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Thread: Thai blades?

  1. #1
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    Question Thai blades?


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    I have some family visiting Thailand and had a thought that they could pick me up some traditional blades. Sorry, the correct word escapes me, but I'm not looking for, say, a French chef's knife made in a factory in Thailand, but a knife design that was invented and used in Thailand, whether by farmers, military, etc.. Something exclusive to the culture that a native uses, like Indonesian parangs and Javanese karambits.

    I'd probably have this for my collection. Any size, any function, anything.

    In my searches, this one came up a lot called an e-nep:

    http://www.knifethrowing.info/video_pongsak.html
    Can any experts tell me how this differs from a kukhri? Or perhaps it's just the Thai's local take on kukhris?

    I found this sword and knife set, but I'm unsure what they're called:

    http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001291.html
    The site says they were made in 1965, but I don't know their purpose. I'm more interested in the shorter one:


    The same site has this Thai short sword, but it's manufactured by Aranyak, who makes replicas--as a member of Bladeforums, I'm embarrassed to say that replicas were all I knew once, but now I know better. Anyway:


    Well, I won't continue posting links from that page since that seems kind of pointless.

    Anyone have any other suggestions? Reputable Thai knifemakers who make users and not replicas?
    I'm aware some of these knives may have ambiguous origins... but I guess as long as they were used in Thailand, I wouldn't mind, too. A further search showed me that those e-nep are actually Hmong knives, but they're still employed by Thai laborers.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Where in Thailand are they going? If they're going somewhere really touristy, authentic Thai knives are going to be harder to find. The sword in the pics you posted is known as a darb Thai and is a traditional fighting sword found all over Thailand. I have a very nicely done modern one right next to me (definitely not a tourist piece)!

    I was in Phuket in 2011 and tried to score some good local knives--the only Thai knives I ended up coming home with from there were Kiwi Brand kitchen knives (which are cheap and good)!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayinhk View Post
    Where in Thailand are they going? If they're going somewhere really touristy, authentic Thai knives are going to be harder to find. The sword in the pics you posted is known as a darb Thai and is a traditional fighting sword found all over Thailand. I have a very nicely done modern one right next to me (definitely not a tourist piece)!
    They're mainly in Bangkok, but they're going around. They have a whole month there--I may even be able to get them to go out of their way to get me something nice.
    Is the darb Thai that longer one in the second picture, or is it the short sword? I like the three shortest ones I posted. The e-nep in the first picture look to be the most practical though.

    Any idea on your darb Thai's origins, manufacturer, so on?

  4. #4
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    There is a village in Thailand with several cutlers that can make a custom knife to your wishes for reasonable money. Their own designs are rather over the top in ornaments, but if you give them a sketch of a clean design then something nice may come out of it.

  5. #5
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    Aranyik Village
    Location : Amhoe Nakhon Luang
    The name "Aranyik" is traditionally related to the history of the Ayutthaya period, when wars were fought in hand-to-hand battles. Aranyik village emerged as a place where sword smiths specialized in battle swords worked. To this day, Aranyik Village remains at the forefront as the country’s leading producer of hand made, high-quality knives and swords.

    Now also noted for its five-star OTOP products, Aranyik has diversified its product range to suit modern-day markets and requirements. Cutlery, dinnerware and other table accessories are produced and exported. These represent another great tradition that thrives even in modern times.

    Production is in the villages of Ban Ton Pho and Ban Pai Nong. However, the OTOP Village is located at Ban Sarai, Tha Chang Sub-District, Nakhon Luang District. It is here that visitors can take a closer look at how Aranyik knives and other related products and made while exploring the villagers’ remarkably charming traditional way of life. Homestay accommodation is available.
    Handicrafted Aranyik Knife Villages
    Location : Amhoe Nakhon Luang
    Background Ban Ton Pho and Ban Phai Nong are two densely populated villages in Tambon Tha Chang, Amphoe Nakhon Luang, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya. Both have been widely recognized for nearly 200 years as a major source of the country’s hand-made knife products.

    Aranyik Knife There used to be a market, shops and gambling houses at Ban Aranyik, Tambon Pak Tha, Amphoe Tha Ruea, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, approximately 3 kilometres from Ban Ton Pho and Ban Phai Nong. Ban Aranyik was a marketplace where villagers including those from the two knife-making villages took their products to offer for sale or exchange. Their knives were famous by word-of-mouth for their good quality, and Aranyik knives have become known ever since.
    Aranyik Knife Products There are currently 4 categories of Aranyik knives; namely, farming, domestic, weapon, and others. Each category can be classified by application into 12 types and each type can still be classified by sizes and materials used in various parts, totaling 274 of them.

    Handicrafted Aranyik Knife Villages
    Handicrafted Aranyik Knife Villages Tradition and Culture Other than merit-making that has been observed generally by Thai people on special occasions such as Magha Puja, Visakha Puja, Buddhist Lent, Robe Offering, Floral Alms-giving and Songkran, the villagers also have their own important tradition known as Wai Khru or Wai Khru Bucha Tao. After the Songkran Festival, the community leaders will meet to fix the date of the ceremony held to pay salute to their masters (Wai Khru) and forge spirits (Bucha Tao), usually on a Thursday of the waxing moon of the sixth lunar month. Once the date is fixed, all equipment and tools will be repaired and cleaned, new forges built and all required offerings prepared for the early morning ceremony on the set Thursday. This ceremony has been observed until nowadays for the auspiciousness and prosperity of their community. All visitors will be welcomed on that day.
    I suggest your family get a local guide. It's a lot safer this way.
    Speaking of which you may see my OTOP blade for sale in the sales section.They produce stuff like this.
    MH370 &MH17, you will be remembered.

  6. #6
    Aranyik is the commercial heart of Thailand's knife industry. I, personally, have no interest in swords or knives from the town since I can always order Aranyik-made blades online (not that I want to)!

    I prefer delving a little deeper for my blade fix. My sword was hand forged up in Lampang Province, not somewhere you see too many new swords coming out of nowadays!

    The darb is the long sword: the shorter ones are like mini darbs.

    As far as e-neps...went looking in Phuket and failed! Hopefully I get another chance to look further afield in Thailand soon. It's only a few hours from here, but JayGoliath's even closer ^_^

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagon View Post
    There is a village in Thailand with several cutlers that can make a custom knife to your wishes for reasonable money. Their own designs are rather over the top in ornaments, but if you give them a sketch of a clean design then something nice may come out of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by JayGoliath View Post
    I suggest your family get a local guide. It's a lot safer this way.
    Speaking of which you may see my OTOP blade for sale in the sales section.They produce stuff like this.
    Quote Originally Posted by jayinhk View Post
    Aranyik is the commercial heart of Thailand's knife industry. I, personally, have no interest in swords or knives from the town since I can always order Aranyik-made blades online (not that I want to)!

    I prefer delving a little deeper for my blade fix. My sword was hand forged up in Lampang Province, not somewhere you see too many new swords coming out of nowadays!

    The darb is the long sword: the shorter ones are like mini darbs.

    As far as e-neps...went looking in Phuket and failed! Hopefully I get another chance to look further afield in Thailand soon. It's only a few hours from here, but JayGoliath's even closer ^_^

    They're Thai, so I think they should be OK on their own. However, they're not into knives at all so they could be misled easily.
    I guess it would be a long shot trying to find that village and putting in a custom order to get one done by the time they leave.

    I often have doubts about commercial centers for any type of good... I feel like eventually they start going for quantity over quality. I hope they can find a good smith in their short time there. I don't know how far they're venturing out of the more urban areas.

    I'm going to hope for a mini darb and an e-nep, made in the traditional style but with modern improvements.

  8. #8
    Do you know which region in Thailand they're from, and if they're going there? Their best bet would be to get you local knives from their home areas. They might even mean more to you that way. I absolutely love Thailand. Can't wait to explore more of the country!

  9. #9
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    They got back to me saying they saw some knives. I'm a little skeptical of their taste, but I said I wanted a real knife a farmer would use, not just a souvenir (even though it will be a souvenir). I'm really into the enep and the shorter darbs. They're also a little concerned about running into any trouble bringing them into the US.

    I forget where they're from originally, but they all live in the capital now. I went "home" once and it was pretty rural but I don't recall any local industry that required such tools... just a nice cleaver for the barbecued chicken stall right across the street from the house.

    Oh jeez, my childhood memories... they're all flooding back into my brain right now. I wish I had more opportunities to go there.

    Quote Originally Posted by jayinhk View Post
    Do you know which region in Thailand they're from, and if they're going there? Their best bet would be to get you local knives from their home areas. They might
    even mean more to you that way. I absolutely love Thailand. Can't wait to explore more of the country!

  10. #10
    ัplease do search on "santi". He has been BF member for a long while. He has good connection with traditional Thai bladesmith.
    Or you can visit www.konrakmeed.com. You will find a lot of helping hands there.

  11. #11
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    Traditional or Common

    The E-nep, is actually pronounced hnep, and must be joined with the word knife, as in Knife Nep = "meat-nep". This means Leaf-Knife.

    This is where the main distinction between a Kukri (spelling?) and an E-nep comes into consideration. The E-nep always strives to be close to the shape of a leaf slicing through air. While the Khukuri's have seemed to take the shape of 'choppers' while E-neps are used as 'swift cutting' tools or throwing knives. I don't know if Nepal claims the importation of the design from Arab Muslims, but the Thai people do give credit to the Muslims for the design.

    Hope that helps.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by uyotg View Post
    I have some family visiting Thailand and had a thought that they could pick me up some traditional blades. Sorry, the correct word escapes me, but I'm not looking for, say, a French chef's knife made in a factory in Thailand, but a knife design that was invented and used in Thailand, whether by farmers, military, etc.. Something exclusive to the culture that a native uses, like Indonesian parangs and Javanese karambits.

    I'd probably have this for my collection. Any size, any function, anything.

    In my searches, this one came up a lot called an e-nep:

    http://www.knifethrowing.info/video_pongsak.html
    Can any experts tell me how this differs from a kukhri? Or perhaps it's just the Thai's local take on kukhris?

    I found this sword and knife set, but I'm unsure what they're called:

    http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001291.html
    The site says they were made in 1965, but I don't know their purpose. I'm more interested in the shorter one:


    The same site has this Thai short sword, but it's manufactured by Aranyak, who makes replicas--as a member of Bladeforums, I'm embarrassed to say that replicas were all I knew once, but now I know better. Anyway:


    Well, I won't continue posting links from that page since that seems kind of pointless.

    Anyone have any other suggestions? Reputable Thai knifemakers who make users and not replicas?
    I'm aware some of these knives may have ambiguous origins... but I guess as long as they were used in Thailand, I wouldn't mind, too. A further search showed me that those e-nep are actually Hmong knives, but they're still employed by Thai laborers.
    Thanks.
    Long sword looks like a Burmese dha.

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