Every woodcarver knows about Morakniv – one of the most popular brands of knives and tools for carving and woodworking. I have been enjoying my Morakniv wood carving set, and I’ve tried many of their knives to be able to spot which tools are the best for each type of project I’m working on. Morakniv wood carving knives reviews you can come across online are describing the main features of each knife, but my goal in this review of Mora knives is to highlight my experience with each knife on a particular project.
Morakniv has become well-known in the woodcarving world, and it is an esteemed brand because of its quality and knives designed for this hobby. What I like about them is the great quality steel, very durable and almost unbreakable. The handles of their tools are ergonomic, and my hands aren’t getting tired even if I use a knife all day. Sometimes the knives and knife sets can be purchased with special sheaths for the tools, which is a nice touch. Their price is generally affordable and even low considering the quality you get for it.
- Morakniv Wood Carving Junior 73/164 Knife
- Great knife for children and beginners. Shaped for smaller hands. Easy for simple, basic projects without many details.
- Morakniv Classic Wood Splitter Knife
- Easy-to-use splitter knife, with top-quality handles and a very thin blade. Works well on small-size projects that include softwood.
- Price not available
- Morakniv Wood Carving 120 Knife
- Amazing tool for detailed carving projects. Great performance when it comes to caricatures and animals - easy to carve the tiny bits and texture of each carving.
- Morakniv Wood Carving 106 Knife
- Popular Morakniv knife for carving smooth surfaces. Great for both small and larger projects, such as full-body animals.
- Morakniv Woodworking Knife Set
- Set designed for small curved projects with a lot of details. It contains two knives - a detailed 120 knife and a small hook knife, that are a good tandem for palm-size carvings.
- Price not available
- Morakniv Wood Carving Hook Knife 164
- A small one-sided hook knife made for left-handed carvers. With a radius of 0.5 inches, this knife can cut small curved cuts, so it only works on tiny project sizes.
In this article, I will share my personal experience with different knives of this Swedish manufacturer. If you are interested in the best wood you should use for your carving projects, check out my other article – What is the best wood for carving. Mora is an excellent brand, and it is in the league of the best ones on the market. But, if this is not your cup of tea, you should check out my reviews of two other top-notch brands – Flexcut Whittling Knife Review and BeaverCraft Wood Carving Tools Review.
How I reviewed the carving performance of Morakniv knives
When it comes to woodcarving tools, each craftsman has their own preferences. However, there are some main criteria I measured about each Morakniv carving knife. First of all, I review the quality of the blade. These knives are made of high-quality carbon steel, but each is different because of the way they are shaped. It matters to me in particular if the blade is prone to fracturing, as I think safety is the most important thing when you work with knives.
If I’m happy with the blade, the second thing I consider is the handle. The handle means a lot when you are dedicated to your carving projects, as you will be holding a knife for hours sometimes, so you don’t want any hand fatigue afterward. Now, even if the blade is awesome, unless the handle is designed well, in an ergonomic way, chances are you won’t enjoy using it that much.
Other factors I consider when writing a Morakniv knife review are the sharpness of the blade – if it can achieve razor-sharp levels with a sharpening stone, and if it arrives sharpened once purchased. It is also important to notice the size of the blade + the size of the knife overall. Some handles are designed for smaller hands, which is good for children’s projects, but not so much for me. It also matters a lot if the blade holds an edge and for how long. I don’t really like interrupting my work to sharpen the blade every now and again.
Finally, I love it when the knife comes with a sheath and other perks, so that’s always a plus. And let’s not forget the price and overall value you get with each of these knives. Sometimes it happens, for example, that Mora offers a toolset with two or more knives that appear like a good deal, but if the knives themselves are offered at a reduced price somewhere else, then the set is not so much worth the buy.
Morakniv Wood Carving Junior 73/164 Knife – Great for beginners projects
This is a beautiful small knife with 3 inches long blade that is made under approximately 15 degrees angle. It is designed for beginners and children who are just starting to love wood carving.
It is a basic blade, razor-sharp, made of durable steel, and it holds an edge throughout the whole project. The projects that are easy to do with it are the easy ones, especially if you only use this knife and you don’t mix it with other tools. So, for caricature carving, for example, I would recommend something simple such as the bear head or the owl sculpture.
The Morakniv wood carving knife arrives with a very special plastic sheath, engraved and in black color, to protect you and the knife while you store it.
- Sharp and durable blade.
- Designed for small, simple projects.
- Ergonomic handle, a nice knife for children who are new to carving.
- Designed for smaller hands, so not very useful for an adult beginner.
To Sum Up
This is, all things considered, a great buy for juniors, new to this hobby. The options are limited when it comes to this knife, but you can make solid, beautiful projects either way. It is not very expensive, so even if your kid doesn’t continue to wood carve, at least you know you didn’t spend a fortune, and you got a good quality tool.
Morakniv Classic Wood Splitter Knife – Splitter knife for small-size carving projects
This is an old-school-designed wood splitter, very simple and important to have in your toolset. The size of it is 4.5 inches in total, so it is handy for starting small-size projects such as animal and caricature carvings out of small wood blocks like basswood or other softwood.
What I particularly fancy about this splitter is the quality of the handles. They are made of red ochre birch, extraordinary wood that makes this knife really pretty and handy to use. The blade itself is very thin, which is important about splitters, and it is razor-sharp plus durable.
You might know that splitters aren’t always the easiest to sharpen, and this is the case here as well. It requires a lot of patience, and even if this is a nice tool, I rarely use splitters for my projects if I decide I can make the same cuts with a simple carving knife with a straight blade.
- Very pretty tool, with red ochre birch handles that are easy to use.
- Super sharp blade, thin and holds an edge.
- Handy for small-size projects such as caricatures.
- Difficult to sharpen, in general.
- Not the best price compared to some other manufacturers.
To Sum Up
Even the Swedish quality splitter knives such as this Morakniv wood carving knife are not always the easiest tool to use when you need it in your projects. They are difficult to sharpen, and they only work for smaller projects. This splitter is handy if you use softwood in your project, but for hardwood, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Morakniv Wood Carving 120 Knife – Excellent tool for detailed carving projects
Now, this blade is something special you don’t meet so often. I have had the privilege to use it and I am absolutely stunned by the performance of this knife. The blade is made of alloy steel, laminated, and as the manufacturer says – it can last a lifetime and still be impeccable.
It is a small blade, designed to give you more control when you are working on details in your carving. For example, I used it for my astronaut caricature to carve the little lines between the head and the shoulders. When carving birds and fish, this knife is the go-to one for carving the texture of the animals. The same goes for when you carve a cat or a dog – this knife will help you make something great out of the ears, paws, and hair of each animal.
The handle is made of oiled birch wood. Amazing quality and very easy to use. It is comfortable to hold for a while, and that matters a lot because for detail carving you need time to focus and be as precise as possible.
- Laminated blade, super-sharp, and very durable.
- Ergonomic oiled birch handle.
- A small-size blade gives you more control over the detail carving.
- Perfect for small projects with a lot of details that require precision.
- This is a knife designed for making small cuts, and it is not going to perform well like a general-use knife. Especially on large-size projects, it will only take up a lot of your time and you won’t get results.
To Sum Up
Overall an amazing tool. A great quality blade in combination with a good handle is all you need from a carving knife, really. I love it because I often do small caricatures and I really need a piece like this in my toolset. If you are more into relief carving or large-scope projects, you won’t get much out of this knife.
Morakniv Wood Carving 106 Knife – Long and thin blade edge for carving smooth surfaces in your projects
Now, this is one of the most famous Morakniv wood carving knives, and it is very often that I come across this model when I check out this Swedish manufacturer. In reviews of Mora knives, some people say this knife really cuts to the point, and I agree with this statement.
The thing about this blade is that it is pointed, it has a very thin long edge that is one of the sharpest ones you’ll find. Oiled birchwood handle and laminated durable steel are once again a winning combination with this knife, and it guarantees outstanding performance.
This knife works the best for projects where you need to carve a long, wide flat, or curved surface. For example, this is the knife I would go to, because of its long and thin edge, when carving the body of an animal – curved bear or duck body.
Now, I know most of you are thinking if the spoon carving knife would live up to the task better, but the thing is that this knife can be used for larger projects and give better results. Precisely because the blade is so long and straight, you can do quite a bit with this beauty.
- Long and thin blade, with a razor-sharp edge.
- Comfortable handle, easy to use, and gives you a lot of control.
- Perfect for carving smooth surfaces on your projects.
- Works great for both small and large scope projects.
- The blade can be a bit too long if you are working on palm projects.
- Not the most versatile knife.
To Sum Up
This knife is often a part of craftsmen collections, and there is a good reason for that. This blade is outstanding, and the fact you can use it for all kinds of projects makes it worth the buy. I personally like this knife, but I must say I prefer a little shorter blades that enable me more control over my cuts.
Morakniv Woodworking Knife Set – A general carving set for basic caricature projects
Even though it is described as woodworking, this is essentially a Morakniv carving kit, since it includes two knives designed for carving. A part of this set is a Wood Carving 120 Knife, which I already described as pretty awesome and perfect for detailed carving projects.
The second bit of this Morakniv carving set is the Wood Carving 164 Hook Knife, a small 2 inches long hook blade with a 0.5 internal radius. The blade is made of Sandvik stainless steel, which guarantees impeccable quality, but even if the manufacturer claims it can be used to carve spoons, cups, and bowls – I just have the experience that it’s too small for that use.
I like this knife tandem for my caricature carving projects, but even if it seems as if the two are enough for a set, I strongly disagree. If you were to work on a serious project, you would need some extra tools on the side as well.
However, this is a good pair of knives that you will likely need in your carvings daily, so it is an interesting combo to buy. But, keep in mind that perhaps this set is not always cheaper than the two knives separately if you can find them at a discount.
- Great set of sharp knives for general and small carving projects.
- Both blades are of great quality and durable.
- They are small knives that perform amazingly on tiny palm projects with a lot of details.
- The set implies that these knives are enough for a serious project, which I don’t think is the case here.
- The knives can be used only on small-size projects.
- The price isn’t always worth the buy, especially when the knives are on discount separately.
To Sum Up
This is a Morakniv wood carving set made of two knives for general carving projects. The set does not include a whittling knife, spoon carving knife, or a knife for chip carving. This is why I consider this kit to be incomplete as such, it would be much better described as a 2 for 1 kind of set. But, as I mentioned, it can be a case that it’s not worth the buy at all – sometimes it can be more expensive than the two knives bought on their own.
Morakniv Wood Carving Hook Knife 164 – A small hook knife with a leather sheath for left-handed carvers
The handle of this knife is very comfortable and made of birchwood. It is comfortable to hold and made in a round shape that is good for the hook knives when you need to twist your wrist to achieve the good cuts you intend to.
Morakniv carving knife reviews that can be found about this knife on Amazon say that it is a great value knife. Now, it’s not that I don’t think this way, but the hook itself is a little bit small for me. What I mean by this is that I can only cut very small cuts in my woodblock with this hook, but with a bigger hook I can do both big and small projects.
When it comes to general features, just like the other Morakniv carving knives – this blade is of exceptional quality. It is a single-edged blade, made of stainless steel that is one of the best Swedish steels on the market. It is hardened, resistant to corrosion and fracturing, and very easy to sharpen to a razor-sharp level.
It is designed for left-handed people, so keep that in mind before making a purchase. A nice touch about this product is also the leather sheath designed for this knife especially. The sheath is made of vegetable-tanned leather, of great quality, and very pretty as well.
- Razor-sharp blade, made of exceptional stainless steel.
- Steel is not prone to rust or fracturing, it lasts a lifetime easily.
- One-sided hook that enables more control by pressing a thumb on the other side of the blade.
- Comfortable birchwood handle, easy to use in twist-movements of the wrist.
- It comes with a quality leather sheath for the hook blade.
- It is too small, and can only be used for really tiny projects.
- It is a bit more expensive than it should be, in my opinion.
To Sum Up
The blade of this hook knife might be one of the most quality steels that Mora uses for designing its knives. However, the radius is too small for my taste, and it is also a left-handed knife which you should take into consideration. Might be a bit overpriced as well.
So, let me sum up my impressions on these tools and what I consider important when writing this Morakniv knives review article. All things considered, this Swedish brand is exceptional and has a lot to offer. The blades are usually made of great quality steel, and it almost never happens that they corrode or have a fracture. Most importantly, they are sharp and easy to sharpen. After you treat them with a sharpening stone and a leather strop, they will hold an edge for an impressive amount of time.
It is quite a pleasure to use these knives, and their handles are very comfortable and fit my grip. The knives listed here vary in the shapes of the blades and sizes of the knives, which is how I diversified them into the types of projects that are easy to pull off with each of them. One more thing that is left for me to share with you is the Morakniv spoon carving set, which is better than the woodworking set mentioned above, and really can achieve bowls and mugs with ease. Instead of the Morakniv spoon knife review, I shared my experience with the hook knife, because I feel like most people think they can carve anything with this one, but I found that it is difficult to get things done in a larger project such as a bowl or a kuksa.
My Morakniv wood carving knives reviews are based on my experience with different knives of this manufacturer and I evaluated them according to my experience in particular with small-scope projects. These knives and a Morakniv wood carving set are truly great quality tools, and you won’t regret using them, plus they will last for an extraordinarily long time. Except for my review of Mora knives, I’ve also written about the best carving and whittling knives, plus about knives made by other manufacturers, so I suggest you check that out on my webpage if that is what you are interested in.
I hope you found this article helpful, and that it answered some of the questions you might have had about this brand and the products I reviewed.