I recently wrote an article about the Mora Robust and Companion Heavy Duty (click here to read), two knives that I see as some of the best values in the extensive Mora line and some of the best values on the knife market, period. I tout these two knives as a great option for those who have been hesitant to try Mora knives due to preconceived notions about the lightweight, inexpensive knives being fragile.
I received two emails after the article went live. One was from a long time reader who bought a Robust on my recommendation. The second email was less than approving. To put it nicely, reader Allen K. expressed his concern that I was going to “get someone killed” by recommending Moras and accused me of being “cheap”. He was genuinely upset.
My initial reaction was to treat this like any other of the weird emails or comments that come along with being on the internet. As I thought more about it, it seemed like a great opportunity to articulate some thoughts that I have had for a long time – thoughts about why even with all the expensive knives I own, even knives of my own design, you will probably find a Mora in my pack.
Weight – This is pretty straight forward. I am not talking about some kind of subjective balance or feel. I am talking about the measurable weight of the knife. A Mora Robust weighs 5.07 ounces and it is one of the heavier Moras thanks to it’s thicker blade stock. That is a full 2-3 ounces lighter (and in some cases a lot more) than a typical full tang knife of similar size. I am interested in saving weight for anything that have to carry on my back or belt. If you are worried about breaking one, you could carry two Moras and still weigh yourself down less than some full tang knives.
Function – I need to do two things with a knife in the outdoors – cut random things and process wood for fires. I can do both with a Mora and do them well. The Scandi grind used on Mora knives is well known for how it cuts wood. They are thin enough to cut well and they work really well for their intended purpose. In fact, they outperform many popular knives on the market in this regard. Many makers seem to have lost sight of the fact that knives should cut. Morakniv hasn’t.
Ergonomics – Mora Knives typically have excellent ergonomics. The handles tend to be comfortable and hand filling. They offer positive grip that works well with wet or gloved hands. Moras also typically have unobtrusive guards and they tend to bring the cutting edge all the way to the handle which increases leverage and efficiency (and thus safety) in power cuts. These are knives designed by people who use knives.
Quality – These are actually well made knives. They typically come with a good edge that can be easily refined further by the end user. Morakniv uses 12C27 hardened to HRC 56-58 or UHB-20C hardened to HRC 58-60 (basically 1095 carbon steel) and that is just in the lower end knives. These are high quality steels taken to hardness levels that provides very good performance.
Basically, you choose a Mora for ALL THE SAME REASONS YOU WOULD CHOOSE ANY ANOTHER KNIFE! Moras tend to be good quality, high performing knives, that also happen to be extremely inexpensive.
I understand that there is something of a mental hurdle here that takes a little bit of effort to get over. We live in a world where good things are rarely cheap. We also have a lot of romantic ideas about survival with a knife or how we think we will use a knife in the outdoors.
Mora knives are usually more than enough knife for me
I have a lot of knives, some of them quite fancy and expensive, but I wear a Mora when I hit the woods because it is the best knife I own. I recently considered having a custom knife made and laughed at myself when the dream knife I sketched out looked just like the Mora I paid $11.00 for years ago. Love the site by the way.
I am right there with you Daniel.