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Thread: Yet Another KLVUK Thread

  1. #1
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    Yet Another KLVUK Thread


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    I know this is like the 5th or 6th thread we have going on with these knives if you include the DotDs, but I didn't want to step on sweetcostarica's thread as he has very specific views on the knife. We can always merge them later if need be

    Well I wasn't expecting it for a few more days, but thanks to Yangdu's incredible physics altering agreement with the USPS I received a 16" KLVUK to test out and review. I'll have pictures up a little later once I let the boiled linseed oil coating soak in a bit. As near as I can tell, the wood on the grip is asare...i think. I'm not up on my tree species. It's got a neat zubba pattern to the grain with markings that reminds me of a coyote pelt. However, it feels like an airy wood. I don't think it's because there isn't as much steel running through it as a typical HI. It's certainly a hard wood, but it's drinking up oil like crazy. I've actually resorted to just leaving it soak in a boiled linseed oil bath for an hour. I don't want to "finish" this knife beyond its purpose, but I would like to get as much protective oil in the handle as possible.

    Here's a "before" pic with just a light rubbing of boiled linseed oil
    2012-10-01_13-48-05_885.jpg

    Here's some specs:
    Spine thickness: 1/4"
    Overall Length: 16.25"
    Weight: Feels about 17-18 oz. A VERY lively knife
    Tip to bolster: 10.5"
    Grip: 5"
    Cho to buttplate: 6.5"
    Balance point: About 2" back from the crook of the spine

    This is one of the things I love about this design. You get a full 5" of handle on this very light and fast knife. However, having a bit of what some of the old timers call "cho creep" (basically the no-man's land between where the bolster stops and the cho starts) means that you can choke up on the blade and the knife becomes almost neutral in the hand. This is a utility knife, after all, so it needs to do a lot of things in a serviceable manner. By making the knife "disappear" so to speak, you now have a nice medium weight camp chopper that can called into action to do fine work like shave a fuzzy stick or sharpen a pencil. In short, the design is one that pulls the khuk of the "Just a Chopper" category and places it in one where you could easily pack JUST the KLVUK as your do it all fixed blade.

    The fit on this knife is incredible Keshar Lal does great work. By taking out a lot of the polish work he was able to craft an affordable and VERY well executed knife. Anyone looking for a do it all khuk need not look any further. It takes the basic idea of the 16.5" WWII as a great combination of tool and weapon and scales it back so that it does more things better. Now, please keep in mind while this khukuri is stout and can handle pretty much anything you throw at it, it's not an AK. This knife is thinner at the spine than my wife's gorgeous 12" AK. It's an every day user blade, but it's not something that you should be chopping down 10" trees with or torquing to split logs in half. It's a common sense khuk for folks that know how to use a knife within it's design.

    All and all, I think the KLVUK is a hit. It does have a very Bura flair to it, and I think it more than warrants his beloved mark. The fit and feel of this brings back memories of my very first khuk from HI. The sheer magic forged into the blade is tangible. It's every bit as much a part of the khuk as the grip or the blade or the bolster. There is something...deep in this blade. After it's oil bath, I'm going to try and bring out the blade's full potential sharpness. The good news is that it fits beautifully in my shoulder holster

    A huge thank you to Yangdu listening to her customers who wanted a bit more traditional flair to their khuks. I'm also very pleased to see Bura being able to still be involved in the design process even if his hammer swinging days are over with. Keshar Lal is masterful in his work. I know he wasn't going for a high level of polish, but he got it right where it needs to be right. I'd love to see what he turns out when he's able to make it more of a presentation piece.

    Long story short, the KLVUK is a winner through and through. I plan on honing it up and packing it around with me this week to see what kind of trouble I can find for it to get into and will report back

    Thanks!
    Jake
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  2. #2
    I agree with SG. This knife fills a void in the khukuri lineup with its 1/4" thick spine. I'm expecting my KLVUK to be an exceptional slicer. A presentation version of the knife may also be a good idea.

  3. #3
    I agree. I like 'em. I see the KLVUK as a utilitarian "brut de forge" type of khukuri. No nonsense.. effective.. and striking in it's own way.
    Proud Supporter #97 of JK Knives and Himalayan Imports

    III


  4. #4
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    Mine was also VERY thirsty when I got it. Most knives I let stabilize for awhile in my environment before I do anything to them, but the KLVUK I recently got immediately received an emergency mineral oil treatment as soon as i got it due to how dry it was.

    I agree the wood is "airy" and light (very pourous) yet generally tough (can't mark it with my fingernail in most places, but in the knotty/darker areas the wood is softer and markable). This handle will require receiving a protective treatments of an oil that soaks in and hardens to help strengthen the dark areas and fill in the pores - although I do this to all my wood handles anyway.

    The 5" handle is noticably longer than on the Ugly Villager or the BAS at a glance, but measures only about 1/2 - 3/4 inch shorter. It has a more neutral balance than the Ugly Villager (UVK) or the BAS due to a thinner spine and longer handle. The KLVUK shape more closely resembles the Ang Khola than does the UVK (which is more M43-like).

    The metal grind is VERY "villager" (not perfectly straight/even) both on the spine bevel as well as the primary grind, but I don't see this being a problem at all. The "grind" (carving/shaping) on the handle is as even as any other of my HI knives (which is to say it fits my hand perfectly and feels wonderful) - it is just not as finely sanded/buffed as non-villager handles.

    KLVUK is a well done all-purpose knife as advertised and if I found that I had to chop down a 10" tree and had nothing but KLVUK it would not be a problem.

    It's tough to say which is harder - picking which thread to put these comments in or picking which of the knives below to bring on the next camping trip

    Top to bottom: BAS, KLVUK, UVK


  5. #5
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    I received mine today as well, and my opinion matches everyone else's. I also agree that it was crying for oil(blade and handle). There was a little red powdery rust in the black area of my blade, I scrubbed most of it off, and then put a thick coat of mineral oil on the blade. I then followed SG's example and threw some BLO on the handle. I'll need to do some light sanding on the handle to fix some irregular areas, but was exited to see how the grain popped out with even a quick application of oil.

  6. #6
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    Excellent review. You mentioned how lively yours was. I bought two KLVUKs and observed some differences in balance. One of the knives I received is a:
    10 5/8 in blade (27 cm) kukri with a 4 1/2 in (11.5 cm) handle it weighs 18.60 oz (528 grams).
    the other is:
    10 3/4 in blade (27.3 cm) kukri with a 4 5/8 in (11.8 cm) handle it weighs 17.25 oz (488 grams).

    What I noticed is the lighter but slightly larger in dimensions Kukri was sooooo well balance is felt even lighter than it's 17.25 oz (488 gram) weight. Both are nice and will do some serious work but it is interesting to see major differences in small things such as 1.35 ounces.

    Your review also got me thinking of the reason the Ugly Villager (KLVUK) looks the way it does. I think it looks this way because it is a working man's/woman's knife. It traditionally is for farmers and field workers. These guys/gals did not care about bling or style. They had the Kami make a tool that worked in whatever job needed to be done. So I'm kind of against refining or Blingalinging the KLVUK.
    kukuri6.jpg
    Sure Nepalis have nicer Kukris but that's just it. This Kukri is for farm work, this Kukri is for the house, this ones for ceremonies and so on.

  7. #7
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    Nice side by side bric. This batch of KLVUK have longer than average wooden handles. The horn handles are around 4 1/2 inches long.
    It would be telling to have their weights for comparison. Weight is an important consideration for most hikers/campers because everything is carried on the back. So the choice I would make normally would be the lighter of the three.
    heavy-backpack.jpg

  8. #8
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    This knife's wood has flat guzzled the oil I've done nothing but put coat after coat on it. I haven't even sanded it, and it's still drinking it in. I think once it's done, this is going to be one tough handle. It really feels solid in hand, and even after slicking it up with BLO it's still has a massive amount of purchase. I don't think I'm going to sand it at all as the rougher spots have settled out a bit as the wood has plumped with the coats of oil.

    I mean, it's been almost freaky. It reminds me of those horror movies where a long entombed vampire awakens all emaciated and skeletal and starts to flesh out as it feeds on people This is a very special specimen to be sure. The more I handle this knife, the more I like it.

    If I can remember tomorrow, I'm going to do a side by side with my Kumar Villager. They are night and day yet similar.

    One cool thing about the KLVUK is that the edge actually sings. I thought I could hear it after I did a little light stoning to touch up the edge, but once I used my wife's AK's chakma on it, it practically broke out into song. I haven't had a khuk that did that since my Kumar villager...so, 10 years in between khuks. I'd say that is a very cool and rare trait Keshar Lal really nailed the edge of this knife. It's simply fantastic.
    Jake
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetcostarica View Post
    Is that man... trying to mate with the heavens? I've never actually camped, which now that I think about it is odd, but I've gone on sunrise to sunset hikes and whatever knife I have is never on my back. But that's mostly because I was on the edge of bear territory and wolf (now that they've been reintroduced). Pretty creepy when you catch a wolf watching you, and you figure they may not be alone.

    Yeah... some sort of weapon always on the hip.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by abdelhazred View Post
    Is that man... trying to mate with the heavens?
    I think he is trying to "una$$" or get the pack off without pulling a muscle in some exotic contortion haha.. it's almost how I have had to recline.. whenever we're loaded up to bear.
    Prior to our jumps.. we could lean back onto nothing whilst sitting on the ground.. and our gear would keep us propped up..
    Proud Supporter #97 of JK Knives and Himalayan Imports

    III


  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely_Gunz View Post
    This knife's wood has flat guzzled the oil I've done nothing but put coat after coat on it. I haven't even sanded it, and it's still drinking it in. I think once it's done, this is going to be one tough handle. It really feels solid in hand, and even after slicking it up with BLO it's still has a massive amount of purchase. I don't think I'm going to sand it at all as the rougher spots have settled out a bit as the wood has plumped with the coats of oil.
    My ASTK's Koa wood handle did the same thing.. and is sooo beautiful now.. I never needed to sand it.. but decided to sand and recoat several times anyway.
    Proud Supporter #97 of JK Knives and Himalayan Imports

    III


  12. #12
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    This photo shows another variation, the KLVUK Ang Khola (16", 24 oz.), second from the right.
    Good looking! I recently got its identical twin as a blem. The spine thickness is a full 3/8".


    [apologies+thanks to pyro_1 for using his photo]

    The two types of KLVUK appear side by side in the photo.

  13. #13
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    Not a problem I don't mind. If you guys are looking for any other specific shot of the two of them let me know

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Tall View Post
    another variation, the KLVUK Ang Khola (16", 24 oz.)
    Interesting, the grind is perfect on that one, it does stand apart from the others in that regard and the weight. Mine is 16" 16oz. Spine goes from about 1/4" at the bolster to almost 3/8" at the bend where it is thickest.

  15. #15
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    Ya there is deff a huge difference between the two when I tried to swing them. The one on the left being 15.5" and 15oz vs the AK version at 16" and 24oz. Also like that the AK came with an oak handle

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bric View Post
    ... Mine is 16" 16oz. Spine goes from about 1/4" at the bolster to almost 3/8" at the bend where it is thickest.
    This got me wondering, so I checked my KLVUK Ang Khola, and its spine goes from 3/8" at the bolster to 7/16" near the bend/peak.

  17. #17
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    Got a couple more pics of the two different type side by size and also of the spines next to each other will put them up in the morn

  18. #18
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    Here are a couple more pics of the two styles




  19. #19
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    This KLVUK Ang Khola was a DOTD (more like Deal of the Decade) that needed an easy handle repair.



    I like it a lot, except my 2XL hands are too big for the handle. So I tried a paracord wrap (first time ever) and it's a good fit now.



    I added a fundraiser sheath to my order for an extra $20.


  20. #20

    Nice Wrap

    Good job with the para cord.
    Love that grip myself also.
    Looks great and the hold is firm even if you pick it up out of the mud.

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