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Thread: Mora Vs. Lapin, Helle, etc.

  1. #1
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    Mora Vs. Lapin, Helle, etc.


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    When I first began looking at Scandi-style knives, I sort of took Mora for granted and began looking at brands like Helle and Lapin, which are both decidedly more expensive than Mora. After being bombarded by the inescapable positive reviews of Mora knives, I began to wonder, what do the high-end puukko-style blade like Helles and Lapins offer over a Mora #1? Is there a large difference in steel or construction? I figure the pretty handles figure in, as does general polish, but in your experience, would you guys trust one of these more than a Mora, or prefer them for a specific task?

  2. #2
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    There is too much buzz about Mora from my point of view. I suggest to take it with a grain of salt: remember that in every Mora review the key phrase is "for the money". They are cheap: so you do not have to give much value to have a user happy. Yes, I have got a few Moras. I have also got Hultaforses and a few Martinniis: and I like them even more for the design, quality and variety they represent... And that is still in the same price range as Mora. If all you need is to cut stuff: Mora will do it. And many others will do that too: even besides those I have mentioned.

  3. #3
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    People buy MORA knives due to a perception that they give good value. I think they do give good value, but that is neither here nor there.

    You pay more and more for each incremental climb up the quality ladder.

    Most Nordic knife makers do not chase "super steels." But some custom maker will be happy to use whatever you want.

    If, as an extreme example, your life will be on the line, consider that MORA knives are regarded in Sweden as disposable tools.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Linton View Post
    People buy MORA knives due to a perception that they give good value. I think they do give good value, but that is neither here nor there.

    You pay more and more for each incremental climb up the quality ladder.

    Most Nordic knife makers do not chase "super steels." But some custom maker will be happy to use whatever you want.

    If, as an extreme example, your life will be on the line, consider that MORA knives are regarded in Sweden as disposable tools.

    As a general this is true for both Mora and Hultafors knives.
    Time is money and it's cheaper to give a construction worker a new Chinese made Hultafors instead of sharpening it.
    I believe most Swedes of today have forgotten how to properly sharpen a knife and instead buy a new Mora.

    If You treat Your Mora and Hultafors as You would treat Your fancy "Survival" knife, You get a lot more out of both brands!
    The steel and heat-treatment are good, but the factory edges suck!
    I always put my own edges on my scandi's and sometimes both a new handle and a sheath.

    In this way they can last for twenty years or more!


    Regards
    Mikael

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael W View Post
    As a general this is true for both Mora and Hultafors knives.
    Time is money and it's cheaper to give a construction worker a new Chinese made Hultafors instead of sharpening it.
    Are the Hultafors knives really made in China?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustyknife View Post
    Are the Hultafors knives really made in China?
    Yes, I asked this Q to dePaul, another Swede on BF and he confirmed this.
    Originally they were made in Sweden, but it was too expensive to produce here.
    So the production was outsourced to China.

    The redhandled HVK model was made in Sweden and I found two of the last in a countryside hardware store this winther.


    Regards
    Mikael

  7. #7
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    I think moras quality is better then helle for a fraction of the price

  8. #8
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    I've several examples of Mora, Helle, Ahti, Wood Jewel, and Lapin knives. Most Mora's are machine made and use synthetic handle materials. The others use more traditional construction methods and natural handle materials. Looks and feel wise Mora's don't compare well with the other scandies. However, Mora blades are sharp and cut as well as any other in my estimation. You pay more for wood handles, leather sheaths, etc.. If you want a practical hard use knife with a good blade the Mora is where I would look first. IMHO, the Mora will do anything any of the others will do. However, looks and feel can be important.

  9. #9
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    The level of finishing on Mora knives is somewhat crude compared to the more expensive brands like Helle, Karesuando, and the higher-end Marttiini. Of course those nicer brands are priced accordingly.

    What gets overlooked sometimes are the in-between brands that offer thicker blades and better parts fitting than Mora, but without the 'artistic' or fancier designs and materials of the high-end brands. Lapin, Ahti, mid-range Marttiini like the Lumberjack, and Järvenpää are some that I think fall into this category.

    If you want the best knife that $13 can buy, you want a Mora. If you want something better, you gotta spend more.

  10. #10
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    How about a more expensive Mora? Mora 311F is definitely not a run-of-the-mill Mora. I've only seen one or two threads on here about it, so I guess not many here have handled it. Neither have I, for that matter. LOL

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondrop View Post
    How about a more expensive Mora? Mora 311F is definitely not a run-of-the-mill Mora. I've only seen one or two threads on here about it, so I guess not many here have handled it. Neither have I, for that matter. LOL
    My guess is the more upscale wood handle and laminated bladed Moras are in the same general class as Ahti, Lapin, etc..

  12. #12
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    The #311 in laminated carbon steel is a great choice!
    Lam. Mora blades has a core of Swedish made O1 steel, at HRC 61!
    The outsides are made of soft carbon steel and this means the blade can take a bend.
    It is still possible to bend the blade back to true and the core is intact.

    I buy laminated blanks and make my own handles and sheaths for them.
    The knife below is a #311 blade with a Sambar Stag Crown and I use it daily at work.




    Another homemade is this stacked leather using a Mora Bushcraft Force blade in stainless 12c27 steel.



    The pommel is from a scrapped knife and the guard is made of brass.
    The sheath was also homemade in thick cowleather.

    Regards
    Mikael

  13. #13
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    I would like to begin making knives from blanks like that, but I figure I could do with a few more full purchases first. I do dig those blades, though!

  14. #14
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    Thanks, it's fun to do , but it's easier to just get a finished knife in the style You like.
    All of the suggested knives are good and it's up to Your personal taste wich one You like the most.

    I would be surprised if it wasn't a good knife!


    Regards
    Mikael

  15. #15
    I'm curious. I've read on BF before that Mora knives are supplied to construction workers to use and throw away. I worked construction for 30 years and never saw anyone use a fixed blade to do anything. What are they doing with them?
    Sorry if this is off-topic.

  16. #16
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    Just because Mora's are cheap doesnt mean that they wont do the job that some Helle or more expensive one cost. If I pay 10x or 20x the price of a Mora, it doesnt mean that I get 10x or 20x the Mora in blade steel quality or whatever, it might just be the extra cost of the scales/handles. I agree it might look alot nicer than the Moran with some custom wood handles but that doesnt mean it will save you life any quicker cause it looks good.

    People do mention Mora's for the money but that is because it is a knife that preforms well above a $13-25 price tag!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolabeenz View Post
    I'm curious. I've read on BF before that Mora knives are supplied to construction workers to use and throw away. I worked construction for 30 years and never saw anyone use a fixed blade to do anything. What are they doing with them?
    Sorry if this is off-topic.
    Anything that needs a knife.
    Overhere most craftsmen and construction worker, are allowed to carry a fixed knife.
    If we are carrying a folder, it will mostly be a multitool.
    Personally I'm working as a carpenter in the kitchen buisness.

    I have sharpened knives for collegues after some time of use/abuse.
    The factory edges are dull, chipped like a saw, bent, nicked, dinged, rusty, rolled and the tips are broken.

    After a regrind on my beltsander, the knives has got new convexed edges and cuts better than ever.
    No company I have heard of do this sharpening of their workers knives.
    This is a waste in my opinion, as the knives don't start to perform until the factory edges are gone.

    This is here in Sweden, but I have come to understand that workers in the USA, mostly use folders and not fixed knives, right?


    Regards
    Mikael
    Last edited by Mikael W; 07-07-2013 at 07:51 AM.

  18. #18
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    Mora's are practical and inexpensive knives and in Sweden I've seen them in sport stores and hardware stores. That's also why I often compare them with the Herder sodbusters. Practical well-built knives, inexpensive and sold as tools in hardware stores. Here in the Netherlands, at least in the north, the Herders are still used by construction workers and farmers. My grandfather and father used Herders for work on the farm and I recently saw a construction worker in my appartment building using his Herder to cut a piece of tape.

    There are more expensive and higher quality knives than Herders, Mora's and I think Opinels should also be mentioned in this category. But, if you carefully maintain these tools and accept their limitations, they will serve very well. Mora's popularity probably is not only because of the price-quality ratio, but I think they also do a very good marketing job and several outdoor guys on TV use Mora's.

    BTW, the Mora's are not very well known here in the Netherlands. Maybe that's due to the fact that we don't have a tradition of carrying fixed blade knives. As far as I can remember, my father and grandfather always carried a folding knive with one blade.

  19. #19
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    Depends on your approach to knives. Modern Moras IMHO are use and toss out. The older Moras, Broderna Jonsson and Carl
    Andersson and a couple others were great knives; laminated steel, birch handles, chromed brass fittings, real leather sheaths.
    Mordern Mora are plastic wrapped around a piece of metal.

    I also have/used Ahti (Metsa), Iisakki Jarvenpaa (carbon with black sides), Kauhavan Puukkopaja, Roselli (both carbon and UHC),
    Lapin, Wood Jewel and Woodsknife. Also Helle, Brusletto, Enzo - all fine knives. All fine knives; well made. Of course more expensive. So like I said, depends on your approach - a quality, good looking knife that will last forever or a plastic knife-like thing that you can use and throw away.

    Rich
    Last edited by Rich S; 07-07-2013 at 07:45 AM. Reason: add

  20. #20
    Other than people that insulate pipes etc. most cutting is done with box cutters that have replaceable blades. Folding knives came out at lunch, and that was rare. Not being able to properly sharpen a knife is a big factor in not using them. Plus, you would be considered odd if you used a knife; always answering the question "what are you using a knife for?". We tend to conform to the norm on the job.
    I got into knives after I retired. BTW I have 5 Mora's and like fooling with them without a thought about how inexpensive they are.
    Just got an F1 and like that one too.

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