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12" UBE is a Winner

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Steely_Gunz, May 23, 2008.

  1. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Well the very friendly mail lady dropped off a priority shipping box to me just a few moments ago. It's probably just the upcoming 3 day weekend, but she seemed quite chipper to pass off my expected treasure. Maybe good Karma was seeping from the box. Who knows?

    Upon opening the box, the first thing that I found was a collectors edition HI calendar featuring a lot of the knives and pictures of some of the workers of HI. I had totally forgotten about these, and it was a very nice extra gesture by Yangdu:D It's going up in my office as soon as I can track down a nail. Very well done, and every shark should have one.

    Obviously, tucked securely to the side of the calendar was the familiar newspaper wrapped prize. After a little frantic tearing, I found the 12.25" 14oz Baby UBE waiting for me. For those unfamiliar with the standard UBE or Uncle Bill Especial, it typically is an 18" heavy duty chopper that was crafted for Uncle Bill during one of his trips to Nepal to visit the shop. Basically, it's like someone used photoshop to carve a deep non-sharpened clip-like bend along the top of an AK right after the break in the spine. It is both heavy and pointy. Gorgeous to look at, but quite honestly, it doesn't really DO anything that an AK can't.

    Fast forward to some months back. Forumite RadRunner had the idea of shrinking the UBE down to a 12" version. His idea was that a much smaller scaled back UBE could actually be more useful in a 12" overall length than in the 18" length. I have to agree. Spot on thinking:thumbup:

    By bringing the size down, all of the shortcomings of the UBE (the weight, size, and point without a real "purpose") become strong points of the knife overall. Basically, you turn the standard UBE from a very functional piece of art into a fully capable camping knife that will chop just as well an AK of similar size, yet retain a point that can be used for fine work.

    With its handle length of roughly 4 and 5/8" from top of bolster to buttcap, it gives the average Western hand a good grip for a knife of this size. I'm sorry to see Dil go. The only other knife of his that I have is my R-6. However, the R-6 is one of my most frequently used outdoors knives. He really has a good grasp on what makes a knife functional.

    Aesthetically, this knife is a work of art. The grip goes from more narrow at the butt to palm filling at the bolster. Dil understood that if you give a man a knife with a point, he will stab with it. Much like the Seax, the swelling at the palm allows a firm purchase with very little slipping...a good thing when handling a horn handle. At 14oz and 12.25" long, it is pretty heavy compared to my 11oz Siru and 13oz 13" AK. The spine is a hefty 3/8" across for a good chunk of the blade before coming to a point. The point is both sharp enough to pierce into most anything yet sturdy enough that snapping or bending it is not an issue. The shallow fullers are some of the nicest I have seen, the edge is straight as an arrow, the cho is very cleanly done, and the more traditional bolster really looks handsome.

    Really, the only downside to this knife is the finish on the edge. It came with a rough bur that I wouldn't exactly call field sharp. It would chop just fine, but for a knife this size a more polished slicing edge would be nice as well. I'm working on it;) In the edge's defense, it is nicely convexed if but a little rough. Also, it looks like Dil's assistant had a case of the "4 o'clock Fridays" and really went through the motions on the TWO kardas that I received;) Probably not his best work, but it's no matter. They are too small to do any real work anyway, and I plan on making a nice form fitting brown leather sheath for this one.

    All and all, I am pretty much in love with this knife. I was on the fence about getting a small BDC for a camping trip that I am planning for the summer, but a wise friend of mine told me that it might not be exactly what I am looking for. Then when the Baby UBE (BUBE, I believe we might have all settled on some months back:D) showed up on the DOTD, well I knew that I had found what I was looking for. A light yet capable knife that will baton through wood, carve roasting sticks, and offer a good piece of mind regarding self defense in the wilds (more so than a standard 12" AK would in my opinion).

    Once I get the edge where I want it, I'm going to go put it through the paces this weekend in the back yard. As always, a HUGE thank you to Yangdu is in order. I would also like to thank Dil (where ever he is) for doing such nice work. Anyone that can get their hands on his knives, should. He's 2 for 2 in my book. Finally, a shout out to RadRunner is in order. This knife was his idea, and it is a winner.:D:thumbup:

    Congratulations! You made it through this whole rambling picture-free post. You deserve a cookie:):p:thumbup:
  2. DrThunder88


    Apr 26, 2007
    I could use a cookie.

    Nice write up. Keep the review coming!

    And pics please!
  3. leebrewer


    Apr 21, 2008
    12" Dil UBE was the second khuk I got last month. It is an excellent blade. Like a Bowie-Khuk. It's a little slow to resheath (for me) because of the curve, so I want to make or purchase a quick release for it, but that is the only complaint I have.
  4. greenwoods


    Sep 2, 2006
    I enjoyed your review Jake. It sure is a nice all around user, I too like the nice size handle. Compared to the smallish handles on Holly's 12" AK and her 12" Siru. They're perfect for her hand, but I wouldn't do much chopping before my hand was shot.
    I agree, the point is wicked fun, and the little toughy chops better than my 15" file bowie. Love it.

    Mark :)

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  5. Wolf_1989


    Mar 30, 2007
    I find the UBE appealing because it's (sort-of) a short khopesh more-or-less.
  6. Yangdu

    Yangdu [email protected] Himalayan Imports-Owner Moderator

    Apr 5, 2005
    Great review, thank you

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