MORAKNIV Classics
Knives Illustrated|March-April 2021
THESE TIMELESS BUSHCRAFT KNIVES HAVE BEEN UPDATED AND ARE BETTER THAN EVER
REUBEN BOLIEU

Truly classic designs can be as much of a force in the present as they have been in the past. A Morakniv is always made in Mora, Sweden, in the village of Östnor, where the company has been located for centuries. Firmly anchored in a long tradition of craftsmanship, its first factory was founded on the outskirts of Mora in 1891. It successfully combined the benefits of hand-forged blades and industrial manufacturing. The result was a knife with a grip-friendly handle and a very sharp, robust blade. Today, the knives from Morakniv are known for their high quality and consistency, and they’re recognized as a national symbol of Sweden.

Morakniv has been granted a Royal warrant of appointment by His Majesty the King of Sweden. It is an honor awarded to companies as proof that the company’s products are appreciated by a member of the Royal Family.

CLASSIC REVAMP

The Morakniv Classics are made of carbon steel and are easily identified by their characteristic barrel-shaped, red-stained birch handles. They have first introduced around 100 years ago with the ambition to portray an exclusive mahogany knife. The new polymer sheath has an elegant, polished look donning the Swedish Coat of Arms. This is complemented with a belt strap made of Swedish vegetable tanned leather, designed to stand the test of time for generations to come. The edge angles and blade shapes are basically the same but now have rat-tail tangs.

BLUEPRINT KNIFE

In 2007, I purchased the Morakniv Classic No. 2, the first Scandinavian knife I ever owned of its kind. It had an uncoated carbon steel blade, Scandinavian grind, and wood handle without a guard. I felt it was a huge leap of faith for me and quite the diversion from the knives I had been using. Three things immediately stood out to me as pluses: the weight, comfort, and sharpness. Up until this point, I don’t remember using a knife that hit these three points like the Morakniv Classic No. 2. The only knife that came close was my Victorinox Swiss Army Knife.

The company recently released a new collection of Morakniv Classic knives, including a new Morakniv Classic No. 2, and so I had to compare it to my original. When I opened the box, I noticed no real size difference as I did a cosmetic facelift. It still had a blade length of just a hair over 4 inches (105 mm). The sheath was obviously more rigid and shiny, polished more so than any other Morakniv I can remember. Also, the leather belt attachment was an obvious change for the better. However, I was on a team of people who never had a problem with the old Classic sheaths.

The most noticeable upgrade to the knife was the new stained birchwood handle, rather than the red-painted previous versions, which have also changed in color and texture throughout the decades. This new feature really gives each Morakniv Classic individuality. Every handle will have different grain that will be accepted by the stain, as do all three of my new Morakniv Classics.

A closer look will reveal the top of the blade spine is now smooth and “finished,” as opposed to the unfinished appearance of most Morakniv Classic knives. I say most because the Classic carving series knives have smooth spines for comfort while performing thumb assisted push cuts. A big change to most maybe the blade tang that now goes through the handle length and can be seen on the butt end of the wood. This is a full rat-tailed tang, not a complete full tang, as the steel is not visible to the eye or hand, sandwiched between scales.

I wasted no time getting to work on a few wood projects. I had an idea to make a sharpening log out of a carborundum stone for my tools. I used a bowsaw to cut the log and split it with a hatchet. Laying the log flat, I measured and scored the length of the stone with a few cuts of the saw, the depth of the stone.

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