TTAK Knife Madness Round 1 Finale: Morakniv vs. Lionsteel


Facebook Readers: Click “Like” to vote for Morakniv, click “Love” to vote for LionSteel.

Today is the final matchup in Round 1, in which either Morakniv or LionSteel will fill in the final slot in the Sweet 16. I have a feeling that even though LionSteel is an award-winning company, recognized for their innovative designs and the quality of their construction, they will be overwhelmed by the accessibility and our readers’ familiarity with the budget-friendly blades of the Swedish Morakniv.

Remember: You can vote twice per day. Once in the comments below, and once at this Facebook Link.


We have several Morakniv reviews here at TTAK. In fact, our all-time most viewed review is my magnum opus review of the Bushcraft Black : the knife which serves as my baseline against which to judge all others. Others include the 748 Long Clip and the new full-tang Garberg.   I haven’t yet reviewed my Eldris, but I have been impressed enough with mine that I bought a second one for my 8 year old daughter. The chunky handle and manageable size make it a great choice for a youngster.

In addition to our reviews, we have an extensive archive of Morakniv content.



There’s a long tradition of knife making in Mora. We have been creating sharp knives for the rest of the world for more than 400 years. For Morakniv the journey started in 1891 when Frost-Erik Erson returned to his home village of Östnor in Mora after four years in North America. When he opened his timber sled factory the first seed was sewn to what would eventually become the company and the brand that we know today – Morakniv.
In the beginning Frost-Erik only made knives for use within the factory, but production would soon start to grow. The term Morakniv was already well known at the end of the 1900’s, due to the area’s long tradition of manufacturing. Knives from Mora had made their way to users around the country by travelling tradesmen, or through bartering. With the founding of the factory, production could grow and more and more knives could be delivered across Sweden and the world.

You can also view a great timeline history of 125 years of Morakniv at this link.

Instagram: @morakniv
Facebook Page
YouTube Channel



The Italian company LionSteel has won several BLADE Show awards (including Knife of the year at 2016 show) among other plaudits. Their reputation for quality knives is beyond dispute, but despite this fact, I am yet to do more than handle them at BLADE of at SMKW. It is my hope that I can change this when I speak to them this year in Atlanta.


“The winner is Kur Metamorphosis: Overall Knife of the Year 2016”.

What a feeling to hear one of your creations being declared “the knife of the year” at the Blade Show in Atlanta. It is our sixth prize since 2012.

It is quite something, to have started off in the little Italian town of Maniago, an unforgiving land at the foot of the mountains, and to be here now, a winner, at the biggest knife trade show in the world, in the city home to Coca Cola and the world’s busiest airport. Little David from Friuli continues to take on the Goliaths of American business.

This is our third “Overall Knife of the Year” award, after the one in 2014 for TiDust and in 2015 for T.R.E. Titanio. A hat trick, topped off by an even more prestigious achievement: the “Manufacturing Quality Award”, which crowned LionSteel as the best company in 2014, knocking the Yankees off the top spot, which they had held since time immemorial. To continue the football metaphor, it is like winning a World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro against the home side with team of amateurs. Except that there is almost nothing amateurish about the industrial performance of LionSteel; just one element has remained the same over its almost sixty-year history, since Gino Pauletta started his existential relationship with knives. It is an increasingly rare and valuable specimen: passion.

Today, it is his son, Gianni, picking up the award in Atlanta. That’s right, because Gino is one of those stubborn craftsmen that will not leave the workshop, but will happily hand over the reins. He knows that the same burning desires and dreams can take on the form of new technologies and new materials, go down different and unexpected paths – and it must be the younger generations, less intoxicated by feelings of nostalgia and with more energy to give, that take on the challenge. That is why, at the turn of the century, or rather the new millennium, Gino passed the baton to his sons: Daniele, Gianni and Massimo.

But he has never left the factory, of course not. He is still there, working his magic, wanting to make toys that often turn into gold and, sometimes, inspire new products. Gino is the wizard that thinks with his hands and, when he thinks, his bright eyes smile from corner to corner, and it is almost as though the object is reflected in the glint of his eye a few moments before it comes to life. Everything he does is well thought out and shows determined direction.



Instagram: @lionsteelknives
Facebook Page:
YouTube Channel:

We only have 2 Lionsteel tagged posts in our Archive, neither of which is a review. I will try to open a dialog with the company at this year’s BLADE show.




Yesterday’s contest between Opinel and Böker, was a grudge-match of two Continental Powerhouses. The match itself was 20-14 in favor of Boker- a very close result, with no meddling or sharing by either company.

So our Sweet 16 is now set, or at least it will be at the conclusion of today’s contest.

In the USA- Legacy Division it will be: KA-BAR vs. Case and Buck vs. Great Eastern Cutlery.

In USA- Modern we will bring you: TOPS vs. Hogue and Zero Tolerance vs. Emerson

Import- East will feature: Kershaw vs. CRKT, and Cold Steel vs. Al Mar.

and finally the Import- West division has matches between: Helle vs, Condor, and Böker vs the Winner of today’s contest.

I will not be rehashing our entire Round 1 company writeups in Round 2. Instead it will mostly consist of video content of the featured companies from that day’s matchups.

You can review all of our  TTAK Knife Madness Round 1 posts here if you are so inclined.


  1. Jonathan Zook says:


  2. Cadeyrn says:

    I really don’t see how one can compare mass-produced everyman knives against Blade Show award winners recognized as exemplars among thousands produced worldwide. Sure, you can get five or six Moraknivs for the price of one LionSteel, but LionSteel is simply a better knife in every way other than if you’re using it to destruction. My vote: LionSteel.

    1. We’ve discussed it throughout the tournament, the random nature of the seedlings has led to some odd pairings.

      In the end, whatever criteria one wishes to use is just fine. I could be “who makes the highest quality knife”, “what knife do I have the most experience using?” “What knife looks best” “what knife would I want to carry everyday”, “what knife would I want on a desert island” “what company has great warrantee service” or any one of dozens of completely arbitrary criteria one wishes to chose.

      I am open to whatever changes might be suggested for next year. Please let us know.

      1. Cadeyrn says:

        Not disparaging the contest by any means; have enjoyed reading all of the comments and the different positions. It’s not easy to put together and I certainly appreciate the effort.

        I’m scratching my head thinking about what else could be done. Really, unless you’re going to go by category of knife (EDC, Camp knife / hunting, tactical, fixed-blade, custom / showcase or some broad categories) it’s hard to group things. If you do it solely by knife category, however, you’re not really going to develop the brand information. I’m thinking maybe next year reach out to the makers (or readers), have them submit their favorite in each of the categories for consideration then throw it to the wolfpack to see which ones emerge. It could be done by regional makers in the first part of the year, then the regions go against each other for the title.

        That would be a ton of work, but I think it would be more appealing overall because different people have different preferences and every company makes a wide variety of knifes for different purposes. Given the amount of work, maybe it could be done gradually throughout the year?

  3. stuartb says:

    Morakniv, the ‘gateway’ brand for knife addicts (not me – I can stop any time, honest)

  4. Cubbie says:

    Mora. Being well made and good value I don’t mind putting it to hard labor.

  5. Jason Julian says:


    My criteria being their legendary status exists for a reason. Few, if no other manufacturer has produced a variety of blades used for so long, by so many, for so many jobs and purposes across the globe at both the price point and quality level that Morakniv has.

  6. Sam L. says:

    I have a Mora, but I like the looks and variety of Lionsteel. I’ll pick the Lion this time.

  7. Peter Kennedy says:


  8. Chase M. says:

    Morakniv. The emphasis the company has on quality and their unusually low price makes good knives available to all.

  9. Daniel J says:

    While I don’t want to join the complainers in saying that these brackets are apples and oranges, this matchup is particularly lopsided.
    That said, I appreciate the effort Clay and the gang have put into creating this, and I enjoy reading and voting in these posts. I don’t currently have any ideas for improving this next year, I will try to think of some.

  10. cmeat says:

    this has been fun so far, the end result being inconclusive aside from padding some much needed social media hits. so bravo, as a lark it is a far greater distraction for me than whatever is going on on the collegiate courts.
    it really brought some lurkers out- nice to see all the postings.
    my mora knives were all priced to where the made in sweden mark seems unlikely, but there it is. and i could spend three times as much on something asian. weird.
    i’ll give lionsteel a vote here and take another look at their catalog.

  11. Ed says:

    Why is it that not one of these Vs. has any Paragon/Asheville Steel knives? The Warlock and Phoenix models are something very unique and there fixed blades are super rugged. They also make a line of single action OTFs that are very cool….and yes, the match ups here have been very mismatched. I get that they are more or less just popularity contests, but they could have matched up the knife makers a bit more evenly.

  12. Dennis says:


  13. Dennis says:

    LionSteel – love their folders

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TTAK Knife Madness Round 1 Finale: Morakniv vs. Lionsteel

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