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18" Forward Curving Khukuri field test

Oct 31, 2000
This weekend, I got the opportunity to give my Shop 1 18" Forward Curve a good workout. This one has the cross-hatching on the blade that some have reported gets full of 'stuff' when chopping. First, a report on the blade itself. This is, as mentioned, a Shop 1 blade, complete with the 'Made in Nepal' label. The forging of the blade is decent, though not up to BirGorkha standards - there are several spots where there are 'waves' in the belly. The blade is very well hardened, and holds a very keen edge. I've noticed that a few of my knives, a villager, this one, and a few others that have come and gone, seem to take a different type of sharp edge, perhaps they have had a different grind or something. Anyway, the knife comes in at about 18" OAL, and weighs just about two pounds. It is very 'head-heavy', which is what I'd expect from a forward curving model, but still very easy to wield and control. The handle is a little short, but the circumference is just about right for an average hand. The scabbard is decent, as are the 2 kardas that came with it (no chakma). I've used the kardas for general purpose slicing and cutting, and they are very well hardened, and perform well.
The work that I was doing involved limbing a hardwood tree in preparation for cutting it to length, and splitting it for firewood. This Khuk did a fine job at the task. I have heard (read) others talk about the small sweet-spot on this profile of blade, and I experienced that to some degree. The key to this knife, however is to use it where the more severe curve can be a boon to the task at hand. I found this to be the case when chopping the limbs, as the tree had already been felled, the ground was fairly close. With a Sirupati, one of my more favorite profiles, the tip would have been contacting the ground as I chopped. Due to the geometry of this blade, however, I was able to 'wrap' it around the limb being chopped, without any fear of striking the ground beneath. I did experience some bad feedback from the blade when I got too far out toward the tip, however, when the belly was used, it was very comfortable, and performed outstandingly. The wood was seasoned Birch, and quite hard, and it presented no problem for this blade.
Once done for the day, I cleaned up the blade, and didn't notice much junk stuck in the cross-hatching. I can see where this might be an issue when dealing with 'green' wood however or vines and the like. The edge would still pop hairs off my arm, and had no deflections in it whatsoever. It needed no touch-up at all! I had not had the chance to really work with this knife until now, and I must say that I was very pleased with it. There are some profiles that work better for different tasks, I guess the plan would be to get one of each, and have the right Khuk for every job!

Once again, this is another example of a very well made tool, designed for decades of abuse, and performed above and beyond what I expect from a tool. Thank you Uncle Bill and our brothers in Nepal!!!



I'd rather sleep next to a Bush than be Gored!
I just got an 18.5" Forward curving model in today, so I've got one now too and thought this was a good thread for talking about it.

Haven't had any chance to field test it yet, though. It's a beautiful knife; very simple yet with it's own elegance. Not quite a mirror finish, but almost, and with simple cross-hatching on the blade. The scabbard is very simple - no designs on it - and this fits well with the spirit of the knife itself. This knife shouts 'weapon' to me. It looks like it would be much happier on a battlefield than a trek in the woods. Maybe it's just the flowing lines of the knife. Karda and chakma are also very well done. The weight is about 2 pounds.

I hopefully will get a chance to test it in the field, soon. If I do I'll post about that later.
I really like my 18th Century and often times used it in place of some of my others. I used it enough to get used to its little quirks and got to where I didn't notice them as much. I guess it's kinda like the story of the man with only one gun... You had to watch out for him, as a man with only one gun usually really knows how to use it.

No doubt that's gonna change now that I have my "baby."

Still haven't decided on the proper name for her.


Each person's work is always a portrait of himself.

---- Samuel Butler.

Khukuri FAQ
Himalayan Imports Website
Matt, as I recall, that was from some museum, and I too think it was designed as a weapon rather than a tool.

Some people in the past have wondered if you could or should stab with a khuk. Unfortunately the obvious folks to ask are the Bando people who respect Dr. Gyi's wish not to post on the net regarding Bando.

That said, the 18th century always felt to me like it ached to be picked up in a hammer grip and it's tip driven into something like you would a 'hawk's back spike.

( Ohmigod it just flashed in front of my eyes: hey bro, is it called a 'hawk because it strikes like a hawk or eagle does? So smooth you almost don't notice the speed and power til you think about it? )

Sorry Matt, got to go run and get the 'hawk and do some fondling and listen to it speak to me.

"...I didn't like the way the jury looked at me, ( I think they were suspicious... ) "
Bad Man's Blunder - Kingston Trio

Himalayan Imports Website

[This message has been edited by Rusty (edited 11-14-2000).]
If someone wanted a smaller khukuri than the 20" AK that was a good stabber, the UBE would probably work well.

The UBE is good for just about anything! (IMHO)

Have a good one. PS, Rusty, after reviewing the pics on the HI website, yes, this is the 18th century model.


I'd rather sleep next to a Bush than be Gored!