Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mora Clipper 840 Review

A few weeks back I did a review of the Mora No 1 because I wanted to use it as a point of comparison for other knives because of how well known it is. Another knife that is used by many is the Mora Clipper. I wanted to make this the second knife to review, so that people who are familiar with it rather than the Mora No 1 know what my comparisons to the Mora No 1 actually mean. Here I am testing the Mora Clipper 840, which is the carbon steel model. The stainless steel model has a 860 designation.

Knife Length:
8 1/2 inches (216 mm)
Blade Length: 3 7/8 inches (98 mm)
Blade Thickness: 1/16 inches (1.8 mm)
Blade Width: 13/16 inches (21.8 mm)
Blade Material: 1095 carbon steel (also available in 12C 27 stainless steel)
Blade Hardness: HRC 57-59 on the Rockwell Scale
Type of Tang: Partial concealed
Blade Grind: Scandinavian/single bevel
Handle Material: Rubber
Sheath Material: Plastic
Cost: $13.00

Even though the Mora Clipper is usually placed on the same level as the Mora No 1, it is a very different animal when it comes to the feel it has. The blade probably has the same amount of metal in it as the Mora No 1, but it is thinner and wider, with the grind starting lower down on the blade. The grind angle is still the same though because of the thinness of the blade.

The handle is not as symmetrical as that of the Mora No 1. While I found it to be comfortable, it was not as comfortable as the Mora No 1 handle at certain angles. It is longer, so people with wider hands will appreciate that.

When it comes to performance, it is quite capable. Even though the blade is very thin, it did not have any particular problem being batoned through a 2-inch piece of oak. Theoretically the Mora No 1 should be better for splitting because it is thicker, but it was hard to detect any difference on pieces of wood with such small diameter. I imagine the difference in thickness would play a much bigger role if we were talking about a 7-inch knife, but on one that is barely 4 inches, the performance is comparable.

As with the other knife, I pounded it into a piece of wood. If I were trying to truncate the piece of wood, I would be using this technique to make V-shaped notches in the wood.

After that was done, the knife was still capable of making feather sticks, and did not show any signs of dulling.

Again, these are not meant to be destruction tests, or push the knife to its limits, but rather just to see how it performs during some common tasks. The Mora Clipper performed quite well. It did not lag behind the Mora No 1 in any way. I still prefer the Mora No 1 in terms of handle comfort, and I prefer its thicker, narrower blade because I find it more comfortable when it comes to carving. The differences in performance however are minor and largely come down to personal preference.

Like the Mora No 1, the Mora Clipper has a concealed partial tang. It is however, considerably shorter as you can see from the picture. For the size blade, it is adequate, but does not make me feel very comfortable. With a tang this small, you are completely relying on the bonding connection between the handle and the tang. I would not hit the knife on the handle while batoning or hit the back of the handle to stick the tip of the knife into a tree. When I tried bending the blade with my hands, I heard some cracking noises from the plastic, but the knife made it just fine through the testing without any visible damage.

The sheath of the Mora Clipper is much better than that of the Mora No 1. The knife snaps in it quite securely, and it does have a clip which lets you attach it to your belt without having to thread it in. The knife is held in much more securely.

The two knives are different, but give a very similar performance. Which one you chose will depend on personal preferences about the touch and feel of the tool. Either way, you would be making a good choice.