A some of you might know, very often it‘s the simple things that are the most difficult to accomplish. Morakniv‘s BUSHCRAFT Black outdoor knife is the answer to one of the seemingly simpler tasks: build a budget knife, that feels and works like a much more expensive knife and also looks awesome. Mission accomplished!
Swedish producer Morakniv has been making knives since 1891 and is known for a couple of knives throughout the outdoor/bushcraft/knifeworshipping world, first and foremost for the ingenious COMPANION series, a low budget (but not low performance!) outdoor knife that retails at about €10-12,-.
The BUSHCRAFT Black is a much more serious knife that, as far as I know, Dave Canterbury recommends as back-up knife in his survival school. I have been looking forward to reviewing this knife for a long time, so here we go!
The BUSHCRAFT Black is a 3/4 rat tail tang knife with a total length of 23,2 cm, a blade length of 10,9 cm, with black DLC coating, Scandinavian grind and blade thickness of 3,2mm, weighing 212 grams. The blade is made of carbon steel (C100, 59-60 HRC), while the grip material is rubberised plastic (the sheath material is plastic, as well, and comes with two different belt clips)
The first impression after unpacking it is how heavy (in a good way!) and sturdy it feels, well balanced. I was amazed at how awesome it looks with its black coated blade (just like my Coast TX399 knife), plain and simple, no unnecessary features, no BS.
I have pretty big hands, and the handle fits my hand ergonomically perfect. The BUSHCRAFT Black comes out of the factory really sharp, like all Morakniv products I had so far. Not razor-blade sharp, but by any means sharp enough for everything that you need to do in Mother Nature.
The plastic sheath looks kind of cheap, though, but it does what it‘s supposed to do 100 percent. The BUSHCRAFT Black fits snuggly in it, it does not wobble and never did I fear that the knife will fall out unexpectedly, because the knife clips into a plastic sheath with reasonable positive retention. The sheath comes with two belt clips, one push through and one clip-on, which can be switched easily (once you understand how said „switching easily“ works…)
Whether my hands were cold, soaking wet or wearing gloves (either polyurethane or winter), the rubberised handle is amazing. Working with a knife that slips and twists can be very tiring, but this handle feels like it‘s glued to your hand and doesn‘t tire me out for a while, which to me is one of the most important things to look for in a knife. However, a fellow outdoorsman really liked the knife as well, but didn‘t like the handle for exactly that reason. I like my handles sticky, yet I understand why one doesn’t. You just have to try out yourselves.
Performance wise, BUSHCRAFT Black works great. The hefty blade is and stays sharp up to the tip for a long time. I carved stakes with it, cut paracord and after a two day trip the blade still was as sharp as on the day I got it. Even batoning wood (up to a reasonable diameter of 7cm) is no problem. I know TRVE bushcrafters will always use a full-tang knife for that, but I only baton smaller pieces of wood for kindling, no need for batoning bigger ones. In my opinion, that‘s what axes are for!
In conclusion, the Morakniv BUSHCRAFT Black is a perfect knife for the outdoorsman, who does not look for a tough-as-nails-no-bullshit full tang knife.
I‘m not a huge fan of the plastic sheath, to be honest, but it does, what it‘s supposed to do and it does it great. I don‘t know how long the belt clip attaching system will hold if you switch the clips very often. I’m having problems switching the belt clips, due to my clumsiness and not due to a design flaw so shouldn‘t affect my final verdict.
Highly recommended! 8,5 out of 10!