Home / Gear Reviews / Morakniv Garberg Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife Review

Morakniv Garberg Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife Review

manufactured by :
Philip Werner
Version:
2016
Price:
77.99

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On December 7, 2016
Last modified:January 13, 2017

Summary:

The Morakniv Garberg bushcraft knife is the company's first full tang knife, which means the steel blank used to make the knife runs all the way from front point to the butt end, which you should be able to see sticking out of the handle, above. While this makes the stainless steel Garberg stronger, it also makes it my heaviest Morakniv, with a 9 inch (229mm) length, weighing 9.6 ounces (272 g).

A winter fire made from batoned wood
A winter fire made from batoned wood

When autumn rolls around, it’s time to watch more TV in camp, backpacker TV that is. This is the time of year when I start carrying a folding saw and bushcraft style knife on my overnight backpacking trips to cut firewood and split it into smaller pieces using a technique called batoning. Primitive fire ritual? Yeah, maybe, but when the sun goes down at 4:15 PM, there’s nothing better than sitting around a fire with friends and sipping firewater.

While I’m not a bushcraft or primitive skills expert like Paul Kirtley, who I do recommend you check out, I do like to practice my fire-making and survival skills, especially how to make build and start a fire with wet or frozen wood. One of the most important tools you need to build a fire like this is a fixed blade bushcraft-style knife.

The Morakniv Garberg full tang bushcraft knife is available with a leather belt sheath or a MOLLE multi-mount system that includes a Polymide sheath.
The Morakniv Garberg full tang bushcraft knife is available with a leather belt sheath or a MOLLE multi-mount system that includes a Polymide sheath.

Morakniv is a knife manufacturer known for their high quality, low-cost bushcraft and carving knives. I already own a few including the Morakniv Companion, the Classic, Bushcraft Black, and a Bushcraft Orange, which has a blaze orange handle that is easy to spot when you drop it on the ground. Priced between $15 and $40, they’re sharp and reliable. All of these knives are partial tang knives, meaning that the non-blade end of the knife terminattes part-way down the handle and not in the butt. Partial tang knives are considered less durable than full tang knives for heavy bushcraft tasks such as batoning and chopping to delimb trees and branches.

The Morakniv Garberg bushcraft knife is the company’s first full tang knife, which means the steel blank used to make the knife runs all the way from front point to the butt end of the handle, which you should be able to see above. While this makes the stainless steel Garberg stronger, it also makes it my heaviest Morakniv, weighing 9.6 ounces (272 g) and 9 inches (229mm) in length.

Full tang fixed length bushcraft knives are all the rage because they’re considered more durable, but I wouldn’t buy the Garberg for that reason alone: I think the durability of Morakniv’s partial tangs is perfectly sufficient and you’d be hard-pressed to break one with normal use.

The width and length of the Garberg knife make it very easy to baton wood with.
The width and length of the Garberg knife make it very easy to baton wood with.

Where the Garberg shines over Morakniv’s other bushcraft knives is in batoning because it has a thicker blade (3.2mm) that’s 4.3 inches (109mm) long. This knife goes through wood like butter because the thicker blade acts like a wedge forcing the wood fibers apart.

While the Garberg’s heavier weight also makes it a decent chopper, the width of the blade mades it more difficult to use for feathersticking, where you shave thin curled strips of wood from a branch to make it easier to ignite while trying to keep their base attached. I have a much easier time making thin feathersticks with my Morakniv Companion which has a much thinner (2.5 mm) blade.

As you’d expect, the Garberg has a flat ground spine on top of the blade which makes it easy to use with a fire steel, something I always carry with me on trips since it’s such a reliable way to start a stove or solid fuel cube.

I’m also a big fan of the Garberg’s handsome black leather sheath which has a rear belt loop and button snap. Most of Moraknivs other knives are only available with a plastic Kydex sheath, which many people like, but I loathe because it so unnatural. A MOLLE multi-mount system that includes a Polymide sheath is also available if you need that kind of attachment system.

Priced under $100, the Morakniv Garberg is a bomber knife if you want to experiment with adding some bushcraft skills to your backpacking and camping experience. I usually carry a 1.0 ounce Swiss-army classic with me on my regular three-season backpacking trips, but when the nights get long and the weather cold, I do carry a bushcraft knife and folding saw in my pack to help pass the time around a campfire.

Disclosure: Morakniv gave me a sample Garberg for this review and I’ve also purchased a few of my own. 

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8 comments

  1. Great review, now I know what I’m buying myself for Christmas!
    Also,2nd the Paul Kirtley Youtube videos, really well made and informative.

  2. Awesome info. I’ve been looking for a good heavy full tang knife. Looks like this one’s moved to the top of the list.

  3. It may be an older addition, but I’ve only now seen it:
    ** Thanks for including metric information :-) **

    (I also own something like a Morakniv. It’s called a Hultafors HVK. Pretty much looks the same, behaves the same. Was some 30 % cheaper..)

  4. Which folding saw do you use?

  5. For what you’re getting ,I think it’s overpriced. Especially compared to other mora knives, or a knife like the SOG field pup, or any of several cold steel knives …

  6. Nice article. I have a mora companion heavy duty with a carbon steel blade and love it. At 4.7oz it’s plenty light enough to bring on almost any trip and heavy duty enough for batoning and nimble enough for feathering. Also retains its sharpness well. At only $9 it’s a great value.

    I also have a condor bushlore full tang knife that is wonderful to use and beautiful to look at. Carbon steel and scandi grind retain sharpness well. Still only weighs 7.8oz including the leather sheath so not too heavy either. And at $30 it’s also a great value.

    Here’s to nice winter fires. Cheers.

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