Craig Wisner

Ol’ Faithful. (Mora Classic Review)

During a routine sharpening, I realized that my Mora Classic No. 2 is over 8 years old now; I happened to come across the digital receipt in my account from the store it was ordered from.  I’ve gut many fish, built many fires, prepped who knows how many meals with it.  And tonight, after 10 minutes of work with some 500 and 1000 grit wet/dry sandpaper, a hardwood block (to back the sandpaper), and an old leather belt as a strop, it’s sharper than when I bought it.  8 years is certainly enough time to get to know a tool (I cannot stand the plethora of “unboxings” on the internet, knives reviewed by collectors that have played with them for 10 minutes.  Dave Chenault speaks well to that here).

This knife holds one of the best values of any piece of gear I own; I believe I paid $14 for it.  It can still be had for the about the same price.  I’ve owned probably half a dozen knives in the 8 years that I’ve had it (when will I learn?), and with the sole exception of my dive knife, every single one of them gets phased out, given away, or forgotten in the bottom of a drawer in favor of the Mora.

This knife has no “tactical” flair, nor is it made from exotic metals or materials that would bring a connoisseur to boasting.  Its features are simple and may not stack up against higher priced knives on paper (stick tang vs. full, a fairly basic sheath, etc.), but I have never found any of these details to reduce its real-world performance.  What it does bring to the table is functionality.  Large enough to slice a loaf of bread or a melon (a point that has always bothered me with sub-3″ blades), robust enough to baton wood or chop small branches, yet still thin and sharp enough for cleaning fish, food prep, and fine cutting.  It feels intuitive like a kitchen knife in the hand but is far more capable.  It’s the only knife I know that fits all of these criteria. Despite being uncoated carbon steel, I’ve never had a rust issue.  I gave it a patina with a vinegar soak when I bought it and I make sure to wipe it after use (if that is too much care to take….).  The scandi-grind makes it a snap for an amateur sharpener like myself to get a razor edge and the fact that it only cost $14 makes it even more useful; I am not scared to lose it or break it.  I’ve grown attached enough to avoid the former, and despite 8 years of use, I haven’t been able to manage the latter.  Keep truckin’ my Swedish friend.

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