Mora Knives – My Bushcraft Knives of Choice
A high quality knife is an essential item to have when you are traveling the backcountry. If you were to poll a group of outdoor minded individual’s asking them what the most important piece of equipment that they have on a trip, I am certain that a quality knife would be near the top of the list. Many companies and manufactures have clued into this and there are literally hundreds of knife options available to consumers (a quick search of the Mountain Equipment Co-op website using the word ‘knife’ yielded over 300 results). With dozens of different styles of knives and hundreds of different brands on the market, finding the knife that is right for you can be overwhelming. I will save that can of worms for another article but right now I want to talk about one of my favourite knife company on the market; Mora Knives (sometimes referred to as Mora of Sweden or Morakniv).
I was introduced to Mora Knives a few years back. While on a trip in Algonquin Park, Mark Highfield was showing me the knife that he had just purchased from MEC. He made this purchase based on the recommendation of one of their sales associates. I believe his sales pitch was something along the lines of “it’s the only knife I carry”. I guess this associated looked trustworthy enough and Mark took his recommendation.
Mark’s knife was impressive on that first Algonquin trip. It performed well and stood up to the rugged tasks that we put it through. What really impressed me about the Mora Knife was the price point. When Mark told me that he paid less than $20.00, I was intrigued.
Over the past few years, Mark has continued to use his Mora Knife. It has some miles on it and it shows it’s age, but it still perform well when we need it to and I suspect that it still has a lot of life left in it.
Mora Knives are made exclusively in Mora, Sweden. While the company name today is Morakniv, it has had many different names throughout it’s long history. The company traces it’s roots back to 1891 when Frost-Erik Ersson opened a factory that manufactured a variety of items, including tools and knives. The tool and knife portion of the factory was named Frosts Knivfabrik.
In 1912, separate manufacturers Krång-Johan Eriksson and Lok-Anders Mattsson opened their own knife factory aptly named Eriksson & Mattssons Knivfabrik.
These two companies were competitors for years. As new materials became available and technologies advances, both companies grew and improved their products. In 2005 Frosts Knivfabrik was acquired by KJ Eriksson AB (formerly Eriksson & Mattssons Knivfabrik) and the company was renamed Mora of Sweden. Today the company is referred to as Morakniv.
Don’t worry about all the minute company and business details. Focus on the fact that between these two companies there is nearly 230 years of knife making experience.
With all of different brands on the market what makes a Mora Knife a trustworthy purchase in my mind? Why have I become so loyal to this brand of knives over the last couple of years? I can sum that up in 3 words; Quality, Style, Price.
Quality: A knife is a tool and when I take it into the backcountry I need to know that it will perform. Just as I would expect (and need) my water filter to work when I am camping, I need to rely on my knife. Mora Knives recognizes this and they put every care into the production of their knives. High quality materials coupled with careful manufacturing yields a quality product trusted by many outdoor enthusiasts. With proper use and regular care, Mora Knives will last a long time.
Style: As we have discussed there are many different styles of knives on the market. This variety can make choosing a knife a challenge. I have owned and used many different styles of knives, but my favourite is the Mora Companion HD (http://www.moraofsweden.se/adventure/companion-heavy-duty-mg). This knife’s simple design proves effective for many bushcraft tasks. With a 27 degree angle it holds an edge and it’s heavy duty enough for more aggressive bushcraft tasks like batoning. The rubber handle is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort. With a blade length of 104mm, total length of 224mm and a weight of 135g, it is small enough and light enough that it can be carried without much thought.
Price: The thought of spending $100 plus on a knife scares me. What if I don’t like it or it doesn’t meet my needs? What if it breaks? I am afraid to use expensive knives in the field because I don’t want to ruin them. The very modest price point on most Mora Knives is very appealing to me. For less than $25.00 you can purchase a quality bushcraft knife and with such a small investment you can use it guilt free. If you do run into the rare situation when you ruin the knife, you can easily invest in another knife at the fraction of the cost of more expensive brands.
A good quality knife is an essential tool for any backcountry experience. A knife that can offer the quality that you are looking for in a lightweight, compact option makes it even more appealing for backcountry use. If you can find these features at a reasonably low price you have it made. Mora has managed to nail all 3 of these categories and as a result I am happy to say that I have finally found my bushcraft knives of choice.
This is an unsolicited article by Quick Escapes. Morakniv has not been involved with this in any way. All Mora Knives that we use have been bought and paid for by members of the Quick Escapes Team.