Mora knives (the brand name is Morakniv®) are actually a must-have for any true bushcraft lovers: these knives are simple, practical with excellent cutting properties at very inexpensive prices.
Recently Morakniv® has also developed a new line of knives with great attention to the bushcraft world, if you are interested go to this page http://www.moraofsweden.se/products/adventure.
But two of the most popular bushcraft knives of Mora of Sweden are the oldest Mora models: the Mora Classic Number 1 and 2.
If your haven’t in your equipment one these knives, i must say… buy it!
As you can read in the title, the Mora Classic I own, is the Number 1, so let me show you the main characteristics of this knife ( if you want to read about the other Classic models this is the page).
- It has a carbon steel blade ( 98 mm – approx. 3.86″ length) with a unique red ochre birch handle, in my opinion this is a plus because it’s easier to find, if you lost it in the ground.
- The blade thickness (2,0 mm – 0.080″) and the hidden tang, are not a limit to use it a real wilderness survival scenario, unlike some ‘survival knives’ it has a real razor blade and its scandinavian grind is easy to maintain.
Remember to not abuse of this knife, use your brain before using it as a woodsman axe!
- There is no finger guard, because in some carving operation this could be a limit.
- This knife is lightweight and well balanced, with a good feeling also in small hands.
There are only two cons…
- If you look more closely the photos you can see that this knife has two disadvantages: This blade, has a spine too smooth for a bushcraft/survival use.
- The plastic factory sheath, that offers a good retention, has a belt loop not really durable, especially if you wear this knife on your belt. The best option is to carry this knife around the neck with a lanyard.
Necessary ‘technical’ upgrade
If you want to use it really as an all-around bushcraft knife you must modify its spine.
It’s a simple operation, all you need is:
- a flat metal file;
- a bench vise;
- a masking tape.
Use the masking tape to cover the bench vise jaw to prevent blade damages.
Put the blade in the bench vise and use your file on the spine to remove the smooth surface and create a flat surface with a 90 degrees angle to the side.
Why you have to do this mod? There are 3 main reasons:
- you can use the back of the knife to catch sparks from your firesteel;
- you can use the rough back of your knife as a steel striker with a piece flint, jasper and other similar stones;
- you can use the spine of your knife for scraping bark off tree limbs, shredding tinder and shaving off materials.
Second Upgrade: how to make a quick and nice sheath
Useful upgrade and ‘Aesthetical’ Upgrade.
This is all you need:
- a piece of leather,
- masking tape;
- a leather awl or a fork (? read my article about this strange tool);
- natural twine (or cotton thread or nylon thread);
- a needle,
- a sheet of paper.
- 130 cm – 52.1″ of paracord, trekking laces or other.
Wrap masking tape around the plastic sheath, cut in the back and gently remove all the tape.
Place this tape on a paper sheet and cut your shape with scissors.
Use this shape as a model to cut the leather.
Now sew leather around the sheath with twine.
If you find hard to make inline holes use the method that i explain in this article.
Cut another piece of leather, large enough to use it as belt loop, to cover the original plastic belt loop.
Cut another small piece of leather to make an holder for your firesteel.
Sew all these pieces on your leather sheath, I suggest to add also a leather lace, to hold firmly your knife handle.
As you can see in the picture above, in my sheath there is a cheap nude Ferrocerium rod (china made), in a second time I’ve added a self-made wood handle, painted with an acrylic paint in the same red color.
Now if you want to decorate your work you have only to watch ancient patterns or use your fantasy. I have glued to mine some leather decorations (i’ve re-used an old leather bracelet!)
All is done! Use a lanyard with two slip knot as you can see in the picture above.
In this tutorial you will not realize a real leather sheath but a sort of leather cover, without glueing part on the original, so you can maintain the factory sheath, and its retention. If you want to change or realize a pure leather sheath (I’ll post in future!) you have only to remove the sewing!
I hope you find it useful! Tell me if you have other ideas!
Back to the woods adventurer! Enjoy!
Ciao, Bye, Tschüß, またね！