Morakniv Companion vs Heavy Duty – Bushcraft Knives Comparison

Mora Companion bushcraft knife on a stump

Having a reliable knife when out in nature is an absolute must. Every experienced camper or hiker will tell you: “You need to be able to rely on your knife in any situation”. It is crucial for a successful outing in nature. While all outdoors enthusiasts agree you need a good knife, but picking the right knife is another matter altogether.

Morakniv has been the most prolific manufacturer of high-quality outdoor knives for decades now. Their knives are famous for utility, durability, and excellent quality to price ratio. In addition to this, each blade is highly customizable and you can use it to express yourself.

Probably the most famous Morakniv knife is the Companion.

Morakniv companion is lightweight, durable, and long enough to allow you to handle all the basic camping and bushcraft tasks. Outdoors enthusiasts usually prefer their knives to be a little more robust, which is why Mora made a heavy-duty version of it. Deciding whether you’d prefer the Morakniv Companion or the heavy-duty version will depend on your preferences and style.

However, we can help you choose by showing you what makes them different and what is the same.

Table of Contents

About The Knives

The Morakniv Companion is one of the most reliable knives in the world, especially considering the amount of money you’ll pay for it. The design is a time-tested one and it has been used in Sweden by many outdoorsmen and camping enthusiasts. Apart from the affordable price, the knife is lightweight and versatile. You can use it for basically any bushcraft task.

On the other hand, the Companion Heavy Duty is designed to make up for a few of the things that the regular Companion may lack. This doesn’t necessarily make it better or worse, just different.

Morakniv Companion Specifications

  • Blade length: 4.2 in
  • Blade thickness: 0.08 in
  • Overall length: 8.5 in
  • Type of grind: Scandi
  • Blade material: comes in carbon steel (grade C 100) and stainless steel (grade Sandvik12C27)
  • Handle material: ABS
  • Sheath material: Plastic
  • Overall weight: 3.9 oz (110 g)

Moakniv Heavy Duty Specifications

  • Blade length: 4.2 in
  • Blade thickness: 0.12 in
  • Overall length: 8.7 in
  • Type of grind: Scandi
  • Blade material: comes in carbon steel (grade C 100) and stainless steel (grade Sandvik12C27)
  • Handle material: ABS
  • Sheath material: Plastic
  • Overall weight: 4.8 oz (136 g)

As you can see, the differences are minimal, yet crucial. For those who prefer a bulkier knife made for heavy-duty tasks, the companion might be a bit too thin of a blade. On the other hand, people who ride bikes to their camping sites or people who trek a lot appreciate carrying a bit less weight and might opt for the lighter knife. Additionally, people who like to hammock camp close to home do not need a heavy-duty all-purpose knife because they can replace their gear without ruining their trip.

Similarities of the Morakniv Companion and Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty

These knives are similar in many ways, which is to be expected since they are designed almost completely the same. They both:

  • Come in stainless steel and high-carbon steel variations
  • Have the same blade length and the same angle to the edge (27 degrees)
  • Are made from the same materials – blade, handle
  • Come with the same clip-on plastic sheath

Most outdoor enthusiasts prefer a high-carbon steel blade for their adventures, as this type of steel is much more durable and thus holds an edge for a longer period of time. However, since these blades are more durable, they are more difficult to sharpen or repair in the field, and if they are not treated properly, they can rust. So keep that in mind when choosing the Morakniv Companion for yourself.

Additionally, the plastic sheath is extremely durable, and can even be used as a water container in a pinch. However, it doesn’t adapt very well to your boy position when sitting or lying down, which can present an issue to some campers.

Finally, both knives have a 90-degree finish on their spines which makes them perfect for striking the fire steel or stripping bark off branches to use as tinder for said fire steel. Unless, you’re camping or hiking in very cold conditions, in which case, you should definitely bring some other way of making fire.

Differences Between the Companion and Heavy Duty

While they are similar in many aspects, these knives are quite different as well.

Namely, the Heavy Duty Companion has a slightly longer handle which adds to the overall length of the knife, as well. So, this variation is about a quarter of an inch longer. The longer handle is there for a reason: it provides extra leverage when you’re using the knife, which makes it more suitable for some heavier tasks, such as batoning firewood or prying things out of hard surfaces.

Additionally, the Companion Heavy Duty comes with a blade almost twice as thick. This comes as no surprise because the heavy-duty tasks it was designed to do could easily snap or otherwise damage a thinner blade. And that’s something you never want to happen to you while out in the wild.

Finally, the last difference between the Morakniv Companion and Heavy Duty is the one of pricing. The Heavy Duty variation of the Companion knife is a bit more expensive than the regular one. In most cases the difference in the price amount to $5. This will, however, depend on where you purchase your knife, as well as what type of steel you choose.

Advantages of the Morakniv Companion

In a survival situation, you’ll want a reliable knife by your side, whether you’re using it for bushcraft, eating, or even digging. In some cases, also depending on personal preference, carrying a thinner blade is more beneficial than having a heavy-duty one. Here are some situations where the Morakniv Companion is a better choice than the heavy-duty.

  • Processing food – whether you’re gathering edibles in the wild or preparing a meal you’ve brought from home, the Companion will allow you to slice your food instead of chopping it. This will significantly reduce your meal prep time in the wild and improve the quality of your food. Additionally, gathering edibles is much easier when you have a thinner blade.
  • Making feather sticks – feather sticks are a great way to start a fire without using any commodities of modern technology. Even when camping in high humidity where most of the available tinder is wet, feather sticking it will reveal the inside, which is almost always dry. Needless to say, a thinner blade is preferable when making feather sticks as it will allow you to shave wood off more easily.
  • Fine carving – if you’re a bushcraft fanatic, you love to make camp items from wood sourced on your adventures. The Morakniv Companion’s finer blade will make whittling spoons and cups much easier. Just be careful how you bend your Companion’s blade or it could snap and leave you with a broken knife.
  • Smaller bushcraft tasks – whenever precision is required, a thinner blade that can bend performs better than a thicker one. So, cutting cordage, stripping bark off trees, sourcing tinder, or processing all twigs are all situations where the Companion excels over its heavy-duty variation.

A person making feather sticks witth a thin Morakniv Companion blade

Advantages of the Companion Heavy Duty

While having a finer blade can allow you to do precision tasks more efficiently in the wild, nothing beats a hefty and thick survival knife. This is why most people decide the Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty is the right choice for them. It is a firm belief of most outdoors enthusiasts that thicker is better when it comes to knives. Even though this is not always the case, there are a lot of situations where a thicker blade will produce better results.

  • Rougher bushcraft tasks – batoning firewood, cutting up long branches, or even using your knife to fell smaller trees (which is not always recommended) are all situations where you’d want to have a thicker blade.
  • Carving bigger camp items – while some bushcraft tasks are performed more easily with a thin blade, making camp chairs or a table in the wild is not among them. For these bushcraft tasks, you’ll want a hefty knife by your side.
  • Digging – using your knife as a spade is not an ideal scenario, but if you’re forced to do it, a stronger blade will prevent anything bad from happening to your knife.
  • Better leverage – another advantage of the Heavy Duty Companion is the longer handle. And a longer handle equals better leverage. There are countless situations you might encounter in the wild where better leverage will save your camping or hiking trip.

Finally, carrying a reliable, thick blade can replace several tools in your camping backpack, and if you’re skilled and confident enough, you don’t even have to carry a multitool when backpacking, just a single, reliable knife.

How to Pick the Best Companion for Yourself?

Picking the best Morakniv Companion is not easy, and in most cases, you’ll always wonder what would have happened if you’d picked the other one. Luckily, since they are both very affordable, you can get both, try them out and see which one suits you better.

If you only want to get one of them, try asking yourself what are your needs when camping. Do you need a lighter and precise blade? Or do you need a stronger bushcraft and survival knife for your outdoor adventure?

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