Are these Village khukuris any good?

Oct 20, 2000
Now and then, I hear from you chaps about village khukuris.
I am walking in semi-darkness about these khukuris.

Basically, are these blades below par compared to the HI ones?

Where do HI source them from? Are they made by different people from different villages? What kind of steel are they made from?

Just asking...
I got one about a week ago now and the thing is great. I think the steel is leaf spring, it performs like leaf spring. It is well put together. I have chopped two by fours with it with minimal sharpening needed after the fact. Unfortunately, I don't have a HI khukuri to compare it to...yet. I do unfortunately have a khukuri from Atlanta Cutlery's Windlass Steelcrafts--it pales in comparison to the village model. The Village model is three inches shorter than the AC model and they seem to be the same weight. This is probably due to the fact that the AC khukuri is 1/4 inch thick at its widest point and the village model is a full half inch thick at its widest point. I don't see the village model failing in any performance tests.
The villagers are not HI, but in a way they are the mother of the HI khukuris.

They are products of the village blacksmithy, usually sold without scabbard or accompanying karda and chakma. Finish is about as rough as it can get and still be cleaned up after use. They are tools, plain and simple. They are ugly, and unfinished to our eyes.

The tangs are usually partial and are burned into the handle while the steel is red hot. This is one of the differences between the village khuks and the HI's. The partial tang will eventually fail. ( The HI's have rat-tail tangs that extend past the buttcap and are peened over to preclude any failure. ) This is not regarded as a flaw, as the handle is regarded as temporary while the blade is "forever". Also, some villagers are made with rat-tail tangs if kamis know they'll go to knowledgeable buyers.

Later, after tempering they are set into the handle "permanently" with laha ( beeswax, treesap and possibly other ingredients ) which Mr. Martino used to call Himalayan epoxy. To my knowledge laha is still used for HI handles.

The basic thing to remember is that villagers are made to be sold to the kami's ( blacksmith's ) neighbors who won't be hesitant to return it to be made right if it doesn't measure up. As a consequence, the kami is powerfully motivated to get it right the first time. He usually does so well beyond what we westerners would believe possible given his limited resources.

So ugly but awe-inspiring would be a good description of the villagers HI occasionally has to sell. They are not made by HI, but the blade is guaranteed as the HI people can tell if it's properly made and hardened. Handles are not.

Where these led to HI being formed was the disparity between the khukuris made in the villages ( admirable quality hidden under rough exterior ) and the tourist shop khuks turned out in sweatshops that looked fine but underneath the pretty exterior were junk.

HI's are made by master kamis who make them tough as they can and then pretty them up. It's cost prohibitive by Nepali standards, the kamis don't believe due to their low status that their mark on a khuk makes a difference, but they learn quick, when orders come in for them by name to do another.

Hope this helps.
I forgot to add:

The opening of Birghorka on the edge of Kathmandu also bolixed up the supply of villagers. There is a low literacy rate among the kamis, who are of the lowest caste. Therefore, the move left them unable to find the new place.

It is also not cost effective to send someone from Birghorka from town to town after an unknown quantity of khuks. It may eventually be possible to have Gelbu make rounds once a month, to central points, but don't hold your breath.

This is a shame, especially as I'm the one who ( among others ) talked Uncle into bringing in the initial batch of villagers, some of which started as ugly ducklings but have since been transformed by their forumite owners into beautiful swans. Most however, are treasured for what they are and can do, warts and all.
I think the villagers are a great deal. My HI knives are so nice, I hesitate to use them, let alone modify them. The villagers are kind of like kit knives. Don't get me wrong, they are fully assembled and usable when they arrive, but the finish on mine needed quite a bit of work, and I felt fine making a few adjustments to the handle. I don't feel bad when I use my villager to dig up blackberry roots, or when I hit a hidden stone when clearing the yard, because I know I can easily restore the villager myself. All in all, a good villager is hard to beat :D

What is the largest Villager that HI has imported? Has Uncle ever imported a non HI Janawar Katne? I am just curious. :confused:

I am also curious if I could get a Village 14-16" AK or 16-18" Sirupati? I don't have anything (yet) in this size, and I am just curious about Village models, they really intrigue me. I have had more fun than a barrel of monkeys fixing up my one and only Villager.

Thank you. :) :)
I can't add much to what my little brother has said, but I have a few village khukuri's.
Some I have given to close friends as gifts and one that I had filled the bill perfectly for an upcoming Cherokee Ceremony to be done next year. I drilled the partial tang handle and tang and put a brass pin through it. The handle will never fail now.
I got one of the latest villlagers especially for a friend of ours so she could do more in her garden, Doya won't hurt the villager.

I also have a 17" steel mounted villager that is among my favorite khukuri's. This khukuri will never pass from my hands willingly!!!!:D
It rides in my truck and is with me whenever it's needed.
There are also a village BAS and an AK Chiruwa that ride in the car all the time.
Keeping them company right now is my Dui Chiarra Chainpuri or "Chitlangi", H.I.'s first one made by Jag and Company:), One of my YCS's and last, but dayumed sure not the least my Baby GRS, along with my Busse E-Battle Mistress.
Riding along on my belt are my new 154 CM Cuda Talon and my Leatherman Supertool. The new Camillus 154 CM EDC rides in my pocket.

We went for a walk down by the creek today and I carried the Chitlangi on my belt just in case we met up with a bear.
Everyone can run faster than me so I don't have a choice in playing
"Rear Guard.":D
The "Chitlangi" is a very "Special" khukuri in more ways than one.

But back to the village models, I know the one's I have surely won't be the last one's I get from H.I. There is absolutely nothing better for the money!!!!!!!
And ALL of the Villagers definitely have a "Spirit"!!!!!!!

And yes Dave, you can get the village AK's and Sirupati's.
Uncle Bill will have to speak about a village Jamawar Katne.
But I sorta doubt the village kami's would have much of a demand for those of that size. The village kami's will make whatever you want in a khukuri if you're there in person to order it.
I had one little 17" Village Sirupati that made me want to strip nekkid and dance with it.
I never succumed to it's urgeing's though.:D
The Chiruwa 15" AK I have isn't exactly my first choice in a khukuri, because I don't care for the Chiruwa handles, prefer the rat-tail tang, but the price was more than fair and it will serve whatever need it may be called on to perform, just others I would prefer to have for extended duty.
Originally posted by Yvsa
I can't add much to what my little brother has said, but I have a few village khukuri's.
Some I have given to close friends as gifts and one that I had filled the bill perfectly for an upcoming Cherokee Ceremony to be done next year. I drilled the partial tang handle and tang and put a brass pin through it. The handle will never fail now.

Exactly where do you drill the hole for the pin, and what size hole?

I'll let our resident expert, Yvsa, answer your question but if I were doing I'd go down about an inch from the bolster, center of handle fore and after, and put an 1/8th inch hole and pin thru.
I used a 5/32" pin because that's the size of brass I have.
And it doesn't matter what material the pin is as long as t's easily peened over.
Mild steel would even work okay if that's all one has.:D
Strip nekkid & dance with a K!You call me in a cave with a couple of K's strange??I've "never" felt the urge to strip & dance with a K!
I also like Vill., Bill usually sends me the BUTT UGLIEST, but they work & it's kinda neat to compare them to a HI K, you get to really see what the BEST can do!
jim : :D
I did a comparison of a villager to a BK&T Machax last year that you may find informative. Unfortunately, the picture links no longer work and, since the thread is in an archive, I can't go in & fix them.
Why of course you wouldn't admit to such an urge Tsimi.
Everyone knows the reason Baptist's don't dance is because they are afraid people will see them and think they're making love standing up.:D
But underneath it all you're human just like the rest of us,,,,,,, I think.:D

And you think I carry on so......
Tsimi you take the cake.:D
And the day You Recant and admit to having HIKV and that your "research" has just been a ploy to get more khukuris is the day I Might, Just Might notice I said "Just Might send you a khukuri.:D
Thanks for enlightening me on baptists, Yvsa.


I always thought their problem was that when John the Baptist lost his head they took it as a precedent to follow, and have been regularly doing so ( losing their heads ) ever since.


Presbyterian Joke: A Presbyterian is a Methodist who wants to drink but can't afford to be Episcopalian.

Lutheran Joke: How many Lutherans does it take to change a light bulb? Answer - seven, one to actually change it, and the other six to stand around and talk about how good the old light bulb from Germany was.
PS: I'll keep my eye open for an Atlanta Cutlery khuk at the yard sales for you to send Tsimi, Yvsa.
It's like our Bro, Yvsa, said -- more or less -- in another thread. If you can laugh at yourself you're ahead of the game.
One year a Lakota Sioux stayed with the Navajo or Dine' for the winter. When he got back home to the rez on the ridge he was asked how the winter was..... He said, "It was Baaaad, very Baaaad."

The next year A Dine' stayed with the Lakota Sioux for the winter. When he got home he was asked how the winter was..... He said,
"It was Ruuuf, very Ruuuf."

For those of you who don't get it.....
The Dine' raise and eat a lot of mutton.
The Lakota eat dogs.:D

This is a medium hilarious ndn joke that still brings howls of laughter from skins who ain't heard it. I would tell y'all about the young boy named
"Two Dogs *******" but since this is a family forum it's not acceptable.:D

Actually at one time or another almost all of the ndn people raised and kept dogs for emergency food.
The Mexican ndn's developed the hairless chiwahwah so they wouldn't have to skin them before putting them on the fire to roast.:D
You just think dogs smell when they're wet, wait until you smell dog hair burning.:D

And Rusty I have the perfect khukuri for Tsimi if he ever does recant and admit to HIKV!!!!, BUT he will have to do that for at least a year before he gets the khukuri.
And although it's a very large khukuri it is still light enough so that the poor old feeble weak and wrinkled old man will still be able to swing it. Even when he gets older and Decrepit or would that be more Decrepit?:D:D:D:D
When I was up on the Rosebug my old pal, George Horse Looking, invited me over for a dinner of dog stew which I declined. The Rez priest went however and later I asked him how he did it. He said, "you get used to it."