In the market for chopper

Mar 22, 2006
Looking to acquire a new chopper

I was considering the folowing
Woodsman;s pal (seems nice but the brush hook seems like it might interfere with a baton)
Condor Golok
Martindale Golok (if I can find one)

Primarily looking for something that can do wood processing as well as clear brambles and such if need to other suggestions but would like to keep the spending below 100 bucks... I;m a cheapo...

I'll mail you my BK-9 to play with, I think it's a pretty good chopper given its size. The Condor Golok looks like it would be a good specimen that wouldn't break the bank.

Of course for true chopping power in a long blade, there's no substitute for a khuk.
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i definitely suggest the Condor Golok.. JWilliams hooked me up with one of his, when he and his crew were here in april..:)
they're pretty darn nice, especially for the price, mine is wicked sharp too... the handle is nice and comfortable.. i really like th bulbous shape it has, it feels like it locks into your grip ...:thumbup:
Bk9 , or a Junglas if you want to spend a little more. I recommend these because of blade thickness as opposed to machetes. I live in boreal forest country ,and own machetes as well. My BK9 out chops a machete everytime.
Only in the Philippine jungle did I find a machete more useful and lighter to carry.
My op.
RR I have a Woodsmans Pal just sitting around if you want to testdrive!

I haven't tried the other two, but I would really hold off on getting a Martindale No. 2 unless you have ready access to a belt sander. Saying the edge on the one I got from "needs work" is the understatement of the century; it's like it's not even there. Seems like a good design, though.

And for those who suggested the BK9.... while I have one and it's a great long knife, it comes nowhere NEAR the mass of a golok-like chopper. It's like someone coming in here asking for a good machete and you guys suggesting an ESEE-4.
Go for the condor golok!
For the price it's a bargain.
I have been using mine and it has taken everything i have thrown at it.
While it may not excel at the lighter stuff, it can do it and where it really shines is in's a bleeding machine!

You won''t be disappointed!
SOme great advice and some generous offers here Folks... Thank you so much...
I have a bk9 on loan or a review I'm doing It is a great knife to be sure.. I never couls adjust to the odd angles of a Khuk..
JCL-MD I'd Love to chek it out...I'll try to shoot you an email. Thanks
Both my Martindale Golok and Condor Golok required a belt sander to reprofile. The Condor wasn't as bad but still excessively obtuse and there's a lot of steel to remove by hand.
I would recommend the Ontario 12" Camp Machete with molded handle. That edge will need some refining too but it will not need reprofiling.
If I were in the US I'd go with the Condor and mod it. That's said, someone posted here recently with a warning that the current production offering isn't as good as the original and lacks the distal taper. And in his opinion the current version was less pleasing to use and lacked the penetration of the original. Something like that.

My reasoning is as follows:

I know you use a saw for efficiency at cross grain cutting as do I. On that, I'm assuming that whilst you want a chopper, like me, a huge a mount of clout would be wasted on you because you'd use a saw rather than waste effort thrashing at big stuff. And that a huge amount of mass would just be an incumbrance. Yet a bit of weight forward is desirable for delivering energy in a compact format in a way regular skinny machetes can't. Right, so why do I love the Martindale #2 yet I'm recommending you find a good Condor. Double standard? Nah -

I must say that I've been tempted to snag a Condor a couple of times. The only reason being that I think the Condor handle is far better as stock than the one the #2 has. I don't bother now for a bunch of reasons, but the single biggest change I have ever made to a #2 to get it to give a great effortless swing was the addition of a big birds beak on the arse end of the handle. The Condor comes with that so no work required on your part there.

The #2 requires a bunch of work to profile the blade to what I consider great performance. If you don't have power tools or the patience for that you'll settle and it'll piss you off. You'll be able to mash wood but you'll never get good deep penetration and whilst it will cut through green flimsy stuff if it is sharp it'll never whip through brambles. It'll just beat them out the way. Not good enough. A genuine [* more on this later] #2 ships with what looks like a Scandi grind. It needs a huge amount of relief at the shoulder to get it to cut through stuff properly. Even if you keep the very edge angle the same as they ship with dumping all that shoulder is paramount. That said, I'm very confident I'd be modifying this aspect if I ever bother to explore the Condor, but I'm absolutely certain about the #2. I've done enough of them to bet a finger.

For my needs the #2 has the advantage in that is much lighter. That said, the Condor has a section of blade that is totally useless to me. I think that Condor tip has its uses for path clearing at ground level but to me that is irrelevant. I suspect that may well be the case for you. Cutting it off has the advantages of reducing weight, making the tool more compact, giving you a useful point, and I dare say makes the knife a good deal quicker in the hand because of the balance change. I'd do this -


Last, and rounding out this bit, although I can't remember the exacts I think the Condor is run harder than the #2. Whether that's a blessing or curse debatable. As a knife that strikes me as better for edge holding, but I've never had a problem with the edge holding of the #2. So I can just enjoy the enhanced toughness of it.

Bang for the buck - Given both would just be platforms for me to mod, and that the Condor ships with a better handle, and that I could get a Condor $10 cheaper in the US than I could a #2, the Condor wins.

Caveats. I've flagged this up before as suspicious.

1] The grind looks wrong for a genuine NIB #2.
2] And what's that with the price? I can't get them new here cheaper than £25 GBP - $38.22 USD from anywhere here. Not been able to for quite a while. I might be lucky and pick up a battered one in a surplus store for less than that but achtung!!!. Somehow those folk are getting them from England and selling them for $29.95 USD - £19.50 GBP. “Till someone provides me with evidence to the contrary I'm calling that a rat.
Saying Loink is selling a fake is ridiculous. I bought one from them. Maybe the photo is old or they have old stock at a lower price.
It is not ridiculous to be cautious. You may be correct in that they may be very old stock. They may also be seconds that have been refurbished. They may be impostors. I don't know. What I do know is that there are numerous fake ones in existence. I do know that I have had them with military date stamps on dating back to 1982. I do know the one in that pic looks like someone has been at it with a grinder already. I do know that every NIB #2 I've seen ships with an edge that looks like this -




There could well be some innocent explanation. But that, combined with the remarkably low price, gives me sufficient cause to reject it. If he wants to take a punt good luck to him. I'm telling him I wouldn't without a good explanation that accounts for these apparent discrepancies.
Yeah, the grind in the photo looks wonky. I don't recall mine looking like that. As for the price being low - it's not widely distributed to the U.S. so it seems more likely to me that those selling it for a higher price are gouging.
With the quality of Condors stuff they are putting out I dont understand why anyone would choose anything else. By FAR the best edge Ive ever seen on a machete (besides the BRKT modified Ontarios)... I have a Golok from them, and 2 El Salvidors. An 18in Stainless, and a 14in Carbon. You could have all 3 in your budget.

The Golok is a masterpiece. Tapered thickness, well done edge, and the handle locks it in to your hand. Everyone needs one. The handle was a little rough from the factory on mine, but a few minutes with sandpaper and a couple coats of linseed oil, and it is perfection.

The 14in is a hefty girl. It chops just as well as the Golok and is rock solid. Nice belly on it, with outstanding ballance. For me(hardwood forests), its everthing I need in a large blade. Its my favorite.

The 18in is thinner, more flexable, so it handles more like a "machete"....It fills a spot in my collection nicely.

Id like to try out one of ESEEs modified Imacasas, and Junglas, and probably will order one eventually, but I cant comment till I get one in hand.

Go Condor John, and you will be getting a tool that feels like it cost 3x what you paid. The only
problem I have with Condor is which one to buy next...

BTW, if you get a Golok and need pants for it, Forum member Wildmahn makes great leather on the cheap. Any 14in Bolo chete sheath has fit my Golok nicely. Codors leather is nice too, but Wildmahns is better.
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So, you have worked with a Kukri and didnt like it? Well, I have the Condor, the Ontario (which I believe you have too) , the 12-18" Trams, the Cold steels, the HI some nice bowie's.
I have to say, as far as performance, the Condor Golok is much better than a stock machete..(I dont know if it will break someday, it hasnt yet)
I do love my Kukris though. Chopping power of a hatchet with draw knife abilities.
I also really like my GB Wildlife hatchet, for anything...great tool.
I received my Martindale #2 Golok about a week ago from The Machete Specialists. It came with a very dull edge but that isn't an issue for me if it's a quality blade at a good deal as I just sharpen my blades up anyway. At first I was going to use my Apex Edge Pro on it but then I decided to use a sharpie and the mil file that came with it (the one that fits in the sheath). I just popped on a good action flick and got to work. In no time at all it was shaving sharp. IMHO it is a great blade. Very compact to boot. The only thing I am not satisfied with is the sheath but that is remedied easily enough.

The Condor Bolo w/ 15" blade is also a beast. Lots of power in a compact package. And the stock leather sheath isn't bad at all.