Beginner Bushcraft Knife and Axe recommendations

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stevec

Full Member
Oct 30, 2003
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Sheffield
If you get a cheaper axe (and why not) get a decent file and diamond stone thingy (I got a 4 grade diamond in b and q, 200, 300,400,600 grit) take cheap axe and sharpen it. Do some Google work for 'old time' American woodsman info, that will give you some info on sharpening axes. It's best to choose an axe in person, check the grain and the attachment of the head. Read Mors on the subject, he has some good info. And most of all, have fun and don't forget the first aid kit.
 
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Jul 31, 2021
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Derby
You will see that the Mora 746 has a too large distance between the end of the finger guard and the edge of the blade to serve well for food preparation on a chopping board.

A Companion heavy duty or even usual Companion would have been the better choice.

If you read in outdoor forums just "a Mora", people usually mean the Companion.

Thanks for your expertise, after a few days of learning how to use the knife I have noticed the blade is a little to long and I also don't like how light it is but for £10.50 it's a great beginner blade to see what does and doesn't work for me, I think I'll get a companion next before moving onto more expensive blades
 

MikeeMiracle

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Aug 2, 2019
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If your after a good no nonsense knife that wont break the bank (£30) but is still extremely capable then you can't go wrong with one of these:


Some good video's of it below:



When I first wanted to get a proper knife I was looking at the the TBS range in the £150+ category but since having this I have never looked back.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
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If you don't like the design of an inexpensive knife, then change it.
Buy a packet of OEM cutoff disks (they last longer), borrow a Dremel and shape the blade to your liking.
Wood carvers here in the Pacific Northwest have been making and shaping blades for a couple of centuries. Kind of fun to get a blade that you really enjoy using.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,359
1,349
Berlin
Yes the usual Mora knifes are all a bit too long to be really handy in every day's use.

Otherwise there are good reasons to construct it exactly like that.

Once more:
I recommend you to buy an Opinel No8 Carbone! Because this is an incredibly handy knife.
I assume that every French man owns one. And a lot of others have such a knife as well.

 
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minamoto

Member
Aug 25, 2021
32
5
tyne & wear
mora knives are excellent and out perform many other so called super knives.buy 2 and look after them.a clipper and a heavy duty....axe though?.....not required anywhere in the uk....unless its just for fun purposes???
 

MikeeMiracle

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Aug 2, 2019
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mora knives are excellent and out perform many other so called super knives.buy 2 and look after them.a clipper and a heavy duty....axe though?.....not required anywhere in the uk....unless its just for fun purposes???

Some people prefer to process their wood with an axe instead of battoning with a knife. It's also easier to shape wood into spikes etc. It's a versatile bit of kit...IF you know how to use one.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
mora knives are excellent and out perform many other so called super knives.buy 2 and look after them.a clipper and a heavy duty....axe though?.....not required anywhere in the uk....unless its just for fun purposes???

Mmm... that's one opinion.

Most Mora knives that I know (and I have a few) are not full tang so I wouldn't batton with them. And even if I did have a full tang knife, processing larger firewood at camp requires an axe (unless you want to practice splitting with wedges).

However, you're right if you don't have a permission where fires are allowed of course.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
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Berlin
A hatchet is of course the more usefull tool if you need to split wood. But usually you don't need to split wood and can ignite your fire with the very thin and nearly always dry twigs that you find hip to chest high at most conifere trees.

In the very rare cases that you can't find that or other dry kindling or the bark of a fallen birch you can baton a full tang knife through a thicker knot less piece of wood and carve so called feather sticks.
Or if you just have a folding knife you can also carve away the outer layers of a stick until you reach the dry inner part and then make your feather sticks.

It's for sure no fault to train with a hatchet, but unless I am hiking with a group and need the hatchet to hit larger tent stakes into the ground anyway I don't carry a hatchet around in my rucksack.

For static winter camping saw and hatchet are pretty usefull tools though, especially if you are limited to some kind of camping ground that is regularly visited by other users, because they might have already burned all the smaller sticks when you arrive.
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
I agree; it's only in static camps of several people that you are likely to need to process larger wood to satisfy the fuel needs; and that generally needs more than a 'hatchet'. But not all 'bushcrafting' is 'journeying' so an axe is part of the tool set. Of course, only one person in a group needs an axe (as long as they are prepared to let others use it).
 
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MikeeMiracle

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Aug 2, 2019
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Most Mora knives that I know (and I have a few) are not full tang so I wouldn't batton with them.

Never had a Mora and while I know they are super popular, comments like this and others tend to indicate to me that they are only good for light work. I have the Varusteleka Terava Jaakaripuukko which is generally described as a Mora Killer by most and at £30, it just doesn't make any sense to even consider a Mora. Unless I am missing something???

 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,359
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Berlin
The truth is that a Opinel No8 Carbone or a Mora Companion serves well in 95% of all cases out there. In the other 5% you use the hatchet , saw or axe, but these can be replaced in the hands of skillfull users by a full tang knife. The full tang knife is the lightweight all purpose option for wilderness survival or hiking tours with full equipment.
But if you carry hatchet, axe or saw anyway Opinel No8 Carbone or Mora Companion will serve you well. And they save a bit of the weight, that you carry with the other tools. And both serve very well for food preparation what's half the job of a camping knife, and they are very good carving knives too.

The Terävä Jääkäripuukko 110 was called the (Morakniv) Garberg killer when the Garberg was still more expensive. Nowadays you can find the Garberg with leather sheath for approximately the same price as the Terävä Jääkäripuukko 110 with lesther sheath.

I can't tell you if the Jääkäripukko 110 is really as convincing as the Garberg as I just own the Garberg and never used the Jääkäripuukko 110. I just assume that the blade of the Jääkäripuukko 110 is a bit too thick for food preparation.

But generally it's needed to understand, that the Garberg is a totally different beast than the usual cheap Mora Companion knives and their other standard models.

The Garberg is a serious competition to the most expensive all purpose and survival knifes on the world market. And in my private opinion it's the best one for several reasons, although it is very affordable, compared to other knives that play in this league.

But the Terävä Jääkäripuukko 110 also plays in this league and is very affordable as well. They just made it a bit too thick with the result that it counts in France as a illegal weapon, what isn't the case with the Garberg.
That can be easily changed though if you have access to the right tools. You just have to bring it under 4 mm blade thickness.
 
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TLM

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 16, 2019
2,131
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Vantaa, Finland
Unless I am missing something???

While not full tang in it's usual definition some Moras have a very substantial tang (I remember having seen an x-ray of various models). Strong enough for any use one would put a 2mm thick blade. Because of the thin blade it is not very good at batoning anyway.

Leka's Jääkäripuukko is a different beast altogether, I think the original idea was to make a soldier (well, almost) proof knife.

With 4mm thick blade it is quite strong but still able to handle jobs one is supposed to be able to do with GP puukko.
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
The truth is that a Opinel No8 Carbone or a Mora Companion serves well in 95% of all cases out there. In the other 5% you use the hatchet , saw or axe, but these can be replaced in the hands of skillfull users by a full tang knife. The full tang knife is the lightweight all purpose option for wilderness survival or hiking tours with full equipment.

Sorry Erbwurst, what you mean is that they serve 95% of what you need in a knife. I am in the woods most days and knives like those would probably serve 50% of what I do with one. As in most things, people have their preferences for how they work/live/play in the outdoors (and that includes clothing, sleeping, shelter, tools ....). What we should all say is "for what I do, I find 'this or that' serves my purpose well" - where that includes the compromises of price point, function, aesthetic, durability, etc.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
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Berlin
Broch, that's generally right, but in this special case I speak generally for the majority of users. The old cheap wood handled classical Moras and nowadays the Mora Companions are obviously together with the Opinel No8 Carbone the most sold outdoor knives in Europe. And the reason is that they serve most users in most cases very very well.

I own or owned all three models but use outdoors nearly exclusively Victorinox Compact and Morakniv Garberg because this combination fits my needs better.

Nevertheless Morakniv Companion and Opinel No8 Carbone are in my opinion the best recommendations if we talk about low budget knives for beginners.

@TLM
I guess they first created a 140 mm blade fighting knife with all purpose option and afterwards shortened it for the civil market. I think that's why the 110 has such a unusual thick blade.
 

TLM

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 16, 2019
2,131
1,006
Vantaa, Finland
I guess they first created a 140 mm blade fighting knife with all purpose option and afterwards shortened it for the civil market. I think that's why the 110 has such a unusual thick blade.
If I remember correctly the order was the other way round. The idea with the thick blade is/was that one can pry with it.
 
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TLM

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 16, 2019
2,131
1,006
Vantaa, Finland
I am in the woods most days and knives like those would probably serve 50% of what I do with one.
This is a genuine question: what do you do with a knife that can't be done with those. I am well aware that people have very different habits and preferences.
 

bgreen

Member
Apr 6, 2016
18
8
UK
Never had a Mora and while I know they are super popular, comments like this and others tend to indicate to me that they are only good for light work. I have the Varusteleka Terava Jaakaripuukko which is generally described as a Mora Killer by most and at £30, it just doesn't make any sense to even consider a Mora. Unless I am missing something???

Agreed the Jaakaripuukko is a great knife but just to manage expectations of noobies in the UK looking to buy one, prices have gone up (combination of rise in production costs, UK leaving the EU and - I suspect -the knife becoming more popular). The Varusteleka website currently shows the total price for the 110 (including delivery to the UK) is £48.22 for the bare knife or £78.99 for the knife and the (very good) leather sheath. In my opinion though still reasonable for the quality of the product.
 

minamoto

Member
Aug 25, 2021
32
5
tyne & wear
Some people prefer to process their wood with an axe instead of battoning with a knife. It's also easier to shape wood into spikes etc. It's a versatile bit of kit...IF you know how to use one.
axe to process wood for?..fire??...anywhere in the uk you can make fire just by collecting small bits of branch..no knife even required..never mind an axe...as for spikes?? ...a swiss army knife is sufficient...a fixed blade MORE than enough...dont get me wrong...i can see the fun in axe use..its just i dont see any REAL requirement??...as i said in my introduction...theres lots of you tube "bushcraft" links but they seem irrelevant for the british isles.....same goes for the "edc" links??
its why im here though......to hear peoples stand on the subject....bar it being a hobby and fun???.....bushcraft and/or edc in the uk??....hhmmm???
 
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