Nature's Secret Larder - Mora Clipper Review - the best beginners bushcraft knife?

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Bushcraft Blog

Mora Clipper Review - the best beginners bushcraft knife?
9th November 2008

Mora 840MG

Visit www.greenmanbushcraft.co.uk to purcahse you Mora Knives! 


Time for another knife review! This review covers the hugely popular bushcraft knife, the Frosts or to be more exact Mora Clipper (as of 2011 known as the companion). Frosts have been bought out by Mora hence the reason you may see they knife as either brand, but they are the same thing.

As with all my reviews it will be pretty much jargon free and concentrate on what I feel really matters when choosing a knife. This review has also been set up to answer a questions which I must hear several times a day ‘which is the best bushcraft knife for beginners' or ‘what is the best bushcraft knife to buy if I'm on a budget?' I really don't mind receiving e-mails from people asking this, but the answer I almost always give is the same, the Mora Clipper. There are several variations of this knife but for the purposes of this review I have focused on the 840/60MG in either carbon or stainless steel (I will explain the differences later on).

Now the first exception to the rule here is that I would almost certainly recommend a knife with a ‘full-tang' blade. This means that the ‘tang' of the blade runs through the handle, in effect the blade and handle are one thing if you were to strip away the handle material. BUT, this is a feature you have to pay a little more money for and is lacking on the Mora 840/60MG knives. These knives have something known as a stick-tang, which means it doesn't run all the way along the handle. If you are going to depend on your knife in a life or death survival situation then make sure you have a good knife with a full-tang blade, but for most of us we don't we don't usually need it, if we have a good quality knife to start with, and although cheap all of the Mora knives are of a very good quality, and what's more, even though the 840/60MG lacks the full-tang, they are still exceptionally strong and will last most of us a lifetime.

There are, as I have already said two versions. Stainless steel (860MG) and Carbon Steel (840MG). They both have their pros and cons, but again for most of us its really not worth worrying about too much. We got a long way using just flint, a material that some will argue is better than any tool made today. So to keep it simple, I will say this. If you are to use your knife in saltwater environments or don't want to sharpen it very much opt for stainless steel. If however you want to use the back of your blade to create sparks using a flint and steel then opt for the carbon steel version. Carbon steel is a little easier to sharpen, and will often sharpen up a little more than stainless, but it will blunt much quicker and require more maintenance as it is very susceptible to rust. Other than the steel types, the knives are identical, so from this point on I will talk about the two as if they were one.

HANDLE - The handle is green on the versions im reviewing here, although other colours are avalible. The one advantage these knives have, over other slightly cheaper types of knives is that of the non-slip black ruberised handle grip. Some people don't like these, but I feel they work very well with this knife as the plain plastic handles are hard to grip in wet conditions.

SHEATH - The sheath is very simplistic and the belt clip is not the best, so for me its not a feature I would rely on. But for the price you really can't complain too much about this. Yes, it could be better but then the price would be higher and everyone would moan about it.

BLADE - OK, on to the all important blade. You will find the blade has been designed with more than one use in mind. They make ideal knives for hunting, bushcraft and I have even used my copy for use in the kitchen and for filleting freshly caught fish. The edge is exceptionally sharp from new, this is something that you wouldn't really expect of a knife that ranges in price from £11-£20. The blades are easily sharpened and are very robust, suitable for skinning, right up to splitting small logs into kindling for the fire.

HANDLE 10/10
SHEATH 7/10
BLADE 10/10
PRICE 10/10
OVERALL 37/40

CONCLUSION - My only gripe with this knife is the sheath, but as I have already mentioned above if it was better, the knife would cost more and then the price score above would go down. Other than that, I would give this knife a perfect score, as there is simply nothing on the market which even comes close at the price range of £11-£20. So, if you are a beginner, or just don't want to spend much to get your mitts on a good quality bushcraft knife, then the Mora 840/60MG is quite simply the best choice out there. Get yours from the links below.

CARBON STEEL (840MG)

STAINLESS STEEL (860MG)

Catch you on the trail

Kris


Comments

Kris on 22/09/12

Hi Rob, yes, the handles are moulded through holes in the tang. They're VERY hard to break!

The tougher and larger version is now out, visit http://www.greenmanbushcraft.co.uk/cutting-tools/mora-highq-robust-bushcraft-training-knife.htm

Thanks
Kris

Rob on 22/09/12

These might not be full tang but they are 3/4 tang with the plastic literally pressure molded through holes in the tang, if I'm not mistaken. Plus, these swedes apparently not only know their steel but their plastics too. They are tough!!!

You can drill your own lanyard hole if you want, etc.

To me the sheath is awesome as well, multiple carry options if you have a bicycle inner tube and any imagination or gear at all.

They are also coming out with thicker blade versions of all of their models from what I hear, for only $16 or so...

iwantasmiree on 16/05/12

Blade good on to the all important blade. They make ideal knives for hunting buchcraft and i love my mora knife

sean on 02/09/11

ive found a little handy way to help with the sheath problem, i carry a 6" length of bicycle inner tube as emergency tinder, and i used a bit of that around the top of the handle to the back of the sheath, works pretty well, hope thats some help

mano on 25/05/11

i bought my mora 860mg about a year ago, partly cause this review, and have nothing but the best things to say about it. My fiance and i have been using it all around the house from the kitchen to diy jobs and camping and couldn't find anything it couldn't do. I've lent it to Her grandfather (old army guy, used to hunt too) to skin and filet a rabbit, and he said i just have to name the price he'll buy it. I said no, but next time we met i gave him an 840 and he loves me like a grandson ever since.
The cord idea worked perfectly for me aswell.
I have to agree with Terry. Don't chop firewood with knives (any knife) use an axe. Some say You shouldn't have to carry the extra weight but i think it does worth it a good light axe is a very versitile tool (i carry mine on my belt, strapped to my thigh and can't even feel it's there)
Also You can strip some bark (wich this knife is excellent for) it catchas fire easier anyway...

Terry on 17/11/10

Why would you try to split a log with a knife? An axe perhaps. What is the obsession with being able to cut firewood with a knife. If it is all you have in an extreme emergency then bummer but how many of us get into true survival situations?

colin turnbull on 10/07/10

Having lost my first clipper first time out. I solved the sheath problem by hanging it on a small loop of 550 cord attached to a sping clip. as you cant 'push' a piece of cord the sheath is a lot less likely to unclip its self.

Uncle Jack on 10/03/10

I solved the problem with the sheath, put it on a piece of 550 cord and hang it around your neck. It's light enough you don't know it's there, but it's a handy location for quick use and you can still reach it easily if you have a full pack on your back.

Kris on 14/12/09

They are great knives and very strong, but not really meant to be used for spliting logs as they dont have a full-tang blade, and even knives which do could snap if used in that way depending on the type of wood.

kerry lees on 14/12/09

I've just snapped the blade on mine splitting a small log... anybody know an address to return it too as everybody says their bomb proof !! ??

bushcraftboy98 on 10/09/09

my first ever knife but it uncliped from my belt and fell on the ground. Because its sheath was green i couldnt find it, so a peace of advice paint a small patch of the sheath a bright colour. But still a good buy!

Ian on 03/03/09

Nice review, good information. Not wanting to push anyones products or anything like, but a search on (auction sites) for a leather sheath for the mora clipper, is well worth it. I've had several mora knives and one leather sheath. Well worth purchasing, makes using the Mora clipper even more of a joy. Also the particular sheaths in question are designed purely for the Mora clipper. Good product as an addition to the knife, check it out.

Woj on 10/02/09

Nice review, I'll be picking this one up really soon.

Paul on 26/01/09

Great review. Can't fault the service either. I mentioned I read the review and I got a free gift :-D

Martin Slater on 25/01/09

I thought your review was very well written and it convinced me the Mora Clipper 860mg was the one for me. So I just bought one. What the heck, Ray Mears even rates them!
Thanks.


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