How to take your Mora Classic N.1 to the next bushcraft level

how_to_upgrade_mora_classic_1

The knife

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).

Mora Classic N.1

Mora Classic N.1

Pros

  • 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!

    Mora Classic N.1 paper cuts

    Mora Classic N.1 paper test

  • 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.

    Mora Classic N.1 details

    Mora Classic N.1 details

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.

First Upgrade

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.

    Mora Classic n.1 spine mod

    Mora Classic n.1 spine mod

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:

  1. you can use the back of the knife to catch sparks from your firesteel;
  2. you can use the rough back of your knife as a steel striker with a piece flint, jasper and other similar stones;
  3. 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.

    Mora sheath upgrade

    Mora sheath upgrade

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!)

Mora Classic 1 sheath upgrade

Mora Classic 1 sheath upgrade

All is done! Use a lanyard with two slip knot as you can see in the picture above.

mora_classic_n1_upgrade

Note.
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!

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24 thoughts on “How to take your Mora Classic N.1 to the next bushcraft level

  1. Good stuff! I have the Mora Companion HD. This knife is nothing short of awesome. I think this knife is the Bushcraft Black in the rough. I forced a patina on the blade. With a little duct tape and a ferro rod taped on the sheath you’re well on your way to a great wilderness/survival knife.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Apple vinegar. I think the apple helps with the patina. I’ve heard of folks sticking their blades in lemons and such and getting a patina that way. I’ve never done that but reckon the fruit juice/acid assist the process better. I’ve never really had a good patina with just plain vinegar.

        Mora knives are the workhorses of the bushcraft/survival community. Very reasonably priced, they stand up to almost anything and I believe every big name in the community has one. I hope they never change.

        Like

  2. Reblogged this on Finding Richard at WordPress.com and commented:
    Mattia over at WildTuscanySurvival did a great little article on modifying the standard Mora knife for bushcraft use. I love these knives, because they are tough, will take & hold a razor edge, and you can buy about ten of them for what you would pay for a single “survival” or “bushcraft” knives. Heck, you can buy four of the Mora Military knives for what one K-Bar will set you back — without any of the commemorative engraving. Go ahead and buy a couple. You’ll want one in each vehicle – along with a ferrite rod and other survival basics. These are the everyday belt knives in Sweden and a kissing cousin to the famous Finnish Puuku that was so feared by the Russian and German invaders. These may not be as “sexy” as a K-Bar or a Ramboesque “survival” knife, but they get the job done and you won’t have to hock your firstborn to get one.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you!

        I really do love those knives, but I get out so rarely these days, that I haven’t worked with mine as much as I would like. I read your article and thought that those were some great modifications.

        I’d love to come over and see your homeland someday. I’ve never been to Italy, but what I’ve seen in books and on travelogues, it sure looks beautiful.

        I’m not what is thought of as a “survivalist” in the USA. I grew up on an island in now what is being called the Salish Sea in the US Pacific Northwest, so I spent my days in the woods, on the beach, or out in a boat when I wasn’t in school. I had enough close calls as a boy and in the Army, that I just like to have the equipment with me to be able to survive for a few days is I get hurt or stranded.

        I’ll be following your posts from now on.

        Thank you for a great blog!
        Richard

        Liked by 1 person

      • Again thank you!!!!!
        I too hope to see Us a day. I want to see your natural landscapes and visit your great an famous Park. If a day you’ll visit Italy I suggest a stop in my country, to visit our historical cities and town but also the Tuscan countryside and if you have time … a walk along the medieval path of ‘Via Francigena’. Ciao! Mattia

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hope you get to come see these United States someday too. There is such a broad range of natural environments to take in. I’m pushing 60, and I’m still exploring my home state of Washington.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome and thank you very much, everydayready!
      Spine mod is a simple but very useful customization for all basic model of Mora Kniv !
      I mod my Mora Heavy Duty too !
      Good sparks ✨ 😀 !
      See you soon 👋🏻 , I’ll add new posts and tutorials in these next months.
      Ciao Mattia

      Like

  3. Heard about Moras new model, the Garberg? Seems to be a good one. But their most expensive…. Mora has always put out top quality at an extremely low price. Hope they aren’t changing up.

    I’m interested to see how it stands up to its competitors in the survival knife market .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, It looks nice but… first also in my opinion is too expensive, second I don’t like the plastic handle and stainless steel blade.
      Actually I’m in love with Casström Forest knife n.10, not too expensive knife (I think less than Garberg), amazing performance, nice scales, nice sheath. I will write a review. Ciao John !

      Liked by 1 person

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