Normark, The Legacy


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ArfinGreebly
July 10, 2008, 12:43 PM
A fellow emailed me recently about one of my posts on the Normark hunting folder. One of the bits of information he sent was a link to a site (www.mrfly.net in Canada) that sells fishing stuff, and their online catalogue showed a number of older Normark pieces, including the Mora 2000 -- rebadged as the "Moose Master," the EKA Swede 92 -- under the Normark "American Hunter" brand, and so on.

I contacted MrFly.com and inquired. The catalogue is out of date, and they no longer carry the Normark hunting products.

Rats.

So I called Normark.

Normark is a larger umbrella corporation under whose banner Rapala and other brands are made and sold. I spoke to some folks there (customer service and whatnot) and told them what had motivated me to call.

The long and short of it is this: Normark/Rapala no longer market hunting knives. Fishing stuff, yes.

So, for those of you who have been fortunate enough to lay hands on hunting and outdoor knives under the Normark brand -- and these will be Marttiini blades, Mora/Frosts blades, EKA blades, and a few others -- you now have legacy pieces.

A number of those same knives are still made by the OEMs in question, but are sold under their original company's brand: Mora 2000, Marttiini MN(x) series, Frosts hunters, EKA Swede 92 and Swede 1000, and so on.

The Rapala fishing knives are still -- in large part -- made in the Nordic regions, but an increasing number of their patterns are finished and assembled in China. Some are wholly made there.

I don't imagine this information will be of any major importance to the majority of our NFW readers, but I figured I'd mention it for those few who, like me, have a singular fondness for the Scandinavian designs.

This development makes my recent old-new Normark stock find especially poignant. Glad I was able to snag those little treasures.

Anyway.

*Sigh*

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CWL
July 10, 2008, 03:03 PM
I've always been confused about the Normark-Fiskars relationship.

Thought Normark was either a subsidiary of or was bought-out by Fiskars and relegated to fishing-based products and sharpeners only.

Any truth to this?

ArfinGreebly
July 11, 2008, 12:06 AM
Normark has distribution rights to certain Fiskars products.

Fiskars owns Gerber.

In the years between 1989 and 1998 . . .
Consequently, a major restructuring followed: in a few years Rapala sold both the boat and caravan business and acquired the Normark distribution companies in the USA, Canada, the UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Holland and Finland as well as the French company Ragot.

They have a number of products that are re-badged from other manufacturers (like the Marttiini fillet knives and the EKA folding fillet knife).

As far as I know they still distribute certain Fiskars products under their name.

Evidently during the period from 1998 to 2005 there were some restructuring things that happened, with one of the side-effects being that they no longer sell (at least over here) the Normark branded hunting and camping knives.

I guess I'll have to look outside the retail channels for my next Normark knife.

kevenn
August 9, 2008, 06:42 PM
Arfin,

I'm actually the one who emailed you that info, but i'm happy (sad actually) to see that you got a response from MRFLY.net, I've been trying to contact them for over a month now!

Your assumption on the Rapala knives is true, they are now made in China. I think I told you the fiasco I had when purchasing one of their Fishing/Camping knives (the EKA 1000 model). I noticed too that the great selling Soft Grip series is all made in China. I had the luck of finding one of the 6" models still made by Martiini at a small hardware store. The 7" models were already the new China models. It was only $11!!! I would have bought more, but it was the last. Rapala currently has a bait knife (more utility really) that is made in China, but only assembled there. The blades are produced in Sweden then shipped there. See my review here -

http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/showtopic.php?tid/826772/

The fact of the matter is there are legacy knives out there, and at old prices. You just have to search for them. I called SMKW not long ago and they still had 2- EKA 60 folders in their showroom (serrated edge) and I stole both for $10 each!!

T.R.
August 9, 2008, 09:01 PM
EKA is a TOP Finn cutlery company. Their knives tend to feature large generous handles and medium to small blades. Steel is laminated and quite superior to competitors from Asia.

TR

ArfinGreebly
August 9, 2008, 11:15 PM
EKA is a TOP Finn cutlery company.
EKA is located in Eskilstuna, Sweden.

I have speculated that "EKA" stands for "Eskilstuna Knivar Aktiebolag" (roughly: "Eskilstuna Knives Corporation"), but I don't have anything that backs that up.

I agree, though, that they make a fine product.

ArfinGreebly
August 10, 2008, 01:55 AM
Thanks for the follow up.

Read your review on the bait knife. Good stuff.

I have a few of them ($4.50 @ Black Sheep).

Thanks for taking the trouble to confirm that the blades are, indeed, genuine Mora. Did you get that in writing or was this a phone conversation?

Think I'll go buy some more.

kevenn
August 10, 2008, 07:50 AM
I went back and forth with Rapala before posting the review. They verified (via email) that the blades are truely Swedish SS made in Sweden, then shipped to China for final assembly. I felt this was important info I wanted to finalize before telling the crew at Knifeforums.com to buy some. The only thing they wouldn't devulge was the type of stainless it is, I asked if it was Sandvik 12c27? they told me for copyright/patent reasons that info can't be given out. I found that a little odd; however I notice that all their new Chinese made blades still do describe the steel as 'Swedish Stainless'. I wonder however when the knives will be 100% made in China? For cost reasons, it will be probably be a matter of time before the 'Swedish' name will have to be dropped.

Either way the bait knife is a bargain, especially as a utility beater!

Speedo66
October 8, 2009, 11:54 AM
EKA is located in Eskilstuna, Sweden.

I have speculated that "EKA" stands for "Eskilstuna Knivar Aktiebolag" (roughly: "Eskilstuna Knives Corporation"), but I don't have anything that backs that up.

I agree, though, that they make a fine product.

I wonder if EKA is simply an abbreviation of E s K iltun A? Generally, Aktiebolag ( Swedish translation "stock issuing company") is abbreviated as AB, as in SAAB, which is S venska (Swedish) A eroplan (Airplane) AB.

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