Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mora Knife - First Impressions

I've heard so many good things about the Mora S1 Classic that when I saw the price, I just had to try one out. I'll be doing some testing with it and making some modifications but for now, here are my initial impressions. I bought it at SwedishKnives.com for $13.50 (not $12 like I said in the video).



Do any of you have experience with Mora knives? Which model and what do you think of it?
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39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jason. For a patina try gun blue. Clean the blade of oils, apply the paste and you will get shotgun finish. I tried this on an old fixed blade and hatchet that were oxidized

Jason Klass said...

Does it work better than using something natural? Can you control how dark it gets or is it pretty much one shade?

Chris said...

Jason, I'm not sure how much you are going to like the S1 Classic. You mentioned a lot of the reasons that the majority of the bushcrafters I know and teach with tend to stay away from them, such as slipping, handle wear, etc. There are 2 Moras that I use and recommend almost exclusively, the
KJ Eriksson Mora 510 Carbon ($10) and the Mora 2000 Stainless ($30). Many folks also go to the Mora 840 Clipper ($10).

With your S1 I would recommend either putting a wrap, like handlebar wrap, around the grip or painting it with spray-on truck bed liner from the auto parts store.

As soon as my new video camera equipment arrives I am planning a blog video series on tuning a Mora 510 for use that may interest you since the S1 and 510 have the same blade. It will include how to shape, file, sharpen and maintain it; along with making a simple leather neck/belt sheath for it.

Moski said...

Funny, that the Mora knifes are getting popular over there now.

Here in Sweden they have been around since the dawn of time.

The Mora is probably the first knife you own over here.

My 5 yr old son got one :)

I am a craftsman, i trash about 2-3 knifes a month,
but then it is used as a sort of multi tool over here.

From opening doors that haven't got handles yet, banging through studs,
screwdriver, open paint tins and so on.
When modern tools fail, you reach for your mora.

All craftsmen in Sweden is always carrying at least one all the time.

The least thing you do with it actually, is to cut with it.
Mine usually looks more like a saw.

That means the that the edge is chipped and really dull.

When it´s time to switch to a new one, you usually cut yourself.
Since you are not used to have a sharp one :)

I have not had the red wood handle one for years.
You are right, now and then you slip on that handle and cut yourself, i have done it more times then i want to remember.

I guess that design is over 100 years old.

That is a piece of Swedish culture you got there :)

Moski

patentist said...

I have the same model of Mora knife, and I love it. It does tend to rust easily, but that makes me sharpen it more regularly. Its a very practical and sturdy knife. I wrote a blog post on the knife on my blog.

Bob Shaver
www.backpackingtechnology.com

motoroz said...

Thanks for the review and link. I really liked your explanation of the different grinds.

Izzy G. said...

I have the Classic 1, too. I usually keep it on a paracord lanyard around my neck for bushcrafting. That's what the Moras seem to be most respected with. People who practice bushcraft. The great thing about the Moras are that they're just a basic knife with a solid handle. No bells. No whistles. Just a good knife of a very basic design.

severenz said...

I've been carrying a green plastic-handled Mora knife for four years. I prefer to have a fixed blade on my belt mainly for quicker access in the event of self defense (cougar, bear, ex-girlfriend, etc).

I did a lot of research and was frustrated for quite some time due to the weights of most fixed blades. Also, most "lightweight" fixed blades have an extremely heavy sheath which breaks the deal for me.

My Frost Mora SWAK is: 2.93 oz and the molded plastic sheath is .56 for a total of 3.49 oz. I also carry a Swiss Army Classic around my neck on my survival lanyard.

The knife is EXTREMELY sharp and the blade has held up well. I also like the idea that if I needed to cut through some branches with it using a thick stick as a hammer (emergency shelter e.g.), that I'd be okay.

This Mora replaced my Gerber Gator & sheath which came in at 4 oz + 2.32 oz = 6.32 oz. I shaved almost 3 oz off and still have a quality fixed blade.

I suppose the best thing about this knife is that if you lost it, the sentimental value would hurt more than the financial loss.

I thought about grabbing a few more of these for the garage and camping.

Anonymous said...

When I have used it, usually took multiple applications. Has that shotgun blue-black mat finish

Marty said...

Jason
I have used Frost Mora knives for years.... I use the plastic handle type... They are called Outdoor, Military, Fishing, and Clipper... It is the only fixed blade knife I use... I have Stainless Steel and Carbon, preferring the carbon... Model #'s 740 & 760. I can put a blade on it in minutes, which is rare because they hold a blade for a long time... I use a diamond sharpener. The sheathes aren't that great but I have them zip tied to my backpacks and Camel Packs... Some of them do come with leather... Me personally I wouldn't use the wood handle ones, because the plastic ones have a stop on them... I like the bright colors to make it easy to find in the snow or rocks especially when cleaning fish.
I first read about them in Sports Afield Magazine about 20 years ago, and the only place I could get them was from commercial fishing supply houses... If you notice shows like "Deadliest Catch", it is the only knife the fisherman use (the reason for the type of sheath, it is meant to go on the rain gear suspenders snd belt).... Give the plastic handle ones a try and I think you will like them much better.... I also have hammered them into trees and stood on them, with out breaking them... I'm 210.
As for looks? This is a knife that is meant to be used and abused... As you said, they are cheap, and if you happen to loose one.... well you aren't out much cash...
I also carry a Case pocket knife...

Jason Klass said...

Chris,
Thanks for the heads up. It will be fun to find out if I like it or not. BTW, looking forward to your videos!

Jason Klass said...

Moski,
Thanks for all of that interesting information. I have to admit, I chose the more traditional wooden handle because it had a charm to it. I love things that work well and have history behind them.

Jason Klass said...

Marty,
I'm glad you confirmed the legend about being able to stand on the blade for us. That saves me from trying it myself and cutting off my leg!

Marty said...

only a flesh wound..... I'll try anything once....

Jason Klass said...

"You chopped your leg off!"

"No I didn't"

"Yes you did!"

"It's only a flesh wound"

"It's laying on the ground, right next to your Mora!"

"No it isn't. Let's give it another go."

Marty said...

lol
What a great film!

HikerGeek said...

Jason, I'm a big fan of the KJ Eriksson Mora Carbon Knife #711. It has (IMHO) a much better handle than the S1 but essentially the same carbon blade. It doesn't have a full tang which upsets the purists, but to be honest I've been overly tough on this little knife and it stood up to everything! For a $10 knife that's unbeatable. Apologies for the shameless self promotion, but I wrote a comparison of the Mora 711 against the Fallkniven F1 and SOG Seal Pup. Fixed Blade Knife Comparison

Some old guy said...

A Mora's not a bad knife, but I just can't work the love up for 'em that the Bushcrafters (with capital B) do. There's not much tang inside that handle, for one thing, and I've heard more than one person say their Mora came apart when batoning. Maybe it's just old age, but I prefer something made by craftsmen like this guy these days. Yes, I do own and have carried a Mora, and if you like 'em please don't let me and my feeble little opinions rain on your parade.

Carl Lenocker said...

I don't know if I'm that impressed. I think that more times than not, an ultralight backpacker is going to need a multi-tool in the bush, rather than a fixed blade knife. I've never found anything better than the Leatherman Skeletool so far for lightweight durability with one of the sharpest blades I've ever had on a knife!

Anonymous said...

Love my green mora, inexpensive and very, very sharp. I keep a thin coat of Vaseline on it to prevent rust. They are cheap enough to buy several for spares, or just to have different colors. I seldom carry mine hiking, just carry when in bad neighborhoods in a concealed sheath.

Joe D. said...

Swedes know their steel, period.
Most people are put off by the fact that it can get rusted, true, it's high carbon steel, much easier to sharpen in the bush.
Most knives these days compete on Rockwell Hardness scales. These knives look great, but are too hard to sharpen in the field and come with a hefty price tag.
I too own a few Frosts Moras, you can't beat the price, I've had mine for over 12 years, and is still as good as ever.
There used to be a guy on Youtube who did these outrageous tests(standing on,bend tests,break tests) on knives and he found the Frosts Mora an outstanding knife and couldn't believe that they were that cheap, beating out much more expensive ones.

Jason Klass said...

Joe,
Do you happen to have any links of that guy's videos?

Anonymous said...

The Mora knives rock! Why pay more for less? I do like the plastic handles more than the wooden ones. I carry my Mora 711 as a neck knife. It's as sharp as a razor, and I have come to really like the plastic sheath. Over the years, I have spent a lot of money on knives. But the Mora 711 is now my favorite sheath knife. Incidentally, I have taped some dental floss and a sewing needle onto its sheath for repairing my gear in the field. In sum, you can't go wrong with a Mora knife!

Tony said...

Mora knives are great knives, at a great cost. There seems to be some confusion about steels used. The S-1 does NOT have the same blade construction as the #1, or some of the other models listed. The 'S' series have a laminated carbon blade, much sharper & tougher than the standard Mora carbon blade. The center core is heat treated to a Rockwell hardness of 61-62, while the outer layer is softer to prevent the blade from being brittle. Along with the S-2, I own the #780 triflex Craftsman. This model is highly recommended; it has a differentially heat treated carbon steel blade so that the edge is hard and the spine softer. Like the laminated blades, this creates a hard sharp edge, yet keeps the blade tough and less likely to break than a standard carbon blade. You can actually see the harder steel sandwiched between softer steel when looking at the spine. Get this model while you can, as it has been discontinued in North America and will be increasingly harder to find.

Tony said...

Mora knives are great knives, at a great cost. There seems to be some confusion about steels used. The S-1 does NOT have the same blade construction as the #1, or some of the other models listed. The 'S' series have a laminated carbon blade, much sharper & tougher than the standard Mora carbon blade. The center core is heat treated to a Rockwell hardness of 61-62, while the outer layer is softer to prevent the blade from being brittle. Along with the S-2, I own the #780 triflex Craftsman. This model is highly recommended; it has a differentially heat treated carbon steel blade so that the edge is hard and the spine softer. Like the laminated blades, this creates a hard sharp edge, yet keeps the blade tough and less likely to break than a standard carbon blade. You can actually see the harder steel sandwiched between softer steel when looking at the spine. Get this model while you can, as it has been discontinued in North America and will be increasingly harder to find.

Tony said...

Mora knives are great knives, at a great cost. There seems to be some confusion about steels used. The S-1 does NOT have the same blade construction as the #1, or some of the other models listed. The 'S' series have a laminated carbon blade, much sharper & tougher than the standard Mora carbon blade. The center core is heat treated to a Rockwell hardness of 61-62, while the outer layer is softer to prevent the blade from being brittle. Along with the S-2, I own the #780 triflex Craftsman. This model is highly recommended; it has a differentially heat treated carbon steel blade so that the edge is hard and the spine softer. Like the laminated blades, this creates a hard sharp edge, yet keeps the blade tough and less likely to break than a standard carbon blade. You can actually see the harder steel sandwiched between softer steel when looking at the spine. Get this model while you can, as it has been discontinued in North America and will be increasingly harder to find.

Anonymous said...

Jason,

Sportsman's Guide carries the Swedish Military version of the Mora. I like the fact that the military version has a bit more of a finger guard than the traditional Mora. And at $25 for a pair of them, I can afford to put one in the vehicle and keep one with my pack.

Bob sneuri said...

Jason, I personally like the Swedish Military Mora. The rubber handle is less slippery when wet than the traditional Birch handle and it also has a finger guard molded into it. Sportsman's Guide offers them individually or you can get a 2 pack for $25.

Simon in NY said...

I own a 740MG, a 780 (Triflex), a 911, a 640, a 760, and a wood-handled SL-134 (short-bladed classic). I use the 740MG a lot with wood, and what they say about keeping an edge is true. Most stainless edges would have dulled several times by now. My cousin, who is into laminated Japanese steel, came over and showed me how to use his Japanese waterstones on my crummy kitchen knives, and he was impressed with the Swedish steel too; the stones could have made the 740 shinier, but hardly sharper. The 911 (similar to 711 mentioned above, just a bit smaller) feels best in the hand due to the rubber cushion over the handle, and it also has the thickest blade, though the blade is less wide and has less of a drop than 740 & 780. I haven't put my Oxpho-Blue on any of them yet, but I want to do it to the 640, which sees a lot of kitchen use and is in danger of getting rusty. Some people pack them in mustard overnight as an alternative. As for the mass-produced sheaths, I cut and modified the 740MG sheath to give it a tight, high-hip position, and now I love it; it might look flimsy but it's not. I'll send a photo of it to Jason, if any of you are interested.

Simon in NY said...

I forgot to say I have examined the various Moras I have under a magnifier and they differ considerably. The 740 and 911 have a tiny micro-bevel ground on one side at the edge, and the 640, 780 and Classic models do not; they have the straight Scandi grind described here. I have read that some people remove the micro bevel right away, others do not. But it is very small and doesn't seem to affect real-world performance. I assume it adds a bit of strength to the edge, at small cost. I am sure that one of these days I will sharpen the 740 and remove it.

Chad said...

Jason, I am very interested in this knife now. It seems like a pretty quality piece of gear for a great price. So how has it measured up for you so far? Have you done anything with the sheath or went with another one?
Whats the difference between the S 1 and the Classic # 1 or are they the same?
I have got this on my list now but was wondering what your thoughts were on it so far. And how about the other models? Would you recommend the S1 over another one?

Jason Klass said...

Hi Chad,
As far as I can tell, they are the same. It looks like the S1 was discontinued and maybe replaced by the Classic but I'm not 100% sure. The knife is great. I can't believe the quality at that price. It's the only Mora I've tried so I can't really compare it to others but I've heard good things about the Mora Clipper.

Anonymous said...

go for two knives .. i have a clioppa 840 thats the hig carbon steel one and the mora forest in stainless steell ..a bigger blade and thicker ..but i love the way a hoigh carbon keeps it edge. I use the forest mainly for cooking, gutting, skinning of small game when out shooting etc

Anonymous said...

I believe the guy Joe D was referring to was Noss4 on youtube. He also has a website at knifetests.com where he used to do destruction tests on knives and post his ratings. I don't know if he's still doing it, but his Mora tests are still on youtube.

Anonymous said...

I know that I'm about a year late on commenting, but I have to quickly put my 2 cents in about the Mora #1 because of the comments I routinely come across from many different sites. I'll make it simple: If you need a knife guard- you probably shouldn't be handling knives. Knife guards don't save fingers unless you're stabbing people. Safety and experience saves fingers. Period.

J.Richmore said...

What I like about Mora Knives are their folding knives collection wherein they are very durable. I have them gerber knives too for outdoors.

Simon Greenwhich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon Greenwhich said...

I have a collection of knives including Mora knives and Gerber knives. I love knives that are compact and handy. This is the reason why I purchased a buck knife.

Tralfaz said...

I realize that this review is 6 years old and hope that this reply will help in choosing the right piece of gear for you. Not being an ultralight type, my main knife is the Condor Bushlore. It ain't pretty in the same way that a Sherman tank ain't pretty. As a guy who likes to comply with Murphy's Laws, I place the knife under the law that two is one and one is none. After extensive searching, onlne, aside from not being full tang, I have not been able to find an unkind word about Morakniv. That is why there is a Mora Companion HD stowed away in my pack as a back up.