When it comes down to purchasing a fixed-blade knife for outdoor use, whether it’s for camping, backpacking, or to practice bushcraft and survival skills, you could potentially drop a lot of cash on something you don’t really need.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t spend the extra money on a quality knife, but if you’re just starting out, you can still obtain a quality blade for less money as your build your skills. As time goes on and you advance your skills, you can then upgrade to a nicer knife. The knife I recommend as a good-quality ‘beater’ knife is made by Mora of Sweden. Most bushcrafters can attest to their quality. Mora is the name of a town in Sweden, as well as a knife-making company renowned for producing good-quality but inexpensive knives. One of the most common blades they make is known as the Mora Companion.

Like most Mora knives, the Companion has a Scandi grind and comes very sharp from the factory. The steel is hardened to HRC 58-60. The knife tang narrows and extends into the handle about 3/4 of the way in; it’s not a full-tang blade. Scandi grinds are among the easiest knife grinds to sharpen in that there is only one fairly large bevel that is laid flat on a sharpening stone.

The Mora Companion: A Fixed-blade Knife for Any Budget
Carbon steel blade with a Scandi grind.

 

The Mora Companion: A Fixed-blade Knife for Any Budget
A view of how far into the handle the blade tang goes. (Image courtesy of reddit.com)

The handle is ergonomic and fits the shape of your palm and fingers, providing a very natural and firm grip. The back of the handle is also flattened and smooth, so you can place your thumb there for greater control while implementing certain types of cutting techniques. The molded rubber used on the handle retains a positive grip even in wet conditions.

The handle shape of the Companion also enables the knife to be comfortably and securely held in a number of different hand grips, useful for various types of cutting tasks. It is easy to control and can be used over extended periods of time for carving tasks without tiring your hands, as is the case with larger fixed-blade knives.

The Mora Companion: A Fixed-blade Knife for Any Budget
Rubber overmolded handle.

Mora has always been known for their simple sheaths and the one that comes with the Companion is no exception. It comes with a one-piece hard plastic sheath in military green. There is a belt clip that forms the upper part of the sheath, and a small drainage hole at the bottom. The knife is secured in the sheath by way of a friction fit between the upper portion of the handle and the sheath. There is a small thumb ramp on the back of the sheath to assist in drawing the knife.

The Mora Companion: A Fixed-blade Knife for Any Budget
Thumb ramp build into the injection-molded sheath for easier deployment of the blade.

Due to its light weight, the Companion is easy to use as an everyday carry fixed-blade knife. When worn on a belt, the knife is hardly noticeable and does not pull down on either the belt or your pants. Because of this, it is more likely to be on your person in an emergency or survival situation. Large, heavy knives can become a burden and are more likely to be left behind at camp or inside your backpack. Along with its synthetic handle and sheath, these factors make the Companion easy to maintain compared to other types of knives. Overall, the design of the Companion is slim and sleek.

The Mora Companion: A Fixed-blade Knife for Any Budget
Factory sheath included with the Mora.
The Mora Companion: A Fixed-blade Knife for Any Budget
Robust belt clip keeps the knife attached to your side at all times.

Upgrades/modifications:

The only modification I made to the knife itself was to square off a section on the spine of the blade for striking ferro rods during fire-making. This can be accomplished with either a hand file or bench grinder. I suggest using the hand file so you don’t take off too much steel. I also plan to upgrade the sheath to a more modern Kydex sheath. The sheath I decided on is an IWB (inside the waistband) design made by Green Force Tactical. This sheath will make this knife a truly everyday carry knife.

The Mora Companion: A Fixed-blade Knife for Any Budget
IWB sheath for the Mora Companion. Image courtesy of greenforcetactical.com.

Uses:

  • Hiking, backpacking, and camping
  • Bushcraft and survival training
  • Hunting
  • Food preparation
  • Good starter fixed-blade knife for teaching kids knife-handling skills

Specifications:

  • Blade length – 4.09″
  • Blade thickness – .078″
  • Blade steel – Swedish high-carbon steel with a Rockwell hardness of 59.
  • Overall length – 8.58″
  • MSRP – Can be found on Amazon for under $15.