In summer 2017, I was lucky enough to be sent a Mora Eldris knife as a thank you gift for a photograph I’d taken. I’ve been using it daily for a year since then, so I now feel qualified to write a thorough review.
After first seeing the knife for myself at The Bushcraft Show, I wasn't convinced by it and elected not to buy one, but once I had one in my possession I decided to give it a second chance and began using it daily at work. I'm really glad I did because my initial doubts about it were quite wrong. Those doubts were based mainly on the fact that it has three grinds on the blade, one of which is a sharp 90-degree grind on the spine. Since I use most of my small knives primarily for carving, I thought this would be very uncomfortable when doing finer thumb cuts. Secondly, I prefer narrow blades (such as my trusty Mora 120 carving knife) for my carving work. However, having used this knife for 12 months, I can now honestly say that neither of these things is an issue. In this review, I’ll break down each feature of this handy little knife and talk about what I like about each one.
The Eldris has a short 5.3cm drop point blade featuring a modified Scandinavian grind on the cutting edge with a thickness of 2mm made from 12c27 Swedish stainless steel. The modified grind was another thing that initially put me off; it seemed a bit gimmicky, and I'm a fan of plain, functional knives. The main edge features a standard Scandi grind, which I do like because of the ease of sharpening. The belly features the modified Scandi grind, which it turns out is actually really useful. The cutting edge of the belly is a normal Scandi grind, meaning it remains simple to sharpen and use, but the cheek of this part of the blade is also ground, making it slightly narrower. I really like this; it makes precision work with the tip really simple, giving it the feel of a narrower blade, which I like for carving, but without the severe point which on other knives can be a little risky and has left my fingers with numerous scars. As mentioned earlier, the spine has a sharp 90-degree grind for striking a ferro rod - a feature lacking in many of Mora's older models. This does make the knife slightly uncomfortable to use for thumb cuts and was the main source of my initial reservations, but I got used to it pretty quickly. What I love about this grind is that it covers the entire length of the spine and isn't present only near the handle; I like this as I find it more controlled and precise to strike my ferro rod close to the tip of the blade. The knife can be bought supplied with a Mora ferro rod, but I’ll get to this later.
The handle of this knife really makes it a pleasure to use and for me greatly increases its usefulness. A polymer plastic forms the bulk and 'cheeks' of the handle - the cheeks being textured for grip and style - but it also has a rubberised swell on the top, bottom and part of the sides, which I really like. At first glance, the palm swell makes the knife look big and chunky but it is actually really comfortable to use and fits nicely into the hand. The rubberised section makes it grippy even in wet conditions. The handle is slightly wider towards the blade end, which creates a subtle yet very effective guard. Being rubberised also makes it very effective at stopping your fingers from slipping onto the blade, whilst keeping it small enough as not to get in the way during use. The butt end of the handle has a hole for attaching a lanyard if you wish, though I find them unnecessary and frustrating.