Mora 2000


A shot of the Mora 2000 (middle knife) along with several other scandinavian blades :

some scandinavian
	blades

The review consists of :

Description

The Mora 2000 Ragweed Forge has a wide 12C27mod stainless steel blade, hardened to 58 HRC. It is 7/8" wide, 4.6 inches in length and weigh a 95 grams with the balance handle heavy, 7/8" behind the guard. The edge has the wide scandinavian bevel ground at 10.4 (4) degrees. Through the base of the blade the knife is just flat stock 0.095" thick, however the tip (1.75" long) has both a distal taper and slight full flat primary grind producing an edge which is 0.031" thick. It also has an integral guard part of the rubber grip. The sheath is hard plastic and weighs 45 grams. It has two drainage holes and a belt loop which is 2 7/8" wide. The blade finish is quite high, providing a clean reflection and can be used as a signaling mirror readily. The handle and sheath had some loose bits of plastic which needed to be trimmed off. The edge was clean, no reflection of light.

Stock work

The Mora 2000 was initially fairly blunt. It had little shaving ability, and could not push cut newsprint or make a slice even on angle. Cutting light thread showed considerable variation with the very tip being more than twice as sharp as the base. Slicing 1/4" poly showed an almost total lack of aggression. The influence of sharpness was verified by cutting some 3/8". The force required for the push cuts near the base was very high compared to the tip, little aggression was seen on a slice.

With the edge in this condition there was little to no ability to cut meats or trim fats. Tomatoes and plums were also near impossible to cut without squishing, unless the tip was used to poke them apart. Hard synthetic ropes could also not be sliced effectively too much slippage, and the blade was also ineffective on various fabrics, paper, cardboard, and rubber tubing. However on stiff and wedging materials like celery and woods, the knife still showed a high level of cutting ability due to the thin profile.

Based on experience honing another Mora , the Mora 2000 had the edge reset with a 1000 grit waterstone. It took awhile for the edge to form clean which was edge was then refined with a 4000 stone and stropped on chromium/aluminum oxide loaded leather for six passes per side. Total sharpening time was twenty five minutes. A more coarse hone would have been of benefit initially to recut the edge. Details :

initial sharpness and cutting ability of the Mora 2000 and performance after a light honing
Condition Thread Poly Hemp
push slice
base tip
grams cm lbs
NIB 163 (32) 5.0   (1) 29-31 16-18 26-28
Honed  79 (  3) 0.23 (3) 10-11 13-14  9-10

The large change in sharpness as shown on the thread and especially poly cutting induced a corrosponding influence on the performance on the hemp which showed a massive drop in the force required. The base of the blade showed a much larger change as it was more blunt NIB than the tip. With the freshly sharpened edge which easily push shaves and cuts straight down into newsprint with no draw, the Mora 2000 easily handles trimming of meats and slices up tomatoes with no slippage and readily cuts into various fabrics, paper, cardboard and rubber tubing.

Pointing some ends on a hardwood dowel (basswood) the Mora 2000 needed 2.0 +/- 0.1 slices. The performance was extreme due to the thin blade stock, acute bevel and excellent leverage due to the edge being fully sharpened right to the handle. On birch it also did well, pointing a section of flooring in 14 (2) slices. Cutting television cable, the Mora took 39-41 lbs and was undamaged after twelve sections were cut.

With a 50 lbs push, the tip sank 275 (20) pages into a phone book, showing excellent penetration which was further reflected by achieving 787 (33) pages on a hard vertical stab. The penetration was enhanced by the thin stock and slim distal taper with the only less than optimal feature being the slightly wide wide tip. The 2x4 digging was not attempted as the tip was too thin, and some light prying determined that the blade did not have the necessary stiffness due to lack of cross section in the tip.

Food

The Mora 2000 has the length of a utility knife, unlike a dedicated kitchen knife it does not have a dropped blade so work on a cutting board is awkward. It needs to work close to the edge of the cutting board to cut through to the bottom or work up through the tip with the blade raised at an angle above the board. It can handle precision cutting like cutting up peppers, but it awkward compared to an actual kitchen knife :

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While the steel stock is quite thin, there is little wedging across the flats which reduces performance on thick vegetables. Using the Mora 2000 to cut a medium sized onion, it would take about 5.5 lbs and the Japanese utility knife only about 2.

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When the vegetables were small, such as on the end of a carrot, the blades would be similar in force taking only 1.5-1.75 lbs. However towards the end of the carrot the Mora 2000 would require double the amount of force as the Japanese blade to make a cut.

The Mora 2000 also lends itself well to food cutting as it has very stainless steel resisting corrosion even when left wet or exposed to frust acids. There was no development of a patina or any evidence of rusting with extended use. The knife is also quite light in hand and therefore much nicer to use for a lot of work such as breaking down chickens and turkeys than something like the Camp Tramp.

While in the kitchen a smaller knife (#1260 for example) is more optimal for peeling dozens of potatoes, or a longer blade for cutting large bolts of meat (#749, the Mora 2000 is small enough to not be awkward for light work with still enough blade length to handle the vast majority of food prepeartion. The rubberized grip is also comfortable and secure and worked well even cleaning some fish and security was not loacking even when covered in the offal.

Brush and wood work

The Mora 2000 was used for a variety of cutting on wood and other vegetation.

light vegetation

The knife worked well in cutting light vegetation in regards to ease of cutting, however it was too short to effictively gather a signifiant amount in a short period of time, the #749 is a much more effective type of scandinavian blade for such work. The performance of the Mora 2000 for this cutting can be enhanced by a partial grip around the end of the handle to increase the reach but even then the working range is still too short. For small woody vegetation it works ok on the lighter material due to its very productive cutting profile, but the lack of power on the swing soon makes it ineffective on clearing even small to moderate brush (more than half an inch or so thick). For very light vegetation the reach can be extended by attaching the knife to a stick to make a bill hook which allows a lot more power on the swing as well which would readily lead to damage on hard wood contacts.

carving

The thin stock and acute edge make the Mora 2000 an excellent choice for carving in woods. Its performance is a little less than optimal because of the wide blade which prohibits turning and thus carving contours is difficult, however it works much better for example than many blades such as the CU/7. For most work of this type the #1260 or similar blade shape is more effective, however the Mora 2000 still offers higher performance than many fixed blades due to the much smaller cross section due to the thin blade stock and acute edge grind.

chopping

The Mora 2000 is very light with a handle heavy balance so has little chopping ability. Even grasped around the end of the handle little power can be generated on a swing. The largest wood it can handle directly are alders about the same thickness as the width of the blade, just under an inch :

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A decent chopping blade such as the Tramontina bolo can cut alders 2-3" thick readily in a single chop. The chopping power of the Mora 2000 can be enhanced by pulling thicker woods so as to place them under tension, which will allow the Mora 2000 to cut fairly large boughs which will fill out debris shelters quickly. All of the following were cut with a single chop :

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On thicker wood the Mora 2000 can be used with a baton, this is fairly slow however, behind the saw on the Rucksack for example which is well behind a decent large chopping blade even on hard to chop wood.

splitting

The Mora 2000 doesn't have the blade length to directly baton through larger wood, but has enough length to usually cut a shim off the side. This can allow larger splits to be made, after repeated a few times and carving the splits into wedges the wood can be split directly :

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The wood bits at the bottom are the remains of one of the larger wedges which broke during the splitting. As the wood is split, it becomes easier to continue the splitting which gives more material for wedges. As the edge is fairly acute, attempting to chisel cut through hard knots should be avoided as this could turn the edge. Jim Aston was one of the first to discuss the use of knives of this style for batoning to split and cut wood on the internet.

digging / prying

The thin blade stock, 0.095", and the distal taper produce a very slender tip despite it being decently wide. This lack of cross section means the stiffness is low and even with moderate penetration in wood the knife is unable to pry out pieces due to lack of strength (1/4" in clear pine). It is strong enough to pry off even fairly thick pitcy bark :

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It also is robust enough to dismantle rotted deadfall wood for tinder which can also provide a food source in various bugs. In such cases it is often helpful to carve diggin sticks and prying and wedging tools from hardwood such as the two tapered birch sticks in the above. Which not only keep the fingers out of the possibly insect infested wood, but reduce blade wear as such wood is often very dirty.

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fire

Continuing the above splitting until the round is broken up into very slender pieces of wood which can be carved into fuzz sticks, a blazing fire can be obtained from a solid piece of wood.

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Some thick bark was broken up and used as a base to provide air flow and to keep the hot embers from falling on the semi-damp ground, the fuzz sticks went next and along with some pitchy bark :

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a solid blazing fire was burning in about 15 minutes with a solid breeze :

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as the heavier wood burned and eventually settled into a solid coal bed :

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enough heat was provided to burn fresh wood, here some alders were used :

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It takes a fair amount of time to make a fire using the above method as the splitting is a bit time consuming, if it has not rained lately and the wood is decently dry it is usually possible to start a fire with some bark or brush :

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Once the fire is going strongly larger dead woods can be added, split as necessary if they are wet or just really large.

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In urban areas, or close to them, often "garbage" can be used in fire making, stoves can often be scavanged from large cans or drums or other items long thrown away :

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Edge retention and ease of sharpening

The Mora 2000 was used on a variety of materials to see how long it could cut without needing to be sharpened, the manner in which it blunted, and the response to sharpening.

3/8" manilla hemp

As a stock test for edge retention, the Mora 2000 was used to slice through free standing 3/8" manilla hemp. Details :

Edge retention of the Mora 2000 with a 22 degree micro bevel formed by a fine DMT rod cutting 3/8" manilla hemp on a slice. Sharpness was measured as slicing aggression on 1/4" poly held under 1000 g of tension
Number of hemp cuts Edge length required to cut the poly
cm
  00.80 +/- 0.05
  21.10 +/- 0.10
  61.25 +/- 0.18
 14 1.30 +/- 0.26
 30 1.70 +/- 0.16
 62 2.60 +/- 0.28
126 3.25 +/- 0.37
254 5.50 +/- 0.43

It did well, able to cut a large amount of hemp, though was outcut by harder and higher alloy blades.

used carpet

The Mora 2000 was used to cut used carpet on a draw with the edge as finished 600 DMT rod set at 22 degrees per side alongside a Spyderco Military and Temperance and carbon steel Mora. Three runs were done with each knife with the cuts made in random order through the carpet. The stainless blades were not significantly different and all had a clear advantage over the carbon Mora.

cardboard

The Mora 2000 and carbon steel Mora were used to slice 1/8" ridged cardboard across the ridges over a two inch section of edge for a short run of a total of ten meters cut with each blade. The knives were held at a 45 degree angle during the cutting to enhance the slicing ability. The sharpness was measured periodically on light thread and 1/4" poly under a 1000 gram load. For each trial the knives were honed on 1000 and then 4000 grit japanese waterstones and finished with a light stropping on 0.5 micron chromium/aluminum oxide loaded leather and then plain leather (six passes per side for both). After the honing the blades would smoothly shave and push cut newsprint readily. Two runs were made the results were consistent :

Edge retention of the Mora 2000 vs carbon steel Mora on 1/8" ridged cardboard cut on a slice over two inches inch of blade. Sharpness was determined by the amount of force (grams) necessary to push cutting light thread.
Model Initial 1.4 m cut 4.1 m cut 9.6 m cut
Mora 2000 91 (14) 120 ( 8) 150 (32) 193 (25)
carbon steel Mora 99 ( 7) 134 (24) 160 (24) 198 (25)

and similar for the 1/4" poly under a 1000 g load :

Edge retention of the Mora 2000 vs carbon steel Mora on 1/8" ridged cardboard cut on a slice over two inchs of blade. Sharpness was checked by slicing 1/4" poly under 1000 g of tension.
Model Initial 1.4 m cut 4.1 m cut 9.6 m cut
Mora 2000 0.33 (5) 0.53 (17) 0.67 (13) 0.83 (10)
carbon steel Mora 0.38 (9) 0.65 (19) 0.90 (19) 0.97 (25)

In short, no difference was noted on the thread and the poly showed an advantage for the Mora 2000 but the run wasn't long enough to quantify the difference. The edges degraded in a similar manner, small chips about 0.1 mm deep and 0.5 mm wide at the largest. It took less than a minute on a 1000 grit waterstone to remove the chips, and a couple of minutes more to raise the polish with a 4000 grit waterstone and then finish on 0.5 micron chroimum/aluminum oxide loaded leather. No significant difference in responce to honing was noted with either blade. The Mora 2000 was also compared to a Silver Trident in 154CM slicing cardboard and had much better edge retention through improved edge stability.

Ease of sharpening

The steel works easily and responds well to even simple abrasives. The edge bevel is very wide in the choil area but the distal taper and flat grind in the tip reduces the width of the forward edge, improving ease of sharpening. If the entire width of the edge is honed it is easy to maintaining a constant angle because feedback is high, however the time required for sharpening is many times greater than with a knife with a secondary edge bevel because of the much greater amount of steel which needs to be removed.

For most light utility work the edge can be quickly honed with a fine stone, however if the edge takes even light visible damage to a fraction of a millimeter in depth, even a medium grit 1000 waterstone is very ineffectice. If the Mora 2000 is going to be maintained with the single bevel grind then a very coarse stone is going to be required if the blade is used on abrasive material. The coarse hone is used to just set the bevel, once the edge appears free of all damage finer stones can increase the polish if desired with an appropiate micro-bevel.

Handle ergonomics and security

The handle has a comfortable shape which fills the hand well and has the security enhanced by the "grippy" nature of the rubber. The shape is very grip inspecific and thus has a very high versatility with excellent ergonomics regardless of grip orientation. Even with vegatable oil on the handle and the Mora 2000 is still able to be used for powerful cutting and chopping and even hard stabs with minimal slippage. However when greased with liquid soap, while cutting was still functional, hard stabs were problematic. To prevent the hand from ramping onto the blade the thumb had to be anchored over the pommell.

Sheath

The sheath is hard plastic with a belt loop and two drainage holes which makes for ease of cleaning. The fit is secure enough to hold the knife in place with no rattle and will retain the blade when the sheath is turned upside down, however with a flick of the wrist the knife an be snapped out. The hard plastic can also be quite noisy in respects to contacts off of hard branches compared to leather.

Summary

The Mora 2000 cuts well due to the thin blade stock and acute edge. It is comfortable and decently secure in hand due to the contoured rubber grip and is proficient over a wide range of tasks. It however does lack an extensive guard so security is compromised in extreme situations. This is a nice choice for wood work and as a general utility optomized for efficient cutting. It isn't quite small enough to be a dedicated light use knife and for a lot of work a shorter and smaller blade length is more optimal, as well for other work a larger and heavier knife would be of benefit for more reach and power.

The Mora 2000 also does not serve well as a pry bar, nor for heavy edge work due to the thin edge. The initial sharpness was somewhat lacking in sharpness and a very coarse stone would be optimal to set the edge before proceeding to sharpening. The sheath is simply plastic and holds the knife securely (deep) with no rattle. While being very resistant to cuts, abrasion and wear, it would not hold up well to impacts, especially when cold. The drainage holds enhance ease of cleaning. The use of a primary grind on suitable stock would a much greater strength to weight ratio, cutting ability and vastly reduce sharpening time.

Comments and references

Comments can be sent to : cliffstamp[REMOVE]@cutleryscience.com or posted to :

More information on this style of knife can be seen at Ragweed Forge.


Last updated : 04 : 10 : 2006
Originally written : May 25 NDT 2004
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