Like many who come here, you may have gotten the sneaking suspicion that spending a small fortune on gear is not an absolute necessity when it comes to survival preparedness. In fact, it can run counter to your efforts in many ways when you waste valuable resources. That being said, there is also something of an art to finding gear that has both the features and durability you need and doesn’t break the budget in the process.
Morakniv is a good case in point when it comes to finding good fixed blade knives at a reasonable price.
ABOUT MORAKNIV KNIVES
Morakniv (or Mora as most people know it) is a Swedish knife manufacturer that has been in business since 1891. The company’s reputation is grounded in its association with the Swedish military. Among the broader public, however, they are generally known for producing extremely sharp knives that can be had at very low prices.
Morakniv tend to make for great camp knives, skinning knives and handling other similar jobs. These are not going to replace your primary, heavy-duty bushcraft knife. As you will see, most Mora knives—particularly at the low end of the price scale—have thinner and lighter blades. They are made for more detailed and delicate knife work. Day-in and day-out beatings are not their strong suit.
Toward the mid-range of pricing, Morakniv does make some knives that are a bit more substantial and they even offer a full tang model. Still, these knives are likely not going to be your top choice if you are planning on heavy batoning and heavy chopping every single day. That is just not what Mora knives are designed for. They are designed to be inexpensive, extremely sharp, light to medium-duty knives that are durable for that level of use. In other words, Moras are not meant to double as hatchets or other blade tools, they are knives that are meant to be used as knives.
You might want to also check our best budget fixed blade knives article.
THE TOP 7 MORA KNIVES
#1 MORAKNIV COMPANION
(+) Lightweight for easy carry
(+) Very fluid when slicing and carving
(+) Razor sharp from the factory
(-) Knife tends to hang a little bit loose in the sheath
(-) Rounded spine, not as effective for ferro rod striking
The Morakniv Companion comes in a variety of models. Most notably, it is available with either a stainless steel blade, or in HC steel. There is also a Companion Heavy Duty model that is about 1/8” thicker.
The regular Companion is a roughly ¾-tang knife that weighs in at 4.2oz (118g). The overall length is just over 8.5” (219mm), with the blade being 4” (1054mm). Blade thickness is a shade under .1” (2.5mm).
This knife is lightweight and has a highly durable blade. The Scandi grind makes for easy sharpening and is one of the features that allow Mora knives to have such razor sharpness. The stainless steel version uses 12C27 steel produced by Sandvik Materials Technology, which also contributes to its ability to get scary sharp. You can learn more here about the blade materials used.
Some other features of this knife are the TPE rubber handle, which is ergonomically designed and very comfortable. The sheath is the basic, molded plastic type that Mora is known (and sometimes criticized) for. One of the main criticisms is that the knife hangs loose and potentially can fall out when going through rough terrain.
The Morakniv Companion handles jobs like slicing and feathering with extreme skill, requiring very little force on push cuts. When it comes to batoning, if you want to split wood that is about 1” in diameter, this knife will work well and can go as high as 3” in diameter.
#2 MORAKNIV BUSHCRAFT SURVIVAL
(+) Heavier, more durable than other Moras
(+) Thick handle for comfortable gripping
(+) Sheath make it a viable survival knife
(-) Not full tang for extremely rugged use
There are several models of the Bushcraft series, but we decided to review the Morakniv Bushcraft Survival because it has some features that you might find more interesting.
To kick off with the technical details, the Bushcraft Survival it has an overall length of 9.1” (232 mm). The blade is 4.3” (109 mm). One thing you’ll notice immediately is that the blade is a little thicker than your typical Mora, .125” (3.2 mm), and it is heavier overall, weighing in at 8oz (229g).
The Bushcraft Survival also features a Scandi grind along the entire length of the blade, and the blade itself is carbon steel. It is a more expensive knife compared to other Mora knives. But there are some features that might justify that added cost.
One of the best things about this knife is that there is an upgraded version of the sheath that raises the value of the overall package. The sheath is molded plastic and has a belt clip that is capable of rotating to make for more comfortable sitting while wearing it. It also comes with a built-in diamond file sharpener and a ferro rod. The sheath is lightweight, at only 3.5oz, and the upgrade can be had for a modest price.
The Morakniv Bushcraft Survival features all of the other things that people tend to like about Moras. The blade is extremely sharp and holds its edge well. It handles most cutting jobs with ease and since the Bushcraft Survival is a little more substantial, it can take more of a beating than some of your less expensive Mora knives.
Check out our recommended rescue knives article.
#3 MORAKNIV GARBERG
(+) Full tang, extremely durable
(+) Heavy and a thick blade for Mora
(+) Sharp spine sparks a ferro rod very well
(-) On the short side for a survival knife
(-) More expensive than typical Moras
The Garberg is the full tang Mora that many in the survivalist community have been calling for. It has a 14C28N stainless steel blade that is a little more corrosion resistant than Mora’s typical 12C27 stainless. This material holds an edge very well and can be kept at razor sharpness with minimal effort.
If there is one Mora that breaks the mold and can serve as the workhorse survival knife in your collection, then the Morakniv Garberg might be the one. At 9.6oz it is heavy for a Mora and like the Bushcraft Survival, the blade thickness is .125” (3.2mm). It also features a very sharp spine.
A multi-mount sheath that is MOLLE compatible comes standard, but there is also a leather sheath option. For practical purposes, however, the plastic sheath is both more functional and also less expensive.
You might find that the Garberg does feel a bit small for a survival knife. Part of this is the fact that using stainless steel necessitates a shorter blade—if it is going to be durable. If you are batoning, for example, you will find out that you are going to have to use a fairly heavy baton to make it work. For other jobs, though, the Morakniv Garberg is a very capable knife with an intuitive feel.
#4 MORAKNIV CRAFTLINE: ROBUST
(+) Handle is great for those with small hands
(+) Light to carry
(+) Thick blade for durability
(-) Conversely, the handle may be too small
(-) Thicker, not so good for carving
The Craftline features a 1095 carbon steel blade and is a knife that has a high level of versatility. At 3.6” (91mm) the blade is shorter than the Bushcraft or Garberg, although it does have the same .125” (3.2mm) width.
The Morakniv Craftline is also a lightweight, mid-tang knife, weighing in at 4.7oz (133g). This lightness helps to make it a practical knife that can be used for everyday chores, as well as out on the trail, or at the campsite. The rubberized handle features a finger guard and grips very well for precision use, although it is a little bit on the small side.
Since this knife does have a little bit of a thicker blade than most Mora knives, it is not the carving and slicing machine that some of those may be. It still handles these tasks well—just not as deftly as some of the thinner blades. So, just be aware that there is a trade-off when you go for the higher versatility and durability of the thicker blade.
Learn more about the best survival knife sharpeners by clicking here.
#5 MORAKNIV KANSBOL
(+) Excellent control and ergonomics
(+) Sharp spine for ferro rod sparking
(+) Good grip for wet weather handling
(-) Thinner blade
(-) Sharp spine not good for batoning
The Kansbol is another Mora that has design features to make it a more versatile knife. In the case of the Kansbol, it has a combination grind, with a Scandi grind coming up from the handle and then tapering into more of a flat grind. (For some basics on knife grinds and their functions, this is a good resource.)
The Morakniv Kansbol is a flexible and lightweight knife, weighing 6.25oz (177g). It is a little thinner compared to the Robust, or the other more survivalist-oriented Moras. The blade thickness is a little shy of .1 in (2.5mm), and the spine is a crisp 90°. Like most Mora knives, you will find this knife to be extremely sharp out of the factory, and it will hold its edge well. You will specifically notice that it cuts very fluidly when you use it.
Adding to this great sense of feel is the knife’s ergonomic handle. The outer portion is TPE and it also has an inner polypropylene grip, which allows the knife to handle both securely and with a really agile precision.
The blade on the Kansbol is 4.3” (109mm) and the overall length of the knife is 8.9” (226mm).
#6 THE MORAKNIV CLIPPER 840
(+) Very comfortable to work with
(+) Sheath is well-designed
(+) Agile knife for jobs requiring finesse
(-) Mid-tang, so not a workhorse
(-) Thin, should not be used for jobs such as prying
The Clipper 840 is the classic Mora in many ways. It has a 3.9” (99mm) blade with a very thin width (.07”/1.8mm). Like the Kansbol, the Clipper has the comfortable rubberized handle with a contoured diamond pattern in the middle for a secure grip. The handle also features a palm swell for ergonomic support.
The Morakniv Clipper is available in both a carbon steel version (UHB-20C, comparable to 1095), as well as a stainless model. The blade has a Scandi grind throughout. Both the carbon and stainless versions are great for general use as a camp knife, a skinning knife, and even performs capably for filleting.
The overall length of the Clipper 840 is 8.5” (216mm). It weighs 4.1oz (116g).
Again, this is not going to be a knife for your heavy-duty bushcraft jobs. It is about a mid-tang, so there could be some issues if you want to use it for heavy batoning or chopping over the long term. It does handle light batoning well, though, and splitting wood from about 1-3 inches in diameter is well within its capabilities.
The sheath is also something of an upgrade from your regular Morakniv sheath. It is a molded plastic retention sheath, rather than a friction sheath. It holds the knife securely in place, which is sometimes a complaint Mora customers have. It also features a thumb rail for easier drawing, a tension belt clip and a draining hole for wet conditions.
We recommend checking our top swiss army knives article.
#7 MORAKNIV OUTDOOR 2000
(+) Combination grind, very versatile
(+) A great knife for hunting and fishing
(+) Handles very well when cutting
(-) Rounded spine, not good for fire starting
(-) Not designed for heavy-duty
The Outdoor 2000 is the Mora designed with hunters and fishers in mind. It has a stainless steel blade to resist corrosion and a contoured rubberized grip for handling in wet conditions.
The blade on the Morakniv Outdoor is 4.3” (109mm) and features a combination grind. Like the Kansbol, the Outdoor 2000 has a Scandi grind that tapers to a flat grind toward the tip. Also, like the Kansbol, the width is .1” (2.5mm). The overall length is 8.8” (224mm). It is a lightweight knife too, weighing in at 5.2oz (142g).
You will be pleasantly surprised that a knife of this price level is such a terrific carving knife. It handles push cuts very well and moves through wood effortlessly. Even with harder materials or the “paper test” this knife’s sharpness and the ease with which it cuts are impressive.
As you use it, you will also begin to see the advantage of the tapered grind for performing more delicate work, and the smoothness of the Scandi portion for slicing. Even when it comes to jobs such as batoning, the Outdoor 2000 does well enough. But, again, this is a thin blade so there are many times when the spine will dig into your baton as much as the blade splits the kindling.
There are plenty of things to like when it comes to Morakniv. They have a wide selection of versatile knives that are capable of fitting almost every niche. Even more remarkable, these knives come in at prices that are beyond highly competitive, considering the amount of knife that you get.
Because the company has been in business for long, combined with the fact that their entire manufacturing process is still housed in one location, allows Morakniv to make very high-quality knives. If you need a something dependable but are on a budget, it really is hard to recommend anything that will top a Mora. In some cases, even if you’re not on a budget, a Mora is going to be your best bet.
With that being said, Moras are not necessarily “full service” survival knives that many in the prepping community want. They are durable, but not the extreme durability one finds in survival knives that are larger (both length and width), heavier, and use more durable grades of steel. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Mora knives don’t have a place in your survival gear. Your Mora might prove to be a superior knife in certain situations and there is no rule saying that you can’t carry two knives. That is, in fact, what preparedness is all about.
Morakniv does tend to divide up the community a little bit, there’s no doubt. Many swear by them because of their price-to-performance ratio. Others tend to go exclusively for full tang knives that they know are going to stand up to whatever they can throw at them, and take it for an extended period of time. With that in mind, we’d love to hear what you have the say on the subject. Please leave your opinions, experiences, and knowledge about Moras below and get the conversation started.
Image by Olgierd Rudak