2 questions from a Kukri noob

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Greman, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. Greman


    Jan 3, 2006
    Hi all,
    I've never owned one of these blades and after trawling these forums somewhat I have to say that i'm fully getting that 'i've got to get me one of those....!' vibe. So to that end I have a couple of questions:
    1/ What would make an excellent all around utility chopper, able to be taken out to the back of beyond attached to a back pack and to not feel like an anchor? I want to be be able to 'use' this blade (and not just stare at it) for camp work and scrub and foliage clearing and other genearl jobs that would usually fall to a good knife or hawk. Also should I be concerned at the handle material of these blades as I have horrible ideas of a wooden grip splitting or some such similar tragedy? Your input would be really appreciated.
    2/ Has anyone here ever had a Kukri send down to New Zealand or does anyone know anyone who has and if so did they have any problems of any kind with customs etc?
    Any and all input is welcome.
  2. Rich_S


    Dec 3, 2005
    16.5" Chiruwa AK or 18 " AK

    Any khuk is going to be heavier than what you're probably used to. If you've never held a knife that was 3/8"+ thick at the spine and 15-20 inches long, you're in for a treat.
  3. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    Yea anything in the 16" = 18" range and up to 28 oz is what you're gonna want. I started with Chiruwa AK. That WWII is a great knife too though I don't own one.
  4. ferguson


    Feb 21, 2001
    A light khukuri is going to be like a very heavy knife of the same size. I'll bet a 15" (overall length) Sirupati would be a good balance of weight and utility. A 15" BAS would be just a tad heavier, and therefore a better chopper, but not by much. You're not going to be felling any trees, and either would beat a knife for chopping. If you're backpacking, a little weight means a lot.

    BrentH is from Auckland. You might ask him about shipping khuks into NZ. His profile is at http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/member.php?u=139190

  5. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    What Steve said about weight is important. You have to decide how much real wood chopping needs there are against the effort of carrying a tool.

    If you must cut wood, I would get a blade more substancial than a 15" Sirupate or AK, or a BAS. The next step up is a 16.5" WWll, then it's a toss between the Chiruwa AK at 16.5", or either the 18" AK or 18" WWll.

    If you contact HI directly you can get from the shopping site a tool precise to your needs. If you wait and score on a DOD (deal of day) a kind of blem or happy sale Yangdu offers frequently, you can get a good value for your money but it is not always exactly what you wanted- which is part of the fun, too.

  6. Greman


    Jan 3, 2006
    Thanks heaps guys I appreciate your input. Thanks Steve also for putting me on to Brent. I've flicked him a message.
    So i've got a few choices now, the ones that I seem to gravitate towards so far are:
    Chiruwa AK
    15" AK
    15" Sirupati
    15" BAS
    I don't really know what the differences between them are. They do all look like work horses but the Sirupati is a little more 'pretty', is it to light for the hard hits? Or did you mention it Steve as a weight compromise for hiking. You may also notice that i've gone for mostly 15" blades, this may simply be that I have no experience with Khuk's and so have the 'Big Scary Knife' phobia happening so maybe I'm wrong. Is a 15" a perfectly adequate blade or is it a bit too short?
  7. Greman


    Jan 3, 2006
    Oh and thanks Munk, I hadn't refreshed in a while so missed your post which kinda answers some of my last post. You make the Chiruwa AK look a bit more attractive. You're totally right about the weight issue and it's something i'll have to think about but I figure that I would be taking a hawk or hatchet along if camping and so the weight I'd save by replacing it would balance things (a bit). Oh one more question, the blades look like hard workers but do the handles stand upto field work/abuse or do the end up needing replacement or significant maintenance?
  8. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    I haven't worn out any handles yet. but I did pin one that cracked, and glued several other cracks. The edge for hard use is given to wood handles, I'm not certain how fair that is, but there you are. They wouldn't have used horn all these years if it were a problematic product. You have to condition the horn- but then, you have to take care of wood too, don't you? The only handle I had crack significantly was wood, but many here got some green horn during a period of time over a year ago, with some problems, but I don't think you have to worry about that. If you live in an extremely dry climate, horn may not be the top choice.

    I like horn and wood. If you get a chiruwa Ak, with handle halves, I can't see it makes that much difference what you get, because the tang is wide as the handle and takes much of the force.

    Some folks swear by the chiruwa AK, others like the extra leverage and power by a slightly longer khuk of 18", with roughly the same weight as a chiruwa AK. That could easily be a WWll, a Baby Ganga Ram, or a standard 18" AK.

  9. alberich


    Mar 15, 2005
    Now that's interesting topic. Looking at the thing, I'd call it (don't kill me for a blasphemy) a crosbreed between knife, matchette and small axe, something I'd expect would be a sweet thing for camping and hiking. And I believe that Ghurkas do use it as an all purpose tool.
    Any practical experience?
  10. Mr.BadExample


    Sep 11, 2002
    I like the 18" WW2 for all around chopping needs.
  11. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    Looking at what 'thing'? You mean a khukuri?
    On a forum dedicated to this tool you ask if there is any practical experience?
    ...All our khuks are kept carefully under glass for further study?

    Seriously, how could the posts in this thread reccomend certain size and models without practical experience?

    Yikes. Yousa. What a question. The heebie jeebies for sure. Read some other threads! Discover the wonderful khuk!

  12. Kismet

    Kismet Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 30, 2002
  13. alberich


    Mar 15, 2005
    Sorry, Munk, my meaning was if anybody uses khukri everyday as a cutting or chopping tool, (opening cans. cutting bread, cooking, etc.), carry it daily as tool or selfdefense weapon, if needed, takes it to wilderness if hiking etc. I just ordered my first khukri so I have no idea if it can be useful as a tool (besides being a well known close combat weapon), and I'm looking forward to experiment with it.

    Anyway I don't worship any of the weapons I own (even if some has their own name :) ), so if somebody feels that I don't speak about khukri with enough respect, well, no offense meant, honestly.
  14. J W Kilpatrick

    J W Kilpatrick

    Aug 11, 2001
    Greetings: Greman
    You have arrived at the right place to buy a "great" khukri. The thing about these Himalayan Import Khukries is that they are reliable, dependable, trustworthy, and will not fail you when you haul off and swing them at something. They simply go CHOP, when you swing them and hit whatever you are swinging at. They never fail. They always go CHOP.

    These Himalayan khukries remind me of the reliability factor built into all my glock pistols. Everytime I squeeze the trigger they always go BANG without fail. I mean thousands of times they have gone BANG without fail. That is exactly what you want a firearm to do. You want it to go BANG without fail when you pull the trigger. That is what glock pistols are good at. They go bang when you pull the trigger without fail.

    Himalayan khukries do the same thing. They always go CHOP without fail when you swing them. They never fail you. They never fall apart. They last you for a lifetime and they always go CHOP when you swing them. They important thing is just make sure that you don't CHOP yourself with them when you swing them.

    One last thing. Look at the pictures and buy the one that you like. Don't worry if it is not the perfect one when you get it because you will probably acquire most of the other styles of khukries within the next several years from the time you first start acquiring khukries and you will probably end up with several favorite khukries.

    Have fun, brother.

    J. W. Kilpatrick
  15. alberich


    Mar 15, 2005
    Man, Glocks everywhere :) No escape.
  16. munk


    Mar 22, 2002

    Worship? Holy Moly. What are you sorry for? Did you see the word practical in front of 'practical hunter'? !!!

    This forum is chock full, nay, stuffed to the gills with folks who use ALL kinds of tools for wilderness and everyday life husbandry. It's not our fault, just the opposite, if after much Practical Experience, many of these woods wandering and open trail adoring mental cases gravitate towards the khukuri...

    Dress a deer out? Cut a large grazing animal down to size? Need wood for the fire and you're twenty miles in? Want to build a shelter? Need a crowbar to lever the whatever that's stuck in the Whozitts? Khukuri.

    Anybody carry one of these? All the time. Anyone really use a khuk to cut firewood for the winter? All the time. I've felled trees and delimbed many more with a good old khuk, about the only tool next to a good sidearm I trust for self defense against just about anything I'm likely to run into.

    In Nepal a khuk might be used to cut straw and cut veggies in the kitchen. HI makes a lot of different tools beside khuks, but a khuk is good for just about everything.

    Everyong here has a different reason for 'being' here. Me? I just wandered by looking for a tool, mostly out of curiousity before I purchased a throwing hawk.
    Once I saw the design, and realized intuitively the advantages it would have, I was intrigued. Once I handled an HI khuk and felt/saw the quality and beauty of the tool, I was enraptured.

    Anyway, there's everything here practical in experience regarding woodcraft and day to day outdoor skills, as well as a good smattering of life experience and some alleged insanity. I suggest you read some threads and see what I mean.
    If I got stuck with only one tool, it had better be a khuk, and that's about as practical as you can get.

  17. TomFetter


    Dec 6, 2004
    What Munk said. Lots of gents here, some of whom have already posted on this thread, who work with a Khuk a few times/week, if not daily.

    Views diverge some on which particular model - depending on the tasks folks will usually do, and their own preferences. More heavy chopping? 18" AK, Ganga, or WWII. More brush-clearing? Same length or longer, but in a Siru or Chitlangi. A bit lighter chopping? 16 1/2" WWII, or 15" AK. A bit less "dedicated" chopper? 15" BAS or Siru. The best portability probably comes in the 12" range, which in an AK means still some kind of chop, but in Sirus or baby Chits generally means a big knife.

    I like my 16 1/2" WWII; Kismet his 12" AK, and Munk his 18" magic proportioned chopping whiz. Others have other preferences ... but none of us is wrong.
  18. alberich


    Mar 15, 2005

    Oh man that sounds great. (begin joke) actually when I saw a kukri I said to myself "man that would go lovely with my KGP 161" (end joke)

    Thanks! Seriously I'm glad that you say that my expectations will likely be fulfilled. The money are already on their way so now I only have to look forward the moment when I'd hold and swing my first kukri.
  19. Greman


    Jan 3, 2006
    Ok well great response and advise people, it's all been very useful. So i'm thinking that like JWK said i shouldn't get too hung up on the tech details and go with what my eyes gravitate too. To that end i think as soon as i've got some more $'s i'm going to order that Chiruwa AK. Has anyone got an 18" Kobra? Now as far as eyes getting drawn to a blade that is a pretty scary looking piece of kit and that may well be next on the list.
    Thanks again though everyone.
  20. jamesraykenney


    Apr 9, 2004
    Do remember that 15" is the OVERALL length, not the blade length...
    It is useful in some ways, but HI being almost the only company that specs it's knives that way, makes it a bit hard to compare with other knives for size...

    For me (5'11"), a 17" seems to be the 'sweet spot'... I chop better with a 17" than anything smaller OR larger.:(

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