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Help!!! So many to choose from?

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Yoyo72, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. Yoyo72


    Sep 25, 2012

    After some research and a lot of thinking I have decided that I want to try an khukuri for outdoor and Camping use as a substite for an axe or large knife. I will use the khukuri summer as winter in the Swedish climate and whant one that can be used as a heavy tool for various tasks. I am quite big, 6'6'' and 225 pounds and often see that people recomend bigger khukuris for larger people. Since it will be used as an outdoor tool when I hike out in the forest sometimes under hard circumstances I wonder if it is really worth the weight to bring the larger ones with me and/or if the smaller ones will be a good enough substitute for a small axe wintertime and therfore saving energy.

    Since it is going to be used as a tool and will see some heavy use the village fit and finish will do for me.
    I have also decided that I Preferable want an chiruwa handle just to be sure its going to hold up and that 2-2.5 pounds is the maximum wheight I would consider to haul with me when I venture out in the wild, that is, if its usefull weight. If a lighter one will do as a chopping tool during winter time that is of course fine with me. I really like The HI work and from what I hear alot of people recomend them and I have decided that its one of their khukuris that I want.

    So far so easy now to the hard part, Shape and size. I can tell the advantages of the thinner and lighter ones made for fighing but since my khukuri likely not will be used as a defensive tool those models are at the bottom of my list.

    My thougts so far led me to that a chiruwa handled 16-18 inch Ganga Ram Special in village finish may be be the best choice for me.

    2. Ang khola
    3. Ww2
    4. M43

    Please, feel free to share your thougts with me on this one so I buy the right one for my needs.

    Wbr/ yoyo
  2. Shinook


    Apr 2, 2012
    I love my 18" Ganga Ram, it is my go to knife for all my hikes. Mine has a normal hidden tang handle, and it is very stout. I'm a big guy, and I don't got easy on my chopping(its how I release stress!)
  3. danboy357


    Jul 1, 2012
    Hey yoyo, I would say your on the right track, 18" AK or GRS would do nicely. For your size I would think 18" would not be overkill. I am 200lbs but only 5'8" and I wouldn't consider less than that for a "do all" khuk. I was a tomahawk guy when I found HI and still am to an extent but have found that the khukuri serves me just as well or better in every situation except throwing. I bring that up because my most useful tomahawks for chopping and for general wilderness survival are all 18"-20" as well, of course with much more handle and equaly less blade they are a good deal lighter weight then the Khuk so that must be factored as another advantage I guess. At your size you should have no problem and if you get a smaller 16" you may end up regreting the decision. I think shinook had an experience of which I speak and posted about it a week or so ago, he is about your height but heavier and felt his (I think 18") felt a little insignifigant in his hands.
  4. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    The Ganga Rams are typically not chiruwa, which has the advantages of less weight than the chiruwa, and a more front-heavy balance that's better for chopping, and they are said to dampen vibrations better than chiruwa handles, transmitting less shock to the hand.

    The non-chiruwa "stick" tangs are plenty strong (if HI makes them). The handles are easier to take care of, with no exposed metal along the grip that can rust.

    For your size and situation, I'd recommend the 18" Ganga Ram (under 2 pounds, like Shinook has).
  5. Dirtbiker

    Dirtbiker Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 2, 2010
    If you must have a chiruwa handle buy a CAK or a bonecutter. A bonecutter is very similar in shape to a Ganga ram but it has the chiruwa handle.

    Personally I prefer the through tang blades to chiruwa type. It makes the knives more forward heavy and makes chopping easier.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  6. wroughndt


    Oct 31, 2011
    I would reccomended the CAK all the way. It's stout, chops very well and still fits in a backpack. With all kukri/big knives used for chopping the more practice you get the better. Once you get your technique down, it will surprise you how well you can chop with it.
  7. falar

    falar Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2012
    18" CAK or ASTK would be great for you IMO.

    I have 2 18" CAKs by Bhakta, both weigh 35oz

    I have 2 18" ASTKs by Lacchu, they weigh 29oz and 30oz
  8. Yoyo72


    Sep 25, 2012
    Thanks everybody for your usefull tips and quick response!

    I like the ASTK model, had not seen it before. It is not listet on the HI homepage. Do they still make it?

    So far the ASTK or an GRS in 18 inch length seem to fit my requirements best for usefullnes and size/wheight, the CAK looks more clumsy and seem to be heavier, or am I wrong.

    Have anyone had the opportunity to compare these three and would like to share their experience with me I would be gratefull..
  9. danboy357


    Jul 1, 2012
    CAK is not clumbsy at all. It is a bit heavier partly because of the extra steel in the handle. It would be less clumbsy and better balanced than the GRS for the same reason, the extra steel in the handle. The GRS will be more front heavy which is a beni for chopping but possibly a negative for other uses and a little harder to stop once in motion. Most of us have both by now as it does ot take long to get a collection once you get started, that's a warning btw. I have 2 CAK's and A 22" 65oz GRS which I will never use because I am afraid of the damage a wild swing or glancing blow could do to with that much blade behind it. All in all I'm with you Yoyo there is a such thing as "too big for the job" but 18" ain't quite it. If you like the ASTK check out the Deradune as well (also not on the homepage and sorry, your probably are not looking for more choices right about now), don't know if either are warranteed for chopping though, not that they can't if they are not , just that you'll be on your own if you break it.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  10. crystalEyes


    Sep 28, 2012
    I have a 20" ang khola and it is quite the formidable chopper. its over 1/2 an inch thick and the weight is distributed heavily towards the tip of the blade so it handles more like an axe than a knife or machete. it can be cumbersome, exhausting, and somewhat dangerous to use if not handled properly, but it will sheer through hardwood, compressed lumber, and even a football helmet with a single, well-placed stroke.

    i would never give up my AK, but in hindsight i may have gone with a lighter knife because this thing is overkill for most outdoor tasks.
  11. sweetcostarica

    sweetcostarica Banned BANNED

    Jan 18, 2012
    Here's a good video that shows the heavyweights in the Himalayan Imports' line up.
    Personally, in those weights (800 to 1000 grams plus) I would use what the Nepalis use: an axe but for your specifications this should do.
    Hope you find a Kukri you can use well and enjoy :thumbup:.
  12. HoosierQ


    Feb 9, 2010
    I will deviate. I am also new to Khukuris. I would never carry a Khukuri instead of an axe for chopping. Now that's not going to be your concensus here at all. Dude LOVE chopping with Khukuris...I am just an axe guy from about the age of 9 (neigh on to 50 years here soon enough). But, if you want to carry just a knife that serves many jobs well, that's of course where the Khukuri comes in. Camp knife, chopper, and while I am not one to talk about knives as weapons...we do have to admit that the Khukuri is well suited to that role because of the natural striking motion one would theoretically employ in that role.

    As such, I started out a little bit more conservative. I got the BAS. It's light and strong, handy and quick, the smallest real Khukuri and yet it's bigger than just about any big bowie knife you'll come across. It really is an impressive knife by any standard.

    Mine is a Kami Rajhkumar...the two mountains Kami.


    Jun 14, 2012
    My 16 inch, 28 ounce CAK is no monster but it feels amazing in my hand. My only other khukuri experience is with a 21-22 inch, 34-36 ounce blade called the defender by khukuri house. I can't speak to H.I.'s longer heavier blades but in comparing these two I have to say that bigger was not necessarily better. The extreme 'weight-forwardness' of 'the defender' made it a bit clumsy for me, while the CAK is balanced so right, and I still feel like my chop is just as efficient. For backpacking a light 16 inch CAK is perfect, I'm not sure if the extra 2 inches is going to be a big help with your fire/shelter chores, but if that 18 incher is calling you then go for it.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  14. Ironhandjohn


    Sep 21, 2008
    M43 for me....
  15. kookery


    Oct 11, 2012
    WWII for me, but I'm sure I'll own a few more eventually.
  16. Kismet


    Jan 30, 2002
    I'm usually a minority opinion here, but consider a 16-16.5 AK. You aren't building a cabin, you're going to be chopping wood. The stick tang is as strong as you will ever need...EVER need. As you astutely pointed out, you have to carry the weight before you use it.

    As for use, one swings an arm, then an elbow, then the wrist...and all that action brings momentum to the blade as it strikes the wood and cuts. Think velocity instead of mass.

    Be safe. Have fun.
  17. GoodStuff


    Oct 3, 2012
    danboy is right on the balance issue.

    I have a full tang Abjamari knife 28oz and a stick tang BAS 26oz. Both 16.5" exactly, so a good comparison.

    The AjK feels lighter (but it is heavier 28oz) in the hand because the balance is more centered.
    The BAS feels heavier (but is lighter 26oz) because the weight is more cantilevered from the wrist. And your wrist just isn't as strong as your forearm and elbow.

    With the full tang, the knife is more maneuverable and handy, especially controlling the point. It just feels nimble. You can switch hands, without the nose diving and the handle rising, on the pass between hands. But if you want to chop, while it is still a forward heavy kuk, the full tang point of balance means you have to put more arm into it to get the chopping power.

    That being said, for chopping, i prefer the stick tang BAS. The forward weight gives it a lot of chop with just a flick of the wrist. Also really physically lighter to pack. The stick tang is strong and more so than you would ever need. All the AKs and Ganga Ram stick tangs are warranted for field use (chopping) too.

    But if i were going to pick a knife to fight to the death, or cut up a chicken, or pry something, the full tang knife would be my choice because you have more point control, and lateral strength. You can even bash them in the mellon better with the pommel too. In any knife combat, you cannot predict what stresses the knife might endure. (In fact, beating the enemy's knife with a heavy *slap* can and will break blades, and is a taught combat technique.) A full tang can handle lateral stress better without breaking, which you just can't have happen, (but often does) in a knife fight. To achieve this "strength under any conditions" failsafe, full tang blades sacrifices chopping power and weight to put steel in the handle.

    A full tang would also probably be a better choice if you were going way back in the bush for a long time, and had no access to a workshop to repair a handle. With a stick tang, you at least need a hammer to peen the end, probably a rasp to make a new handle, and epoxy. But with a full tang, even if the scale pins shear off, you could tie twine or strips bark to the tang for a very serviceable handle.

    But for processing branches on a log-anvil to feed the campfire? Stick tang BAS ,Ganga ram or AK all the way. The nose heavy stick tangs have a *thwack* that can't be beat. But they are optimized designs to chop and cut. Not pry, not slap, not bash.

    So this is my overly long-winded explanation for this advice: Chose the right tool for the right job. :)

    Something else... I have always wondered why they don't make the stick tang handle a "sorta" full tang that tapers thin toward the handle edges. Think of a 2 edged dagger with a *thick spine*, but dull of course. A 2 "V" cross section like this: -<>-

    This handle tang design would have several advantages.
    1. Weight. Should be comparable to a stick tang. And certainly less than a full width full tang. This keeps the chop weight to the front.
    2. Security. Several small pins could be easily drilled and tapped through the thinner edges. And the bit would have to drill through much less steel.
    3. Production. Thinner tang handle edges take less tooling to grind out, and can be ground faster. It would be standard business to forge this "knife like" handle tang shape too.
    4. Strength. I don't think anyone would consider the thick spine dagger shape a weak design. And more smaller handle pins would hold *very* strong. Even if one sheared, you still have several more holding the handle on.
    5. Looks. I just like the looks of shiny brass pins on my knife handles, and the silver line of metal tang on the spine....full tang handles hold tight too.

    just thinking out loud here... but It would be pretty easy to modify any full tang to a cut down shape to get stick tang like qualities, while keeping full tang strength. I have seen some that involve grinding, but i do like the looks of a full tang handle spine. It doesn't need to be all that strong or thick at the edges either. Just a few peened cross pins at the thin edges would hold a handle so tight.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  18. JOE68


    Jan 18, 2011
    I'm 5'8" and around 220lbs and my two favorite khuks are my new Ganga Ram at 18" and my 16.5"CAK.
    The CAK has a more balanced feel because of the metal in the tang, whereas the GRS feels more weight forward.
    Both chop just fine with a slight edge going to the GRS.
    In time as I become more accustomed to the GRS I think it will be my go to knife for when I'm In the woods, as it just feels right when chopping.
    My suggestion is something from 16.5"-18.5" as something that will do your tasks with definite authority, and still be packable.
    I live in Nova Scotia Canada and mine have all worked just fine in winter snow or summer heat and never let me down.
    It took me around 11 khukuris to come to these conclusions.
    I call it a research grant whenever I get a new one.
  19. kookery


    Oct 11, 2012
    I trust Canadians to research wood choppers for me. Do you think your kukris adequately replace an axe?
  20. Shinook


    Apr 2, 2012
    I wouldn't think it would replace an ax. But I think they are a good alternative to a hatchet for chopping.

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