1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

  2. Click here to enter the drawing for your chance to win a Kizer Sheepdog & Ka-Bar Dozier Folding Hunter, , Bladeforums.com swag or memberships!

    Be sure to read the rules before entering, then help us decide next week's giveaway by hitting the poll in that thread! Entries close at midnight, Saturday August 10!

    Once the entries close, we'll live stream the drawing on Sunday, July 28 at 5PM Eastern. Tune in to our YouTube channel TheRealBladeForums for a chance to win bonus prizes!

    Questions? Comments? Post in the discussion thread here

Zone hardening question

Discussion in 'H.I. Cantina' started by StrangeDaze, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. StrangeDaze

    StrangeDaze Gold Member Gold Member

    821
    Mar 20, 2016
    hey everyone. I just ordered my first HI kukri and am excited to recieve it. I was reading around and it appears they are zone hardened, leaving the tip and blade closest to the handle “soft”. I am just wondering to what degree? Is it very soft, unhardened even? Or is it just a few degrees softer than the belly? If i use the “soft” part for making something like a feather stick, will it dull quickly? I realize they come with a smaller knife that is more useful for such tasks so it is not really an issue. I am just curious. I will find out soon enough i guess but wanted to know what i am in for.
     
  2. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    You pretty much got it figured out it seems. Grats on your first HI Khuk! The re-curve part and tip is softer however, it is hardened to some degree. What wears down quickly also sharpens quickly. The little knife without the edge (Chakma) is used to keep the edges burnished and works very well for all the small dings. The recurve part of the blade is great for making feather sticks and such. Also makes a great draw knife. There's a gazillion post on sharpening so you should have plenty of reading. Prolly the most covered topic here other than curved spines and mules;) Somewhere there is a drawing showing the basic zones of hardening. If I can find it again ill link it. What model did you get?
     
    EricTheRedBeard and StrangeDaze like this.
  3. StrangeDaze

    StrangeDaze Gold Member Gold Member

    821
    Mar 20, 2016
    I got the used wwii model that was up recently. Seemed like a good place to start.
     
    EricTheRedBeard likes this.
  4. EricTheRedBeard

    EricTheRedBeard Basic Member Basic Member

    394
    May 17, 2018
    My brother has some hardness testing files that we played around with on my HI blades. Every one of them was between 55 and 60 Rockwell Hardness in the chopping zone. They went down to between 40 to 50 at the tip and toward the cho. There were 3 blade edges that were harder that 65. They were a Tarwar by Bura, a Balance Knife by Naubin Rai, and a Parewa Knife made by Ram Kumar. Those also happen to be some of my favorites. The Tarwar sleeps on my wife's dresser. The Balance Knife Khukuri stays in my car, and the Parewa knife (I call it "Gift Knife" since Yangdu gave it to me) is always in my backpack for when I need it. I like it for carving, food prep, and general utility. I gutted and skinned my last deer with it. The Balance Knife and Gift Knife come with me every time I go hunting or camping. All of these knives retain an edge very well.

    I also have a Kumar Utility Villager Khukuri that has a hard chopping spot and a very soft tip. I can sharpen that tip to a razor with just the chakma. A soft tip on a khuk can be a very good thing. Your WWII probably has a very stout tip. The softer parts are not going to bend or fold. They will dull easier if you are chopping very hard wood with them. The best way to avoid that is to practice and find the chopping sweet spot. Use the hard part for chopping and use the softer parts for slicing. I have cut down a 7" wide tree and then immediately sliced tomatoes.
    Edit: I just realized that you posted about the flat edge tip knife. I guess this one will be heading back to Reno. My First HI purchase had 2 knives from Kumar. One is still my tried true, go-to work horse. The other had a heat treat issue and the edge folded over. That didn't stop me from buying many more. I have had 4 knives total with heat treat problems. 4 out of 40 isn't bad considering they were all sold as blems. Each time Yangdu took good care of me. I always ended up with something better than I originally paid for or of higher value. Her service and the knives with magic in them kept me coming back for more.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  5. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    If your WWII is going to be a user and you want to check out the heat treatment profile (hamon) you can rub some lemon juice across the edge and the line will show up. Depending on what type of stuff your chopping it will sometimes show up anyway. Interesting to try the hardness files but I havent done that. I dont think ive ever chipped an edge on an HI blade as far as I can remember but then again I cant remember crap anyway:). Thanks for the input Eric. I always suspected your findings but I have yet to buy me a file set. Someday id like to do that? In general id rather have my blades on the softer side for field serviceable reasons. One exception is fish filet knives. I like them hard and sometimes hard as flint.
     
    EricTheRedBeard likes this.
  6. Bawanna

    Bawanna Moderator Moderator

    Dec 19, 2012
    I just got back from fishin for a couple weeks. I'd love a fillet knife that stays sharp.
    For some reason I can't get them buggers sharp to save my backside.
    My fishin pard has one of them electric fillet knives, had it a few years. I'll be having me one for next year. Works great. Still need a sharp knife.
     
  7. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    Yep those electric ones work good if your home or around electricity but im not that fortunate most of the time. I suppose they prolly make a rechargeable electric dont they? Ive never seen one but one would think they exist. How did you trip go? Did ya catch anything?
     
  8. EricTheRedBeard

    EricTheRedBeard Basic Member Basic Member

    394
    May 17, 2018
    I've never tried the lemon juice trick. I will check that out. My brother has a forge and I am working on blacksmithing my first knife by myself. I cannot believe the time and effort it takes. The knife I'm working on is just a tiny one. Annealing, shaping, normalizing, hardening, tempering. All that and fitting a handle and finishing the whole thing! I feel like I am only beginning to understand the time, effort, skill, and heart that goes into each knife. It boggles the mind that they could complete one of these in a day. They are indeed magicians.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  9. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    Show us your progress Eric! Id love to check it out. Ive only made and finished one knife completely and it is gratifying to say the least. I made two at the same time but one developed a crack right across the middle. I think I let it get a bit too cool. Doing the flex/bend test is nerve racking to say the least. I figured id snap it right there but it survived. Makes you really appreciate them multi fullered knives dont it?
     
    EricTheRedBeard likes this.
  10. EricTheRedBeard

    EricTheRedBeard Basic Member Basic Member

    394
    May 17, 2018
    I cannot even comprehend the HI kami's skill level. I'll post something in the Cantina and put a link below:
    https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/forging-a-knife.1676061/
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019

Share This Page