Scandi-Convex grinds and the Mora HD

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by pinnah, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    Hallooo, Knife-people....

    Virtuovice's YouTube channel is one of my all-time favorites. He's super passionate and I love the side by each testing that he does. Also fun to watch his opinions shift over time.

    Virtuovice is a huge fan of Bark River knives and their convex and scandi-convex grinds. Awhile back, I found this video in which he compares a Bark River Buscrafter made out of 3V and a Mora HD made out of carbon.

    Inspired and curious, I got myself a Mora HD and I tried feathersticking with it in it's stock, pure scandi grind. I hated it.

    The abrupt shoulder is so large and severe, it caused the knife to "dive" deeply into the grain and I found it hard to control the cutting depth.

    Following the lead of Viruovice, I put the Mora HD on my course DMT diamond stone and rounded off the shoulder to give it a more convex geometry. I didn't take it all the way down to the apex but I did thin it and round it out quite a bit. The crude, unpolished version is shown here (I buffed it up later after the pictures were taken).

    [​IMG]image by Pinnah, on Flickr

    I had a week off and spent time on the front porch making a wind spinner out of some maple which had some very nice splaiting in it but was very, very hard.

    [​IMG]image by Pinnah, on Flickr

    Making this wind spinners is a great way to get a feel for a knife. Lots of shaving cuts in both the forward and backward direction. When the wood is hard, cutting ability and handle comfort problems show up fast. I had a flat ground Schrade 5OT and a thin convex Opinel N8 with me. Neither could keep pace with the convexed Mora in the hard maple. The combination of the more aggressive convex and stiff blade just blasted through the maple where the flat ground 5OT would bind and the Opinel would just skitter off the wood. This sort of cutting puts a good amount of side pressure on the blade and edge and I think the Opinel N8 was just too flexible. (I've had better luck with N9s and N10s for this kind of work, but the handles on the N9 and N10 fill my hands better).

    The shape of the handle of the Mora worked really well for me. It gave excellent lateral control and worked well for draw cuts. It gave a good hand filling hold in a power grip but still allowed me to choke up easily for more detailed work. The only issue I had was that the sticky rubber caused an abrasion hot spot on my thumb at one point.

    One thing I've been reading and listening about is how the edge line of a knife can help with wood shaving. The theory I've heard is that a slight curve to the blade allows for better wood shaving. This seems similar to other things I've read that say that shavings work best when made with a bit of a slicing movement. The Mora HD definitely has this slight curve and (once convexed) makes shavings wonderfully.

    I can't compare the convexed Mora HD to the Bark River. You can watch Viruovice's video for that. But wow... it's a wood shaving machine and super comfortable to use. In it's stock full scandi grind, the knife was, for me, just meh. Ground to a convex. WOW.

    Alright. Thanks for reading. Bye bye!
    filedog likes this.
  2. Brisket


    Aug 2, 2009
    Great post pinnah and very impressive job on the maple wind spinner. I'm a fan of the Bark River scandi-convex.
  3. klineh

    klineh Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Sweet! I just picked up some DMT coarse and extra-coarse bench stones that need to be broken in. I've got a Mora classic #1, I love the thin blade, but not so much the slicing ability (or lack thereof). I know what I'll be doing this weekend... Thanks for sharing man!
  4. kamagong


    Jan 13, 2001
    Scandi, schmandi...

    Whatever their original grinds, puukkos and other Nordic knives often end up slightly convex. They even have secondary bevels sometimes. :eek:

    Check out these old puukkos.


  5. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    I can assure you mine now has a secondary bevel on it because I intentionally put it there!!
  6. Brian Andrews

    Brian Andrews

    Dec 11, 2006
    I think this is a good example of "what you get used to." Because I find the exact opposite to be true.

    I can not stand a bit of curvature in the grind. Since I make all my own stuff, I make the bevel flat to begin with, and then I do all my maintenance on water stones.

    I find that the flat, wide bevel is what creates the control, gives me a stable surface and lets me control how deep the cut goes and where it goes. Even a touch of rounding (for me) creates a wobble, and a hunting for the "sweet spot" that I just can not stand.

    Like I said "Its what you get used to" :) And it is interesting to hear the other side of my own opinion.

  7. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    Brian, very interesting comment. I've seen the same exact phenomena when comparing road bikes and skis. Technique becomes ingrained and invisible. YMMV is the key, I guess.

    FWIW, I'm a long time Opinel user so perhaps the issue is that I've grown accustomed to convex blades.

    By flat to begin with, are you talking pure scandi?
  8. Smithhammer


    Nov 9, 2012
    Cool and interesting experiment, Pinnah. :thumbup:

    And I know it's been pointed out a million times before, but prior to modern factory knife production, virtually every so-called "Scandi" was actually "Scandi-vex" (both modern, invented terms). And just about every other knife in the world was convexed to some degree. Somehow we survived quite well until the 20th century with these edges. Go figure.
  9. Shotgun


    Feb 3, 2006
    Wow. By cross posting I thought you meant different forums. LOL

    I replied in the other one but I find slight convexes to be better for me too.
  10. neeman


    Apr 5, 2007
    I prefer a zero scandi grind

    I know where the cutting edge is always
    I place the knife on the one and only bevel and that is my cutting edge
    I want to raise the edge slightly, I pivot it on the top back of the grind

    And yes I have a mircro bevel thet comes thru stropping
    But not enough to loose the feel of the zero
    Once I loose the feel of the zero I put the knife on to a very fine stone for a touch up

    I have stopped buying knives with Scandi-vex
    They vex me
    They are not scandi and not convex
    I got two scandi-vex from tops, and solved the problem of the supposed scandi, which was nothing more than a saber grind
    I fully convexed one and put a full secondary bevel on the the other

    Full zero scandis from Enzo, Roselli, Helle, Mora, and a maker called Aaron Wolf
    (and Brian who is on my wish list)
  11. tholiver


    Feb 22, 2003
    Whatever floats your boat but personally i loathe convex and prefer scandis. Actually i'd take FG and even hollow ground over convex. Had one Bark River knife, love many of their designs but could never warm to convex. Neeman did you perhaps have the Tops Dragonfly? How bad is the Scandi-vex on that? I'm itching to buy one but the chance i'll hate the grind is holding me back.
  12. tek77

    tek77 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 9, 2009
    That wind spinner is awesome. Big fan of the spiral carving, and now I can see some practical application for it.

    As much as I like the idea of a true scandi, it never worked for me.
    It works great on green wood, but will never work on the hard/seasoned wood I am using. I can find some green wood here in Southern CA desert that will guaranteed chip/roll a true scandi edge....not even the fancy s30v on my spyderco puuko couldn't take it....and now I am a scani-vex fan.

    I usually put a slight convex on the scandi edge using sand paper and leather strop. But never thought about knocking off the shoulders. Gotta make it a better slicer.
    Although, thinking about it, the shoulder was never in the way during use for me :confused:

    Great post.
  13. neeman


    Apr 5, 2007
    I have three tops that are Scandi-vex
    the CUB that I had skip when it tried fine cuts and feathering
    I turned in to a very shallow acute convex
    it is now excellent for very fine cutting

    the 2.5 mini Scandi
    I just put a secondary bevel
    it is small enough not to bother any more warm as it is a small blade on a small handle

    the BOB I left as is
    too much metal to work
    it is for tougher work and less fine cutting
    the vex works well

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