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Cult of the Bonecutter

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by munk, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    I first heard of the Bonecutter from a forumite, Hollowdweller, who had a blade from another manufacturer he liked approximately best amongst his collection. I say approximately because I take no stand on his likes and dislikes and have no idea whether or not his old Bonecutter is still tops....maybe it's sunk into disrepute and is currently in some Hong Kong Bar....maybe he's long since sold it on Ebay for 10,000 dollars...maybe it's in a museum or gas station....

    I don't particularly believe that one khuk is 'better' than another, though I do believe some individuals think so and some blades fit some people better than others... Regard for chopping ability beyond the norm has been gifted to the M43, the Ganga Ram, the Chiruwa AK, etc etc. The 'Bonecutter' was the newest on the block to gain high status. I recieved mine about a week ago and it is a fine blade. Mine is 16.5" and weighs approximately 32 or 33 ounces. I think. The house scale is missing so I can't try one more attempt at a most accurate measurement. ( I suspect foul play is involved in it's disapearence but that's another story...) This is my first blade from the good Sgt. Yangdu told me for the time being all Bonecutters will be his to offer and that HI Kamis will concentrate on other models. What is very nice about this chiruwa deriviation is that the weight forward feel to the khuk is close to that of a standard tang. The Bonecutter has a tang that thins as it nears the end. I think this is the story with this blade, more than shape, which is leaf-like and does not have the more pronounced bends of other khuk types, but there are certainly many similar blade shapes. The story really is in the handle. Will it hold up? I'm sure it will, though it does get pretty slender; almost a blade in itself by the time the handle is peened, a 1/8th inch. This blade widens to 7/16" above the handle's bolster and maintains about 3/8ths most of the length until narrowing to the tip. The blade seems to my diamond hones to be hardened the entire length.

    I do chop wood with HI khuks every year, and carry them about in the wilderness in Montana. A full length hardened blade was available in another manufacture and forumites here requested it for HI. In a martial blade I can understand that, though I do have questions. But in a wood chopping, work blade, the tip should be left soft. Because of the forward bend the blade will contact earth eventually, as it's used to de-limb trees and other tasks. Bill Martino used to say the a hardened tip was a danger if it struck rock or another hard surface and chipped or loosened a chunk into space. I chop with my sons around me and have never been more conscious of this. Perhaps a strictly combat blade could or should be full length hardened, but in a work blade I think this an unneccesary risk to health. Does HI continue to full length harden all models, or some? You tell me.

    Though this blade is short and heavy, it balances well, and that's because of the graduated metal handle. My congratulations to the designer and design.
    Does one get the percieved strength of the chiruwa style with the balance of the traditional tang? Does this model impart shock to the arm in the same way as the standard chiruwa?

    It felt the same as my other chiruwa handled khuks, which means any percieved shock to the hand didn't bother me.

    BLM has been thinning and burning the woods around here and you can take advantage of that by hauling off pre-cut logs. I took 3 boys and 4 blades into the woods to shoot test loads in the 450/400 NE 3" and pick up some wood. We know fuel prices are going to be killers this Winter. I don't know how this country can make it with 4 dollar a gallon gasoline. The wood we found was punk, rot having set in. They say we're in a cooling cycle now, and our weather seems to confirm this. It rained 12 days straight this early spring, and the wet climate continues with an abundance of berry and brush being the result. And wood rot. And Mosquitos. When your shirt gets sweated through the darned beasts land and suck blood right through the material. The more you chop the more they seem to like you. That's a deterent to work, eh?

    My smallest used a 12" Sirupate. I was very relieved when he'd chomped through the limb attached to the wood log and we could move on. He was actually much safer than some of the photos suggest, camera angle and all that. He did grab a couple logs, loading them on the back of the truck that were half his size- well done, Kid. The middle is just getting into his own chopping style, and spent more time looking that swinging steel. The oldest does well, I don't have to watch him as closely, thank God, because you can't watch everything out in the woods. I had three boys with steel in their hands and wild stuff all around. I gained a lot of sympathy for those fathers who sit them down and say; "Now you sit right here. Don't move. Don't talk. Don't pick up the khuk and wait until I come back." It really is a lot of work to teach and with khuks the consequences are more serious than the art instructor at school flitting about clay ashtrays worring over techique in his students.

    Trav found a cougar track on top of the hill. I didn't want him wandering out of the ravine, but after hearing the shock waves of the Nitro Express rifle didn't figure any Cat in the area was sticking around.

    I'm going to try posting pics now and I'll come back and write explanations afterwards. Ted kindly has assisted with this process. Hope this works. We'll see soon.

    All in all, the Bonecutter is a real winner, and I'm glad HI can offer the Sgt's work. It's a useful deriviation of the chiruwa design. The blade felt more lively in the hand than the weight and short reach would suggest. It's also on the outside range of what I'd consider lugging around all day, and the shortness helps in that regard. I like it very much. Carter used a slender AK of the same length and less weight, and the Bonecutter out performed that particular khukuri. I can't make a generalization about whether or not the Bonecutter is 'best' or 'better', but I can say this Bonecutter, and probably yours too, is well worth having and has earned a spot amongst my favorites. A real go-to blade, and deserving of its very own Cult.

  2. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    Some of the logs are well seasoned, like the one in Keith's arms. You can see the ground we were covering. Trav wrestled with trimming a log's branches, and the handle is shown demonstrating the change to the chiruwa style that makes the Bonecutter what it is.


    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2008
  3. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    That log in the undergrowth was rotten!! I could tell you the Bonecutter went through in 2 minutes or less but it wouldn't mean anything...there were hardened spots throughout, and in some of the wood we found the common iron hardening that Ponderosa sometimes developes left alone in the elements.

    It was grand to be outside and chopping again. Every year we do it- the wonderful truck rides to the woods and the bringing home of that winter's heating. This is the first year the oldest two will be able to help more, and it couldn't have come any sooner with the disks in my back disenegrating. STandard procedure is to fell a tree using a khuk, delimb with a khuk, but buck into firewood with a chainsaw. One season I felled, delimbed and bucked a cord of wood using only HI khukuris, but I'm not that tough any more!!!

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2008
  4. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    That little one was tough and makes the best firewood. The log on the ground was pretty good....Loyal Carter is holding up the small pine for our viewing pleasure....lost a pic and i'll have to see what happened.


  5. Eric006


    Apr 5, 2006
    A good review munk. I've been eyeing the Bonecutters for the past few weeks, but have been on the fence about getting one.

    It's good to see the boys. The group shot by the truck is the best.

  6. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    ON the way back we had a little problem; backing the truck onto the hillside so we could drive out I got the vehicle wedged into the woods between several trees...one of those deals where you had to keep shimmying a little more reverse and forward to wiggle out. A mistake and the truck is dented, or worse, you're stuck.

    I left the camera on the wood pile in the truck bed. Somehow it stayed on and I found it there riding the open tailgate when we made it to the fireroad out....talk about luck.

    I'll get Beater Truck rolling soon and my worst fear will be damaging an innocent tree it might sideswipe.

    The oldest boys are looking forward to the work. They need the money for mega blok sets...I pay them with pirates, knights and dragons. Carter owns his own khuk but the other two aren't quite ready. Trav was using a Pen during this session. I should do a story on that blade- it was a return to HI because of a small chip. I stoned the chip some, not erasing it entirely but removing the exposed edges of the gap so they wouldn't break on contact with the wood.

    I have two or three returnee khuks at home and they're all wondefull. Some of the returns Yangdu gets are not bum blades at all. They're slightly misused with inconsequential mainly cosmetic damage. I'll take them cheap any time!!!

    HI should offer returns for 1/4 the price and no guarentee. Bet we'd stand in line to get one!

    Carter's wood's blade is a return that chops madly and carries well. What more could you want?

    Hope you liked the glimpse into the forest and I wish you all good chopping.

  7. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Good God, those Munklings are getting big:D

    Great review on the BC. I like they way they look, but they just don't speak to me like other khuks :shrug:

    Maybe one day a deal just too good to be true will crop up and I'll get one.

    Always nice to read about life on the Munk Compound.
  8. hollowdweller


    Sep 22, 2003
    KILLER pics there Munk. :thumbup:

    I really agree with you on the full tang handle.

    When I first heard they were full tang I thought it would ruin them but the tapered tang really worked out.:thumbup:

    Also like you say heavy but short.

    Long but heavy I can feel it in my shoulder.
  9. hollowdweller


    Sep 22, 2003
    Wow! I just re read that. They must be getting heavier.

    My original bonecutter by GK is 16 and (I think) 25 or 27.

    I think I got the first 16 and Yangdu said:

    So yours is a lot heavier.
  10. tedwca


    Dec 10, 2005
    Great review munk. Looks like you all had fun. I'm glad the bonecutter is seeing some real use.
  11. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    Thank You, Ted, and thank you for the picture help. One always hesitates before sending pics to professional photographers. It's a JVC micro movie camera that takes stills but with very little memory- 2 pictals? REal low. The memory for the movie ability is 3 or 4 times that.

    Hollow, yes, it's heavy but balances very very well. You don't realize you're carrying so much weight- and the khuk hits very hard. I'm glad now it was not lighter, though a comparison would be interesting.

  12. Horn Dog

    Horn Dog

    Sep 9, 2005
    Thanks Monk. Wish I had boys. All three of mine are girls. My 17 year old has a kukri collection (cheap Windlass and one CS). But she never uses them. Might get bug bit or dirty! What a great outing that must have been. Almost makes me want a bone cutter. Just the sound of it is good!
  13. Magnum22


    Jul 6, 2006
    good thing the last bonecutter was sold before i read this.
  14. hollowdweller


    Sep 22, 2003
    That's the bad thing about blade type forums.
  15. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    awesome blade, all *I* can say, but i'm biased :)

    there is no khukri i own, that cuts quite like this. now, i have my favorites to be sure, but wow, trees tremble :> it even sings.

  16. Yangdu

    Yangdu [email protected] Himalayan Imports-Owner Moderator

    Apr 5, 2005
    Great review and pictures, thank you munk
  17. Cpl Punishment

    Cpl Punishment

    Jan 28, 2006
    Is it just me, or does "Cult of the Bonecutter" sound like one of those Sci-Fi original movies?
  18. wildmanh

    wildmanh Part time Leather Bender/Sheath maker

    Jul 9, 2000
    Thanks for posting Munk. Looks like the boys had a good time. Back in 2002 when I was still living at home right before I got my own apartment (student housing) some of the neighbor boys would some times come over to help us with our animals and to hang out. Feeding the birds is always cool. ;) Anyways sometimes they would show up when I was trimming bushes with my Khukuris or chopping firewood. They always had fun helping me out with that. Your story reminded me of those Fun times!!

  19. Fiddleback

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

    Oct 19, 2005
    Pretty fantastic review bro. Its certainly a good design. I haven't had a chance to compare HI's to the original, but it certainly looks great!
  20. hollowdweller


    Sep 22, 2003
    Munks review and an elm that fell got me to break mine back out again Sat.

    Mine still needs the ring removed but I just wanted to mention the 2 Sgt Karka blades I have seem to have great fit and finish but also zero handle shrinkage:thumbup:

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