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A history of knives

Past and present models
Constant development
Knives have been made in the area around Mora since the 1700’s. The foundations of today’s factory were laid already in 1891 and have taken our local handicraft out to the world since then. Our knife-makers manufacture knives by hand, just like back then.
We also work with world-class technology in our automated facility producing quality knives day and night. The fact that the entire process – from steel to complete knife – takes place in our premises in Mora means that we have full control over all parts of our production. That way, we can make sure that every knife that leaves our factory lives up to our high standards.
1891-2016: 125 Years of Knowledge
A History of Knives

The very beginning

As early as 1890 Carl Andersson from Mora is mentioned in the Swedish Trade Directory as a “Knife-maker.”

Frosts manufacturing

The knife with the wooden handle has a patented “lock sheath.” The locking groove is visible on the handle down at the holster.

Zorn, the knife-maker

Anders Zorn was not only a world famous artist, he was also a skilled wood carver and apparently knife-maker. He made at least eight knives, two of which are still missing.

The red handle

During the 20’s, the characteristic red handle starts to appear in Mora’s knife-making factories. From the beginning it was a given that the handles would be made of birch wood. They were stained red before final varnishing to make them look more exclusive, like mahogany. Eventually the staining was abandoned for different shades of red colors.

Mora scissors

It’s not only knives that are made in Mora. During the 30’s, the Mora scissors were also introduced. They soon became a success and still today are a favorite for many, even though they stopped being made in 1968.

Scout knives during the war years

Knife manufacturing was difficult during the war, with drafted personnel and limited import and export possibilities. At this time, the best-selling Scout knife was a savior, selling in large quantities, predominantly in Norway.


The design of this knife is meant to resemble that of the Finnish Lapp knives and was sold as a souvenir to the rising number of tourists starting to make their way to Sweden at the time.

The arrival of plastic

There was a shortage of rubber during the war forcing the manufacturers to think differently about the material used, which is how the plastic handle came into the picture. This is a small knife from the 1950’s with a plastic handle.

Continued innovations

The introduction of the plastic handle was novel and gave rise to new colorful options, such as with the scout knives.

Take a look at the lion’s head

This bayonet was manufactured during the postwar period. The blade is made of polished and nickel-plated special steel, and the handle is made of cast brass with sides consisting of moose antlers. At the time the knife cost SEK 31.50.

Leather imitations

The knife sheaths were also made of plastic and their ornate patterns were meant to mimic the more exclusive sheaths made of vulcanized fiber and leather. Once again the characteristic red handle is there.

The big success of the 70’s

The big news of the decade for many was the “Hunter” launched in 1975. It had a small brutal appearance that quickly made it the obvious macho choice.

510 and 511

Morakniv 510 was introduced in 1978 and later achieved cult status as “The Wilderness Blade.” After public debate about knife safety at the end of the 70’s, the 511 model was soon launched as the “safe knife” with its solid finger guard. More than a million of them were soon sold.

Exclusive hunting

Lapplander was developed in 1983 as a solid hunting knife. The special stainless steel, the real wooden handle and the leather sheath soon turned it into a beautiful accessory, not only in the forest.

Mora strikes back

And then in 1991 came the big product news of the decade – Morakniv 2000. The idea was to create a practical all-round knife that would work just as well for skinning, clearing and filleting fish, as for skinning and butchering felled prey, and slicing bread or cold cuts and buttering sandwiches.

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A history of knives