Part of being a tool-using human is having good tools. And a good knife has many uses.
Except putting in flathead screws. Come on, get a screwdriver! Stop breaking the tips off your knives.
It’s so nice to be able to grab a sharp utility knife for opening and breaking down boxes, cutting baling twine, or quickly making some firewood kindling.
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The Mora Companion Carbon Steel Knife
First, the specs:
The blade is 4.1″ long, and 1/10″ thick. The knife is 8.6″ long overall at 4.1 oz, and has a 3/4 tang.
It also comes with a plastic sheath that clips securely onto your belt. The knife snaps into the sheath securely, and is easy to pull out again with one hand.
This Mora Companion Carbon Steel knife is composed of (who would have guessed?) high-carbon Sandvik steel. The knife has a single-bevel sabre grind, which is commonly called a “Scandinavian grind”.
This means the knife’s edge doesn’t start tapering until well down the depth of the blade, rather than starting at the spine (back). Because there’s more steel behind the edge it’s very strong.
The Scandi grind is also easy to sharpen.
It also is extremely sharp – ask my thumb! I’m not used to having good sharp utility knives, so I was less careful than I should have been.
The side tip of my thumb was quickly relieved of its extra skin layers, leaving a flap. Thankfully I used this extra sharp knife to cleanly remove the flap of skin that would have annoyingly caught on everything.
This knife has a good grippy rubber handle that doesn’t seem to slip even with sweat/water or blood. It really gives you a confident grip when skinning or field dressing wild game, or in wet weather.
I like the way it feels in my hand. In short, it’s comfortable.
It’s big enough to get all four fingers on the handle without being too large and getting in the way.
The blade, as I’ve said before, is quite sharp as well as sturdy. In use, the sharpness was comparable to a new replaceable razor-knife blade, but lasted much longer.
I did manage to slightly damage the blade by using it to clean and carve bevels in many PVC pipe ends for my aquaponics project. Repeatedly scraping in the same place put an tiny divot in the edge.
OK, yes, I was hard on it. A little. But I’m not going to be gentle with a $14 knife!
Since PVC has a hardness between Rockwell 89 and 117 and the knife’s hardness is around 60, this is not surprising.
This damage is almost invisible though, and should clean up when sharpened.
The longitudinal strength of the blade to resist that damage is impressive, but that’s a Scandi grind for you.
I also used it to do some carving and it cross-cut the wood fibers with surprisingly little effort.
It was also used it for some light baton-ing, though I was a little concerned about damaging it at the time.
I needn’t have worried, as the knife is quite strong and handled the whacking with no problems.
The only gotcha is to make sure not to hit your knife hand with the baton!
Because of the knife’s somewhat smaller size compared to larger (and way more expensive) “bushcraft” knives, your hand will be closer to the to piece of wood getting split. So be careful. Ouch.
This knife could also be useful in camping or survival situations. The spine of the knife is at 90 degrees to the blade, so the spine can be used for scraping bark and fluffing up tinder, as well as using on a ferrocerium rod for making 5000°F fire-starting sparks.
Because this knife is carbon steel, and carbon steel rusts, wipe off the blade and oil occasionally.
I have yet to oil mine, but my knife still hasn’t shown any traces of rust. This may be due to the dry climate and weather we’ve had (or haven’t had, more accurately) this winter.
The best way to sharpen this knife is with a good water stone, usually of Japanese make.
I suggest using a 1000 grit, then a 5000 grit.
See the videos under the description at The Tool Merchant for more info.
At $14, this knife is a great value. I don’t know how Mora manages to make a knife this good at that price.
Mora made knives in Sweden since 1891, so maybe it’s something in the water (or snow)?
As inexpensive as they are, you could buy several for each vehicles’ glove box, for the greenhouse and garden shed, kitchen drawer, and animal pens & barns.
And since they aren’t that expensive, you won’t get super-angry when someone “disappears” it outside.
They also make a fantastic gift. I sure wouldn’t mind a few of these (hint, hint, ahem).
Get yours here: Mora Companion Carbon Steel Knife.
OK, that’s all folks! Do you have any questions or comments about knives, tools, sustainable homesteading, permaculture design or anything else? Ask your question down below and let’s talk! You can also use the contact form, or email me at info at thepermaculture dot life.
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