and Tool reviews and it’s no real secret that I really like the company. Just over the last two years, we have seen them revamp their quality control department and really listen to the public and their needs. Along with great quality, you also get a wide variety of tools to choose from, whether it’s from their own website, or from any number of major online resellers.

Sometime back, Condor made the brilliant move of hiring Mr. Joe Flowers to help design most of their newer products and work on the promotion side of things. Joe’s designs have really helped to widen the blade inventory Condor currently has available to the public. With several new knife, machete and axe designs, Condor has something for everyone in their lineup. Today, I am going to talk about my experiences with one of their axes, the Greenland Pattern 2.25lb Axe.

Having purchased the little brother to the larger 2.25lb model, the 1.5lb hatchet, and after having a very positive experience with it, the larger version had a lot of expectation to live up to before it even was even taken out of the box. The first thing I noticed when the box arrived was the size difference of the factory box. It was larger than previous review boxes from Condor, so that upped my excitement right away.  As is standard with Condor axes, you receive a full color product line pamphlet, a note telling you to keep your new gear clean and oiled after use and a small item description tag that is attached to the axes lanyard hole via a since leather lace.

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My immediate impressions right out of the box was good, for the most part. Along with the previously mentioned items, you of course get the impressive on the eyes Condor Greenland Pattern 2.25lb axe. As with every Condor axe you get a full grain, American hickory handle. The handle on this particular axe comes in at 22 ½ long. On my review axe, I didn’t have a single flaw on any part of the wood, including a nice straight grain. The one thing I would like to see (and this is reaching) is a finished handle with a coat of linseed, or some other kind of oil. I really don’t think that takes any marks away from the axe, since you need to remember the price of the tool and the all-around quality. At the base of the handle is a pre-drilled lanyard hole for those of you who like to add the extra support a lanyard give you. Personally, I like to add a short lanyard of 550 paracord, or a leather thong, just so I can hang the axe upside down for cleaning and oiling. On one side, “Condor Classic” is burned into the wood, while the other side remains clear.

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As for the head itself, you get a hand forged, 1045 High Carbon Steel head that is 7”x4” in size. The blade profile is really nice and matches the same design of the 1.5lb Greenland Pattern axe, ( 5 ½ x3 5/8) with a nice wide head and a solid flat hammering surface on the opposite side of the blade. One of my favorite things about the latest line of Condor axes is their “Classic Finish”. You can easily see the work that went into the hammered finish. One thing you really can’t expect when buying an axe from Condor is for it to arrive razor sharp, ready to chew through the jungle. Like anything you buy, this axe needs a little TLC from the time you pull it out of the box to when you hit the forest and plan to build yourself a shelter, or clear away that overburden on the other side of your fence . Thankfully, the high carbon 1045 steel will sharpen to a great edge that will give you a ton of good chopping time in-between the need to re-sharpen. The steel holds an edge very well, as I found out by cutting up a large load of wood that was dropped off at my house for the winter. Most of the wood was already chopped into fourths, but since I have what seems to be the world’s smallest wood stove, several pieces had to be re-chopped and sized down. The large cutting head made short work of the various pieces of hardwood and never lost its edge.

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Along with extensive testing at home on my own wood pile, the large Condor Greenland Pattern accompanied me into the woods for a few over nights and allowed me to chop up enough wood for an entire night and breakfast the next day. Dead branches didn’t stand a chance against the heavy axe head and the various green branches I cut up for stakes, poles and whatnot went just fine. For larger chopping job in the woods, this axe can do it without issue, but I wouldn’t recommend hacking through anything larger than 10”-12”. For those sizes and larger, look for a heavier forest axe with a handle in the 30” range. In a pinch though, the heavy Greenland Pattern will do the job for you. Like with any axe, when you’re on the move from site to site, just slide the Greenland Pattern into the straps on your pack and you’re off. I found that despite its slightly larger head and longer handle, the entire axe didn’t seem to add much noticeable weight to my pack. Though I really didn’t get into fine carving with this axe (I carry a knife for those tasks anyway) I’ve seen a few videos on the web where people had used the larger Greenland Pattern for carving and other fine wood workings. I’ve used the smaller Greenland Pattern for fire sticks and spear carving, so I know they work just fine.

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Along with a great, usable axe, you also get a “hand crafted” welted leather sheath. Whether or not this sheath is actually hand crafted, as is claimed, I could honestly care less. The leather is soft and tough and will take years of abuse. The snap closure is nice and easy to close. I actually like this sheath better than the sheath that came on my Wetterlings pack axe (which costs twice as much, by the way) as the leather is heavier, the snap is sturdier and the welt is secured well with four tight rivets. On top of that, you have an additional lanyard hole at the bottom the sheath as an option for securing the axe to your belt, pack or anything else you can think of.

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When all is said and done, I really like this axe and feel it is the perfect “middle of the road” axe in terms of cutting needs. If you’re still not sold, this axe (and all Condor items) come with a LIFETIME warranty against defects. I’ve had to use this in the past and was amazed how well the transaction went. Customer service is important to Condor, as is producing quality gear. You can find the 2.25lb Condor Greenland Pattern with the longer handle as reviewed here at the Pathfinder School LLC shop for $78.95, a good price for a tool that if treated well will last you a lifetime. One thing to note, I have added three coats of linseed oil to the handle (sanded between coat) and oiled the head between each use. Keep your gear clean and protected and it will give you years of service.

http://www.Condortk.com/

http://www.selfrelianceoutfitters.com/greenland-axe/

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