Brief thoughts on the Mora HD/Robust


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Sam Cade
March 17, 2014, 07:32 PM
Relatively recently Morakniv of Sweden bowed to the wishes of the modern cutlery consumer and introduced a line of knives having thicker blades and larger bi-compound molded on grips with a very pronounced palm swell when compared to a standard companion. Sold as either the "HD" or "Robust" (dependent on the presence of a button nubbin on the sheath) and available only in carbon steel, presumably due to the difficulty of stamping a blade blank in stainless.
Retail cost is usually within a couple bucks of a standard companion.



So... is it any better than a standard carbon Companion?

The answer is a resounding meh.

Standard Companion on top.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=196248&stc=1&d=1395098807

The HD/Robust palm swell is oddly positioned for my medium sized hand. While it doesn't present any ergonomic difficulty and undoubtedly improves the security of the grip the palms well feels wrong and I haven't acclimated to its presence despite using it daily for many weeks.

The HD/Robust is 3.2mm thick compared to the 2mm of a reg'lar companion. While that doesn't sound like much, for a scandi ground knife it makes a huge difference in how the knife behaves since as the thickness of the blade stock increases the thickness behind the edge necessarily increases as well. This isn't an issue when cutting thin or flexible materials but drastically increases the force required for slicing through thicker, firmer mediums...like a potato or a turnip.
To rephrase: A HD/Robust Mora doesn't so much slice an apple as beat it into submission, despite being hair-poppin', mono-molecular edge sharp. ;)

Standard Companion vs HD/Robust Thickness
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=196249&stc=1&d=1395100681

If someone feels that they would prefer a larger more secure grip on a Mora type knife, I'm of the opinion that the Mora 7xx would be a superior alternative to the HD/Robust

The grip of the 7xx series is a bit larger than the HD/Robust, non weird in proportion and has the thinner, better slicing blade.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=196250&stc=1&d=1395101933


HD/Robust at work.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=196251&stc=1&d=1395101933

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jerkface11
March 17, 2014, 08:57 PM
In the top down picture it looks like the blade is laminated is that just a trick of the light?

Sam Cade
March 17, 2014, 09:03 PM
In the top down picture it looks like the blade is laminated is that just a trick of the light?

It is shadow. Give me a sec and I'll shoot everyone a better pic.

The HD/Robust spine is actually finished, whereas the thinner carbon blades are left as stamped.

mole
March 17, 2014, 09:12 PM
The robust also has a rounded polished spine. It looks better, but a firesteel just slides right off of it.

Sam Cade
March 17, 2014, 09:22 PM
to wit:

Robust:
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=196254&stc=1&d=1395105447

Companion:
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=196255&stc=1&d=1395105447

Mora 711:
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=196256&stc=1&d=1395105613

hso
March 17, 2014, 10:27 PM
Sam,

Try to put a full height convex on it and see how it behaves then.

Toss a slight notch with a chainsaw file on the back for the fire steel.

Sam Cade
March 17, 2014, 11:33 PM
Try to put a full height convex on it and see how it behaves then.

That is on the short list for quick projects.

I've FHCed quite a few companions over the years and they are thin enough that you can get a big slicing performance bump just by knocking the shoulders off of the bevel.
Just spitballing, but I'd figure 30-40% increased force required for slices into hard media (taters, eggplant) for the HD/Robust vs a standard Companion. That sorta jives proportionally with the stock thickness increase, more or less.

The Hultafors GK has the same relationship to their products as the HD/Robust has to Morakniv, being roughly the same thickness.

I think it might be telling that Hultafors grinds them with a secondary bevel. Presumably their tech folks don't think that a "true" low scandi works with this stock thickness.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=196267&stc=1&d=1395113183

GLOOB
March 18, 2014, 12:37 AM
deleted

GLOOB
March 18, 2014, 12:42 AM
I like the scandi grind, but only in my Mora carving knives. Of course, in a blade that narrow, edge-to-spine, the scandi grind is essentially a high flat at an obtuse enough angle to provide rigidity to the (very skinny) tip of the knife. My other Mora knives have been reground. Heck, I thin out the factory bevel on most of the "regular" hollow and flat ground knives I purchase, even. If those blades aren't thin enough, the scandi grind isn't even close.

Even when carving wood, I generally reserve the skinny Mora carving knives for doing concave/hollow areas. They take A LOT more time to hone, and they don't do anything else markedly better, at least for me. I don't see the point of a big fat scandi ground knife with a blunt tip, pun unintended. :)

Sam Cade
March 18, 2014, 02:08 PM
Full height convexed a HD/Robust.

My calipers tell me it lost just under 1mm thickness at where the bevel was.
I took the finish up to 2000 grit.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=196280&stc=1&d=1395165521


http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=196281&stc=1&d=1395165521


It is stupid, scary sharp.

Now I have to go find something to cut.:D

Shanghai McCoy
March 18, 2014, 03:34 PM
"Now I have to find something to cut."
Make sure it isn't a knee Sam...
;)

Sam Cade
March 18, 2014, 08:08 PM
Hot Butter?

No problem.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=196292&stc=1&d=1395187596

hso
March 18, 2014, 09:10 PM
Umm, the phrase is actually "a hot knife through butter", not a "knife through hot butter".

Sam Cade
March 18, 2014, 09:32 PM
It works either way don't it?

:neener:

Deltaboy
March 18, 2014, 11:09 PM
Thanks for the information Sam I got several of them in the rigs and kitchen. The little Red plastic handled one's cut veggies like a razor.

MDI_Weapon
March 19, 2014, 09:26 PM
The robust also has a rounded polished spine. It looks better, but a firesteel just slides right off of it.
I discovered the same with my Mora HD but I just squared off a small section of the spine with a sharpening stone and now it works well with a fire steel -- out of the box, it would hardly even make a spark.

The grip on the HD Companion is very comfortable for me but my hands are XL-sized.

My Mora also cuts through hot butter very well...for that matter, it even stirs hot butter nicely. However, either task does tend to get the blade a bit oily. :)

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