If you could only have one kind of knife for survival, bushcraft, and general purposes, which kind would you choose? Might I suggest considering the Mora knife? We’ll take a look at the best Mora knife for 2020 here.
The Scandinavian Mora knife has been around for over a thousand years, and in that time it has been established as one of the most widely used kinds of bushcraft knives in existence. Originating in Finland, the basic knife design was carried over to Mora in Sweden, and the name has stuck ever since.
Most Mora knives are built by a Swedish manufacturer named Morakniv, which has been in continued operation since 1891. They produce a wide variety of different models across many different price ranges, including five that we will be taking a close look at today.
Best Mora Knife Reviews
- Morakniv Garberg Carbon Steel Knife – Best knife overall
- Morakniv Garberg Sandvik Stainless Steel Knife – Best knife for survival
- Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Steel Survival Knife – Best Mora knife for bushcraft
- Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Knife – Best budget Mora knife
- Morakniv Companion Knife – Best Mora knife for kitchens
What Should You Look for in the Best Mora Knife?
Basically, the Mora knife is a fixed blade knife of a relatively small and thin size, while also being built out of durable materials so it can perform well at most tasks. Mora knives are suitable for preparing food in the kitchen, cleaning game out in the woods, close-quarter self-defense, and even carving or batoning wood.
The popularity of the knife increased greatly following its use in the Swedish military, who praised the knife for being able to handle heavy duties while also being small and lightweight.
Nonetheless, not all Morakniv knives are created equally, even though they’re all made by the same company (at least the ones that we are going to take a look at today). Fortunately, I can tell you of a simple process that I used to find my personal best Mora knife and that you can easily follow as well.
Size of Your Mora Knife
Mora knives are already rather small in contrast to many other kinds of fixed blade, bushcraft knives such as the KA-BAR knife. (If you’re looking for the best bushcraft knife under $200, we’ve got you covered, read our article!)
That being said, not all Mora knives are the same size even though they tend to be on the smaller size overall. But in general, if you want to use your Mora knife for heavier duty uses such as batoning or splitting wood, you will need to go with one with a slightly longer blade length of around four inches or so.
Trust me, I originally went with a shorter Mora knife with a three inch blade and when I tried to split wood with it, well, let’s just say that it wasn’t exactly the most efficient blade for the task.
Best Knife Material
Between the two, stainless steel is the more popular option. It’s very rust resistant, but the actual durability of the blade itself is more dependent on the specific type of stainless being used and on the blade thickness (meaning a particularly thin stainless steel more than likely won’t be suitable for heavy duty purposes, but could still be good for general purpose use).
Carbon steel is definitely more vulnerable to corrosion than stainless steel is, so that’s a bummer. But on the flip side of things, carbon steel is usually more durable and though, and a Mora knife with a carbon steel blade will almost always be more suitable to performing heavy duty tasks. You’ll just have to put much greater effort into caring for the blade and wiping it down after prolonged periods of exposure to moisture and rain.
Knife Grip Design
Finally, the grip design of your Mora knife matters as well, because if you don’t like how your knife feels in your hand you’re simply not going to carry it or use it. You need a grip that’s comfortable and provides plenty of friction in your hand for slippery conditions.
Failing to do so means that rain or sweat can cause your knife to slip from between your fingers and potentially cause a significant injury. Even a small cut in a survival situation can result in dangerous infections to set in (not to mention that it’s painful).
Best Mora Knives for Survival, Bushcraft & Budget
Any Mora knife you get will need to have the above three qualities at the bare minimum, and you’ll be glad to hear that each of the five we are going to cover has an excellent reputation for quality. Choosing between them really comes down to either price or being picky in regards to the various features.
Best Mora Knife Overall
This is a full tang carbon steel knife that is designed to handle the most heavy duty of tasks. The blade is razor sharp and very durable, and also coated for corrosion resistance.
Another cool fact about this knife is not the knife itself but rather the sheath, which is MOLLE compatible. This means that if you have anything with MOLLE webbing, such as a pack, the sheath will attach to it.
If you have a survival backpack with MOLLE webbing, for instance, you can easily attach the sheath to the outside of the pack without having to place it inside the bag, giving you much easier access.
That being said, the sheath itself is admittedly not the best, since it’s outsourced from another company. The fact that it has MOLLE webbing is certainly cool, but the build quality leaves a bit to be desired. It’s serviceable but you may want to consider getting a higher quality aftermarket sheath at some point.
The total blade length of the Morakniv Garberg Carbon Steel Knife is 4.3 inches, with an overall length of 9 inches when you include the handle. The blade has Morakniv’s special Scandi-grind, which means that it is designed to be super easy to keep sharp.
Overall, the Morakniv Garberg is an excellent quality Morakniv knife, designed to provide you with years of reliable service, although you will also pay a high price to get it.
- Designed for heavy duty tasks
- Sheath has MOLLE webbing
- Blade is sharp and easy to keep sharp
- Blade is coated for corrosion resistance
- Full tang
- Very expensive for a Morakniv knife
- Sheath build quality is not the highest
Best Mora Knife For Survival
Another high quality bushcraft knife from Morakniv, available for a bit less than the Garberg Carbon Steel knife is the Garberg Sandvik Stainless Steel Knife. This blade specifically utilizes 14C28N stainless steel that is razor sharp and very tough. Being stainless, it is also incredibly corrosion resistant.
This knife is available with two separate sheaths, including a leather sheath that is more traditional, or a MOLLE sheath that is similar to the sheath that ships with the carbon steel version of this knife. As with the carbon steel version as well, the MOLLE version of the sheath does leave a little bit to be desired in terms of build quality.
The total blade length is 4.3 inches, with an overall length of 9 inches, and yes, the the blade is a full tang for superior durability.
One note about this knife is that the grip is not the best. It’s not uncomfortable but it also doesn’t provide as good of a grip as it should, so in particularly slippery conditions it’s possible to run into some issues. It just doesn’t offer the same kind of grippy texture that other knives from Morakniv do.
But all in all, the Garberg Sandvik Stainless Steel Knife from Morakniv is an excellent choice if you are looking for a full tang, stainless Mora blade that can stand up to heavier duty tasks.
- Full tang
- Very durable and corrosion resistant
- Easy to sharpen
- Build quality of MOLLE sheath is not the best
- Grip does not have the best traction
Best Mora Knife For Bushcraft
The Morakniv Bushcraft Carbon Steel Survival Knife is a fixed blade knife built out of carbon with an anti-rust and corrosion black finish. The total length of this knife just over nine inches, with a blade length of 4.3 inches.
The sheath of this knife comes equipped with a diamond sharpener and a fire starter, which essentially gives you a mini survival kit all in one package to ensure you can keep the blade sharp and get a fire going wherever and whenever you needed.
The fire starter is rated for seven thousand strikes and to produce sparks measuring three thousand degrees Fahrenheit; that’s also not to mention that the fire starter is fully waterproof.
This knife also comes equipped with a high friction rubberized grip to offer you excellent traction even in slippery conditions.
The biggest downside to the Bushcraft Survival Knife is that it ships from the Morakniv factory rather dull and will likely be in need of sharpening when it arrives to your house. This shouldn’t be that big of a deal, since the Scandi grind will make it easy to sharpen with the diamond sharpener it ships with, but it’s still something to take into consideration.
- Ships with a knife sharpener and waterproof fire starter
- Black anti-corrosion finish
- High friction rubber grip
- Scandi grind makes the blade easy to sharpen
- Ships from the factory dull and in need of sharpening
Best Mora Knife For Those on a Budget
If you are looking for a cheaper Mora knife that can handle heavier duty tasks, then the Companion Heavy Duty Knife will be a good option. With a blade length of just over 4 inches and an overall length of just under nine, this knife comes equipped with a sharp blade and a high friction rubberized grip.
The blade is built out of stainless steel, so it is rust resistant. It ships from the factory very sharp, so you won’t need to sharpen it right away. The compact and lightweight size means that this knife can fit nicely into most daypacks without issue.
This is a budget knife, so you shouldn’t expect it to be a high-end model that will last you for a lifetime. The plastic sheath it ships with is serviceable, but is also rather cheaply made. The blade itself will work for most tasks in the woods or at home, although over time you may begin to notice it chipping down.
- Cost efficient
- Good for heavy duty use
- High friction rubberized grip
- Rust resistant stainless steel material
- Plastic sheath is cheaply made
- Budget model, so may not last long over the long term
Best Mora Knife for the Kitchen
An even cheaper version of the Companion Heavy Duty Knife from Morakniv is the Morakniv Companion Knife. This knife is not meant for most heavy duty uses, so while it won’t be good for batoning wood or anything like that, you could easily use it for food prep use in the kitchen or for cutting kindling for a fire.
See how the Morakniv Companion performed in our 5 best bushcraft knives!
The stainless steel blade ships sharp from the factory, and, as with the heavy duty version of this knife, the grip is built out of a high friction rubberized material, and the small and lightweight size will make it a good addition to daypacks without adding much weight.
Again, this is also a budget knife so it should not be treated as a blade that will give you a lifetime of use. The plastic sheath is serviceable, but also a bit cheaply made as well. Overall, if you’re looking for a budget Mora knife that will give you a few years of reliable service, the Companion Knife is a good option to go with.
- Very cost efficient
- Rust resistant stainless steel material
- High friction rubberized grip
- Not good for heavy duty use
- Budget model, so may not last well over the long term
- Plastic sheath is cheaply made
Our Best Mora Knife Overall
Mora knives are not anything fancy, but they work and are excellent tools for what you pay for them. My recommendation out of the five knives that we have analyzed today is the Garberg Carbon Steel Knife. Yes, it’s the most expensive option, but it’s also the highest quality blade and one that can truly last you for a lifetime.