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One of the great things about picking up a new hobby is the great gear that goes with it. With my thirst for woodcarving gear in full swing, I came across this sweet Mora draw knife. To the uninitiated it may appear to be an amusing assembly line accident. What it really represents is a recently constructed version of a very old tool.

As you might imagine, this blade works a little differently than some of the knives you might use in day-to-day shop use. It really only does one thing — it strips wood very quickly by placing it near the top end of the wood and pulling or drawing the blade down. If the edge is keen, everything in between the handles gets a very smooth shave.

It works a great deal like a spokeshave (which is used to do exactly what it sounds like it would) but doesn’t have a preset gap so much more material can be taken off in one pass at a time with a draw knife — plus it’s a bit harder for a beginner to do precision work with one.

This Mora does have a double bevel edge dissimilar to other draw blades I’ve run across in my travels. It might have been that it was used before it got to me, but the edge itself was very dull and little more than a stick before we handed it to the Toolmonger sharpener. It can now slice through hardwood without any trouble and seems to be holding its edge just fine.

It’s not the best or biggest draw knife, but for the kind of carving projects I’m undertaking it’s about the fastest way to de-bark a limb I’ve found. The blade was an $8 find from the depths of eBay, but normally a 4 3/8″ knife like this would run about $20 retail.

Woodcutting Knife [Mora]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


5 Responses to Mora Drawknife

  1. Cameron Watt says:

    Has a secondary bevel been hastily ground on that blade? That’s what the glint in the picture suggests.

    It’s a nice knife, I have one myself mainly for fitting tool handles, but it’s not my first choice for peeling logs.

  2. Shopmonger says:

    Draw Knives are very nice to have around, even for those who don’t carve very often, I use this in conjunction with a Spoke Shave…… Great paring (or pairing)


  3. Gary says:

    Driveby gloat. I scored 3 vintage drawknives for 3 bucks last weekend. I haven’t used the straight kind before, it will be interesting to see if I like those or the more “U” shaped versionsmore.

  4. Average Joe says:

    A couple weeks ago my son-in-law took me to meet an old guy that he and my daughter kind of take care of. The old guy was an field engineer at one time, and has built many of his own tools. Well, the old fellow was liquidating and I saw five or six of drawknives sitting on his bench, and they all looked like they had gotten ran over at about the same time, twisted a bit. I asked him what happened and he said that while working in Brazil 40 years ago, he fell down a mountainside and broke his shoulder. To make up for the damaged shoulder joint that healed crooked, he had to put his draw knives in his vise, attach a pipe to the right handle, then tweak the angle of the tool until it fit the way his upper body pulled. Seemed to work for him, and gave him a chuckle too. No one had ever noticed, nor had he ever had to explain. Like my wife says when I do trim/finish work, only me and another carpenter would notice stuff like that. Forensic toolology.

  5. fred says:

    @ Cameron Watt: “but it’s not my first choice for peeling logs.”

    While I’ve gotten involved in some timber-framing and log-building projects – I’m no expert. In commercial application we trnd to use lrage power tools made by folks like Mafell and even big power planes and drum sanders by Makita. But traditional hand tools like bark spuds – and others like draw knifes and adzes are still very much alive and well – as part of some manufacturer’s lineups like Grandfors Bruks:


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