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Today’s matchup is another one of those “apples to oranges” comparisons. Sorry. It is how the random seedings played out. I am completely open to modifying the format for next year, so please let us know what suggestions or changes you would like to see.
Condor is a relatively new company that makes a wide variety of bushcraft-oriented knives, machetes and other tools. Victorinox has decades of history behind them, and is known primarily for their Swiss Army slipjoints, which are so ubiquitous that they are frequently referred to by only the acronym SAK. Definitely different companies with differing styles and philosophies.
Just a reminder: You can vote twice…once in the blog comments, and once by liking/loving this Facebook link.
While “Norte Americanos” might only have become aware of Condor Tool and Knife in the last decade and a half, the company has roots which run much deeper. They trace their company lineage back over 200 years to the Old World, though in their current iteration they do the majority of their manufacturing in South America – El Salvador to be specific.
The most known public face of the company is Joe Flowers, their lead designer and the proprietor of Bushcraft Global. Joe calls upon this extensive outdoor survival experience in the designs of his knives. If a tool is good enough for the jungles of Columbia, it should be a superlative tool for your average consumer.
I don’t own any Condor products yet, but David does and has done a review of their Nessmuk. He has also written extensively about their Bushlore blade, which is among the best bang-for-your-buck bushcraft knives out there.
CONDOR® TOOL & KNIFE traces its proud history back to 1787, the year GEBR WEYESBERG COMPANY was founded in Solingen, Germany.
The quality of the swords, military knives, agricultural tools and household cutlery they manufactured made Solingen the cutlery capital of the world. Over the generations, the world’s largest manufacturer of swords and knives found it necessary to expand operations to other countries to better serve its customers.
In 1964, the company formed IMACASA with a new plant in Santa Ana, El Salvador, filling it with state of the art German equipment and sending some of their local employees to Solingen for extensive training. Today, the factory is turning out the finest quality machetes, knives, axes, shovels and other hand tools.
IMACASA’s Central American operations were sold in the 1980’s to local investors. Today, IMACASA is one of the largest machete and shovel manufacturers in the world operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to fill an increasing worldwide demand for its products.
In 2004, IMACASA developed a first quality line of tools and knives for the North American and European outdoor markets. CONDOR® TOOL & KNIFE was born.
View all TTAK Condor tagged content here.
Like many of you, a Victorinox Swiss Army knife is among the first knives that I owned as a child. In my case it was a Capmer model which my parents bought for me prior to my first trip to Scout Camp. Some of you may remember that there used to be 2 makers of the iconic SAK, Victorinox and Wenger, the latter company’s founding actually predating the former’s by 4 years, but in 2005 Victorinox acquired the Wenger brand. They originally continued to produce both, but since 2013, they only make knives under the Victorinox label.
Of course SAKs are not the only blades made by Victorinox, they also produce kitchen cutlery, multitools, and other products, including watches and luggage.
Strangely, we have only done one review of a Victorinox blade – the diminutive Compact, but we have an extensive archive of Victorinox content. It is almost as if we assume that you all have experience with the brand, and jut assume that anyone reading a knife blog proabably is familiar with the band and their consistently quality offerings.
In 1884, Karl Elsener opened his cutler’s workshop in Ibach-Schwyz. At this time Switzerland was still one of the poorer countries in Europe. In the early years Karl Elsener worked to combat poverty and unemployment in the Schwyz basin, creating jobs and helping stem the flow of emigration.
In 1891 he supplied the soldier’s knife to the Swiss Army for the first time. He went on to develop the Swiss Officer’s and Sports Knife – now the iconic Swiss Army Knife – in 1897, creating the foundation for a flourishing company that would be able to hold its own on the world stage.
From then on, his spirit of solidarity, deep roots in the region and strong commitment to solid values shaped the Victorinox company philosophy.