Farmer Knife and Himalayan Survival Knife Redux

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Steely_Gunz, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    The cheerful post carrier dropped off the beloved triangle box today. We explained pleasantries and she commented on my angelic (at the time...as it was short lived) daughter who is spending the morning with me at work so Mommy can get some stuff around the house.

    After Evey finished her bottle I was finally able to tear into the box and see what treasures were within. Once the newspaper cocoon gave it up (fie on you packing tape!:mad::p:D), I was surprised to see not one but TWO HI goodies!

    The first one I unwrapped was the Farmer Knife. Wow, this thing is impressive! If you go back through the archives, you'll find that I am a huge fan of the AK bowie. I absolutely loved the design, the heft, and the utility the knife brought to the table. However, a few years back my dad was needing a camping knife for his RV, and I wanted him to have the very best I had. The AKB now lives under the driver's seat.

    That said, the FK blows the AKB out of the water. Not only does it bring a significant amount of utility to the design, but the knife practically dances in the air. It's sort of like if you took an AKB, a Cherokee Rose, a scimitar, sprinkled in a meat cleaver and muddled them together. Though I haven't tested it, at the sweet spot the FK should bite disproportionately deeply into wood. The edge came thin and sharp. Actually, sharp enough that as I was wiping the grease off of it, it shaved the first layer of skin from my thumb pad:eek:

    Some specs on the knife: It's a whopping 16.5" in total length with 10.5" of that being a 3/8" thick blade. It was built for work. I will say that the ONE place you want to be careful with this beast is the tip. If one were to bury the tip into hard wood at a weird angle, it may bend of break it. However, to me this is a non-issue. This is a chopping/slashing blade. The tip is rather an ornament than a crucial part of the whole.

    On thing to note on this knife is how versatile it is regarding grip. If one wished to haul off and smash his way through a 4" log, just slip your grip back and let it fly (safely of course). If one were in need of carving fuzzy sticks or something to roast marshmallows, just choke up. The balance point becomes surprisingly neutral and very controllable to a pinpoint degree.

    Everybody involved with one: Great job! It's nearly fall, so that means the annual trip to my stepdad's cabin for clean up. The Farmer knife is going to get the nod for this job. It is a fantastic knife providing both a means of completing chores or defending one's self.

    Here are a few crummy pics!
    [​IMG]
    Quite a shapely knife

    [​IMG]
    Here's a pic of a choked up grip. The weight of the blade really disappears with the weight of the heavy butt of the grip

    The second knife, I was not expecting. It was an Himalayan Survival Knife.
    I did a short write up on a prototype of this knife a few months back. Yangdu was kind enough to send me one to test out since I provided the CS knife it was based on.

    While the original was a success, I did find a few flaws with it that I discussed with Yangdu. Most notably, if the blade was over flexed by the stress of say using it as a spear head it would take a permanent blend. toward the tip. It wasn't a huge issue as I was able to easily bend it back to true.

    However, it appears the kamis improved on the design. The new one is nearly identical to the prototype coming in at 12.25" OAL. The kamis seem to have thickened the spine up the TINIEST bit and extended the thickness closer to the tip. They also have gotten better at rounding the grip to a more regular circle. Another plus, the sheathes have gotten A LOT better. The fit and finish both the Farmer Knife and new Himalayan Survival Knife sheathes is the best I have seen coming out of the shop in a good while.

    I haven't put it through the paces yet, but a few flex tests seem to show a little less spring to the blade, but probably not enough rigidity to cause any breakage. Very well done!

    [​IMG]
    The newer HSK has the darker wrap to it. From afar, they look VERY similar, but you can really feel the extra steel in the newer version. I'm not sure if it's simply the slightly thicker spine or if the process they used has resulted in a thicker grain to the steel. It feels great though.

    As always, a big thanks to Yangdu, the kamis, and all the forumites that keep coming up with these fresh designs. 8+ years and I'm STILL trying to complete my HI collection:D
     
  2. wildmike

    wildmike

    Nov 17, 2007
    I'm really impressed with those Farmer knives. They look to be an incredibly useful and versatile design.

    Worked on a farm kill truck once and that would have made an excellent splitter.
     
  3. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Yeah, Mike it is impressive. My wife came by to pick up my daughter so I have had a little more experimentation time. It'll split a 4' 2x4 down the grain in one chop:eek: I mean totally in two pieces.
     
  4. killa_concept

    killa_concept

    May 19, 2009
    Goodness - considering how much I recall you loving your AKB, saying that the FK blows it out of the water sure is saying a lot! Glad you like the design mate :thumbup:

    As for the tip, are you saying breakage from chopping hard wood or less intensive tasks? I sketched it up like that because of exactly what you're saying: it's primarily a chopper/slasher and the tip was created in that manner to keep it aesthetically pleasing and with the idea that the curvature would keep it from taking heavy impacts (well, with proper technique). However, I was still hoping it would be functional enough to use for a couple of tasks (like carving or slicing) without fear of breakage! The original idea was to keep the back a constant width while the bevel changed... the back/bevel supposed to be 60/40 to maybe 50/50 at the very tip. On yours, it seems that the it's 40/60 and the back width tapers down as it gets towards the tip, making for (what I assume to be) a very thin tip. That all said, I guess I'm worrying about it more than you!

    I can't wait to get mine now ;) Mildly jealous that you beat me to a review :p
     
  5. wildmike

    wildmike

    Nov 17, 2007
    Yeah Steely I'm thinkin of picking one up for kitchen duty. Waaay nicer than a chinese cleaver.
     
  6. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    yeah, you knocked this one out of the park;) It's a great design.

    As for the tip, if one was careful, I think the tip will hold up just fine. It just might get a little bent up if it gets torqued or twisted. however, we aren't talking about a HUGE issue. I would say that if the tip gets buggered it gets thick enough that MAYBE you might need to grind back 1/8" at the most. It's still an incredibly strong design.
     
  7. stickfred

    stickfred

    803
    Nov 6, 2009
    Steely, thanks for your write up on these two. The VFK is on my "To Get" list and owner input is helpful. Hard to believe that its replaced the AK Bowie in your estimation. Also, good to hear the kamis were able to tweak the HSK for the better. Though I haven't used it much yet, its also good to know about the possible flex issues with the original design. Nepal Ho!
     
  8. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Now, if y'all will excuse me, I'm gonna go pop in Rambo (IV) :p
     
  9. warty

    warty

    Mar 2, 2010
    we have to work on your photographic skills... ;)

    Nice review! I want one of those FK's myself but that will have to wait until I get my teeth and car and garage door fixed...
    Yeah, the stupid list grew over night. :( at least the teeth are mostly paid up now...

    No, I didn't hit the garage door with the car...
     
  10. ElSitherino

    ElSitherino

    130
    Jul 27, 2010
    I really can't wait to get ahold of that Farm Knife. I'm glad to hear it's replaced a long held favorite model, as it gives me some confidence that purchasing one is a great idea. I'm hoping as more of those knives get around, we'll start seeing them get snatched up quicker in the DoTD listings. That one posted yesterday was beautiful and it surprises me how it didn't sell quickly, that horn looked sooo sleek.

    I'm hoping when it comes in, it'll make passing my Hibben IV to my younger cousin easier, though I want to teach him proper technique with chopping before I let him take over it's ownership. (Not because it's a great knife, I got a factory second [$10] so I could feel comfortable with throwing it and not care if it got lost under some brush)
     
  11. ozbladefan

    ozbladefan

    47
    Mar 3, 2010
    They both seemed to have turned out rather nicely, the FK looks to be a beast, however you say it handles very easily, i'll put that down to the kamis skill in making it dance despite its proportions.

    Good to hear that the HI survival knife is past its teething stage also and now a real player in the market.
     
  12. killa_concept

    killa_concept

    May 19, 2009
    Yep - Safety first! I never let anyone handle my kukris without first telling them how to properly unsheathe and safely use it (cutting away from yourself and having proper grip). I also tell them how to hit with the sweet spot, which both helps them be more efficient and has the side-effect of saving my kukri's tip edge (which most inexperienced people seem to instinctively want to hit with)


    My thoughts exactly!
     
  13. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    how's the survival knife at batoning?

    the rambo knife is looking good :)


    Bladite
     
  14. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    It batons quite well:thumbup: I took the newer version out in the back yard last night to split up some wood chips for smoking on the grill, and it did just fine. Really, this is a cold steel bushman with a soul. It's not cold rolled, it doesn't have a goofy graphic on it, there is scale on the blade, and you can see the hundreds of hammer strikes it took to forge the handle. The amount of sweat and labor that goes into the HSK is astounding.

    That said, I was never able to bust my $13 bushman knife in 9 years:D It was well worth the money for a cheap beater knife (and was all I could afford in college). The weight and spirit of the HSK destroys the bushman though. To be honest, as much as I love the farm knife, I think I will be carrying the HSK more in the field. I just don't get much chance to go chopping things up these days. I do get a chance to go for walks and hikes, though. A light and sturdy multipurpose blade could really come in handy.

    ---
    I really wish I had the time to try and set up a chance to visit Mr. Hibben in his Kentucky shop. It's not far from me at all. I'd like to see what he thought about the Farm Knife and it's origins. One of the first gifts my future wife got me was a United Cutlery Hibben thrower (one of the axes). I know it's not a TRUE Hibben, but I still have it and might even be able to stick it..but I'd be rusty;) Also as a child of the 80's. Sly was a god to me. When I heard the stories about how involved he was with the look and feel of his Rambo knives, it sealed the deal. I would love to pick Mr. Hibben's brain about the process that went into making his movie knives.
     
  15. Suicycoprowler

    Suicycoprowler

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Farmer Knife looks to be one of those "must have" knives. I'll have to place it on my want list. :D
     
  16. ElSitherino

    ElSitherino

    130
    Jul 27, 2010
    So my Villager Farm Knife just came in about an hour ago, I'm currently putting a second round of mineral oil and some vitamin A and E coating into it. My initial impressions without using it, the weight is phenomenal and it has my ideal balance. I love the way it felt in hand, I'm very much looking forward to taking it out later and taking a whack (I love puns...) at it's functional handling.

    I'd just like to say right away that Kami Tirtha is an amazing worker and artist. This thing is surreal and I see myself having dreams in which I'm using this knife for any and everything. My sincerest thanks to the Kami and to Yangdu for their impeccable service.
    I feel rather bad now that this is, so far, my only H.I. piece and I doubt that feeling will be remedied until I have at least... 3 more purchases. I think up on my list is one of those CAK's.

    If anyone is thinking they want one of these Farm Knives but is holding out due to uncertain feelings, I have to give my endorsement that I already feel this is a well made and well suited knife for anything from heavy clearing all the way to fine cutting (It managed to cut through my tough-cloth towels, which is no easy feat, and get to my finger as I cleaned off the oil).
     
  17. warty

    warty

    Mar 2, 2010
    This whole spate of reviews and photo spreads has me stoked... I got my Parang and Hanuman a couple days ago and got them all shined up and ready. So I can join in the fun myself. I am just waiting for the light to get right now, the sun is in the wrong spot for my photos...

    I REALLY am starting to get the urge to get one of the Farm Knives now... my trouble s with this latest Kami, Rajkumar, hitting the scene. I have so many work horse blades already that I a starting to get the wish to buy some more artsy work. No doubt about it, The Prince is able to produce what can be called art work out of leaf springs and animal hoof...
     
  18. ElSitherino

    ElSitherino

    130
    Jul 27, 2010
    I would seriously jaw drop if he ever did a Farm Knife, his work looks incredible and I can only imagine he'd make this knife grow in popularity.
     
  19. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    if sgt khadka did a farm knife... hoo boy :)

    still waiting for his new creations.


    Bladite
     
  20. stickfred

    stickfred

    803
    Nov 6, 2009
    Ditto. IIRC, Sgt. was at the Puja that was recently done, so maybe something's coming our way.
     

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