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handles?

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by fdchase, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. fdchase

    fdchase

    25
    Dec 17, 2005
    read somewhere that wood handles may last only 3-5 years. what can be done to lengthen the life of the handle and how difficult are they to replace if damaged or broken? I was thinking pine tar but have seen some with what looks like athletic tape on the handle.

    another series of questions kind of related to the first: what, if any, are the major differences between the ak 15" and the ak chiruwa? blade length and shape seems similar. handles appear to be slighlty different. any personal preferences hear on the forum? read a description of the chiruwa calling it "bomb-proof". that sounds very appealing.
     
  2. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner

    Jun 9, 1999
    Non-HI khukuris often have problems with the handles breaking because the tang does not go the whole way through the handle. HI handles are considerably more durable, provided they are cared for. The 'chiruwa' handle is a different design than the standard. Chiruwa handles have a full tang, similar to the construction of combat knives like the Busse Battle Mistress. They are theoretically tougher, but both tang designs are stronger than 99.999% of the population is capable of breaking anyway so it's a moot point. Some like the feel and balance of the chiruwa better, or just feel better about having a massive slab of steel in the handle rather than a thinner piece.
     
  3. Fiddleback

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

    Oct 19, 2005
    Welcome. I think your information on wood handles is incorrect, or at least incomplete. The wiser ones will know for sure. Most HI khuks are full tang, the tang goes all the way through the handle either chiruwa style (slabs or scales) or as a rat tail that is peened over a keeper. Either way its a full tang. Those wood handles will LIKELY last a lifetime. Partial tang knives, I think, would have a shorter life unless they were pinned, then no worries there either. Several guys here have partial tang khuks that are working out fine. Very few HI models are made that way though, and this is usually not a concern. Additionally the HI warranty is famous, and for life.

    The Chiruwa AK is 16.5 inches and known on the site as the unbreakable knife. There is an opinion that Chiruwa sytle handles transmit more vibration to your arm. There is another opinion that the ideal khuk is 18" and 28 oz. YMMV.
     
  4. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Welcome:)
    The other guys have it right. Your typical made Khuk made in Nepal for the people of Nepal will have a handle that lasts for a few years, fails, and is replaced by the kami. Just like getting new tires for your car;)
    HI khuks handle will in all likelyhood outlast you. They use very nice hardwoods that if taken care of with a little oil or poly coated in varnish should last forever. I have found that the OLDER my khuks get, the nicer the handle feels. My very first khuk is about 4 years old give or take and the handle feels like silk from oil treatment, sweat, and grime being working into the wood pores:thumbup:
    Most HI khuks have a rat tail (actually more like a kangaroo or croc tail) tang that is part of the blade, not welded on. This is then inserted into a hole with natural (and very very tough) epoxy. A buttcap is attached with some of the same epoxy and the end of the tang is peened over. In other words, that handle ain't goin' nowhere. I think you would be 100 times more likely to pull the handle off a Cold Steel Trailmaster before you could yank the handle off an HI khuk. Plus the blade and handles are guaranteed for life:):thumbup: The worst thing that happens to a handle of any material is that it will crack without care, with change in humidity, or just because it just feels like it. That's part of the charm of having a natural material for a handle. 99.99% of these don't go anywhere or affect the handle in anyway shape or form. Just fill them in with super glue or wood filler or epoxy and sand them flush. Your great grand kids MIGHT break it with 12-14 hours of hard use everyday for 15 or 20 years;)

    In other words, relax:) Buy an HI or 10 and use 'em hard. They are built for several lifetimes of hard use. Plus, if you ever manage to break one, just let Yangdu know. She is SO GREAT at customer satisfaction. WAY over and above what she needs to be.
    Once again, welcome:)!

    Jake
     
  5. munk

    munk

    Mar 22, 2002
    Care for the handle and it will probably outlast you. One thing not mentioned about the chiruwa style vs the traditional handle tang is the traditional is thought by many to impart less shock to the hand and balances a little different than the chiruwa.



    munk
     
  6. fdchase

    fdchase

    25
    Dec 17, 2005
    helpful and informative as always.
    one thing left to do now. pick one out and buy it.
     
  7. Fiddleback

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

    Oct 19, 2005
    Now we're talking. Buy something!
     
  8. Astrodada

    Astrodada

    Sep 9, 2005
    My taste's wonder a bit......I wanna a M43 now
     
  9. cavetech

    cavetech

    760
    Nov 25, 2005
    I agree with Steely.

    I'll add that in general knife world nomenclature a full tang is as wide and as long as the handle scales which attach to it.

    In the kukri world a rat tail tang that goes all the way through the handle and peened over is often called a full tang.

    In either world a tang that ends inside the handle and does not prutrude is a hidden or partial tang.

    In my opinion any full tang (meaning width and length) that is an integral part of the blade is the strongest. The scales make the full tang comfortable to hold.

    My next choice is the full length peened over rat tail tang. But a well made tang of this style is still as strong as you will wver need when done right.

    I have kuks from WWII with full length rat tail tangs that are as ready to go now as they were 60+ years ago.

    Tang you,
     
  10. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Very punny! You should be punished! You deserve a punch in the arm! You'll have pun, pun, pun, till daddy takes the T-bird away...ok i'm pun...er done;)

    Jake
     
  11. fdchase

    fdchase

    25
    Dec 17, 2005
    bought the chiruwa

    the more khuks i looked at the harder my decision got. i doubt this will be the only one i'll buy. looked at a customer review w/pics on the HI site. that clinched it. i don't expect the vibes from the handle to be too much of a drawback, but... if it is, i guess it's purchase #2 time.

    thanks for everyone's input.
     
  12. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    That's a good one, and popular as a first khuk. The only problem I have with the Chiruwas is that if the rings are a tad sharp, it's a little tought sand them out since you have a little steel to deal with. no biggie, though. If you need help customizing it, just give us a holler:) There are guys here that have seen it all.

    Jake
     
  13. fdchase

    fdchase

    25
    Dec 17, 2005
    as stated above i bought a chiruwa w/ a wood handle. but, now i'm curious about whether the horn or wood compensates better for the vibrations or if any chiruwa owners have any preferences on the matter.

    i could go broke very quickly. so many appealing blades and everyones reviews and input make it hard to not keep buying and trying them out for myself.
     
  14. Bri in Chi

    Bri in Chi

    May 28, 2003
    He, he, he... Another victim:D
     

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