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The steel

Learn more about your knife
The steel makes the knife

The knife blade has become one of the main characteristics for Morakniv, due to its high quality, design and sharpness. We’ve refined our methods and constantly worked to improve our products for more than 120 years. 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 always will 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: stainless steel, carbon steel or laminated steel. Each steel type has its unique properties that determine which model that’s being matched with which steel.

The steel of the blade is not everything. Knife users should beware getting caught up in researching the perfect steel type as it is not by itself the only thing that dictates how a knife will perform. 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 the premium or high-end steels listed above does not automatically mean it is better than other steels.

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 & Martensitic 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 contains less chromium while still meeting the criteria for stainless steel but very little amount 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.

Stainless steel (S)
Knife blades made of hardenable stainless steel - 12C27 and 14C28N, hardened to HRC 56-58 - 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. Stainless steel stays sharp for much longer than carbon steel and is far less sensitive to rust.
Carbon steel (C)
Knife blades of high carbon steel can be hardened to HRC 58-60, giving them the best possible sharpness at an affordable price. When used, knives made from above these steel grades eventually achieve a dull grey finish. However, this will not affect the quality of the blade, but 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 pots 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 in 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 it's sides < 0,2%.
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The steel