At this point I am sure most of my readers and friends understand that while I do not enjoy spending money on name alone, I am still a fan of solid equipment. Knives are an area I have quite a bit of experience in.
Early on in life my father decided to start building them. He built a forge and had all the necessary tools. I can remember many days spent watching him take a slab of steel and heat, beat and quench it into something beautiful. I still have the first bowie knife he ever built and cherish it, though in my juvenile haste it has seen far more rough and improper use than it should have.
These days I carry well made folders with my standard edc being a benchmade/Emerson designed cqc7. In the middle to late 90’s this knife was the pinnacle of folding knife technology. Fast forward 20 years and you see literally hundreds of knives that are just as good bejng built for much less and lasting longer in some cases. However, this is a review of a budget survival/prepper/camping/hunting/bushcraft knife that I have latched onto and now carry in all my go gear as a standard piece of invaluable equipment.
The MORAKNIV swedish made mora styled Companion comes in stainless steel and carbon steel. 12C27 Stainless Steel, UHB-20C carbon steel are the two steels most often found in these knives. Both of these steels are rated medium to high for quality depending on who you speak with. My opinion is based on having used both types of steels and even abused it according to many knife enthusiasts.
Over the course of the last year I have used both a stainless version and a carbon steel version and the following is my findings in order.
1. The carbon steel blade holds an edge much longer though it is far more brittle and chips easily when confronted with non living materials like rocks. It is harder to sharpen, though in reality neither is as hard to sharpen as some blades thanks to the very long, shallow grind the factory applies.
2. The stainless is more weather resistant and less likely to stain when confronted with materials that normally stain carbon steel blades. It is also slightly easier to sharpen though it does not hold as clean an edge for as long.
3. Both knives preformed well in small cutting tasks and when making firestarting materials.
4. Both knives withstood quite a pounding when used to baton though the average diameter of materials being batoned was under four inches due to the blade length itself.
5. Both knives stood up to mild prying and use as wedges in larger wood splitting. (Wood used was a mixture of pine, scrub oak and mesquite)
6. Both knives work for fire steel use.
7. The carbon steel blade was much easier to use for skinning, filleting and preparing food. Though the stainless worked admirably and I wouldnt feel less a man for using it instead.
8. Both knives are built with 3/4 tangs so would not likely work well as steps for climbing or to beat down walls. However, they are more than sturdy enough to be used in bushcraft work and be relied on.
9. Both knives cost under $15 on Amazon.com and even if I paid $25 -50 I would feel I recieved a good deal.
10. The carbon steel knife recieved a bath of apple cider vinegar boiled and bathed, etc , to put a patina on it which resulted in a more durable knife with regards to water and weather.
I have purchased one for each child and have two or more in each go bag as well as vehicles and on various camping rigs. I feel quite confident in my belief that this is a very well built knife and while it is not made for fighting or tactical use it will work extraordinarily well for bushcraft/survival.
Free the mind and the body will follow.