KnivesbyMS – MS Foral Review (a custom off-the-shelf gem)

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Full Member
Mar 29, 2016
As many will understand searching for the newest design or newest / premium steel in cutlery has for many of us become an obsession, which has resulted in collections that would last many lifetimes in normal everyday use. I myself, am guilty in relation to this but can we be blamed with so many unique and talented individuals out there creating beautiful designs out of premium materials.

As some of you may have read, I not long ago wrote a review on commissioning a custom knife, having found that what I was searching for was relatively unattainable in the materials that I required.

Link to the review can be found here -

That experience has led me to look further into independent knife makers in Europe, whom compared to United States counterparts, are not shy in relation to premium steel choices. By chance while looking at, happened to come across a rather unique knife design on a store called ‘KnivesbyMS ’ looking at the design which caught my eye I thought I would investigate further so open communications to the owner of the store Michal Sisovsky, I found that communication was forthcoming and very quick.

One of the things that I mentioned very highly in relation to my review of commissioning and knife, was communication. This is key to any transaction, and buyers should be aware of any miscommunication or even sometimes as I have experienced, aggression.

So after very positive communication with Michal, I decided to go ahead and purchase the – MS Forel in CPM S90V.

Now two things had drawn me to the sellers shop, firstly with the design and materials used, I love slightly quirky or unique designs, often in practice they don’t always perform as well as tried and tested designs, but sometimes you can come across a real gem. And secondly, price, I could not believe the price the materials, like many of you seems too good to be true, but was worth the chance.

About the maker

Michal Sisovsky

Michal Sisovsky has a website for his unique knives – , he has a number of one-off single production blades on his website, but welcomes communication so commissioning and knife should not be an issue.

First impressions

Upon receiving the knife I was very impressed with the finish, you can tell that this is a handmade life there are those slight discernible markings that indicate that this is been made by hand rather than the machine, with a slight variation in finishes and an attention to detail in relation to the finished edge which as stated by Michal, it is finished using an edge pro sharpening system, which can be seen, with the mirror polished edge.

The knife came with a Ulti XL clip, which I’ve always been interested to try but upon use, I found that it was better not to have it, and would rather have this carry in my pocket or with slight modification to the kydex sheath to ensure that the blade is more secure, it could be easily worn as a larger neck knife.


So as many of you would like to see, how does this perform in relation to tried and tested design…..insert the mora classic one, one of the most common benchmark blades out there which performs beautifully.



Now the dimensions of this knife are different to that of the Mora, of which are obvious with a 4mm thick spine, a wider and slightly longer cutting edge, and of course the handle contoured into a Coke bottle shape compared to the Mora barrel-shaped.

All in all though as side-by-side comparisons, this is to allow for readers to compare, this is a good comparison for a working, ready to hand utilitarian knife which this is.

Testing and review

So one of the main things that are knife needs to do is cut, out of the box the Forel the cuts nicely, but you can tell that even with the high flat sabre grind, the edge thickness doesn’t make this the perfect whittler, point to the Mora classic in this stage.


In relation to detailed carving shape of the blade is quite nice when using your thumb to do controlled push cuts, again thickness behind the edge that is down slightly, but it is quite nice to do. The blade shape having the rather acute point really does allow you to manoeuvre within tight spaces when carving. In relation to edge penetration, the Mora classic one has the benefit not only from the Scandi grind, but also the blade stop thickness being thinner means that there is less resistance. Point to the Mora classic in this stage, but it was very close.


Battening wood for carving, fire preparation and many other areas, requires a strong fixed blade with a suitable thickness, in relation to the Forel, this knife with the grind that it has and the blade stop thickness really lends itself very well to wood processing. The Mora classic one, is just a little bit too thin in comparison and although does the job it doesn’t do it quite as well. Point to the MS Forel, hands down and without hesitation.



Handle comfort is important and throughout this simple testing, handle comfort was noted throughout. The tried and tested design in the Mora classic one is comfortable in the hand and fills the palm, for power cuts and feather sticking, there is little to no discomfort at all. The MS Forel, has a Coke bottle handle which would ideally suit this purpose very well, however handle is quite narrow, this creates pressure points in the hand when doing powerful cutting tasks I have also noticed that handle seems to be a little bit too short for the work that the blade length aspires too. If the handle was thicker than ½ an inch longer, this would be close to the realms of some of the more famous handle designs such as the Benchmade Bushcrafter, and the iconic Ray Mears bushcraft knife. What the knife does do however, that is different to the Mora in comparison, is that your index finger locks in to the handle safely, and the blade design practically throws your thumb up onto the spine, in use and is the most comfortable grip in this way. Point to Mora classic one for handle comfort, but point to MS Forel for hand positioning and safety.


Processing game - The way that the MS Forel, makes you position your hand indicates that it is more suited towards game preparation, therefore processing a rabbit and pigeon was undertaken to see how it felt, and I must admit that the thumb and forefinger positioning with the middle finger locked into the handle feels just right, and is much better than the Mora classic one in relation to this kind of task. Point to MS Forel.


This knife is fantastic, the fit and finish is incredible only improvement that I can see would be down to the handle, which would benefit from having thicker scales, and longer in length. For me if that was the case I think that this knife would go a very long way to being my single everyday carry fixed blade. I am going to continue to use this knife, as it is for a while and see if I require the handle to be adapted in any way, at the moment this is not a deal breaker for me.

Also as I go along I will sharpen the blade to be more of a Scandi-convex edge, rather than a ‘V’ edge, but that is down to personal preference.

Overall I am very impressed with the MS Forel knife, and I do not want to do it an injustice by comparing it to the Mora classic one, as they are completely different knives and made for different purposes. CPM S90V knife with the fit and finish that I received for the price is incredible, for those of you that have enjoyed this review and interested in the maker, you should most definitely visit Michal Sisovsky’s website for his unique knives –
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Full Member
Mar 29, 2016
Before completion of this review, I have spent a bit of time carving with this knife and using it for wood processing, I have now wrapped the handle and I find this tremendously comfortable in hand, as it just needed the handle being a little bit thicker in grip. I was so impressed with the knife that I have actually purchased another from Michal, and I am sure it won’t be long before another catches my eye as well.

So in summary of the whole experience from buying and off-the-shelf knife to commissioning your own knife, communication is the key, as long as there is a strong communication link between seller and customer, there will be very little disappointment.
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Full Member
May 15, 2012
Great review, very detailed and above all honest and fair.
looks like a good knife, The fact you ordered another from the same maker speaks volumes


Full Member
Mar 29, 2016
Great review, very detailed and above all honest and fair.
looks like a good knife, The fact you ordered another from the same maker speaks volumes
I have been meaning to post this for a while, as like to support independent makers. The newer knife is called the surgeon, an elmax neck knife, and must admit, I have been carrying this non stop for the last few months, and love the design, I have even bought Micarta scales to make the handling better for my needs.


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