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September 2015
Dan Martinez  

Three fixed blade knives from Morokniv of Sweden: In the center is a basic Mora Companion.

The orange one and the one on the pack are Swedish FireKnives made by Mora for Light My Fire

From the Morakniv website:

Mora of Sweden was formed in 2005 through the merger of Frosts Knivfabrik and KJ Eriksson. The name reflects the important link between our products, the town of Mora and its Swedish origin. A Mora knife is always a knife from Mora of Sweden. The company is still family-owned and develops and manufactures knives which are delivered to all parts of the world.

If you are not familiar with Mora knives, they produce a line of very high quality, fixed blade knives at incredibly affordable prices. In basic shape and format, they mirror the classic Scandinavian working knife designs such as the Finnish Puukko. But Moras are made on modern high speed production machinery. Instead of birch burl handles and leather sheaths as you would find on a classic Scandinavian knife, Moras are made with injection-molded plastic handles and sheaths. The plastic handles are further overmolded with rubber for better grip.

I purchased my first Mora about a year ago, a basic Mora Companion in military green with a carbon steel blade. Moras are available with either carbon steel or stainless steel blades. Moras come to you with a nice sharp edge, and the sharp edge is easy to maintain. The cost was under $15, delivered.

They are excellent knives for the outdoorsman. In appearance they have an understated elegance – they’re not Rambo knives. Their molded construction allows them to shrug off the elements.

I had my Companion with me when I had to quarter my elk last year. Up to that time I had always used a folder to process my game. Folders have lots of nooks and crannies that need to be scrubbed out when the job is done. This time I pulled out the Mora and was thoroughly impressed with how easy it made the job of taking apart a big elk which was laying on the ground.

A Mora’s plastic sheath clips perfectly to MOLLE webbing on a pack. The top of the sheath has an open-bottom belt loop with a hook in the inside bottom. I clip the belt loop over one MOLLE loop on top, then tuck the bottom of the sheath into a lower MOLLE loop. This is my usual preferred way to carry the knife in the woods.

Sparking up a fire with a Swedish FireKnife

Another Swedish company named Light My Fire collaborated with Mora to create the Swedish FireKnife. The FireKnife incorporates a small ferrocerium fire striker into the butt end of the knife. A little twist of the butt releases the fire steel. The back edge of the FireKnife blade is specially ground to give a sharp 90° angle for striking the fire rod. The best way to throw sparks is to hold the knife stationary over your tinder, then pull the striker back to scrape off the iron-magnesium-cerium alloy. The sparks are supposed to be at a temperature of 5400° F.

The FireKnives are available in a number of colors. I have an orange & grey one and a black & grey one. It was easier to get two to outfit two different packs. The orange sheath was too obnoxiously ORANGE, so I wrapped it with camo duct tape. Generally I like orange knives because camo ones are too easy to lose when you lay them down on the ground, but I have my limits!

Moras are well respected in the bushcraft community, but they are seen as limited. First, they have relatively thin blades of between 2 to 3.2mm, depending on the model. Second, they are not full tang. Bushcrafters use their knives for splitting wood using a technique called batoning.

To baton wood, you place the knife on the end grain of a branch and hit the back of the knife with another stout branch. Once the knife is embedded in the wood, you continue driving the blade through the wood by smacking the point of the blade that sticks out. While a Mora can handle this for small branches, that’s not really what it was meant to do.

For most other camp and outdoor needs such as game processing, cleaning fish, cutting cordage, and food preparation, the Mora is plenty of knife. The FireKnife will even get your campfire started.

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