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A chance discovery...
Back in the early 90s, I did plenty of bluewater fishing. One of my requirements was a bait knife. So, while shopping at a local tackle store, I round a Swedish-made knife. It came with a plastic sheath and a finger guard. The price? RM12 a pop. I didn't hesitate to grab the knife. It has some surface pitting, but that didn't really bother me at all.
I took it with me in countless trips to the ocean and it became a loyal companion.
The knife in question was a KJ Eriksson Mora. It's a simple fixed-blade knife with a green plastic handle. It came with a plastic sheath and a PVC belt loop.
The blade length is 3.75" which made it an ideal utility knife for food preparation. As a bait knife, it served its purpose till I settled for a Martiini fillet knife.
Now, if you ask some knife collectors and "steel snobs" they will scoff at carbon steel. But, if you want something cheap and good, and you know how to maintain it, the Mora is a knife that can be handed down generations.
Carbon steel isn't so bad. But if you don't take care of it, surface rust will set in and damage the knife.
I had some issues when I stored the knife. Atmospheric pollution contributed to some heavy surface corrosion. This was taken care of by polishing the blade with abrasive paper.
Once restored, the Mora is as good as new.
Carbon steel is also very easy to sharpen, but edge retention is not the best.
You have to keep sharpening it after some use. The heavier the usage, the more you will have to work on it.
But, hey, if you pay RM12 for a Mora, it's part of the chore!
The Mora legacy...
There was a resurgence of the Mora in the mid-2000s when Bushcrafters have heavily promoted the Moras in their social media channel.
It's the "go-for" knife if you want something cheap and reliable. There will be no guilt whacking it.
In the mid-2000s, KJ Eriksson became Morakniv and a new line of Mora utility blades was introduced.
Their market was intended for bushcrafters and purists. Till today, the basic carbon steel mora is still an affordable knife.
With inflation and currency fluctuation, you can purchase a basic carbon steel mora blade for less than RM50 a piece.
And if you take good care of the blade, it will last you a lifetime...