It is not easy to pick a favorite Mora knife, but the “Classic” model with the red wood grips is one of the most comfortable to use, thanks to the absence of a handguard that could get in the way. You might have noticed the knife in the “Dual Survival” show around the neck of Cudy Lundin, who seemingly is a fan of it for many years, just like bushcrafting legend Mors Kochanski.
The sheaths are usually cheap hard plastic (ambidextrous use is possible) with a belt-loop-like-thing attached to it. However, you can push the tip of the blade through the closed bottom of the sheath ever so slightly if you apply enough force. Therefore, i do not recommend neck carry with this “holster”. If you fall on it full force, there is an accident waiting to happen. Also, the knife does not sit tight in this plastic affair and could get lost. It is probably better to invest in a good tight fitting leather sheath with some sturdy rivets.
I bought three of these knives a few years ago and i am still amazed at how sturdy and handy they are. Bear in mind that they have limitations. Repeated batoning in hard and dry wood will losen the blade in the wood grips and it might take a slight permanent bent. My models have blades a little over 4 inches made out of simple carbon steel. This is not the laminated steel version. You can also get a 6 inch bladed model to reach further down the peanut butter glass.
The birch handle comes coated with a red lacquer that stinks as hell. It actually smells so bad that i consider it not healthy to the touch. On the two knives i use, i ground the coating off. The grips are not waterproof any more now, but feel better and less slippery in the hand.
The slight modifications i like to make on these models are :
- Grinding thumb serrations into the back of the blade to help me apply pressure when carving
- Circular grooves on the handles to aid in gripping and prevent slipping forward on the edge due to the lack of a handguard
- A rounded notch on the edge near to the grip. The artificial ricasso gives you a tactile indicator (combined with the grooves on the back of the blade) in which direction your edge is pointing, even in the dark.
Modified and personalized as such and with a good handmade leather sheath, asthetics aside, the “Classic” Mora will give you the same service as any other puuko in this size range on the market, for a lot less money. Team it up with a small axe or machete and you are good to go.