SHOT Show: Morakniv Goes Mainstream, Tactical

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

Morakniv had a big presence at the SHOT Show this year, and they were eager to show off lots of new and almost-new product lines. The jumbo-sized Bushcraft Pathfinder (above, center) is just one of them.

Bushcraft Pathfinder

Image courtesy Rocky Mountain Bushcraft

Image courtesy Rocky Mountain Bushcraft

This isn’t Mora’s first big knife. I reviewed the 5.75″ blade #748 ‘Long Clip’ last year, and they also sell the somewhat unwieldy 8″ blade #749 ‘Allaround’ but these older models don’t have the .125″ Bushcraft blade.

The 6″ Pathfinder has it all: a .125″ thick carbon steel blade with a hardness of HRC 59-60, corrosion-resistant tungsten DLC coating, MOLLE sheath, and a machine-beveled spine for shaving tinder and sparking flint. Having all this ‘all’ comes at a price, however: Mora expects to list this knife at just around $100 when they ship it on April 1st.

Question: is a $100 Mora knife still a Mora?

Bushcraft Black

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

This knife is a standard-size ‘Bushcraft Black’ with partial serrations, which Moras are not known for. The ‘Bushcraft Black’ line of Moras are a bit smaller and a bit less expensive than the Pathfinder, but still have their .125″ thick, tungsten DLC blades. MSRP for the plain-edge version is expected to be $60, and $70 for the partially serrated edge.

I didn’t grab a picture of it, but Mora is also reaching into a new (for them) market with an upcoming ‘Bushcraft Tactical.’ It will come with a standard-length DLC carbon-steel Bushcraft blade and a Swedish-made MOLLE compatible sheath. MSRP is expected to be $70 to $80.

Mora Marine Rescue

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

Knife guys have been begging Mora for lanyard holes (or simply drilling their own) for years, and Mora is starting to answer the call. The black-handled knife is their new ‘Marine Rescue’ knife, and with a name like that you only get one guess what it’s designed for. It’s got a blunt tip and partially serrated edge, along with a prominent guard and that first-of-its-kind lanyard hole.

Cool, Not Tacticool

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

Striking while the iron was hot, I procured a survival-orange stainless-steel Bushcraft for ‘testing.’ Actually I got it because it looked cool as hell, and I couldn’t believe how solid the 1/8″ thick blade is. The idea of brightly-colored survival gear is starting to catch on, because unless the Taliban are tracking you you’re much better off with gear that can’t get lost.

Clay already wrote the definitive Mora Bushcraft review several months ago (I think ‘encyclopaedic’ is a better description) and tested it in every way imaginable; I’m not sure you need to read another story about how sharp and indestructible these bad boys are.

While I had Mora’s ear, I begged them to make a folding knife with their carbon steel or 12C27 stainless, a Scandi or FFG grind, and a simple, solid lockup. I was told there were prototypes being floated around, but that nothing was headed for production in the foreseeable future.

Image: Chris Dumm for TTAK

I’ll end this Mora-gasm with a snapshot of some of the United Colors Of Morakniv. My only regret is that I could only snag one of them…

comments

  1. PubliusII says:

    I’m not surprised to see Morakniv moving toward fancier or larger knives with higher price points. Let’s face it, how much return on investment is there in $15 knives?

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      To be fair, Mora isn’t killing their $15 knives. As long as they keep the basic ‘Companion’ under $20 I’ll be a happy man.

  2. Mbuffo says:

    My question is why are brightly colored survival gear just catching on? It makes sense to be able to see your blades when you drop it in a bunch of shrubs. Although I am a not well schooled on knives…yet, I did stumble across a site that had cool colored survival blades just recently called epicedgeblade.com – it’s probably not for the crazy knive gurus, but if your looking for something basic, with cool colors and functionality…I found it an option?

    1. Roger says:

      Well besides finding your equipment It’s nice to have the choice in color. There was a time when the only color in a knife drawer came from the wood scales. With the advent of modern knives, everything became black and steel.

  3. jwm says:

    Oh crap, I knew this would happen. A spectacular 15 buck knife company is going to enter the 100 buck knife world. They’ll get lost in that wilderness and we’ll lose a great 15 buck knife.

    1. Duncan Idaho says:

      But it’s orange. You can’t lose an orange knife!

      In all seriousness, I do fear that as well. They’re a great company and I’m the proud owner of four of their products. They’re my new measure of quality.

      Up until now, the most expensive was what, $40? Hope that doesn’t become the cheapest.

  4. Terry Warlock says:

    I don’t know that it’s the end of the world really or that they’ll forget their core business. Opinel did something similar: fantastic basic knife at a great price point but they introduced new woods and designs that can reach up to $50 or more. Still going strong.

    More variety = stronger business model, plus I really think they’re just meeting market demand. The article pretty much sums up what’s hot right now in fixed blades: bushcraft & tactical knives, they’d be silly to not try and capture some of that.

  5. tbhride says:

    Hey Chris – just an FYI but there have been Mora’s with factory lanyard holes in the past. May wan’t to clarify in the post.

    The Mora 640, 740, and 760 (may be others as well but these are the ones I know) all had lanyard holes exactly like that Marine Rescue knife. To be fair they are all out of production though.

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      Thanks for the tip! I checked and saw no lanyard holes in the current catalog, but I haven’t been into Moras long enough to remember the discontinued models.

  6. Paul B says:

    Sometime you just need to have something in the line up that is not cheap to get the high rollers to bite.

    Personally I have to use a tool to have a tool and I plant tools with alarming regularity. Since they do not, as yet, sprout trees with the buried tool as fruit I need to get good prices on quality tools.

  7. S_J says:

    For $100 that Pathfinder better not be constructed like a standard Mora. Ka-Bars and the like are full tang for half that price, sometimes less than half. A rat-tail/three-quarters tang ain’t gonna cut it in a tactical knife.

    Otherwise, I’m glad to see Morakniv doing so well. I just got a stainless Mora 2000 (the green handled one above the Marine Rescue) and at $24 can’t recommend it enough.

  8. Gabe.macdonnell@gmail.com says:

    Relax- the msrp might be $100, but they selling around $50, which is a very reasonable price. Fwiw, i got the Bushcraft Black Survival Knife with diamond sharpener & ferro rod for $48, and the quality & strength are a big step up from standard Moras. I feel $48 was a bargain for a knife that will last a lifetime. It’s already logged 150+ miles of trails without failure, or wishing i’d brought one of my (much) pricier bush knives.

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SHOT Show: Morakniv Goes Mainstream, Tactical

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