When I went to Sweden for the first time I had never heard of the brand Morakniv. That was about 15 years ago. I am older and wiser now and have loads of experience with several Moraknivs that I own. This is the review about my beloved Morakniv Kansbol Outdoor Knife.
Morakniv Kansbol Facts
- Size: Length 250 mm
- Weight: 143.8 grams
Victorinox, Leatherman and my DIY knife
I love knives and I am pretty proud of the knife collection that I have at home. Most of them stay at home and are not used for what they are made for. Just because some of them are too beautiful (and too expensive). Knives that I use on a regular basis – next to the Moraknivs – are the Swiss Army knives from Victorinox and my Leatherman Charge. On these two I hardly use the knife tool by the way.
The Victorinox is used mostly since it has a briljant corkscrew-opener that works perfectly and the Leatherman is there for all the small tools. The Leathermans knife is – honestly spoken – not that good. A few years ago I made a fixed blade knife… that one is part of my personal museum too; it is a bit on the heavy side. Perfect for chopping wood though. Back to the knives that I do use constantly: the Moraknivs.
Mora in Sweden
Like I wrote above: I own a Morakniv Kansbol, a Morakniv Bushcraft Survival and the Morakniv Eldris. The first two I bought at the Morakniv shop in Mora where the Morakniv factory is (later more on this) and the Eldris… that was a present of the Scandinavian Outdoor Group after being part of the Scandinavian Outdoor Award and where the Eldris won an award. On the Morakniv Eldris I did a full review a few years ago so if you want to know more on that one, just follow this link. The Morakniv Bushcraft Survival review you will find here.
Morakniv Kansbol: Size and weight
The Morakniv Kansbol has a total length of 250 mm and weighs on my precise scale143,8 grams. The knife itself weighs 98,3 grams and has a length of 226 mm.
The blade of the Morakniv Kansbol is made from 12C27 stainless steel that is made by the Swedish Sandvik cooperation. The steel ‘blend’ is made by Sandvik for over 45 years but it has been continuously improved. 12C27 steel is corrosion resistant and has a hardness between 56-58 Rockwell. Because of this hardness it has a nice balance between retaining its sharpness and being tough at the same time.
The blade is 109 mm long and is 2.5 mm thick and because of this the Kansbol has a certain (limited) amount of flexibility. It has a drop point blade and the grind is rather special. From the handle the first 45 mm is 6 mm high and then it flows seamlessly into an almost hollow grind that is 1 mm high. I admit immediately that this shape is debatable so if you can come up with a better description: feel free. The total edge angle on the Kansbol is 23°.
The blade has a micro bevel between 0,05 and 0,5 mm high and that has a total edge angle between 35° and 45°. Without it the blade would simply be too vulnerable for outdoor and bushcraft jobs.
According to the Morakniv website the handle is made from TPE-rubber. Technically this is not totally true. The core of the handle is made from very hard and sturdy PolyPropylene. The Kansbol even has two layers of PolyPropylene. Around this core the Kansbol is partly coated with a layer of TPE-rubber that provides grip and comfort. On the Kansbol the PolyPropylene is also part of the design: the two hard plastic openings in the handle. These openings have a checkered pattern that is called the ‘Rhombus’ pattern; a Dalarna – a district in Sweden – specific design. The handle of the Kansbol also has a lanyard hole so that you can attach a cord to it. On the butt end of the handle the PolyPropylene is visible too.
Handle blade construction
For a fixed blade it is important to know how the blade is fixed to – or better in – the handle. The Morakniv Kansbol has a partial tang construction*. The tang go’s 83 mm into the handle and therefore it is not a full tang. Does it matter? No not really since the PolyPropylene of the handle is so stiff and robust that I can mistreat the knife as if it was a full tang construction. Because of the PolyPropylene core I can use a big piece of wood like a hammer and batter on the back end and use the knife like a ‘chisel’ or prying device.
*The tang is the metal part that extends the knife blade into the knife’s handle. The length of the tang is important to the overall construction of the knife. In general one can say that the longer the tang is, the stronger the knife. A full tang runs through the whole handle and a partial tang only parly. Again – in general – the tang is an important factor in the knife’s price. Longer tang knives are more expensive than partial tang knives.
The sheath is made from PolyPropyleneon the Morakniv Kansbol it is just a very simple protective sheath. It has a leather loop to wear the knife on a belt. The sheath has a hole in the bottom for draining water and to enable wet knives to dry.
To be complete: for the Morakniv Kansbol a Survival Kit with Fire Starter and diamond sharpener is available. This simply slides onto the Kansbol sheath.
Morakniv Kansbol handle comfort
The handle on the Morakniv Kansbol has a more rounded traditional shape. The middle of the handle is for small hands, still the right size and the handle gives good grip. Because it is not totally covered in TPU it is more grippy when wet than the Bushcraft Survival knife that I also own and did a review on. At the head and the butt the Kansbol has a raised rim that functions as a small guard. For more precise jobs I put my thumb against it so I can guide the knife better and the ‘guard’ prevents my thumb from slipping on to the back of the blade.
I did not use the lanyard hole in the handle of the Morakniv Kansbol because most of the time when using a lanyard it seems to be in the way most of the time. The handle works fine with gloves like for example the Hestra and Crud I reviewed.
Morakniv Kansbol blade
The blade on the Morakniv Kansbol is – thanks to the thickness of 2.5 mm – a bit flexible. But don’t be fooled: it is still very capable of most jobs outdoors from cutting wood, putting points on sticks for roasting marshmallows on the campfire, splitting wood by batooning to get it in more campfire friendly pieces.
The shape of the point makes the Kansbol a fine tool for finer or more detailed cutting or even carving. One of those finer jobs – some of you might find this offensive – is skinning animals. I tried the 90 degree spine of the Kansbol with some other Fire Starters and it works and remains undamaged.
Color, sharpening and sustainability
Before heading on to my verdict, please allow me three last small remarks on sharpening, color and sustainability.
I sharpen most knives with a big flat sharpening stone at home and outdoors with a small one. Although the Kansbol has a Scandi grind, I find that the grind is not that easy to sharpen since it is not the same on the whole length of the blade. The Morakniv Kansbol grind just needs attention and careful sharpening near the point.
Although I like the green color of the Kansbol since it is the more outdoorsy bushcrafty, It’s not the smartest choice. I have been searching for it sometimes when I put it somewhere on the campsite and not on my belt. A more alarming orange color would be better. It is available in smart and non-smart colors by the way.
Somewhere in this article I already mentioned that the knife is manufactured in Sweden. Also the blade material is from Sweden. I would like to stress here again that the knife is made in Sweden and Morakniv proves that some things of beauty can be produced in Sweden without breaking the bank. If you don’t get this remark: read the article on the Crud Gjöra Glove.
If I was only allowed to take one knife with me on a trip from the Morakniv collection that I own, I would favor the Morakniv Kansbol since it is a bit better for how I use a general knife. It is comfortable to hold on to, It is sturdy and refined at the same time. That it is a bit hard to sharpen… that changes after doing it a lot. Next to that I like the hint to tradition with the Rhombus pattern. The fact that it does not have an integrated Fire Starter… Morakniv solved that problem: I just ordered the Survival Kit accessory. Price wise it is value for your buck: The Morakniv Kansbol retails for € 42,99/$49,99. The optional Survival Kit is yours for € 24,99/$26,99. I rate the Morakniv Kansbol at 9.2/10.
The Netherlands: www.adola.nl