Morakniv have released their first (long awaited) full tang knife, the Garberg. Dedicated Morakniv users have been asking for a full tang knife, as they want a hard-use version of the much loved Companion.
The Blade and Handle Geometry:
Most knife specifications have a basic description of the blade geometry, but in this section I will be taking a more detailed look at geometry and balance.
Using a set of gauges and precision measuring equipment including a Vernier protractor, callipers, fixed radius gauges and the unique Arc Master adjustable radius gauge (the one that looks like a crossbow).
These measurements have been tabulated and are presented along with a few reference blades (8″ Chef’s Knife, 5.5″ Santoku and the popular Fällkniven F1).
Key aspects such as the primary bevel angle, grind type, blade depth, blade thickness, length, weight are detailed, along with balance information.
The ‘Balance relative to the front of the handle’ tells you if the knife will feel front heavy, or if the weight is in your hand (a positive value means the weight is forward of the front of the handle). The ‘Balance relative to the centre of the handle’ indicates how close to a ‘neutral balance’ the knife has in the hand.
In the case of full convex grinds the approximate centre of the grind is used for the primary bevel angle estimate.
The blade is made from Swedish Stainless Steel (14C28N) steel.
Explained by the Maker:
The reasons for certain design choices may not be clear when simply looking at an object, so this section is intended to give an insight into the thinking behind a design by speaking to the designer themselves.
Unfortunately I can’t always get time with the designer so will use this section to include relevant information about the knife and its designer.
This is an interview with ‘Head of Production’ at Morakniv, Thomas Eriksson, from IWA 2017.
The discussion includes how the factory edge is created, maintained and also includes micro-bevels and zero-grinds. It is 16 minutes long, so you might want to come back to this after reading the rest of the review.
Video Edited with – Cyberlink Director Suite 5 (PowerDirector 15 and AudioDirector 7)
Camera – Panasonic HC-V770 Microphone – Tonor TN120308BL and/or Takstar SGC-598
A few more details:
Morakniv did not stop at just making the Garberg full-tang. There are two versions of the Garberg available; one with a full flap leather sheath, and the other with Morakniv’s Mulit-Mount sheath system. The first to arrive at Tactical Reviews was the leather sheath.
The image on the front of the box for the leather sheath version just shows the knife. The Multi-Mount’s box shows the sheathed knife.
Straight out of the box the knife is hidden by the premium quality leather flap sheath. It is obvious straight away this is a very good quality sheath.
A close-up look at the press stud shows the attention to detail with the Morakniv logo embossed around the edges.
The stitching uses a heavy duty 1mm thread, cleanly punched though the 3mm leather and the welt.
On the back, the belt loop is made of the same thick leather as the rest of the sheath.
The top of the belt loop is fixed with two rivets, and the bottom with a single rivet.
Lifting the flap shows that the main sheath is a deep/full sheath.
At the top of the sheath opening, the stitching is complemented with a rivet to prevent the stitching at the top from being cut and unravelling the sheath.
And here we are, the Garberg.
Moving in close to the tip you can see the Scandi-grind and the polished cutting edge’s micro-bevel (see the video with Thomas Eriksson, from IWA 2017).
Unlike most of the Morakniv knives, the Garberg has a ricasso, and a nicely radiused Scandi-plunge-line.
With the Garberg being intended as a hard-use knife, the handle material is not just any plastic, it is a specially chosen extra-rugged Polyamide.
The full tang is exposed at the butt allowing for maximum strength and hammering without damaging the handle.
To make it ideal for use with ferrocerium rods, the spine has been ground to have sharp corners. The logo is laser engraved onto one of the blade flats.
This sharp edged spine extends the entire length to the tip.
Not long after, the multi-mount version arrived. Note the picture on the box shows the knife sheathed in the multi-mount instead of the knife on its own.
This time there are many more parts in the box. Included are the plastic holster, a basic belt loop, a locking strap, three hook and loop straps and the multi-mount itself.
Taking the most basic components, the knife and plastic sheath.
Your first mounting option is the belt loop. This loop is fixed to a plastic ring that slides up the sheath and clicks into place.
Next up is the locking-strap used to ensure the Garberg can’t come out of the sheath whatever angle it is mounted. This strap can be used with the multi-mount for the highest security (but not with the belt loop).
The locking strap is made of leather for maximum performance and durability.
The multi-mount has many holes and slots to give you a great many fixing options, from screw holes to MOLLE/PALS.
A hook and loop strap is used to hold the sheath in the multi-mount. The locking strap also threads through part of the multi-mount so will keep the sheath securely in the multi-mount even if the hook and loop strap fails. You can also use cable ties in place of the hook and loop straps for a more permanent fixing.
What it is like to use?
To start to understand where the Garberg fits in, in terms of how it feels to use, let’s start by looking at in alongside the Companion and Bushcraft Black.
Immediately obvious is the Garberg’s symmetrical handle. This is not an accident, the Garberg’s handle has been specifically designed to allow it to be held in a forward or reverse grip for greater versatility. Overall it is no bigger than the Bushcraft model, but does feel much more solid. The extra weight of the full tang gives the knife a very different feel, even though the blade stock is the same at 3.2mm.
The line of the spine is very similar to the Bushcraft, but the blade of the Garberg has more belly which adds a little more forward weight and reduces the tip angle. We’ll get onto more of it ‘in use’ a little later.
Just looking at the two versions of the Garberg, how do you choose between them?
Clearly the knives are identical, so it all comes down to the way you want to carry it. For belt carry it has to be the leather sheath every time. This is a hard wearing and comfortable sheath and simply won’t let you down. Traditional materials that have proven themselves ideal for the task have been used, and Morakniv have not scrimped on this, using only premium 3mm thick leather.
The multi-mount covers just about any other carry option and even has a belt loop suitable for occasional use.
Following the huge success of the Companion and other Morakniv knives, the Garberg is an ideal all-round size. A comfortable size and weight which is up to as much work as you would ever really want to put a knife to. Any more blade length starts to bring you into chopping territory and reduced agility for finer tasks, any less and you start to lose wood processing ability.
Out into its natural habitat.
Batoning can be carried out with no concerns at all thanks to the full tang. The sharp edged blade spine gives good grip on the baton, but it does mean the baton gets chewed up faster. The only reason this strike did not go all the way through in one hit, is that I didn’t want to cut into the limb I was resting it on.
You would barely notice that I had been batoning away with this for nearly an hour, apart from a slight smear of sap there is not a mark on it.
Possible mounting locations for the Multi-Mount are so numerous, I’ll just leave you to think of a few yourself, but here is where the Multi-Mount Garberg is currently residing.
In this photo I’ve pushed the rear seats of my car forward slightly to make it easier to photograph. Amongst a few other bits of kit the Multi-Mount is held onto the seat back with the hook part of the large hook and loop straps. Make sure you leave room to lift the knife out of the sheath.
In this instance mounting it horizontally resulted in the mount gradually working its way downward due to bumps in the road slowly splitting the hook fastner away from the seat back. Mounted vertically this doesn’t happen. The main downside I see to the Multi-Mount is that it is mainly suited to permanent or semi-permanent mounting and may be slow to move to another location or bag.
Throughout the heavy workout I gave the Garberg, there was no evidence of edge chipping or rolling, so it looks like Morakniv have got the hardness and toughness just right. I’m happy to give this a hard time, much more so than the half tang models.
The views expressed in this summary table are from the point of view of the reviewer’s personal use. I am not a member of the armed forces and cannot comment on its use beyond a cutting tool or field/hunting knife.
Something that might be a ‘pro’ for one user can be a ‘con’ for another, so the comments are categorised based on my requirements. You should consider all points and if they could be beneficial to you.
|Things I like||What doesn’t work so well for me|
|Knife – Full tang making this the most robust Morakniv knife.||Knife – Thick blade less suited to fine work and food preparation.|
|Knife – 3.2mm blade stock gives very high strength.|
|Knife – Scandi grind well suited to wood processing.|
|Knife – Symmetrical handle allows for a variety of grip options.|
|Leather sheath – High quality construction.||Leather sheath – Flap can slow down re-sheathing.|
|Leather sheath – Hard wearing 3mm leather used throughout.|
|Multi-Mount – Incredibly versatile mounting solution.||Multi-Mount – Mainly suited to permanent mounting and can be slow to relocate.|
|Multi-Mount – The system also includes a standard belt hanger.|
Discussing the Review:
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