Thoughts on a well made Khukuri?

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Feb 1, 2001
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This might be the best "do all" knife ever designed and I know a few people who carry them consealed for self defense if needed and nothing can chop better than a good khuk. I was just wondering what a few of you warriors that might have used one in the field thought about them. I saw a picture of a few Gorkhas (Gurkhas) in Afghanstan with their khukuris out training for combat against the Taliban not to long ago.
 

bae

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Nov 21, 2001
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Originally posted by SkagSig40
nothing can chop better than a good khuk.

Well, in doing some testing tonight splitting kindling, I've found that a decent small axe outchops anything else I tried.

Bad small axes don't, though.
 
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I have seen a 20 inch Ang Khola Khukuri with a weight of just over 3lbs take down a tree with a 10 inch diameter faster than a full size ax taking down the same size tree. Both tools were used by the same person. The reason being the khukuri can be swung much faster and penetrate as deep. It really all depends on the size of the tools at hand. I don't own a hatchet but I have been told an average size khuk(15 inch)performs as good as a well made hatchet and much better as a weapon.
 

bae

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Originally posted by SkagSig40
I don't own a hatchet but I have been told an average size khuk(15 inch)performs as good as a well made hatchet and much better as a weapon.

I'm just relating my experience.

Last night, on several well-dried pieces of firewoood, 18" long hardwood log quarters, I tried:

1) 15" HI Ang Khola
2) 18" HI Ang Khola
3) cheap $5 camp hatchet
4) Fiskars 17" axe (#7851)
5) Cold Steel Trailmaster

My goal was to reduce the firewood to kindling, as I had to make a series of small fires in the wood stove to set some new gasket cement I had just applied.

The 15" Ang Khola and the cheap hatchet didn't penetrate the log much.

The Trailmaster penetrated, but got stuck.

The 18" Ang Khola penetrated nicely, but only to a depth a bit past the spine, whereupon it also got stuck. Levering it to pop it loose deformed the edge of the blade somewhat, requiring repair after the experiment.

The Fiskars split the wood right cleanly through, not getting stuck. I think it was because the head is much more wedge-shaped than the other implements.

The Fiskars axe required less effort, and felt safer - less tendency to glance off the hardwood into a leg, or twist in the hand. The blade of the axe was also completely undamaged from the splitting, unlike the cheap axe, and the two Ang Kholas. The Trailmaster edge survived fine.
 
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That is odd that your HI's were damaged from wood. I have pryed with mine and cut through 2X4's with nails in them with no damage. Yours might have to soft of temper. They are still unconditionally guaranted and HI will fix. Try testing the hardness of the edge with a file and see what happens.
I do have a Trailmaster and it also wedges in the wood. I have never had trouble with a (using) khukuri doing this and their sheer weight does make them penetrate better than anything else I have used. Being hand made the blade profiles are all different and some will peform better than others. I own something like 35-40 khukuris and some are way ahead of others in performance.

Khukuris do have a reputation for being a junk blade because of the millions pumped out of India that are crome plated and are ment for toursts. There are only a few places left you can get a well made khukuri and that is kind of sad.

I think Cliff Stamp has done several experiments with khukuris, ax's and other big knives and the khuks have come out on top for the most part. Bill Bagwell's book also talks very highley of khukuris.

When you get into this kind of weight alot of it comes down to prefrence.

So lets here if any one who might have used one combat of survival thinks of them!:)
 
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bae:
Chris is right when he says an 18" Ang Khola shoudn't deform from heavy work. I have around 30 so H.I.Khukuri's and granted some such as a Sirupati isn't for prying, but the AK's ought to take anything you throw at them. If it doesn't, leave the disrepair in the blade and send it back to Bill Martino.
The khukuris are guaranteed for life whether to the original owner or not.
If the khukuri is defective Bill *will* send you another!!!!
And in more chances than not will take your word for it and just send you a new khuk upon receiving the old one if he has one in stock.

I have the utmost confidence in my 18" AK and wouldn't hesitate to trust my life with it.
It's tank tough!!!!
 

bae

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Nov 21, 2001
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That's good to hear! I was frankly very surprised to see the blade deform with a few medium chops into bone-dry wood, though there were a few knots in the log.

I'll give it a few more tries, then send it back if need be.

(The whole reason I got this knife in the first place was that I hoped it might replace the axe in my emergency kit!)
 

Ken Cox

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I don't think of a khukuri as an all-around knife, but as a highly specialized fighting blade.
It doesn't offend me to think of someone using a khukuri as a camp knife and wood splitter; it just seems like a waste.

Because of the fighting nature of the khukuri, subtleties and the degree of balance required to make a khukuri truly effective, I have not purchased a khukuri.
If I could handle a couple of hundred of them, I bet I could find one I like.

In examining the photos of khukuris at HI's site and other sites, I think I see quite a bit of variation in proportions and balance.
Some of them look exquisitely balanced and others look clunky.
I could not live with a clunky khukri.
I imagine some of them just come alive in the hand.

Yvsa writes that he has 30 or so HI khukuris.
I would like to read his comments on the variations in handling between the khukuris he owns, assuming they have variations.
However, I have no interest in how a khukuri handles as an axe.
I want to know how it handles in a life and death combat situation where quickness and power against flesh matter most.

I think a person could make a better comparison between a khukuri and a tomahawk or a warhawk than one could make between a khukuri and a camp axe.
 
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Thanks for the post Ken. H.I. has many khukuris that are intended for use as a weapon like the Sirupati and they have models like the Ang Khola which is intended to be a chopper. Most khukuris in use today in Nepal are used for agriculture and tools rather as a weapon. There are a few martial arts that use the khuk as a main weapon. I know Yvsa and he has a wealth of knowledge about the khukuri. He hangs out at the HI forum. Stop by if you would like to learn alot about the many different khukuris.

I was just wondering if anyone around these parts had any stories on the khukuri.:)
 

bae

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Nov 21, 2001
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Tonight's update...

Spent part of the afternoon splitting a bunch of wood (using a big old splitting maul).

When it came time to build a little platform to stack the split firewood on to dry, I chopped up a bunch of 3" diameter small limbs.

The two tools: the 18" HI Ang Khola from my previous adventure, and a Gransfors Bruks 19" Small Forest Axe.

The Khukuri had been repaired (really just reshaping the deflected edge with the handy-dandy little tool that came with it) since last time, and was sharp. The axe was really sharp.

The Khukuri outperformed the axe by at least 50%, judging by the number of cuts required. I believe this is because on my makeshift somewhat unstable work surface, cutting close to my body, I was able to more confidently deliver more powerful, faster chops with the knife than the axe on the near-frozen, waterlogged piece of wood.

The balance of the knife was also better for hitting the sweet spot every time, and targeting the chops more precisely.

No blade damage on either implement, after cutting through about a dozen branches each.
 
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Thanks for the update bae! Being totalty hand made khukuris willl vary alot in hardness, toughness and performance! Glad to hear yours is working out for you!

That is why I think a well made, perfectly tempered khukuri can't be beat!:) Happy chopping!
 
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