In the world of knifery, there are two schools of thought: One says big and heavy is better; the other says light and small. Among the leading proponents of the latter school is the Swedish firm of Mora, which has been turning out cutlery in the town of Ostnor for four centuries. Mora was once a cottage industry; there was a forge in every home, and everyone was a smith. Now it’s all done in a factory, but the basic formula—a very slim blade and a light knife in a pouch sheath—is still the way they go.
The original-pattern Moras have wood handles (painted red) and laminated tool steel blades. They sharpen with extreme ease, and are beloved of such hard-corps (not core) outdoorsmen as Keith McCafferty and Mors Kochansky. But the world does not stand still, so the latest Moras, while following the basic plan, are made of non-laminated stainless with a black-powder epoxy coat, and molded-on ergonomic rubber handles.
There are two of them: the Companion Black and the Companion Tactical. Both have 4-inch sabre point blades that are only 0.1-inch thick, nice, sticky ergonomic handles, and excellent hard-plastic sheaths*. The Tactical has a slightly larger handle, at least on my samples, and a webbing outer sheath that’s MOLLE compatible. Both knives are extremely light.
For whatever reason, possibly because they’re very early production, neither of my knives came with much of an edge, which is odd because most Moras can perform corneal surgery right out of the box. However, both of them sharpen effortlessly, and now they can slice and dice a cornea or whatever body part you prefer.
The price? Unlike most of what I flog here you can afford them with whatever you have in your wallet at the moment. The Companion Black is $34.99 and the Tactical is $10 more. I don’t see either of them on Mora’s website yet, but in any event it’s www.industrialrev.com/morakniv.
*So far this year year, I’ve been treated to a whole bunch of truly wretched “tactical” sheaths. Put a knife in one and walk through the woods and it sounds like two skeletons screwing on a tin roof**. This is not tactical. The Scandinavians know how to make a sheath that keeps it mouth shut.
**This wonderful description is not mine; it came from the late conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, who used it to describe harpsichord music.