Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Frosts Mora Clipper Review

Key Info
-Made by Frosts in Sweden.
-Excellent for beginners or experienced outdoorsmen alike.
-Available in Carbon Steel, or Sandvik Stainless Steel.
-Carbon steel hardness between 59-60HRC, stainless steel between 57-58HRC.
-Blade length 10cm.
-Blade thickness 2.5mm.
-Half tang.
-Reasonable plastic belt sheath with drain hole included.
-Ergonomic plastic handle.

The Frosts Mora Clipper is probably the most highly respected outdoor knife of all time. Not because it is the best, but because it is arguably of comparable quality to knives of five times its price or more. It is easy to sharpen, and will hold an edge for a very long time – especially the carbon steel model, although it has to be said that the stainless steel model still holds a great edge too. This knife should last years and cope with all manner of abuse. 

The blade of this knife is available in two steels – high carbon tool steel, and Sandvik stainless steel.

The high carbon steel holds an edge for longer than the stainless, and has a hardness of 59-60HRC, which is comparable to some of the more exotic, and far more expensive steels, such as 154CM. The carbon steel can also be used to generate sparks to ignite char-cloth, when struck against a piece of Flint, Quartz or similar hard rock. However, high carbon steel does have some downsides. It is more brittle than stainless, and may snap if subjected to extreme abuse, such as being used to split excessively large logs. Also, carbon steel is very prone to rust, and if exposed to water, even for a short period, such as overnight, will begin to develop spots of corrosion. Having said this, a clean and a light coat of oil after use (3 in 1 Oil is good for this) will help keep the rust away, and it shouldn't prove much of a problem if regularly maintained like this. 

The stainless steel is produced by Sandvik in Sweden. I am not sure of the exact variety, but believe it to be 12c27 or similar. It has a hardness of 57-58HRC, and is very easy to sharpen - easier than the carbon steel. It holds an edge well, though not as well as its high carbon counterpart. Unlike the carbon steel, it cannot be used to generate sparks by striking against a piece of Flint, but can still be used to strike a firesteel. The stainless steel is very flexible, unlike the carbon, and can be bent close to the seeming impossible angle of 45*, and will spring back to its original shape! An advantage of the stainless steel when compared to the carbon steel is that it is very resistant to rust. The stainless could probably be left in puddle for a week and wouldn't rust, whereas the carbon would likely have nearly disintegrated! This is a major advantage of the stainless steel if you are going to be using it while kayaking, canoeing, sailing or any other water-based activity. Also, if you intend to take your knife to the rainforest, or a similar wet climate, the stainless steel version is a must.

The Frosts Mora is of very good quality, especially for it's brilliant price tag. 

As I previously mentioned, the blade is available in two great steels, and can hold a shaving-sharp edge very well. 

The handle is constructed from a kind of nylon/plastic material, and is very comfortable to hold. The slight downside of this material is that when wet, it can become quite slippery, which could result in your hand slipping on to the blade, however, a rubber-handled version is available to help counter this problem, and there is a small guard included in the shape of the handle, which helps prevent slipping. The nylon/plastic is very durable, and not at all brittle. It will not crack or shatter if exposed to impact, but tends to just sustain a small dent, at least at normal temperatures. 

A half tang is used on this knife. It is a shame that Frosts have decided to use a half tang, as the Clipper always used to have a ¾ tang, which is obviously stronger. However, this change is at least partly compensated for by a new manufacturing technique, which, instead of bonding two separate handle pieces around the tang, lowers the tang into the handle while it is still molten, resulting in a much stronger handle that is less likely to split when sideward pressure is applied.

The Mora Clipper (or any other knife in the Mora range), is an excellent knife for anyone. It combines excellent steel with great overall quality and strength, and is very reasonably priced. If you're looking for a decent outdoor knife and don't already have one of these, get one!.....I doubt you'll find better for the money! (available on

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