Morakniv Garberg vs Morakniv Kansbol
Morakniv Garberg and the Morakniv Kansbol: two of the most popular bushcraft knives today. Both made by Morakniv, but still quite different. That is why we made an overview of all the differences between the Morakniv Kansbol and Garberg.
The similarities between the Morakniv Garberg and Kansbol
The most obvious similarity is, of course, the brand. Both knives are made in Mora, Sweden. Here they have been producing knives for over 400 years. At the end of the 19th century Mora was established and can now rely on years of experience and also has quite the reputation.
The handle is also the same. Nicely fills your hand, and because of the curve in the middle of the handle this knife will fit inside large and small hands. Both knives are also enhanced with a lanyard eye. Great for a lanyard or wrist strap. Or to tie your knife to your bag or belt with a piece of paracord, as a tether to make sure you don't lose it.
The differences between the Morakniv Garberg and Kansbol
We start with the most obvious difference: the blade. The shape, the grind, the type of steel and the thickness are all different. We will discuss all of them
Difference in steel
For many people the most prominent difference is the difference in steel. The difference, however, isn't that obvious, especially when you know that Morakniv doesn't specify specific types of steel. We do know the type of steel used for the Garberg because it was mentioned as it was introduced.
The Morakniv Kansbol is available in one type of steel: Morakniv stated that it is 'Stainless steel'. But we have all reasons to assume it is Sandvik 12C27. A great type of steel that retains its sharpness well. 12C27 is even relatively easy to sharpen with limited means. A type of steel that is nicely balanced in terms of all features a type of steel needs.
The Morakniv Garberg is available in two types of steel: also a 'Stainless Steel' version and a 'Carbon Steel' version. This Stainless Steel, however, is slightly different from the steel used for the Kansbol. For the Garberg Morakniv namely uses Sandvik 14C28N. It appears to be a difference of merely a couple letters, but in reality this means that it is quite the improvement. At a microscopic level 14C28N has an even finer structure to make sure it will retain its sharpness even better. Also, because nitrogen was added (hence the N in 14C28N) this steel is even more corrosion resistant. Also keep in mind that Morakniv has a lot of experience when it comes to making sure such a hard type of steel stays tough with the help of an excellent heat treatment.
But the Garberg is also available in Carbon. Or a blade made from a type of carbon steel. Officially Morakniv doesn't specify which type of carbon steel they used. But we are positive it is UHB20C. This steel is fairly similar to the famous 1095 carbon steel, but a little 'cleaner' in terms of components. This steel is incredibly tough and can handle its own. In addition, you can sharpen it with limited means. Corrosion resistance is something to keep in mind: it is not. That is why Morkaniv has added a thin coating to the blade of the Garberg Carbon. The edge, however, is something that requires a little TLC.
The advantage of the Garberg is that you choose between a great type of stainless steel, or extremely tough carbon steel that is easy to sharpen. The Kansbol is available with only one type of steel that is a medium between the two options of the Garberg, even though it is more corrosion resistant than the Garberg Carbon.
Grind and thickness
In addition to the steel there are also differences in the rest of the blade. The Kansbol, for instance, is enhanced with the characterizing Compound Grind. The front part of the blade is thinner than the rest. As such this part is perfect for the more detailed tasks. But also for, for instance, food prep. Anyone who has tried cutting through an apple or potato with a scandi-edge, knows it is quite tricky. Because the apple simply breaks thanks to the broad wedge-edge of the scandi. The Kansbol is better in this aspect. The blade of the Kansbol is thinner than that of the Garberg, even though the difference between 2.4 mm and 3.0 mm isn't that substantial.
Even though the blade length is the same at 2.0 mm, the Kansbol has a little more edge. The last couple mm, and those are more than two, before the handle can also be used. While for the Garberg this is square and flat, without edge. You probably won't notice this as you use the knife, but if you are discussing differences this is one you need to mention. The same applies to the shape of the blade. The differences are subtle, but they are there.
You feel the difference when you hold it, not when you look at it in a photograph
The next difference is the handle. When you look at a photograph you won't see any differences between the two collections. When you hold them side by side, however, you will. The handle of the Garberg knives is namely made from a rock-solid type of polyamide plastic. Just a little harder and more sustainable than the PTE handle on the Kansbol. We do, however, have to be honest here: they look very similar. But the extra sustainable handle is the main reason why Morakniv calls the Garberg the strongest knife they have ever produced.
Weight plays a role
Another difference is that the tang of the blade, the part inside the handle, is a lot thicker and bigger for the Garberg than the Kansbol. As such you not only end up with a stronger knife, it also feels more solid in hand. At the same time the Garberg, with its extra thick blade, is also a lot heavier: 170 grams vs the 100 grams of the Kansbol. When you go hiking or ultra-light camping and each gram counts, this is definitely something to keep in mind.
Sheath and carrying options
The standard plastic sheaths for the Kansbol and Garberg are interchangeable. You can, however, also use a leather sheath for the Garberg. This sheath is appreciated because it is a little more silent in the field, in comparison to the hard plastic sheath. Small difference, but when you are looking for game it can be really helpful.
Using a firesteel
First: both knives work with a firesteel. For both knives the spine of the blade is sharp enough. However! For the Garberg they took it up a notch. The spine of the Garberg is extremely sharp. The sparks will fly, and also scraping dry branches or birch bark to produce tinder is a piece of cake. Add the fact that because of the slightly thicker blade you can also easily split kindling and you know that creating a fire with the Garberg will be an amazing experience.
Difference in price
Finally there is one part we cannot ignore: the difference in price. The Kansbol is a lot more affordable than the Garberg. Depending on which versions you compare the difference with a similar sheath can be 50%. Is the Garberg worth it? You need to determine that for yourself.
You can see that there are quite a few differences between the Morakniv Garberg collection and the Morakniv Kansbol collection. In addition to the number of similarities. Are you looking for a stronger bushcraft knife that will last a lifetime? If so, the Garberg is the one for you. Are you looking for a more affordable knife that is a little more versatile as you go camping? Go with the Kansbol. We do, however, have to be frank: both are amazing knives and will have your back regardless of the circumstances.