I paid $5 for the Mora Classic over a decade ago. Back then it was stained red, but after years and years of hard use, it’s lost its color. It was the first knife I bought for myself, and was a companion to me throughout my trecks over the years, and still continues to be to this very day. This first purchase was the beginning of my love affair with the outdoors, and this one blade defined my interest in edged tools and their applications.
The “Mora” knife is a ubiquitous knife design attributed to manufacturers in the Swedish town of Mora. The Mora knife pattern (called Morakniv in Swedish) was at one point utilized and produced by many manufacturers, including FMM Mattsson, Erik Frost, Bröderna Jönsson, Krång Johan Eriksson (KJ Eriksson), and Bud Carl Andersson. All of these patterns are based on the original, created by Erik Frost. They shared not only design, but tooling and parts as well, to create essentially the same knife under different names. Today, only Eriksson and Frost still produce Mora knives, after having merged their brands together to make Mora of Sweden in 2005.
The Mora I own is by E. Jonsson, but for all intents and purposes, it would be pretty much identical to a Frost branded Mora.
One of the advantages of the stick tang is that the balance is perfect on the hilt. The handles on the Mora Classic 1 are lathed out of one solid piece: no liners here, which is advantageous in cold weather as skin + cold metal just don’t mix.
The sheath is the standard Mora sheath, very inexpensive but sturdy with an all plastic construction.
Retention of the sheath is mediocre. It is friction fit, but I wouldn’t carry this paratrooper style.
The Mora sheath has a drainage hole for excess water. Though I can’t say I approve of having the drainage hole this far up the sheath, since I have never had rust on this knife (after 13 years of use), I couldn’t say it hasn’t done its job.
Because the sheath would only really fit onto short belts as is, I added a fabric throng to it so that it can fit through my wider belts.
After years of use, the blade on my Mora Classic No. 1 has developed a slight recurve at the edge. The blade + sheath combo is basically weightless. On Dual Survival, Cody Lundin carries one around his neck pretty much constantly!
The Mora Classic 1 has great blade stock: a true outdoors blade tried and tested since 1890 in the Scandinavian forests. Tough enough for absolutely any bushcraft tasks.
That being said, the thin blade stock on the Mora Classic does make it slightly uncomfortable to press down on too hard with one’s thumb.
But it has superb neutral ergonomics. I’ve never met anyone who said a Mora Classic was uncomfortable.
The handles have a palm swell and taper towards the top, which allows the wielder to use the standard pinch grip. Useful when hunting for taking off backstrap.
One of the few negatives of the Mora Classic #1 is that the edge goes ALL the way down and stops at an abrupt angle, leaving a slight protrusion that extends past the handle. It would be nearly impossible to avoid cutting yourself if you choked up on the Mora Classic, so I’d recommend being conscious of that and staying away from choking up completely.
The thin stock combined with a great Scandinavian edge makes short work of any whittling.
The tip on the Mora Classic No. 1 is much thinner than the rest of the blade, making precision cuts also a breeze.
The neutral handle design allows the Mora Classic to be held in most positions very comfortably.
Making clean notches for trapping with this knife is a dream.
While it’s not my first choice for batoning, the Mora Classic 1 does baton reasonably well taking into account its size and thickness.
Overall, the Classic Mora knife exemplifies my personal survival ethos.
If I could only have one knife it would have to be this one, which is a sentiment it seems I share with many well-known names in the survival industry: amongst those, Cody Lundin, Ray Mears and Mors Kochanski.
For me, this knife would win out amongst all my others not because it’s the toughest or has the best steel, but because after over a decade of use, even after the handles are no longer dyed red, after the edge has a slight recurve, and although it may not be as tactical or aesthetically appealing as many of my other knifes, when I hold it I feel the past 13 years of my life, the cumulation of all my outdoor experience with this tool.
Experience is the most valuable tool and for that reminder, I wouldn’t exchange this knife for any other in the world.