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A KNIFE FOR THE END OF THE WORLD...Himalayan Imports khukuris...

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by mtngunr, May 22, 2015.

  1. wildmanh

    wildmanh Part time Leather Bender/Sheath maker

    Jul 9, 2000
    The WWII Khukri is my grab and go Khukri. For hiking, brush/trail work, I prefer my 20" Sirupati, but if I don't know what the trip will bring, I grab a WWII.

    The last time I went to Huntington Reservoir for a campout, I brought my WWII's. Used them both to help clear some downed trees off a hiking trail that goes around the Reservoir. The 16.5" and 18" Khukri's made quick work of the Dying Fir trees that had fallen across the trail. I'm heading back to Huntington res in a 9 days and a WWII will be on my pack. :)
  2. mtngunr


    Apr 10, 2005
    It is so tempting to try to specialize in a wealthy country....collect is one thing....invest is another....and specialize quite another.....the chap who owns very little probably uses what he owns very well....the basic WWII khukuri is a good place to start in learning this....

    and really, any of the other "full size" or "real" or "typical" of what locals use and/or what Gurkhas carry....if your locale is hot steamy brush choked woods approaching jungle then a Khukuri from a similar Nepalese locale would be for you....and quite different for locales of mature hardwoods and open spaces and downed or downing trees....

    but this is quite different from a golf bag of specialized Khukuris as odds are one would select the wrong one anyhow....a basic solid legendary Khukuri is a great place to start as far too easy to end up with too heavy or too light when trying for extremes...it weighs as much as a military/police sidearm...

    substantial without excessive either way, will never be money wasted and will WORK....
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
  3. DarthTaco123


    Mar 28, 2013
    :thumbup: right on point mtngunr! My first HI khukuri (and the only one I owned for a little over a year or so) was a KLVUK. You learn to use what you have very well when it's all you have. The khukuri is a great all around bushwhacking blade, they chop, cut, split, and do most camp chores that you could ask of it, and do it without complaint. While it's nice to have options, it's best to have certain blades picked out for certain tasks that you know they'll do, and know the limits of.
  4. guramisakang


    Jun 1, 2015
    It is shorter version of Khukuris Knife. Everyday Kukri by Citadel (Light Blackened Blade) VS Philippine Garab Knife (Shiny Blade)
  5. mtngunr


    Apr 10, 2005
    I am not a fan of steel left rough and unfinished whether handforged or ground from pre-modified or rough barstock...

    People always went for highest finish to keep rust at bay, and a rough surface cannot be burnished with a tool to remove rust, so it continues to eat holes through the metal...

    Warriors of old had burnished blades and armor for a reason....it was part of regular maintenance....and had to be done....and years or generations of burnishing also cold-works the surface making it more crack and puncture resistant....we even burnish highly stressed holes in metal on various machines and structures...

    Those are beautiful knives but a bit more limited compared to khukuri, although the Filipino knife is just right for their own needs and uses...
  6. DarthTaco123


    Mar 28, 2013
    I don't mind a forge finish in terms of scale, from what I've found it actually holds rust OFF better than naked steel.
  7. mtngunr


    Apr 10, 2005
    I doubt you would find it so out in the boonies for weeks and months and no resupply of any sort of handy preservative or oil to keep that scale soaked and passivated and only soaking it received was what fell from sky.
  8. Moonw


    Nov 19, 2014
    You just use human grease. That of the enemies killed :D. (Like the kid yesterday said, just "cut some living humans". Should've been a good time to ask whether he killed anything to eat with his hands, like a chicken.)
  9. mtngunr


    Apr 10, 2005
    You never know on faceless posts if not some 50 yr old bored nerd yanking chains....newly registered and almost very first posts started that sorta stuff....fully half such profiles end up being bored folk laughing with friends over wasting other folks' time so i advise posting it possible troll and let admin handle...
  10. mtngunr


    Apr 10, 2005
    Back to topic, originally the khukuri, smoother finish far easier to maintain when all you can do is burnish off rust daily and burnish edge.....it worked back then and worked now....rough looking "primitive" stuff is mainly a way of charging high polish price on quick and easy knives to trendy American and Euro acquirers...

    PS...can tell you in jungle you can nearly watch plain carbon steel knives rust while you watch and certainly rusty daily no matter what you have...even axle grease not much help and any leather well coated with whatever handy to keep from growing a fur coat....burnishing smooth steel works and you can still find the odd combat knife with a smooth bar of steel in sheath pocket instead of stone....now you know why...stainless works better but still can rust and harder to sharpen when hi tech pocket gizmo breaks or is lost or rusts to uselessness....
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
  11. ndoghouse


    Aug 26, 2010
    FYI: That "scaly stuff" has a melting point just below steel itself. It normally is to be avoided during the forging process. However if your fire aint right and is not consuming the oxygen then the oxygen present will be consumed by the steel and form surface oxides. Did I say that right Bookie? Not much of anything natural will erode or dissolve it in your lifetime unless maybe you clean pineapples for a living. Take a piece of sandpaper to it and see for yourself. Its harder than the steel itself. You can apply any high tech coating you want but I dont think you will ever get a natural surface finish stronger or more durable than the natural forging scale. It will not rust because it is already rust (an oxide). There is good reason this scale is popular and its not just for aesthetics. Personally I find it attractive for what it is and does.

    It also has another end of the world perk: Its black;)
  12. mtngunr


    Apr 10, 2005
    It sure rusts on my forged axe heads and rusted on a few "classic/antiquey" modern knives and on forged barstock......i would have thought its main advantage as blueing or pickling or phosphating, in that it holds oil or whatever.....but if you are ending up with a something akin to a carbonitride case, then i could see it....but any true oxidation is oxidation and will continue in presence of anode/cathode/electrolyte (salts, acids/carbon steel/moisture)....

    I do not know everything though.....but i do know a lot....but still learn every day.....boring life if you knew everything...
  13. Bawanna

    Bawanna Moderator Moderator

    Dec 19, 2012
    I think mostly the rust we see is between the scale and the knife itself.
    I know I tried to sand it off my KLVUK just for grins and it was hard as heck.

    I was shocked when I soaked it in paper towel soaked in apple vinegar. It came right off easier than possom slobber through a goose. Made for a nice patina too.

    I need to get another so I can leave the scale on, I like em either way. I'm an equal opportunity kuk lover.
  14. mtngunr


    Apr 10, 2005
    The scale itself might have everything oxidizable burned out and samewise as a true long rust brown or blue where allowed to rust daily in a wet cabinet and cleaned off daily until nothing in surface left to rust, and without deep pits or divots which also hold acids/salts/moisture.....but can never be suprised too much.

    PS- also would take any Khukuri at any time.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
  15. mtngunr


    Apr 10, 2005
    For those curious, only a month later the mystery solved as to who made such a knife.....busy girl dearest Yangdu was kind enough to answer my question after i gave up on normal channels...it is Ganga Kami work....and fine, it is...

    Knife by Ganga being used to spread and lift boardwalk with screws pulling loose...had to stop before wrecking my walk.....same same when i bashed rails and post tops with knife spine and flats.....good knife....

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
  16. blue lander

    blue lander

    Aug 16, 2011
    I've got a few large knives from Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, etc that have scale on the blades. Some do, some don't, but they're all hard working blades for locals and not tourist stuff. All the antique ones are polished though.

    I read somewhere that village blade smiths would use their best steel for blades with scale on them. Because they knew the buyer planned to beat the hell out of 'em. The prettier polished blades could do with weaker steel because the buyer would probably baby it.
  17. mtngunr


    Apr 10, 2005
    That is one of those wonderful theories passed around until it becomes internet fact....i doubt few, if any mystery village smiths in mystery villages in mystery countries were interviewed to compile that theory...i see very few true battle blades from various cultures left rough aside from hurriedly and cheaply made ones for lowest classes of soldier....

    And BACK, one more time to subject at hand, the khukuri, from experience with one in both tropical and desert deployments involving much foot patrol and long range and long term, the polished finish on my Ang Khola was a blessing in maintenance, far less problem than many others in my group with rougher finished high dollar knives....and the new WWII has the same glazed finish....as an fyi, the idea of tactical subdued finish on a sheathed knife is highly over rated and of very little practical concern except in very limited and generally theoretical situations...most folk realize if you are trying to move like smoke, hacking and whacking, leaving a paved freeway through the jungle and waving a shiny blade atop a hill in broad daylight is counterproductive to staying alive....i never spotted anyone via a shiny but sure could spot the black vertical perfect edges of a muzzle aimed at me against natural backdop....and nothing stays like a mirror in the field...

    But the knife is perfect for most true field chores, whether opening a crate or clearing a field of fire, probing or levering....and the ultra rare hand to hand....it is the edge, the insurance somebody wants that just might make the difference between coming home or not....the peace of mind knowing you are prepared as well as possible with equipment you KNOW will not fail....such as the best made khukuris in the world from this little outfit that cares....from maker to end user...
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
  18. snowwolf

    snowwolf Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 11, 2013
    I'd be curious to hear a metallurgy / smiting historian take on the use and purpose of scale.

    My own speculation about history is whoever needed a tool or a weapon would get the best his means can buy/get.
    If your life or job depends on it, your not going to baby it on the battlefield or use softer nails to spare the head of your hammer. Then at rest, some might have been more careful than others to maintain their weapons and/or tools in order to make sure they work as intended when needed. Plain human nature.

    Now, if the artifact was meant to be more cosmetic/appearance than functional then anything that looks right would do.

    Stupid question about the end of the world. Are we talking about returning back to stone edge or we are talking about earth blowing in small pieces?
  19. mtngunr


    Apr 10, 2005
    Most foot soldiers until modern times were paid professionals/mercenary/stock in trade for life and highly disciplined, naval forces as well....who got the best they could get and took care of equipment daily on which their lives depended and they mostly provided out of own pocket, and this including burnishing to forestall rust and maintain fighting edge, no dope smoking goof offs in those armies...there are numerous surviving manuscripts of participants and eye witnesses of various wars and campaigns, from Greek times to the Crusades and into modern times....refusing to do maintenance was a good way to be ordered whipped by the centurion or sarge, no matter the war, any force in battered rusty gear was (and still is) on its last legs with discipline totally shot, as well as morale....for a good study of battles and the daily grind through the ages, Keegan is a good place to start....

    Or just go to any arms and armor dealer and compare numbers of weapons left rough versus otherwise....most crude and ill maintained stuff is also the most tribal and/or rustic/rural tool....the phrases "burnished blades/muskets/armor/etc glittering in the sun" is not some modern nice turn of phrase but reflected a reality...


    End of the world tag was simply a tag....if it needs explaining, the phrase is normally used often enough to mean when the wheels fall off....please, and if you wish to ask whether wagon or cart, pick one....
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
  20. blue lander

    blue lander

    Aug 16, 2011
    I'll defer to the person who has actual field experience of course.

    I think older weapons and tools were more finely finished in olden times because steel was very expensive. If you shelled out cash for a nice steel weapon you of course want it to look as nice as possible.

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