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Mora Bushcraft
(Orange Survival Heavy Duty)


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Mora Bushcraft Survival (Orange Survival Heavy Duty)

 

The town of Mora is about the same to Sweden, as Solingen is to Germany, Sheffield is to England or Seki City is to Japan. It is the Swedish knife-making capital.

The roots of the company reach back to 1891 when Frost-Erik Ersson came back from North America (where he worked as a lumberjack) and founded his company, Frosts Knivfabrik. Then, in 1912 another knife factory, Eriksson & Mattssons Knivfabrik was established by two businessmen, Krång-Johan Eriksson and Lok-Anders Mattsson. This latter company later became KJ Eriksson AB. The last chapter in the history came in 2005, when KJ Eriksson AB acquired Frosts Knivfabrik and changed the name of the company to the present Mora of Sweden AB. Today there are three main sections of this company. Namely, Morakniv (blades for construction, outdoor sports and recreation), Frosts Mora (knives for the food industry) and the third is Mora Ice (which is the world leader in ice drill manufacturing). All of their products are made in Sweden.


Specifications

Steel: Sandvik 12C27 Stainless @ HRC 57-58
Overall length: 230mm
Blade length: 109mm
Blade width: 24mm
Blade thickness: 3.2mm
Weight: 110g + sheath/firesteel combo 85g


About the steel

Although this is not the latest high-end powder metallurgy steel, Sandvik 12C27 is "alive and well" and it is very popular in Europe, especially among the Scandinavian knife manufacturers and knife-makers. It is a well rounded stainless steel with high purity and a tight composition in a hardness range of 54-61 HRC. After proper heat treatment this material provides excellent edge performance, including:

 

Typical applications for Sandvik 12C27 are outdoor, hunting and fishing knives, pocket knives, skate blades and ice drills.


Components of Sandvik 12C27 steel

Carbon: 0.6
Chromium: 13.5
Manganese: 0.4
Silicon: 0.4
Phosphorus: 0.025
Sulphur: 0.01


Overall impressions

The knife came in a blister package, which can be easily separated for recycling.

The bright, blaze orange coloured handle and patch on the sheath makes easy to see and find this knife pretty much in any environment or background. This is a nice little survival kit put together by Mora. Beside the knife itself the kit consists of a ferrocerium rod for fire-making plus a diamond sharpening plate and all this neatly integrated into the sheath of the knife. The narrow profile sheath itself is made out of polypropylene with a drainage hole at the bottom. Also, there are five raised ribs for thumb rest, but I find it easier to use the the top of the ferro-rod handle to facilitate the one handed draw of the knife. The firesteel "rides" and stored in a series of open "loops" along the edge of the sheath and held in place by a rigid "bump" at the top.

I have added a tiny bungee cord loop to my ferro-rod for extra security, but this is not really necessary as the original system is adequate by itself. The sheath offers two interchangeable mounting options. One is a closed belt loop and the other is the familiar, open Mora sheath-clip with the button mounting hole (both included in the package). They can be secured to the sheath via their attachment system.

The polypropylene handle has a softer, high friction over-mold surface with a few strategically located, raised "friction ribs" for the thumb, little finger and the heel of the palm. All of which provides a very secure grip wet or dry. I find the shape and feel of the handle very comfortable. There is a finger groove and integrated guard in the handle as well and they do not seem to pose any difficulty in the use of different grips with or without gloves.

The Bushcraft Survival has a beefy clip point blade and a 27° Scandinavian grind with a tiny secondary micro-bevel. This edge had no problem shaving arm-hair right out of the package. The hidden tang of the blade goes

back just over 2/3 of the handle, which is a fairly strong construction for this type of knife. The 3.2mm thick spine is ground to a nice sharp and square edge in its entire length. This comes very handy for the ferrocerium rods and for scraping, etc...


Practical use

I have this knife for quite a while now. I have used and tested it extensively during everyday use, numerous day-trips and a six day camping trip in beautiful British Columbia, where I used it for everything from camp cooking to fire preparation and from opening oyster shells to collecting stinging nettle and a lot more between. Here are my observations and opinions as usual, categorized by field of use rather than a chronological order.


Woodwork

This Mora Bushcraft Survival knife spent quite some time in the woods doing bushcraft and "outdoorsy" tasks. Let's start with a few shots of feather-sticks and shavings made from different kind of wood.

Nice, thin and curly...

...very fine curls in fatwood.

A few more "fuzzies"...

...including a few locks of Shirley Temple...

...and a fair sized pile of shavings.

These fatwood scrapings were made by the spine of the blade and they take sparks from a firesteel very well.

Although this knife is not full tang construction, it is still very capable of batoning and wood splitting.

With smart use it can handle even larger pieces without suffering damages.

These kinds of tasks are important for fire preparation, especially in a rainy, snowy or moist environment. It is always a good idea to practise these skills and test our equipment regularly. So, let's see a few fire preparation photos as well...

...including the Mora firesteel in action.

To test the strength of the tip I drilled some holes with it...

...and also did some stabbing and prying in a sun-dried driftwood log. No problem, whatsoever. The point is strong and sharp, basically it has three sharp edges, thanks to the square grind on the spine of the blade.

I have used the knife for a lot of whittling and I took a few pictures of that. These are some power cuts in a piece of green alder sapling.

Point on a stick and a series of different notches.

Also, I have constructed a figure 4 trap and set it. It worked nicely.

I have to say that this knife performed well in this department and I kind of liked to use it.


Cutting, slicing

In this field I always try to use as many different kind of materials as I can find. That way I can get a better idea about the capabilities and limitations of a knife. In this case the list of materials included fibrous stuff, such as polypropylene webbing (used for construction safety anchors)...

...nylon webbing.

An assortment of various ropes, like soft braided nylon...

...kernmantle type...

...and another, thicker variety.

Two different kind of leather pieces.

Some rubbery products in the form of reinforced pneumatic air hose...

...bicycle inner tube...

...used car tire.

Then a bunch of plastic materials, such as plumbing pipe...

...harder and thick walled version of it...

...PVC hose...

...PVC cord (used for welding linoleum).

Finally some newsprint slicing...

The blade did not have difficulties with any of these materials and the cut surfaces were nice and clean.


Food preparation

In the food department this knife performed satisfactorily. It did everything it was asked to do and brought no surprises. Due to the blade grind and its relative thickness there is a bit of splitting tendency in harder vegetables. The length of the blade is adequate for food processing and the Bushcraft Survival will serve in a camp setting, no problem. Here are some pictures from this field. Slicing apples...

...vegetables...

...potatoes...

… and dicing some onions.

Boiled eggs, grape tomatoes...

...and dry, smoked sausages.

 

Final thoughts

This knife belongs to Mora's new Heavy Duty line. These models are stronger and beefier than the company's other "regular" lines, yet they are still unmistakably Moras. The stainless steel blade choice (on this particular knife) makes clean up and maintenance a breeze, as does the polypropylene sheath. Let me mention that this package/model is available in carbon steel/black colour version as well, for those who prefer a more traditional blade material and a more subdued colour. (Also, they are both sold without the "survival package".) This is not only a knife, but a neat little and light package with sheath integrated sharpening and fire-making capabilities. Also, the spine of the blade is sharp and square right from the factory, which is a very useful feature (in my opinion). The handle of the knife was comfortable and secure, it did not give any hot spots, not even during extended work sessions. The blade only needed to be touched up a few times to restore shaving sharpness, but always kept a good working edge and that is very reasonable edge retention in my books. I can tell that after close visual inspection at the end of my testing procedures and with normal daily use up to the time of this writing, the Bushcraft Survival model did not suffer any damages other than some surface scratches and scrapes from hard use (which is normal). No edge rolls, nicks or anything similar at all. I am happy with the general performance of this model and I find it to be a pretty handy and versatile knife.

 

Thanks for reading!

Switchblade




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