The Heavy Duty Bushcraft “Carbon Black” Knife Review:
Where to begin? Many of you who have followed my blog over the past year or so may know that I am a big fan of Mora Knives. In general terms I think the Mora Knife Company typically provides a high quality product a very reasonable prices. Mora Knife began selling its newest bushcraft knife in late summer of 2012 and I think it is one of their best knives yet! Keep reading to find out why.
First impressions straight out of the package were that the Mora Carbon Black Bushcraft Knife was heavier than I expected. The handle was thicker and more substantial than the Mora Companion MG and the blade was a bit longer and about twice as thick. Take a look at the picture below to see the difference in the two knives.
The handle material is the same, but the Mora Carbon Black handle is a bit longer, wider and has a deeper more pronounced finger groove. It feels very comfortable in the hand.
To begin the review on the Mora Carbon Black Bushcraft Knife I sliced up and drilled into some green bamboo. The blade is super sharp right out of the package in typical Mora fashion. As you can see it made quick work of this bamboo. The point of the knife is also very substantial, yet plenty sharp enough to drill holes and dig into the material to twist split the wood.
I wanted to give the Mora Carbon Black Bushcraft Knife a good test, so I found some hard oak branches and a 4.5 inch oak log. As you can see below I split into the log and twist split and carved some feather sticks out of the branches. I also split the oak wood down into kindling sized pieces and shaved off a few curls and feather sticks from them as well. The Mora Carbon Black Knife did wonderfully even when testing it on super hardwood like this knotty old oak. Pine, fir, cedar and other softwoods will be no problem for this knife.
Overall Length: 9 1/4″
Blade length: 4 1/4″
Blade Material: Carbon Steel
Blade Coating: Black Tri-Bond Coating (Looks like glossy gun metal blueing to me)
Blade Thickness: 1/8″
Blade Width: 15/16″
Handle Width: 1 1/4″
Handle Length: 5″
Knife Sheath: Similar design to the Mora Companion, made of tough plastic and comes with two different types of belt clips.
There are only a couple of things that kept the knife from being a 10 out of 10 stars. First, is color. While I love the all black color, only time will tell how well the coating lasts and as you can see in the picture below, it will be fairly easy to loose if you don’t keep track of it. Second is blade length. The blade is long enough to handle many, if not all reasonable bushcraft tasks. But if it had an extra inch on the blade I feel like it would still be super sturdy as it is now and would enable a little more room for splitting wood. Lastly, while the blade was Super sharp, the edge on the knife isn’t a “true” Scandinavian grind. Well at least the knife I got wasn’t. It had a very fine micro bevel on the edge. This really isn’t a big deal to me as I believe they probably have to do that because of the coating, and it will be easy enough to correct the first time I have to sharpen it. All of these things are very minor.
The knife is awesome. I really like it and am very comfortable saying that this knife will be able to take whatever you throw its way. I was previously a big fan of the Mora Companion MG, but the Carbon Black blows it out of the water. I give this knife a 9 out of 10 stars. It performed very well in all of my “backyard” tests and I will be following up with plenty of testing in the woods very soon. I plan on doing a video review of the knife in action as well, so keep an eye out for that too. I have seen the price of the Mora Heavy Duty Carbon Black range from $39.00 to about $50.00 which is probably priced about right. It is more expensive than the Mora Companion, but you are getting a much more substantial knife. Overall, I think this knife will make a great additional to your Survival, Bushcraft or Prepping gear and it is money well spent especially for the hardcore woodsman who spend a lot of time in the woods.
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Dump the protective coating and you got a winner and the price is a bit rough too for a mora !
I hear ya. I thought the price was OK, because it is a pretty solid knife. I really like it. But I am not too sure how well the coating will hold up. If it holds up well it will be fine. Because the coating isn’t like some other cheap coatings where it is essentially painted on the blade. This appears to be baked into or chemically bonded to the blade. So I am not sure how it will work out, but I will let you know for sure! Cheers JJ
I too love the Mora’s. This knife looks like their Bushcraft Survival knife, just black-coated and without the firesteel/ sharpener in the sheath. The Bushcraft Survival, which I own, is worth every penny of the $60 I paid for it. Looks like this one will be worth $40, too. I’ll have to snag one.
Yes, it is very similar. I just bought the Bushcraft Survival knife as well at the same time in fact as the Mora Carbon Black. The one difference I noticed right away is that the blade on the Bushcraft Survival is Stainless Steel, but the dimensions seem pretty close to the same.
do you intend to sharpen it scandi style? if so, i wonder if the coating on the bevel will hinder you much.
also a lot of hikers might be interested in knowing the weight of the knife and of the sheath. is it worth the extra weight for a more robust build? that may be a question for the individual.
thanks for the review.
I do plan on sharpening it Scandi style. I don’t think the coating will hinder the sharpening, but it may damage the coating. Im not sure about that. I will let you guys know for sure! Cheers JJ
Your photos are excellent and speak volumes. Your review is very concise. I have to figure that the coating will stand up as I own quite a few Moras and have tremendous respect for these knives and the Mora company. I’m glad to see that the knives are getting more robust, I don’t mind paying more for a stronger knife that cuts like a razor! Thanks for the informative review.
Without any doubt this is a very good knive.
Nearly the same performance delivers the Mora Robust and the Mora Heavy Duty MG for about 12 and 16 Euro. Though these are plain carbon steel, adding a patina with lemonjuice or coffee is recommended against rust.
Great review. I just received this knife tonight. I ordered it due to a lack of unkind words I could find about in, online. But, when I opened the package, I found a knife that seemed a little lighter than I expected. Your description, along with the photos of a day in it’s life made me feel a lot more comfortable with me purchase. I’ll grab some firewood out of the shed and give this one a once over after work, tomorrow. I did notice that you are one of the few reviewers that didn’t give it a “Con” for not being full tang. It’s good to see someone like a tool for what it is and what it isn’t…As for the color, my hands are big enough that I could get away with dressing the handle up in some orange 550 cord….
Again, great review!
“I was previously a big fan of the Mora Companion MG, but the Carbon Black blows it out of the water”.
I have the exact opposite experience.
The companion and the HD blow both this black carbon out of the water.
Yes this is one tacticool looking mother.
But for carving and slicing , this black carbon will loose the game totally.
I have had them all.
In the end the cheaper Mora’s are still the best in their line in my opinion.
Who needs that.
Get an axe or just grab around what’s around.
Batoning to me is overrated and silly.
I think they are all great personally. But SO far I haven’t found any issues with the Carbon Black, except maybe the finish. Not sure how crazy I am about that. But otherwise it has done excellent. I am also not a fan of battoning with a knife. I do it for knife testing or for teaching the technique but that is about it. When starting fire I almost always just start a twig fire.
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