The History of Morakniv
The history of the mora knife goes back to the iron age and the era of the Vikings. Archaeological findings indicates processing of iron in the area of Ovansiljan around this time. Since then the craftsmanship and skills of the tool smiths has been carried on from generation to generation. The knife culture grow strong around the village of Östnor in Mora Dalarna Sweden. Here Frost-Erik Ernström founded the Frost Knife Factory in 1891. This got to be the foundation of what we today know as Morakniv AB. Around that time several manufacturers in the area produced mora knives. In 1912 Eriksson & Mattsson's Knife Factory was founded by Krång-Johan Eriksson and Lok-Anders Mattsson. This company later turned into the brand KJ Eriksson AB. By the 1920's the handle of the popular mora knife got it's red color and during the second half of the 1900's plastic revolutionized the industries enabling new design possibilities. As a result of this we also got the well known mora knives of the 80's using rubber and plastic in the handles. In 2005 KJ Eriksson and Frosts Knivfabrik merged and created the brand Mora of Sweden. Today the company offer cutting products via the two brands; Morakniv and Frosts where Morakniv is handling crafting tools and outdoor products and Frosts deliver tools designed for the food industry. Before the longed for modern bushcraft knife could see the day of light in Dalarna the company's R&D department had their hands full testing different concepts, partners and prototypes. And finally around year 2009 the curius bushcraft audience could put their hands on a Mora Bushcraft. Then after a couple of design adjustments the Bushcraft Black as we know it today was ready. By 2014 the eaven bigger Morakniv Pathfinder was launched together with the Morakniv Tactical. These models added the MOLLE feature to the sheaths. This year (2016) Morakniv celibates their 125th anniversary by changing their company name into Morakniv AB and some new product launches.
Bushcraft Black and Orange in the Forest
Bushcraft Black, Bushcraft Survival Black, Tactical and Bushcraft Survival Orange are the base of the Bushcraft lineup. These knives are meant as a more robust complement to the so popular Companion series. The four mentioned products are basically the same knife except for Orange using a stainless steel blade and the optional serrated edge (SRT) of the Tactical and Black. And the modular concept plastic sheaths are different equipped pending on knife model (sharpener, ferro rod or MOLLE). As the sheath base structure are the same you can mix the Bushcraft knives and sheaths, including the knife model Morakniv Bushcraft Forest.
Top down; Pathfinder, Bushcraft Black, Bushcraft Survival Orange and Bushcraft Forest. The MOLLE vest in the pic comes from Snigel Design.
Bulky yet Slick
Bushcraft Black feature an impressive 3,2 mm thick and 109 mm long black C100 carbon blade coated with DLC (Diamond Like Carbon). Both the DLC and the 4° wider edge angle are very durable on this knife (most mora knives feature a 23° edge angle). If you look closely on the factory edge you can see a micro edge. But without problem I've been treating this Bushcraft Black as any Scandi Grind edge when sharpening. Compared to the Morakniv Classic series; of course the Bushcraft Black feels very bulky. But I still think the Bushcraft Black manage pretty well when doing finer whittling. To spare your left thumb when carving I can recommend you to round the sharp 90 degree spine on the front part of the blade.
When taking care of the game while hunting; the plastic sheath is easy to clean. Also the rubber handle offer a perfect grip even when wet and bloody. I know there are some voices complaining over these knives not feature a full tang. But I've never had any strength lacking problems during my usage. But soon the full tang fans will be able to enjoy the Morakniv Garberg evalible this Spring (2016). Some call the Garberg Morakniv's first full tang, but in my eyes Garberg is Morakniv's third full tang model launched. The old hunting models Morakniv Forest Lapplander 90 and Morakniv Forest Lapplander 95 has been using their full tangs for some time now. I'm really looking forward testing the Garberg soon, together with his siblings Kansbol and Eldris.
I think Morakniv has done a great job expanding their product lineup by adding these sturdy knives. The Bushcraft Black is a very nice roughneck, but I'm also very grateful Morakniv still produces their fantastic Classic series. The Bushcraft Black ended up at a 6th place in my bushcraft knife field test. The reason for it not getting a higher score was the, in my opinion, too asymmetric handle.
If you wanna read more about the Morakniv Tactical and the Morakniv Pathfinder; take a look at the mag article I wrote for Vapentidningen in 2015.
More about the mora knife history you can find in one of my mag articles inside Sweden's oldest magazine; Svensk Jakt.
Other posts on Morakniven can be seen HERE.
Manufacturer: Morakniv AB, Swedish company with production in Mora Dalarna
Model: Bushcraft Black
Blade material: Carbon steel C100, 58-60 HRC
Blade length: 109 mm
Blade thickness: 3,2 mm
Blade width: 23,1 mm
Edge profile: Scandi Grind with a 27° angle
Handle material: Plastic and rubber
Handle thickness: 22,2 mm
Total knife length: 235 mm
Knife weight: 123 g
Total weight (knife and sheath): 162 g
Price: 350 SEK (Sweden 2014)