The Blade

The Blade

The Blade

The knife blade has become one of the main characteristics for Morakniv, due to its high quality, design, and sharpness. For more than 130 years we’ve refined our methods and constantly worked to improve our products. How we treat, harden, and polish our knives is a vital part of our quality work, and the recipe is a well-kept company secret. This results in knives that will always live up to your expectations and that you always can put your trust in.

The blade of a Morakniv can be made of three different kinds of steel: recycled Swedish stainless steel, carbon steel or laminated carbon steel. Each steel type has its unique properties that determine which model is matched with which steel.

The blade of steel means a lot, but certainly not everything. We want to warn knife users that perhaps the perfect steel type on paper is not in itself the only thing that dictates how a knife performs. In fact, steel analysis has become somewhat scientific that it is easy to get caught up in the maze of statistics. Just because a blade is made from premium or high-end steels does not automatically mean it is better than other blades.

We also want to point out the importance of the heat treatment techniques used by the manufacturer as well as the design of the blade itself which plays a huge role in the ultimate result of the knife performance. Many times the heat treatment is even the underlying key in order to maximize the steel’s conditions.

All modern steels will perform well enough for most users so consider spending more time on other aspects of the knife such as the handle, size or style.

Austenitic steel

Austenitic steel contains high amounts of nickel, around 8%, which makes it non-magnetic and soft, making it more or less undesirable for knife making. However, the benefits of this type of steel are its toughness and superior corrosion resistance from high levels of chromium, making it perfect for everyday items like forks, spoons and even kitchen sinks.

Martensitic steel

Martensitic steel contains less chromium while still meeting the criteria for stainless steel but very small amounts of nickel thus making the steel magnetic. What really sets martensitic steels apart is higher levels of carbon which allows for the formation of martensite, an extremely hard structure, making it ideal for knifemaking. Steel manufacturers can transform austenite into martensite through rapid quenching.

Recycled Swedish stainless steel (S)

Knife blades made of hardenable stainless steel – 12C27 and 14C28N, hardened to HRC 56-58,5 – are found on knives with extreme strength and a long life. They also have a very high resistance to moisture, which otherwise can make the blades rust. Recycled Swedish stainless steel stays sharp for much longer than carbon steel and is far less sensitive to rust. Recycled Swedish stainless steel is easy to maintain. However, it is always good to take the habit of rinsing the blade under running hot water, preferably with a mild soap solution, after use if the knife has become dirty.

Carbon steel (C)

Carbon steel knife blades are hardened to HRC 58-60 and provide the highest possible sharpness at a good price. Knives of this steel type will eventually have a matte-gray finish, a change that does not, however, adversely affect the quality. On the contrary, this will rather improve the resistance to corrosion. Carbon steel is easy to sharpen, but requires more maintenance when exposed to moist or corrosive environment. Make sure to keep the blade clean and dry. For example, fruit acids immediately leave spots on the blade. Our carbon steel has a carbon content of 1%.

Laminated carbon steel (LC)

This steel grade is unique for knives from Morakniv. The core of the blade is made of high carbon steel surrounded by a softer alloyed steel layer. A high hardness, HRC 58-60, can be achieved through hardening, and the result is a knife blade with superior toughness and cutting edge retention. Thereby it reaches maximum sharpness and long life. The blade can also be bent into a predetermined shape, which makes knives with these kind of blades appropriate for woodcarving. The laminated steel’s core has a carbon content of 1% and its sides < 0,2%. Laminate steel blades can sometimes be found to have a knotty or unfinished blade surface. It comes from the rollers in the rolling mill where the laminate steel is fused.


The black protective diamond-like coating, shortened as DLC-coating on for example the Garberg BlackBlade™ (C), is resistant to abrasive wear.

This coating provides some protection against rust and prevents reflections on the blade.


The black protective electrophoretic deposition, shortened as ED-coating on our Lightweight Axe (B) protects the axe head from scratches and wear.

Protective coating

The black protective coating, shortened as PC-coating on The Ash Wood Outdoor Collection, is, in fact a PVD-coating.

This coating makes the blade easier to keep clean as it usually just needs a dry wipe to shine after use and adds some protection from corrosion. It also serves as an aesthetic feature, enhancing the bright ash wood in contrast to the black blade.

What does the spine of your knife look like?

Our knives have one of three different spine types, depending on the model and its intended area of use. If you think the spine of your knife seems to be unfinished or just want to learn more about the spine of your knife – keep on reading!

Not ground, but polished spine

This image shows a polished/buffed 2,0 mm thick blade with no spine grinding This particular blade can be found on our craft knives, were the sharp, durable edge and steady handle are high priorities. Knives with this grinding aren’t compatible with fire starter, due to the rounded corners of the spine.

Ground and polished spine

This image shows a polished/buffed 2,5 mm thick blade with spine grinding. This blade can be found on several of our outdoor knives and this particular image shows a stainless steel Companion model. Knives with this grinding aren’t compatible with fire starter, due to the rounded corners of the spine.

Ground, but not polished spine

This image shows a 3,2 mm thick blade with ground spine, more specifically that of the Bushcraft Orange model. The blade hasn’t been polished/buffed and the spine corners are sharp, which make knives with this grinding excellent for use with a fire starter.

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