Mora Companion and Companion HD Review

The Mora Companion is the middle of the road blade in the mora clipper line.  There is the clipper, which is the lightest duty blade, the companion pictured below and the Companion HD which has a slightly thicker and more robust blade.

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I do not own the clipper but have had the companion now for about 5 years.  It was my first dedicated bushcraft blade and it has been a trooper all along.  It has treated me well allowed me to learn skills and was very forgiving as a beginning blade.  It also did not break the bank as I paid 13 dollars for it on amazon.  The blade is carbon steel and has a rounded spine which is not very good at striking sparks from a ferro rod.  This can be easily fixed with a file which can be used to flatten and sharpen the spine.  Over the years this blade has made feather sticks, carved notches and processed several deer.  I have to call this bushcraft blade out here, the small thin blade is excellent as a skinner, in fact this is my preferred skinning knife and has replaced several high dollar knives for my father and myself.  Its not quite as good as having a zipper on the hide of a deer to take it off but its very close.

After a weekend of bush crafting and skinning 3 deer the blade needed two or three passes on a butcher steel and it was razor sharp again, I know because it would shave the hair off of my arm.

The small and comfortable handle does not slip even when wet or bloody and the understated finger guard protects your hand from slipping up onto the blade.

I have turned the small blade into a kit, there is a sail needle taped onto the back of the sheath and a piece of bike inner tube holds a magnesium bar onto the front of the sheath. One problem with this knife is the small clip on the sheath for attaching to a belt.  On a small belt it works fine but I use a USGI web belt and it tends to fall off.  So i attached a paracord loop to the sheath and this transforms it into a dangler which allows you to move around with out the sheath sticking you in the side or leg.  For a beginner blade or backup blade or just a fun knife to use I highly recommend the companion in its HD form or standard form to anyone who is bush crafting or camping, or just needs a good utility knife.  All the comments apply to the HD blade as well and while the blade on the HD is thicker it skins just as well.  The only place the standard companion out performed the HD is in filleting fish and the difference there is marginal.  I am including a photo below of the HD Knife, but honestly unless you pick them up and look at them side by side its almost impossible to tell the difference.

Mora Companion HD

Camillus Knife: Les Stroud Desert Survival Knife

I have been carrying the mountain survival knife as a daily pocket knife on and off now for about two years.  I purchased this knife originally from walmart around Christmas time as part of a package deal and it came with a generic 3 day survival kit.  At the time you could buy the kit solo or as a package and it was the same cost so I effectively got the knife for free.  It generally can be found for around 15 dollars online.  It comes with a ferro rod stored in the back of the handle and has a thumb assist so it can be opened one handed. There is a belt clip on the knife that is very sturdy and holds the knife securely in place.  It came with a sharp edge and has held up well over time with little honing needed to stay razor sharp.  It has a liner lock that holds the blade securely in place.

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The knife is marketed as a survival knife and while the knife performs very well overall I would not place it into the survival category just because it comes with a ferro rod.  First off this is a folding blade knife so there are several hard use survival tasks that it would not hold up well with such as batoning wood.   As a back up blade or a daily carry knife this knife works very well.  It also performs very well on many general camp tasks, it can make feather sticks, carve a bow drill set, make notches, it is wonderful for food prep as well so it would work well as part of a camping kit but it is definitely not a one tool option.  It pairs very well with the larger fixed blade Mountain Survival Knife as a set.  The larger knife has serrations over the last inch of the blade so there are some tasks that are harder to do with it such as making feather sticks, that is where this little knife shines as the companion to the larger general duty knife.

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As an every day cary option I really enjoy this blade, it lets you do anything and everything a pocket knife would be used for and carries a ferro rod which is not obvious and adds no extra weight to the blade which lets you be a little more prepared for emergencies by having a fire starter with you at all times.

The handle is very ergonomic and it has a non slip finish which works very well for general use.  As an inexpensive pocket knife I would highly recommend this tool for every day carry or as a car knife or just something to throw in your kit to provide a spare blade and small ferro rod.

Battle Horse Knives: Trap Line Companion

I am a huge fan of Battle Horse Knives I think they make great products and love the Bush Baby knife that we have reviewed at this site.  I would describe the Trap Line Companion as a small utility/skinner blade.  When I carry this knife it functions much as my mora does but it is much heavier built.  It came very sharp and with a little work it took a shaving edge.

 

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The overall length of the knife is 9 inches and the cutting edge on the blade is 3.5 inches.  It is 3/16 of an inch thick and full tang with micarta handles.  There are two brass pins that hold the scales on and a brass tube that acts as a lanyard hole near the butt of the knife.  The handle is comfortable in the hand and very slip resistant when wet or bloody.  The shape of the blade protects the front finger and acts as a small finger guard.  The sharp edge ends about 1/4 of an inch from the back of the blade steel.

 

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I have worn and used this knife for about two years now on and off while camping and for general camp chores and it has been used as a skinning blade for deer.  I have also used it extensively in the kitchen as a food prep knife.  It holds a razor edge and is a scandi grind.  It has a drop point blade which is good for a multitude of tasks.  The knife performs well making feather sticks, carving notches and light battening of wood.  The short blade makes it less useful as a splitting tools and its light weight makes in a poor chopper.  However the blade was never designed with these two tasks in mind.  I would not recommend this as a one tool option but as a small belt knife it is wonderful and like all Battle Horse Knives it is an heirloom quality blade that could be passed down from generation to generation.  I often pair this with a large chopper or small axe or hatchet and a saw, usually my bacho or even a larger belt knife when I am out and about.  When working on the ranch, hunting or even working around the yard it is a great carry knife because of its small size and it gives you a great cutting tool for any general task you might find yourself needing to do.

If you are looking for a good secondary blade this will certainly fit the bill, but as a custom knife it is expensive and while it is much more robust than any Mora I have yet owned the Mora’s will perform many of the same functions, but won’t be as pretty doing so.

Day Pack options

This daypack is for the large greenbelts and city parks in and around Austin Texas. These large parks are technically in the city limits and there are a lot of yuppy types who freak out if they see someone with a military style bag.

I also use this as my work GHB as i can keep it in my office with me without drawing attention to it, i take it in every Monday and bring it home every Friday and leave it locked in a file cabinet at my desk that way i always have something around just in case. Of course this really only has to get me to my car where there is a larger get home bag but who knows i might not be able to make it to the car.556729_136889729779198_794952236_n

 

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Gear list:

cheap poncho from walmart

2 bandanas

headlamp

small first aid kit

bug spray

work gloves

tube of cotton balls with petroleum jelly, tube has fishing line and two fishing hooks wrapped in electrical tape

fire steel

iodine bottle

LED flashlight

signal mirror

mora companion knife

altoids tin with water purification tablets

altoids tin fire kit with lighter, magnesium rod, jute twine and dryer lent

150 feet of bank line

knife sharpener with small diamond rod

emergency blanket

ultra light tarp

tube of cotton balls

whistle/compas/magnifying lens

aquamaira filter

razor blade

cheap 1 dollar knife from walmart

platypus 32 oz water bottle

 

 

Two year Review Bear Grylls Compact Fixed Blade

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The humble fixed blade knife.  Much used by many and overlooked by so many others who think that only a folder can be small enough to carry regularly.  I have been using the Gerber Bear Grylls Compact Fixed Blade ( really could they not think of a shorter name) for  two years now.  It is my favorite knife in the BG series.  It has one major flaw and that is in the sheath.  The belt sheath has a reversible clip to hold it on to the belt and it will not stay attached.  It slips loose and the knife wants to fall off your belt.  I fixed this issue by glueing the clip in place, this removes the versatility but it keeps the knife on your belt.  This is a small knife with only a 3.4 inch blade and an overall length of 7.8 inches and it weighs in at a light 3.77 oz.  I have found that this is one of my most commonly used knifes around the house.  Any time I am doing yard work or working on a project in the garage I slip it on my belt.  As a utility knife the serrations have actually come in handy as I find myself cutting string, rope, Weed-eater line you name it.  The blade has stayed sharp with only minimal maintenance and the coating has held up very well.  You can commonly find this knife for about 20 dollars on sale or online so it is very affordable.  It is thicker than most Mora’s and being full tang I have no problem banging on it when needed.  It is very comfortable and the handle is very ergonomic and very grippy when wet.  I have used it to cut everything from rope, to grass when laying sod, to trimming small branches when I was to lazy to go grab the clippers.  My 10 year old son has also used the knife at several of this cub scout campouts to do cub scout things such as turn sticks into spears and generally whittle on as much wood as he can.  The sheath holds the knife well after two years and shows no signs of slippage.  The knife will still make feather sticks and will strike a ferro rod very well.  After two years of use I can not recommend the knife enough.  If you want a good small utility blade to throw in a tool box or a pack or the glove box of your car you can’t go wrong with this little gem.

http://www.amazon.com/Gerber-31-001066-Grylls-Compact-Fixed/dp/B006M9NK1O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428343181&sr=8-1&keywords=gerber+compact+fixed+blade