My First Frosts Mora Knife

I worked as a butcher for a while between and during years at university, and used many different knives in my job - I learned a sharp knife is a safe knife. As a camper, I have had a variety of knives for camping and bushcraft, and often used a worn stainless steel boning knife for camp chores - thin, but when used right, strong. I have a nice drop-point cherry-handled knife I got a year or so ago. But in December I decided to heed the community of folks at BushcraftUK and other reviews out on the web and explore the Mora (pronounced Moo-ra, like a bovine cheerleader) type of Swedish knife - I decided to start small and visited Bens Backwoods Outfitters online and bought an inexpensive carbon-steel laminated blade, with a raw birch handle for around $12 Canadian - you can't buy a couple of McDonald's meals for that price. As the days went by and I read more and more about it, I heard of the Mora's incredible strength, the benefits of lamination - flexibility, structural rigidity; the likes and dislikes of many regarding carbon steel for a knife (especially if taken canoeing due to it rusting fairly easily)... and hardness of the alloy. And then I looked more carefully at a photo and saw that the one I had ordered was actually quite small. I thought - oh no, I've bought a silly manicure knife.

When it arrived a couple of days ago, in a flimsy package weighing less than a potato chip, with the blade wrapped in paper, I initially thought I'd been ripped off - as I peeked through a rip in the package, the thermoplastic sheath looked like a toy, and the knife was pretty tiny looking. I made my way up the elevator juggling mail, my gloves, a dog on a leash, and the package - desperate to open it and inspect the blade.

And it was good.

This knife is ridiculously sharp out of the package - so much so that I cut my thumb. Now, I cook in the kitchen at home, and wield knives effortlessly. I juggle them. Working as a butcher I only cut myself once (slicing a thick steak). But this Mora was razor-sharp - and this is not hyperbole. I have never owned or sharpened a knife this sharp. And while they say a sharp knife is a safe knife... well, this was like a laser-beam. I now have a hairless patch on my forearm due to experimentation. My wife has not mentioned anything yet.

I took the advice of some BCUK community members and wrapped the blade in some paper-towel that was soaked with white vinegar and left it on the counter for about 20 minutes. A dark patina developed in that short time, and then I rubbed olive oil into the bare wood (and will keep doing that for a while - then I will sand the handle with fine sandpaper to give it a nice polish - or perhaps replace the handle completely with materials found in the woods). But what was most amazing was that the laminate structure appeared as though from nowhere - see the photos in this post - it may look like a dark groove down the spine, but it is really just the inner piece staining more than the outer layer of steel. You will see it also on the edge of the blade.

If you are thinking about an inexpensive but tough, incredibly-made and super sharp knife for camping - go with a Mora.

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