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Chit Bowie: First Impressions

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Steely_Gunz, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Well I was quite surprised when the mail man rolled up to hand deliver the mail this afternoon. He never does that unless he’s packing something oversized. As soon as he stepped out, my heart skipped a beat and I started to salivate (sure signs of HIKV flaring up). He was packing one of those wonderful triangular boxes!

    Inside I found numerous goodies (thank you, Yangdu). Once I got down to the bottom I found something heavy. I could tell that steel was wrapped up under all of that newspaper. I could smell it. Once you contract HIKV you can almost TASTE Nepali steel. With ravenous fury, I tore the paper off to find a Chit Bowie staring me in the face. A hulking brute of a blade designed by our very own Lefthandblack. I had been lusting after one of these for the better part of a year. Now, here it was in front of me.

    Upon gripping it I noticed straight away that this thing is a handful! The grip is thick to incorporate the standard chit “checkered” bolster (sub-bolster on the bowie) as well as the chiruwa design. However, for a 14.5” 1lb 10oz knife, it balances perfectly at the steel cross guard. I have no idea how Vim Bahdur did it. You literally slide you hand up to the guard and the weight of the knife disappears. You have 8 and ¾ inches of steel blade that will go where ever you will it. Slide you hand back down with the meat of your palm right next to the “bell” of the handle and blade feels like it weights 4lbs. **preliminary tests indicate that the knife swung while being held in this “chopping mode” will penetrate over ½ inch into a treated cedar shipping pallet…impressive** Held in a reverse grip, I could stab the tip of the blade through a ¼ inch board using only about ½ of my arm strength. This thing is a dynamo!

    Cosmetically, this was probably not Vim’s best work. The guard is pretty rough and marred from fitting it to the blade. However, all of my blades are users, and he put his time in where it counts! The fullers were executed extremely well. Very clean, very even. The edge is immaculate. It is constant and straight. Perfect from tip to guard (and that includes the tricky recurve on this type of blade). Most importantly, it came SHARP. Not field sharp with a burr. Not maybe-sharp-one-day-if-you-put-some-time-into-it. SHARP. Sharp enough that with just a few licks across a strop it would scrap hair easily. I plan on getting this bad boy honed to a razors edge!

    Which leads me to the scabbard. My oh my, HI has come leaps and bounds in the sheath/scabbard department! The sheath is perfectly stitched and fitted. The chape is even and well done. The frog fits flush to the incorporated ring “stop” near the mouth. To top it all off, the leather is soft and supple as well as beautiful milk chocolate brown color. Normally, I make my own sheathes for my straight big knives since all too often the frog slips or the stitching is loose or the color is pretty ratty. However, this is one scabbard that I will gladly use and show.

    I plan on making this my camp knife. I remember Lefthandblack calling this blade the “Chit Campanion”. I think that’s a fitting name. Everything about this knife points to performing well as a camp blade. The edge is thin and sharp, it balances nicely when you choke up on it, it’ll chop kindling and baton through medium stuff quite easily. While some might frown upon a double guard in a camp knife, I welcome it. It both balances the blade as well gives you the piece of mind that you hand is not going to slip up onto the blade should you need to stab downward.

    I want to thank Yangdu for sending me such an excellent blade. Also, Vim deserves a shout out. I have handled 2 or 3 pieces of his work, and I love it. He has a very “Kumar” feel to his finished product. Of course, I want to thank Lefthandblack for his design. I am one very happy camper.

    Here's a pick of said knife:
    [​IMG]
    I plan on getting more pics when I have have the chance to steal my wife's camera. I'll be leaving town at the end of the week for a few days, so I won't be able to do a FULL review until i get back home;)

    Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings!
     
  2. tedwca

    tedwca

    Dec 10, 2005
    Very nice review. I'm glad you like it.
     
  3. STEELWHORE

    STEELWHORE

    Oct 29, 2006
    Congratulations the Chitlangi are a great feeling knife in the hand and are truly something to behold in person.
    I think i have your big Brother;)

    [​IMG]
     
  4. lefthandblack

    lefthandblack

    756
    Jan 22, 2004
    Great review man, I am glad you like the design!

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the balance of these blades. When choked up on, they become light as a feather, but when held near the end of the handle, it feels like you could chop down an oak with ease. I really love mine and have used it for tons of stuff. Very, very useful blade. It can do everything from shelter building, digging, batoning, chopping and even food prep. Holds a great edge as well. It can also be used as impromptu Bear defense!:eek:

    Again, great review and pics. I hope H.I. continues to make more of these!
     
    EricTheRedBeard likes this.
  5. tsf

    tsf

    Jun 13, 2004
    Great review. This one is on my next list for sure.
    Terry
     
  6. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    Jul 30, 2004
    Hm, good stuff, Jake.

    That thing just seems to have a Roman feel or twist to it. How about an in-hand pic, when you can- I suspect they're bigger than they seem.

    "He has a very “Kumar” feel to his finished product." Agreed. Vim makes an excellent khukuri.


    Mike
     
  7. Yangdu

    Yangdu [email protected] Himalayan Imports-Owner Moderator

    Apr 5, 2005
    Nice review, thank you Jake
     
  8. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    LOL I'll get right on that after I get back from Vegas (the wife has the camera charged and ready to go...I'm not allowed to touch it:grumpy: :D ) However, my hands are kind of small. I would say that most people with larger mitts won't have a problem. Also, you would only grip it toward the "fatter" part to choke up for closer work. Then, the weight of the blade disappears.

    This blade is sort of like an AK bowie LITE. It's not as choppy as an AKB, but there is quite a bit more heft to it than a Seax. The reason why I had not pulled the trigger on one of these bad boys before was that I didn't know what I would do with it. What a fool I have been. It takes the best parts of the AKB and shrinks the weight and size (slightly) to make a very, very capable and balanced knife for all sorts of medium sized chores.:thumbup:
     
  9. lefthandblack

    lefthandblack

    756
    Jan 22, 2004
    Here are a couple of pics of the first prototype Chitlangi Bowie in my hand. It is a pretty good sized blade, mine is a little larger than Steely Gunz, measuring in at 15" exactly. The handle really is large. I have medium sized hands, and it offers enough room to choke up on, or down for heavy chopping.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    And as you can see in the pics below, it has about the same length handle as my 20" Chitlangi, which it was based off of.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. marenoa

    marenoa

    152
    Mar 19, 2007
    HI should really consider making it a regular offering, I think it will appeal a lot with the general American public, and others (like me!!).

    Regards,


    Alejandro
     
  11. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Greetings Alejandro! Welcome to our happy little forums:)

    I agree with you. This particular blade has a real "feel" to it. I don't know how to describe it. I've handled well over 50 or 60 HI pieces from blades of 3" in length up to over 25". Straight, curvy, light, and heavy. I have never handled a piece that balanced so...well, powerfully. It's like Vim figured out how to compress the raw power of an 18" khuk into a sub 15" framed straight knife all the while keeping the balance on par with my very coveted Cherokee Rose.

    I have always liked the look of the Chit Bowie. However, I had no idea that it would take the raw chopping power of my beloved AK bowie or Munk Chunk Cleaver and the stunning balance of the Cherokee Rose and roll it into a blade that is so capable yet so compact.
    Lefthandblack set out to design an all around big camp knife. He succeeded. It chops, but it's controllable. It slices and cleaves, but the balance makes it feel like the blade is doing all the work. You just WILL it...and off it goes:D

    Personally, I think this blade is PERFECT at the 14"-15" range as far as size/weight/packablity (<--my contribution to the English language:D). While some of these bigger monster Chit Bowies look great, and I'm sure they are fearsome, this knife at around 15" will handle nearly every camp job with speed, control, and do it efficiently.

    I just sharpened the blade up after destroying 2 pallets and several thick cardboard boxes. It takes a MEAN edge. I used a little NuFinish to polish it up and put some wax on the blade. Man...it is awesome:D
     
  12. marenoa

    marenoa

    152
    Mar 19, 2007
    Steely, I haven't handled it (yet!) but it looks like a very comfortable and well..... fast. I just might get one in the near future (very near future).

    It would also be really interesting having the option of getting in less than 15´and in 15 inches.

    Only one thing I would change, instead of brass I would use steel.

    Alejandro
     
  13. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    What part of the knife do you not like in Brass? Only the decorative "furniture" of the bolster and buttcap are brass. The guard is 1/4" thick steel:thumbup:
    You ought to shoot Yangdu an email. She'll be able to hook ya up:)
     
  14. marenoa

    marenoa

    152
    Mar 19, 2007
    that exactly, the blade is a work of art, i love the handle and the guard, i simply don't like brass (it stains too easily).

    Alejandro
     
  15. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Fair enough:) I love steel or at the very least white metal on my khuks. I've been hooked on steel furniture since my first villager khuk 5 years ago. I don't know if you've seen HI's white metal up close, but it offers a good alternative to steel since it does not stain or tarnish from hand sweat. Basically, it's some sort of nickel silver that polishes up beautifully, but holds its shine a bit better.

    However, there is nothin' like good ol' polished steel:thumbup:
     
  16. marenoa

    marenoa

    152
    Mar 19, 2007
    Ill take the white metal, it works for me
     
  17. lefthandblack

    lefthandblack

    756
    Jan 22, 2004
    The only reason it is brass is because that was what was in the original design that I sent in. It basically uses a Chitlangi handle coupled with the shorter, double fullered straight blade that mimics the top half of the Chitlangi blade. It was meant to be a smaller companion blade to the larger Chitlangi, but my Chitlangi has been pretty much retired since I received my Chit Bowie prototype. There isn't much you can't do with it!

    I think it would be sweet in the white metal that HI uses. I would also love to see a villager version of this model!

    You won't be sorry if you snag one of these blades!
     

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