Pros: Handle Material, Weight, None
Cons: Blade Material, Sheath/Scabbard, Overall Quality, Blade Sharpness
This review is for the Condor Terrasaur.Sheath: A work in progress. The knife sits too deep in the sheath to make the thumb ramp usable, awkward to draw the knife one handed. The knife is supposed to be secured by two little nubs inside the sheath which fit into the dimples in the middle of the knife handle. Initially they apparently got complaints that the nubs stuck out too much, retention was a little too good, sheath didn't want to let go of the knife and people were taking nail files to the nubs, carefully taking them down a fuzz. The copy i received, the nubs barely engage the handle, retention is not so hot. i gather that the sheath is intended to be a plastic mimic of the traditional Scandinavian designs where the knife sits deep in a leather sheath but the traditional design gives a much better form fit to the knife than we have here. The Condor sheath does appear to be a ripoff of Mora style sheaths, with the deep set and detachable ring holding the belt loop (makes sheath reversible).But the sheath is something to put the knife in; take the ring with the belt loop off, put the knife in the sheath, toss it in the tool box.Sheath - 1*Terrasaur: It has often been compared to the Mora Garberg. Decidedly not a Garberg clone or copy. Personally, i like the design of the Terrasaur better than the Garberg and the advertised weight is about 3 oz. less than the Garberg, which appeals to me. Really don't want to be carrying around a ton of equipment. Ergonomics, in my opinion, are very decent and the knife is large enough to get some work done while not being overly large. It's easy to do some detailed work with the tip, not too far from the handle to make that awkward. Terrasaur is slightly handle heavy but feels nimble and has a bit of heft to it without being anywhere near 'suspenders mandatory' territory. Joe Flowers would seem to know what he's doing with knife designs. The design itself i'd give 5*.There's been a bunch of highly favorable reviews of this knife but there seems to be a fly in the ointment i've not heard anyone else talk about - the steel. Condor *says* '1095'. i've got other blades in 1095. They are among the sharpest knives i've owned and will take an extremely fine edge. Not so with the Terrasaur. At least not with my copy of it. i've gotten pretty good at putting fine edges on blades, blades in 440c, 420hc, 1095, PGK, D2, Aus8, a host of mystery steels. They all have shaving sharp edges except for one i use just for cutting weeds and even that one's pretty darned sharp. The Terrasaur is defeating me. Not that the steel is so hard; using diamond bench stones here. Distinct impression the steel is very soft. Initially, i'd put a secondary micro-bevel on it. Couldn't get it very sharp. To be fair, went out and bought a new carborundum stone, nice and flat, reground the full scandi, got that nice and flat and took it to the fine side of the stone. That alone should result in a pretty wicked edge, especially with the angle of the scandi grind. But then took it out to 1200 mesh diamond, a bench stone that is enough to put a hair-whittling edge on a D2 blade. The Terrasaur has what i'd consider a minimal utility edge now, which might suffice for some. But it's not 'hair shaving'.At one point i accidentally dropped the knife, tip down, from a height of about 1.5 ft. It didn't break, didn't bend. It did mushroom. Can't say i've ever seen that in a knife before. Also have the impression that, if hardened, it may have been differentially hardened. Lengthwise. The half toward the tip is even less willing to take a fine edge than that toward the handle. At this point i'm wondering if this is even 1095; it certainly does not behave like any 1095 i've seen and 1095 has such a reputation for being able to take a really fine edge with relative ease. The only notes i've been able to find on 'Rockwell' said, "50 - 55". That's a bit low for 1095 and also quite a spread. Those notes have since been deleted. Impression the Rockwell on this might be closer to 48, if that. Fine for machetes maybe but not too good for a knife. That's if it has even been hardened and not just left in an annealed state.i've written to Condor about my observations and concerns but haven't heard back yet.i'd be very interested in hearing from anyone who has actually been able to get their copy shaving sharp, how they accomplished than and how well it holds that edge; maybe mine is just a lemon.Knife (with the steel as is) 1*If they just fixed the steel, this would be 6* on a 5 point scale in my book.Mods:1st thing i did, put a piece of street bike inner tube over the handle (tip- get it wet with alcohol first, will go on easier, but u may still get blisters on thumb). *Lots* better grip on the handle; the stuff's downright sticky if you get it wet. Slight cushioning.This made for a nice friction fit with the sheath and the knife rode higher in the sheath, the thumb ramp was actually useful, but didn't want to cut what then was an extra 2" off the end of the sheath. So...2nd thing i did was to make an improvised sheath, based on instructions from a WWII Army handbook, very simply out of corrugated cardboard covered inside and out with tape. Works surprisingly well. Minimalist, light weight.The paracord both holds the belt loop to the sheath and can be used to adjust the retention on the knife. Nope, it aint gonna fall out. Gets ratty looking, easy enough to make a new one. Quiet, no click-clack scritch-scratch like you get from plastic or Kydex. Much more compact than most of the nylon sheaths out there these days.Summary: Personally i really love the design of the Terrasaur and had high hopes for this knife based on all the glowing reviews and have put a bit of effort into trying to get this to work for me. But, for me, #1 requirement in a knife is that it cuts, cuts well and will continue to do so for a while. Terrasaur doesn't meet my standards in that department and that's something i can't fix about the knife. My intended use was general utility and a bit of desert bushcraft for which a knife doesn't really have to be all that tough but does need to be sharp. Better options in this price range for knives that would actually cut well might be the Mora Bushcraft in their carbon steel, Cold Steel Kobun in Aus8 (never thought i'd see me recommending...) or even MTech model MT-20-70C (440c). Terrasaur is a decent beater utility knife as is, but those can also be found in gas station knives in the $12-$20 price range that might also have better fit and finish, take a better edge and come with a decent sheath to boot.Joe Flowers is a pretty good designer, seems to know what he's doing, but maybe needs to be careful who he partners up with, might catch something he doesn't want and final outcome might not be what had been hoped for.Well, if you're maybe opening bags of concrete, scraping up dried paint drips, need something to dig weeds in the garden, stuff like that, and you like this knife or maybe just have a soft spot in your heart for mongrel puppy dogs, maybe this is just fine for you. Don't let me keep you from your happiness, these are just my views here. :-)Knife Center - outstanding service, as usual, even in times of plague. 5* Thanks guys and gals.