Broken Khukri

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by falnovice, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. seaice


    Mar 22, 2007
    From pics in the holiday threads, also seems to be rather an attractive lady...... oops, is it ok to notice that????
  2. C.S. Graves

    C.S. Graves

    Jun 13, 2006
    That'll be great for those who will be able to afford one. :eek:
  3. Kismet

    Kismet Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 30, 2002
    You should let Dan Koster know about it, as well.

  4. falnovice


    Oct 9, 2005
    Thanks to everyone for their help, and a very big thank you to Yangdu for immediately taking care of me even after I stated it wasn't expected.
    The replacement CAK was in the mail to me TODAY! :eek:
    Incredible service.....I literally haven't seen someone stand behind their product like this in twenty years.

    I purchased a nice British Service Khuk as a gift for a friend this Christmas. I will make certain to gift more HI products in the future and support this wonderful company.
    I'll post a thread when I recieve the new khuk.

    Thanks again.
  5. Ironhandjohn


    Sep 21, 2008

    I shot myself in the chest with my FAL once... The round hit the 100yd steel gong I had shot at for years, but instead of shattering on impact and hitting the ground the slug flew straight back into the firing line. The back end of the bullet hit me square in the chest, right in the sternum.

    I got a bruise instead of a sucking chest wound..

    Once a shell casing from my Chinese AK bounced off the awning at the range, missed both my ball-cap brim AND glasses, and burned a spot on my cheek. I don't shoot at that range anymore BTW. If something REALLY bad happened, no one would have found me for possibly hours!
  6. 37up


    Jun 16, 2002
    I'm not a particular fan of this comment.
  7. MagenDavid

    MagenDavid Want some Kosher Salami?

    Nov 2, 2008
    I think this is an interesting concept. I mean, I'd probably never be able to justify dropping that much on a knife. And I think the khuk is conceptually similar to a machete: for those who can only afford one knife, it's a reasonably capable all purpose knife. And no John Q. Nepali would ever be able to drop the money on a Busse khuk, but I think it represents something else.
    It would be like an attempt to approach the Platonic ideal of what the khuk was made for. I mean, isn't it meant to be the knife you beat the ever loving feces out of all day every day? I'm sure a khuk by Busse would be that in spades.
    It wouldn't have the sense of soul that a handmade knife has. When I hold one of my HI knives, I feel almost like I am communing with it's maker. But I think any kami would appreciate the single minded, wholehearted devotion to a superior product. Like Samuel Colt holding a Glock, if I may compare.

    Okay. Done being overly philosophical. Back to how much Yangdu is the Platonic ideal of the free enterprise businessperson. Adam Smith would be proud.
  8. Mark Nelson

    Mark Nelson

    Feb 21, 2003

    I agree with Dave. Uncalled for comment. Want to bet that a Busse could be broken in the same way? Cause it could. Anything can. It comes down to the warranty and to no ones surprise Yangdu made it right. Also what makes that really funny is there is a thread on the Busse forum right now about a broken Busse. And that is not a slam on the company. It happens and Jerry will make it right. Just as was done here.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  9. C.S. Graves

    C.S. Graves

    Jun 13, 2006
    Well, some folk like happen to enjoy high-tech, state of the art blades and materials... and some of us like real, traditional khukuris. Different strokes or different folks.
  10. Karda

    Karda Banned BANNED

    Jun 1, 2007
    Niether am i, but now that you point it out it does seem like a veiled slam against H.I.'s product, doesnt it?

    I'm sure Busse would make a fine high end, outrageously expensive khukuri. But that doesnt mean, to me IMHO , that it would be any better or any tougher than what people who've had eons of time and experience in making them produce and what is sold here. It also, most likely, would'nt be a "traditional" khukuri in any sense of the word. and that is what we are all about here. Every manufacturer has defective product, it is just a fact of life. Even Busse didnt come to make tough knives without a few failures.
    As a consumer, why would i buy a $600 or $800 dollar single knife/ khukuri from a manufacturer here and support a large company, when i could buy several khukuri's from H.I. ,a small company in comparison, for that price and also have the knowledge that my money is helping to support many less fortunate than myself individuals and their families who sorely need the support.
    I'm not a very big fan of "high-end" knives , for the simple fact that much "high-end" snobbery comes along with them. I just don't need that type of Karma in my life. I am a simple man of modest needs and the reason i find H.I. so appealing is the Dharma path that Uncle Bill, Yangdu, Pala and the entire staff of H.I. continue to follow, the selflessness, honor, and downright Honesty that they exude which make me feel part of the family and big picture of life, rather than a deep pocketed consumer of knives. If you like high-end knives such as Busse and the like, thats fine by me, but for the life of me i will never understand dropping that much scratch on a single knife unless it comes with a heckuva lot more than high end materials and mindset.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  11. MagenDavid

    MagenDavid Want some Kosher Salami?

    Nov 2, 2008
    It does say something drastic about the value of a HI khuk when my new 16.5" WWII cost as much as a 3" Benchmade Griptillian in D2.
    And try getting people at Benchmade to address your e-mails in a matter of hours. Within 5 minutes of an e-mail, Yangdu, that patron saint of the Nepali knife, responded to me and had the knife to me in 4 days. I can't foresee that kind of service with Benchmade. Ever.
  12. paua


    Jun 16, 2008
    Sorry guys. I apologize for my comment. I was under alcohol influence when I typed it. Just a drunk stupid fool crazy about Busse INFI steel which I still believe will be the most suitable blade material for Khukuri.
    I have no intention to hurt anyone's feeling, especially HI's. But I do want to see more and more knife makers to make strong, tough, and sharp knives. Probably everyone will agree that, at the end of the day, if HI or whichever knife maker can produce better knives than BCK does, we will buy its knives. Customers' are only loyal to the quality they believe their money deserves.
  13. Karda

    Karda Banned BANNED

    Jun 1, 2007
    No problemo, paua.
    We are as proud of our khuk's as you guys are of the busse' doubt about that. Some of us are just tired of hearing "buy a Busse" that some people spout in too many threads here. I like busses for the record...except for their handles and their prices. When it comes to my khuk's though, i'm pretty much strictly traditional, and i don't think Mr. busse will be hiring any Nepalese Kami's anytime soon or producing khuk's in the time honored manner. Try a Churwa Ang Khola.... I'm quite sure you'll agree that they are one tough blade.
    To each his and let live.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  14. Cpl Punishment

    Cpl Punishment

    Jan 28, 2006
    The only problem I have with this is the implication that a Busse kukri won't be able to have this happen to it, or that there's something unreliable about the Kami's work (there's a reason Unmcle Bill told us to beat the hell out of them to make sure the heat treat is good on them before trusting them).

    Personally, I'm interested in the Busse kukri, mostly to see what the ultra-modern take on this blade is going to be.

    FWIW, I don't think you'll see the increase in performance from INFI that a lot of people predict. INFI is a spring steel with a complicated heat treat. It's the heat treat that makes it, nothing inherent in the steel itself.

    Will I buy one? I doubt it, but the reason has little to do with price. Jerry Busse said the design has been finalized for a while now, and I'm going to guesstimate why I'll probably pass on it:
    1.) He's said imn the past that it's difficult to get IMNFI supplied in billets large enough for a kukri -- so it's probably going to be close to the size of a 15"-17" (for the inevitable Nuclear Meltdown version) -- a bit small. I know, only at HI is a 17" blade "small".
    2.) It'll probably be in the 3/8" thick range. Again a bit small for what I want a kukri for.
    3.) Utility. For use as a woods blade, I don't see where it will outperform the same size HI. And given that I'll be shocked if the go for less than $800-$1000, the bang-for-buck just won't be there. One reason I suggested that they make more of a Falcata blade. I mean it is Busse Combat, right? Why not make the ultimate combat kukri?

    I confess I like Busses, a lot. I like them for the exact opposite reason I like HIs. Instead of old-world heart-and-soul bladesmithing, they are the bleeding edge of modern manufacture with CNC machines, grinders and heat treat ovens. Exact mechanical precision, blade coatings, etc.

    They even FEEL good. When I got my Hellrazor in the mail, the first thing I noticed is it felt alive in hand. it wanted to draw blood. I think I caught it drooling when I was watching a video about hog hunting with bowies the other day. The Active Duty/Bony Active Duty actually makes a hell of a karda. They also make very usable knives with a bit of the "fantasy blade" mystique to them.

    They are the exact opposite of HI and there's more than enough room for both.

    However, I'm not sure how well crossovers will work. I have reservations on how well they'll implement a kukri, just likes I'd have reservations on how HI would implement a Hellrazor.
  15. paua


    Jun 16, 2008
    So it shall be. Although I like the appearance of M43, I will try Chiruwa Ang Khola if it is stronger. Could HI customer order Khukuri without choil and fuller(blood grove)?
  16. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    You're OK in my book Paua:thumbup: Like you Hogs, we Sharks tend to circle the wagons when we perceive a threat. I know you were not trolling:) We just tend to get one or two a year that come in here out of the blue and like to tell us what's what for no other reason to stir up the pot.

    No blood, no foul. We're all friends here:)

    As for getting a khuk without the cho, welllll a khuk without a cho is not a khuk;) Seriously, it's a khuk-like-object (KLO). However, depending on what you are looking for in your knife, there was one dubbed the Sher Attitude Special that came in right around18" or so, maybe 22oz (lighter for a khuk), and had no cho. You can always email Yangdu with your ideas:)

    As for the break at the cho, actually khuks fail there pretty infrequently. A more common breaking point is at the tang. If the kami splashes a bit of water on the tang during that process, it will harden the tang and cause a failure. I think Uncle Bill said they experienced a failure rate of something like 1 in several thousand. Forgive me, it has been a long time since I read the exact quote.
  17. C.S. Graves

    C.S. Graves

    Jun 13, 2006
    The AK's all sport a fuller... one might try a WWII or BGRS, but as Steely said, they'll all have the cho.
  18. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001
    couple things I can say here....don't anybody take it personally....just a giving my opinion.

    The break does not show typical evidence of failure due to heat-treat. I can't find my pics right now...but there are telltale signs. I have broken, repaired and tested-to-failure more than my fair share of knives and especially kukris...and there are a few common traits.

    Failures in kukris come from any of the following:

    1 - incorrect heat-treat (edge too hard/brittle or too soft)
    2 - stress risers in the blade (cracks in the blade)
    3 - stress risers in the tang (failure happens inside the handle/bolster)
    4 - abuse (pushing the materials beyond their intended abilities)

    #1 (above) = you can test for this by etching the blade with FeCl or vinegar to see the quench-line...shows soft spots...and sometimes you can get a feel for if the edge has been overhardened...or if it has extended to the cho or tang.

    The "proof" of this is a chipped blade or rolled edge

    #2 (above) = stress risers can come from imperfections in the steel, impurities, improper forging, heat-cycling as well as too aggressive of a heat-treat. If the kami can see it, he'll toss it. If he can't see them, can't test for it.

    Also, stress risers can come from areas in the blade that have had notches cut into it...such as the cho.

    The "proof" that this is the case is usually a dark spot in the cross-section at the break.

    #3 (above) = stress risers are more typical here where the tang meets the handle. Normally, this is not a problem that manifests itself. Only under severe conditions can the stresses put on the tang result in cracks rather than bends.

    The "proof" here is the same as #2 - part of the cracked cross section is dark instead of grey.

    #4 (above) = it is very easy to abuse make them work harder than they should. The knives are Tough and can really take it. So we work them harder and harder, expecting more and more until they fail. Or, as some do, just wail on them from day one until they begin to fail.

    The "proof" here is bent or twisted blades, busted tips, clean breaks and so on.

    It is my opinion that the failure was due to a combination of factors:

    #1 - (not a factor)
    #2 - stress riser from the cho (evident in all blades anyway...but "magnified" in the CAK)
    #3 - (not a factor)
    #4 - while not intentionally performed, batoning of any knife is generally considered "hard use"...."severe conditions".

    A few lessons I have learned over time regarding kukris:

    1 - hollow grinds are more prone to failure IF the heat-treat is off. If the heat-treat is on and usage is not severe, the grind can last a long time. Best grind is convex....flat grind is a good 2nd best.

    2 - "clean breaks" are not evidence of heat-treat failure....either stress risers or abuse...or both. Like I said...all kukris have some stress risers in them from the cho and the is inevitable. The question is whether or not the heat-treat, the grinding and the weight and balance of the knife will "hide" the stress riser - never letting it become a failure - or magnify it.

    3 - the "splashing on the tang" is conjecture....and was offered by a kami as a speculation. It's not been my experience that this results in failure. I have made hundreds of knives with "hardened tangs" (aka full tang knives). This is not the real problem.

    The problem is the ratio of blade to tang in terms of quantity of steel. A CAK is at least twice as thick/heavy as a regular kukri and the blade-to-tang ratio is diminished.

    Which leads me to:

    4 - the Chiruwa Ang Khola (CAK) is so thick and heavy that any stress risers become Magnificent Failures under hard use or severe conditions.

    Think about it this way. You have a 1/4" diameter rod of steel that is 24" long. You whack at a 2x4 with a chopping motion - hitting it with the end of the rod. You get it to bend a little, here-n-there...but it mostly just springs back after it hits the 2x4. Minimal damage.

    Now take the 1/4" rod and weld a handful of 12" long 1/4" rods to it so that you have one half of the rod at 2" diameter and the other half 1/4" diameter.

    Swing that in a chopping motion and you will bend the 1/4" rod no problem.

    And where does it bend? - where the size changes from 1/4" to 2".

    This is exactly what happens with a heavy knife such as a kukri. The heavier the blade gets, the more stress is put on the "non-blade" parts of the steel. Even small stress risers can become Spectacular Failures with enough weight/force applied.


    I do think that the CAK is the most indestructable of HI's kukris....but hopefully you can now see why I say the failures are 'spectacular'. Other knives chip...or crack...but the CAK doesn't mess around...goes all the way around the bases to home plate.

    Which is why everyone should follow Uncle Bill/Rusty/Yvsa's advice on new CAK ownership - go out and chop the hardest wood the knife will ever see. That will tell you if it's a good blade right "waiting" for the magnificent failure later. :D


    p.s. I reserve the right to edit my commentary I remember stuff...and if I find any errors/omissions.
  19. Cpl Punishment

    Cpl Punishment

    Jan 28, 2006
    Thanks for the post, Dan.
  20. jnphares


    Feb 23, 2007
    As others have said, if and when Busse Combat makes a Khukri (there's talk that it'll happen this year), I'm confident it will be an outstanding piece of steel and that many people will buy them. However, I'm also confident that they'll be priced in the $500+ range, so I'll probably pass. If Scrap Yard releases a khuk, I'll likely buy at least one, but they'll still cost a lot more than an HI and probably be no "better", just different.

    I own about 30 HI khukris, a few knives, and 8 of their swords, some I bought as DOTDs, others from the Exchange, and a couple out of the shop. I bought a beautiful dragon-engraved falcata for less than a Busse Combat khukri will cost, so I believe customers who buy BC Khuks will be buying the name. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, but they won't be market competitive -- the quality from HI can't be beat for the money, and their warranty is as good as anyone's. ROS Arms makes very nice knives, but withdrew their khukri because manufacturing costs pushed their prices beyond what their customers would spend; there's talk of getting a few in for dedicated fans, but I doubt they'll make it a normal catalog item. Khukris are a well-established, niche market that has a lot of cheap options as well as several higher quality manufacturers, like HI; it's unlikely that anyone is going to make a serious break into it.

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