Inexpensive, functional. Good blade geometry. Adequate…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $14 for the Classic No. 1; $40 for the Original Classic No. 1
Inexpensive, functional. Good blade geometry. Adequate steel. I've heard Moras referred to as "the best knives you've never heard of." In North America that is largely true, but across Scandinavia these knives are legendary.
- Steel, paricularly the laminate steel
- Balance and weight
Mora Original Classic No.1 in laminate steel
Mora Classic No. 1 in carbon steel.
Ask for a knife in Sweden and you'll be handed a Mora. These knives are named after the knife making center in Mora, Sweden. Morakniv is the last of the manufacturers of the knives originally designed by the Swede, Erik Frost. I've heard Moras referred to as "the best knives you've never heard of" and in North America that is largely true. I think of it as the Opinel of fixed blade/sheath knives. The knives are legendary in Scandinavia.
The difference between the Original Classic No. 1 and the Classic No 1 is the blade steel. The Original Classic No. 1 has a laminated blade. Laminated blades are more expensive but make for better blades. Steel treated to a higher hardness is sandwiched between softer steels. This means the blade is more flexible and much less prone to snapping while having a thin hard (61-63 Rc) cutting edge. The Classic No 1 has a high carbon blade of a steel very similar to 1095 and heat treated to a hardness of 59 Rc. The blades come from the factory VERY sharp. They're also easy to resharpen when necessary.
Other than the blades' construction, the differences are the red paint on the Classic No. 1's birch handles, different sheaths, and different costs. The Classic No. 1 and the Original Classic No. 1 are otherwise identical. The Original Classic No 1 can be had for ~$40. The Classic No. 1 can be had for ~$15, an incredible value, and a whole lot of bang for your buck!
- Overall length: 198mm
- Blade length: 98mm
- Blade thickness at spine: 2.4mm
- Blade width: 17.5mm
- Knife weight with sheath: 2.8 ounces (yes, that light)
- Tang: 3/4 rat tail
- Handle: Birch
The sheath of the Original Classic No. 1 is Unica, a vulcanized fiber eerily much like leather. It wears well. The Classic No. 1 comes with a dark plastic sheath and should be replaced. The handles are hand filling and quite good. The Classic No 1's birch handle is painted red and can be slippery when wet. This is important considering there is no hilt/guard. I removed the paint on my Classic Number 1 and carved grooves in the handle to give it more purchase and to personalize it. These knives are so inexpensive you should not be afraid to modify the handle. If you must have a guard, Mora makes the #611 with a single lower guard and the #601 with a double (upper and lower) guard. Otherwise the #611 and #601 are the same knives as the No. 1s.
These knives weigh next to nothing so the gram and ounce counters can even carry one. 2.8 ounces! They are so light, many modify the sheaths to make them neck knives. The biggest common problem with the two are the sheaths' belt loops. They are just a tad small by North American standards. It's tough using them on 1.75" belts.
This knife has a well earned worldwide reputation. This knife isn't a brute but is up to all of your outdoor tasks if you don't abuse it. The blade's spine won't throw those sparks from a ferrocerium rod until you square it, but a coarse stone will square it if you want to use it to throw those sparks.