The Weight Issue- Einsteins Theory Of Khukuri Relativity 8>D

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Karda, Feb 12, 2014.

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  1. Karda

    Karda Banned BANNED

    Jun 1, 2007
    We've had plenty of debate here on what makes a "good" khukuri.
    One of the primary debates has been one of HI khukuris being overbuilt and too heavy.

    The term and idea are really entirely subjective and only relative to the stature and fitness of the user and his preferences....with consideration as to what the user will plan to use the khukuri for as it's primary function..

    Which means that a user who is smaller in stature and lighter in weight will not prefer or even be able to wield the same size khukuri that a much taller and heavier user will be able to. A 5'-120lb user will find that a 20"-35+oz khukuri will likely be hard to use and possibly dangerously uncontrollable. He will not be able to swing that khukuri properly on target with proper technique.
    Give that same khukuri to a person whom is 6+'-220lbs who works out and he will may find it to be a pleasure to use.

    It is up to the buyer to know his limitations, ask questions and try to match his purchase as closely as possible to his preferences, plans for usage and physical abilities.

    Then we come to the subject of the khukuri itself.....
    I'd be willing to bet that while our kamis are making these larger heavier thick spined khukuris, they are wondering just what us crazy americans think we are doing? Why don't we just use a hatchet or axe as they were meant to be used, instead of trying to process lumber with a khukuri?

    A lighter khukuri that is easy to pack while trekking does not make that khukuri a better chopper. You may be able to carry it easier. You may be able to swing it easier. But the lack of mass and lack of spine thickness will almost always mean that you will need 2-3 times as many strikes to achieve the same chopping ability as a heavily built chopper.
    I can guarantee you that if you put the 5'-120lb guy with a 17"-25oz khukuri up against the 6'-220lb guy with a 18"-35oz khukuri, the larger guy will always win....not just because of the size difference in user or length, but because the mass of the khukuri will allow him to more effectively chop with fewer strikes than the lighter guy with the lighter khukuri.

    Batoning is a separate issue, but also must follow the same general rules of physics that by nature, everything must follow.
    A more heavily built khukuri with it's thicker spine and more wedge like shape will likely baton better than a lighter less wedge shaped khukuri. A heavier built khukuri with it's thicker spine will also likely hold up better to the practice of batoning just because it is more durably built.

    Then come the variety of different styles of khukuri you see from different districts in Nepal.
    First one must understand that the Nepali people never designed this knife with the intention of it ever being used as you would a hatchet or axe. To the ghorka, this is a weapon, and was designed with that sole purpose as it's primary function.
    The sirupate especially was designed as a weapon, even HI's own, somewhat overbuilt sirupate is not meant for chopping wood. That is why it is not warranted for such usage.

    The difference in styles from different districts is mostly the cosmetic treatment of the blade, but can also be attributed to the difference in styles of usage. A ghorka border patrol sentry will likely prefer a light sirupate style and weighted khukuri, whereas a farmer or butcher using the khukuri in a different manner for a different purpose may prefer a heavier khukuri to his liking and suitability for the task.

    So, Einstein;
    Before condemning heavier khukuri and condemning Himalayan Imports for producing them. Please consider the above and be honest about your physical limitations as well as your understanding of the sometimes not-quite-so-simple laws of natural physics.

    Please understand that we are all different, therefore the khukuri produced will all be different.
    What works for you as a smaller person will usually not work well for a larger person....and vice versa.
    All things being subjective and honest, it is up to you, the end user to match the khukuri to your abilities and ideal usage.
    Himalayan Imports only strives to produce khukuri of different sizes, shapes and weights to accommodate the likewise variation in the differences of our customers.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  2. Gehazi


    Jun 30, 2013
    really I don't think anything the kami do in terms of their craft changes the way I feel about having the ability to actually own them for a fair price, I mean I have some extremely light khukuri, a beautiful chiruwa kobra by raj i picked up on dotd a month ago , very light very good, but I really love the "Ram" style of HI blades in general where they are made to decapitate a small animal in one sacrificial swing :D , I do enjoy my KVLUKs for brush work , and the bigger blades for soft woods, and hopefully I can buy a HI axe one day :D, but for the most part I buy these things because they are made by the people in a very old tradition and most of the money bypasses caste and goes to the kami, as another poster once said, consider HI to be a "fair trade" company, the only one of its kind in the world.
    I think I can safely speak for most of us when I say we are devoted to the work you guys do, and enjoy it in all its handmade forms, all specific needs aside, I love being here ! ( keep makin them khuks big or small)
  3. Rose&Thorn


    Jun 27, 2012
    Well said Karda
  4. J W Bensinger

    J W Bensinger

    Mar 26, 2009
    I actually love the weight of my Gelbu. I picked it largely because of the weight to length (29oz, 18") and the power that generates-It is 90% weapon and 10% tool to me. I am 5'5" and about a buck sixty five, and I can move it very fast, and stop it as well. It all has to do with conditioning and training.
    IMHO, the companies making 5160 alloy khuks out of 1/4" and hardening the Nepali way with water are asking for stress cracks-5160 is an oil hardening steel, and it's amazing that the teapot method works at all with it. I haven't tried it as an experiment yet, but I'm in awe of the consistency in my HI khuks using that method.
  5. Karda

    Karda Banned BANNED

    Jun 1, 2007
    Thank You, Gentlemen.

    The other thing I would like to add is this:

    As one nefarious, undereducated and notoriously biased Youtube "expert" put it.
    "These overbuilt khukuri are not what the Nepali's actually use or have used".

    How is he to know this to be fact, other than listening to someone who has been to Nepal a total of three times and has the ultimate agenda of selling his wares and "expertise" to the end user?
    As opposed to listening to people whom have grown up with the khukuri, have lived there a good portion of their lives or continue to live there and have a pretty innate knowledge of the khukuri in terms of its usage, capabilities and qualities including in terms of workmanship quality. Not to mention a long history of transparency in regard to the relationship between the business and it's customers.

    Using small sample sizes and limited experiences never equates to thorough and proper knowledge.

    The long and short of this is that Himalayan Imports is a "production company" making it's own style and wares, sometimes using known styles as template but with added flair or robustness as usage dictates. Himalayan Imports is not a "reproduction company" and has never claimed to sell historically accurate reproduction of khukuri in regards to style or weight. Let others be the Xerox of the khukuri world while we continue in Uncle Bills footsteps of being the innovators both in the making of khukuri and other styles as well as in customer service.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  6. blue lander

    blue lander

    Aug 16, 2011
    The best thing about HI khukris is the first time you swing one at a piece of wood. If you've handed a few larger 1/4" thick knives/machetes/whatever before, your mind has a math equation based on the blade's size and shape and you sort of know what it's going to do to a piece of wood just from looking at it. But the tremendous thickness of the khukri throws that whole equation out the window. So you get that "whoah" moment the first time you use it and see what it's capable of compared to what you expected.

    I like to think of HI khukris as 100% authentic khuks made in a 100% authentic fashion, but that have been tweaked and optimized for western usage. There's so much variety in antique khukri hilts, blade shapes, sheaths and they're all considered authentic... but if you make the blade a little thicker and the grip a little larger for western hands suddenly it isn't authentic anymore? That's BS.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  7. arbiter

    arbiter Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    Excellent post Karda. What makes no sense to me are those who criticize HI all the while knowing the different types and sizes of blade available. If someone doesn't like what they find here, please go somewhere that provides what you want rather than attempting to soil HI's goods and reputation.
  8. Thomas Linton

    Thomas Linton

    Jun 16, 2003
    Pre-Einstein e= ½ mv²

  9. cul4u01

    cul4u01 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 5, 2012
    Perfectly said Karda.
  10. Jens Schuetz

    Jens Schuetz

    Jun 24, 2013
    What the?
    Einstein? Kukri?

    I'll just say this. Never swing a Kukri at light speed or else it's mass will become infinite and that's way too heavy, even for the Hulk.
    Also the more accurately you measure it's high speed the less accurate you will know its current position and that can hurt. So stay away from mixing Kuks with Einstein and Heisenberg!
    Don't get me started on the Schroedinger Kukri!
  11. J W Bensinger

    J W Bensinger

    Mar 26, 2009
    I just don't understand that mindset at all, to want to run down another maker in your field. When I'm at a show, and there's another knifemaker there-smith or stock removal- I'm psyched. If my stuff can't stand on its own next to another makers stuff I need to find a different job.
    It's too bad- there's plenty of room for difference, and I highly doubt that a collector of either type of khuk is going to stop buying knives from his or her chosen maker.
    No matter how much I want to try out a particular piece of gear, if the seller is being an idiot I can't bring myself to do it.
  12. Jens Schuetz

    Jens Schuetz

    Jun 24, 2013
    You'll find that in every field. Martial arts, science, you name it. My Kungfu is better than yours.

    Not sure if it's just competing for funding and resources or instead of this targeted meanness just a subconscious phenomenon?

    I bet the mean guys don't think of their deeds as evil since they either haven't thought about it (most likely) or they think they have a justification (revenge, concern about customers well being etc. )
  13. J W Bensinger

    J W Bensinger

    Mar 26, 2009
    Very true. I've heard it enough in the martial arts that it's starting to just be white noise.
  14. Karda

    Karda Banned BANNED

    Jun 1, 2007
    I don't follow martial arts or science all that much, but I do know human nature. I do know manners and etiquette.
    I try hard to follow Uncle Bill wishes and not talk bad about the competition, sometimes, however I must speak up a little and tell the truth to negative the obvious poor manners,etiquette , rumors... etc that I see and which get brought to our little home here. You can trust that what I will says is the objective truth, at least as I and others see it. I don't expect everyone will agree, as is their right.

    Truth be told and Uncle used to not dwell on it, but it was his hard efforts in marketing the quality khukuri he sold that opened blew to doors wide open for khukuri sales in the western world. Our competition and even those major manufacturers whom produce a version of khukuri owe a debt of thanks and gratitude to Uncle and HI for pursuing the goal of quality khukuri made for usage in the western hemisphere.

    Prior to his hard efforts, tourist khukuri and novelty items were the norm and were the major thing to be produced, High quality khukuri were the bastion of those who could afford to pay for the extra effort it takes to produce them. Needless to say quality khukuri were (and still are) somewhat hard to come by.

    I do understand why someone would try to disparage HI or use other means to hurt it.
    It is because it is quite difficult to consistently produce high quality khukuri for market in the traditional manner. Other companies not only cannot match HI's quality, but they cannot produce enough of them to be sustainable except as a hobbyist maker. They also cannot match HI's world class customer service.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  15. Aleous


    Aug 24, 2013
    Great post. And very true, no other khukuri manufacturer can match HI's beauty, fit/finish, warranty, and customer service, it's kind of sad that they all have such a long way to go to even match HI. I do enjoy khukuri from all companies but HI stands far above all it's competition.

    As far as weight I am smaller in stature being 5'5" so I do prefer lighter khukuri if I'm out and about hiking/trekking in the wilderness but if your backyard chopping nothing beats the function and fun of my heavier CAK.
  16. Thomas Linton

    Thomas Linton

    Jun 16, 2003
    I missed the disparagement.

    A certain type of person is drawn to brands that attack other brands.

    The more mature and knowledgeable person asks how it is that the disparaged brand became the standard by which all others are judged.
  17. davidf99

    davidf99 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    Can't resist. :)

    The energy of a swing varies directly (one-to-one) with the mass, but varies as the square of the velocity. For example, if you double the mass of a blade, you get twice the energy into a swing. But if you double the velocity, you get four times the energy into the swing.

    Implication: A lighter blade, which you can swing faster, packs more energy than a heavier blade.

    But that can be misleading, since it takes more energy (from your arm and wrist) to get that lighter blade swinging twice as fast.

    Much as we all enjoy applying mathematics and physics to these questions, it really comes down to how does the blade feel in your hand, and that will vary from person to person, and according to what you are doing with the blade.

    -- Dave
  18. snowwolf

    snowwolf Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 11, 2013
    Finallly someone who puts speed in the equation.

    Can't argue with the bottom line either :D

  19. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Based on that equation,

    Increasing the thickness of a khukuri to make it 30 ounces instead of 25 ounces will require only 25% more energy (for the same swing path and velocity),


    Increasing the velocity of a 25 ounce khukuri from 1 meter/sec to 2 meters/sec will require 300% more energy (for the same swing path).

    (Note: "Increasing the velocity" is referring to a different speed of the khukuri swing, and not referring to acceleration.)

    (Putting some numbers to what David wrote.)
  20. Jens Schuetz

    Jens Schuetz

    Jun 24, 2013
    Did some tests with an acceleration sensor a while back to see what rules in a punch.
    The sensor was in a heavy bag and measured how much force was transferred into a target.
    Turned out a super speedy snap didn't enter the bag at all and barely registered. A super strong but slow push didn't do much either. What was best was a normal strong punch which extended well into the bag at a normal speed.
    Sounds obvious but our sensei insisted on one physic equation he knew and thought speed alone rules. Maybe it does with solid metal balls (even there bullets can't sacrifice all their mass in favor of speed) Anyways I did the experiment with 4 different people without letting them know what for or what I expected. So there was no arguing. Still kept it to myself. No need to make a guy look bad who was exceptionally nice and didn't want much $ to train us.

    Just imagine a super light Kukri thin as a needle you might slap it at a target at the speed of sound. You will cut skin but not penetrate and not do any real internal damage or trauma.
    --> go as heavy as you can without becoming too slow or losing control.
    Where your own personal sweet spot is exactly? Go out and start chopping and you'll know.
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