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Scandi grind, what are they good for?

Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
740
I have bought a few Moras, but haven't used them too much yet. Seem to be very good quality! My question is to the Scandinavian grind, what does it excel in task wise? Using my #137 the other day to slice seed potatoes and let my mother use it (non knife person) and she says "that's already dull". I didn't say anything to her, but it was still shaving sharp. What she was feeling was the grind being so wide near the cutting edge due to being Scandi. I was also using a Robust to slice and break down cardboard and it really wasn't that great considering the extreme sharpness of the edge, the width and fairly blunt taper don't help for that type of slicing. I am considering putting a convex edge on them. I know the scandi, is popular and probably adds to the stiffness of the blade, so what type of use are they optimized for? So far I am not that impress with general type of cutting I have done with them. What is your opinion on that style?
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Messages
31,065
They are great wood chisels. So they are ideal for bushcraft. For food prep, I feel they are terrible.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2006
Messages
8,250
The problem with them is just what you describe. They get thick real fast so for general cutting most aren't going to be good but a mora companion mg is actually not that bad. I use it in the kitchen and it does fine. But that's because it's sub 3/32" thick. If you get anything thicker like a 1/8" thick stock they absolutely BLOW at general cutting and for cutting potatoes and onions they just don't work well at all. When I see some of the 3/16" thick scandis I squint my eyes and think to myself "this person does not know how to design/choose a knife." There's no reason for that other than a persons unfounded need to have a prybar. But, you asked what they excel at and here it is. This applies to even the 1/8" thick versions. I'm not going to comment on the thicker ones as I see no point to there existance.

They basically excel at wood carving. Because they bring there mass so far down on the blade you can actually get a thinner(less wide) blade profile and still have the ridgity of a wider FFG. This helps with giving you a thin AND strong knife but also helps in detail carving as your guide thumb on the spine doesn't have to strain to reach too far back to reach the spine. Getting wide fast also helps with splitting as it performs like a thicker stocked knife and gives you a greater wedging action. This is the dreaded battoning scenario:eek: and they work great at it. When trying to get a flat spot on a piece of wood the straight blade and the scandi can be used as a plane. Other knives just don't do this well at all. Making feather sticks is a breeze with a scandi as well. So if you want to go camping or hiking they are very good knives. For general utility I personally use something else.
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
740
Ok, I'm starting to understand a little better now. So for camping if I take a Mora AND my Opinel I should be able to handle a pretty broad range of tasks. I am still considering convexing the Mora some to make it a better all arounder, but still retain some stiffness. Any of you guys do that to yours? How did it work for you?

Thanks for your answers guys and especially you Shotgun for the very helpful explanation!
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
101
After having skinned numerous deer and butchered deer, boar, and pigs I feel that the scandi grind is the best for the job. A convex grind holds up pretty well but won't stay sharp as long IMHO and doesn't slice as well as a scandi, hollow-ground knives are really good until they dull (which happens fast when shaving a pig). The scandi is a bit of a compromise in that it doesn't slice quite as well as a hollow-ground knife and it isn't as sturdy as the convex grind, but it can be used during the whole process and still work well afterwards without having to sharpen it.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2013
Messages
838
They are probably best used in Scandinavian terrain; trees, bushes, etc, the stuff you'd be slicing and cutting is probably different in, for example, the U.S. There's a reason why it's called the "Scandi" grind; it came out of Scandinavia, or was mostly used there. I assume that's because the wood is, generally, relatively soft, and the scandi grind does well on "most" things you'd use a knife for in Scandinavia.
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2012
Messages
92
They are probably best used in Scandinavian terrain; trees, bushes, etc, the stuff you'd be slicing and cutting is probably different in, for example, the U.S. There's a reason why it's called the "Scandi" grind; it came out of Scandinavia, or was mostly used there. I assume that's because the wood is, generally, relatively soft, and the scandi grind does well on "most" things you'd use a knife for in Scandinavia.

Soft maybe, but a lot of them survived the last ice age, so they're tough in that aspect.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2014
Messages
101
I agree with many that most scandi ground knives are too thick for their bevel angles. Having a 30 degree scandi grind on a 1/4" thick blade produces a chisel like effect that in my opinion doesn't perform very well at all. Most of the time you see these issues in the "bushcraft" style blades where people like to run out into the closest patch of trees and baton the first branch they find. In that case it works well because of its wedge shape, however it totally lacks in even the most basic of cutting chores. Recently I made a scandi-ground blade out of a 1/4" thick metal file. I used a 10 degree cut for a total of a 20 degree grind. The grind came out crisp and clean, but there is a downside. There is now less material behind the cutting edge itself so it wont be as tough as the 30 degree bevels it may be compared to. However it will bite through wood like a starving beaver. It also performs decent in food prep and basic slicing tasks.

In my opinion scandi grinds can do extremely well when the stock to bevel angles are balanced properly and the user understands its limitations. Although I suppose that could be said about any grind!

Image of the 20 degree scandi on 1/4" stock:
991365_1397957319.JPG
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 29, 2013
Messages
1,041
As a general rule, the ones I have used seem to favor heavier usage and keeping more metal on the blade, but at the expense of some fine-cutting chores.

They don't seem to be hugely popular right now because in recent time the various flat grinds and full flat grind has gotten hugely popular due to its ability to multi-task and the tendency for knives to see such multi-tasking usage. I've always seen the flat grinds as kind of the middle of the road between the aggressive slicing hollow and the durable scandi and saber with the ability to fulfill various roles. I think their ease in upkeep is another reason for their popularity.

It also seems with some scandis that thinning becomes part of the sharpening tasks as the knife wears normally and the edge quickly thickens, and this presumably can sometimes create more difficulties and requirements in sharpening. Especially on thicker knives, they seem to love to bruise/mash delicate food and even if the edge itself is razor sharp, the drag generated and the fashion in which the knife parts the two sides of the cut material can give the impression that the knife is 100% dull and make cuts that cause 'blunt force trauma' to vegetables. Someone with extensive experience in sharpening could probably offset this?
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2011
Messages
1,301
It's just my opinion , but if you reduce the angle of the Scandi grind to where it cuts , you basically end up with a saber grind . Which is why I own some saber grind knives , but no Scandi grind ones .

A well designed saber grind knife can be quite thin , yet the full stock thickness at the top gives good strength , the slightly wider grind angle over a flat grind gives good splitting ability and the edge is still sharp enough to actually cut . Personally , I like a knife to be able to cut stuff .


............................................
HOLD MY BEER AND WATCH THIS !
 

me2

Joined
Oct 11, 2003
Messages
4,778
They are good for shallow cutting on soft, nonbinding material. Compare one to a regular flat ground blade and the scandi will do just as well as long as the depth of cut is no deeper than the edge bevel of the flat ground blade and as long as the edge angle is the same. Beyond that, the scandi starts to fall behind.
 

FortyTwoBlades

Baryonyx walkeri
Dealer / Materials Provider
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
24,876
Their advantage is specifically in wood carving, where the flat zero-ground bevel acts like a chisel to ride the surface for strong control with the shoulder of the bevel acting as a fulcrum to break from the cut. They're also cheap to manufacture. However, they absolutely suck at slicing as they're the very thickest you can make a knife when edge angle and stock thickness are held constant. This can be mitigated a bit by using thin stock (which ALSO reduces cost.)
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
131
It's just my opinion , but if you reduce the angle of the Scandi grind to where it cuts , you basically end up with a saber grind . Which is why I own some saber grind knives , but no Scandi grind ones .

A well designed saber grind knife can be quite thin , yet the full stock thickness at the top gives good strength , the slightly wider grind angle over a flat grind gives good splitting ability and the edge is still sharp enough to actually cut . Personally , I like a knife to be able to cut stuff .


............................................
HOLD MY BEER AND WATCH THIS !

Can you go into this more? I'm not understanding the difference between a scandi and a saber grind.
 

me2

Joined
Oct 11, 2003
Messages
4,778
A scandi grind might have a 10 degree per side(dps) primary grind with no secondary edge bevel. A saber ground blade might have a 5 dps primary grind with a 10-12 dps secondary edge bevel.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Messages
2,876
Like most people already mentioned, it's a good wood working grind. I find it practical for most chores, as long as the blade stock isn't too thick. To be honest, almost all of my Scandi knives are cheap ones (Moras of different types, some Helles and Wood Jewels, etc.) and the Scandi grind is cheap and easy to do.

I much prefer a full flat grind or a convex grind for almost any use, but I'll take a Scandi if the blade stock is thin and the knife isn't too pricey. I've been using Frost and Eriksson (now "Mora of Sweden") knives at my ranch for years and they do just fine (especially considering I can buy them in packs of 12).
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2010
Messages
1,875
So far folks have pretty much covered the ins and outs of a "scandi" grind, but the convexing issue I find particularly interesting. This is because it has been something I have been experimenting with. I absolutely love my well used carbon steel mora companion. I have used it quite a bit doing a lot of different tasks but as many have already stated, found it lacking in deep full cuts especially in harder medium. Basically to remedy this issue while still keeping some of what makes a scandi great like ease of sharpening and carving tasks, I simply softened the shoulders of the scandi grind. It is not as pronounced as a full on convexed knife, but it helps mitigate some of the issues with a normal scandi grind. I think taking too much off might cause some issues, but just softening things up has made a lot of difference for me. So for 10-15 bucks why not?! Try it out for yourself.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2010
Messages
1,875
So far folks have pretty much covered the ins and outs of a "scandi" grind, but the convexing issue I find particularly interesting. This is because it has been something I have been experimenting with. I absolutely love my well used carbon steel mora companion. I have used it quite a bit doing a lot of different tasks but as many have already stated, found it lacking in deep full cuts especially in harder medium. Basically to remedy this issue while still keeping some of what makes a scandi great like ease of sharpening and carving tasks, I simply softened the shoulders of the scandi grind. It is not as pronounced as a full on convexed knife, but it helps mitigate some of the issues with a normal scandi grind. I think taking too much off might cause some issues, but just softening things up has made a lot of difference for me. So for 10-15 bucks why not?! Try it out for yourself.
 
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