Recommendation? HI British Army Service vs. 15" Ang Khola vs. 16.5" WWII Kukri?

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by SanLuisObispo, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. SanLuisObispo

    SanLuisObispo

    369
    Nov 14, 2020
    Whelp, I've narrowed my coming kukri purchase to HI and to one of the three subject kukris (their 3 most popular, interestingly enogh.) I would appreciate any help I could get in making an informed final decision.

    First, my kukri is largely going to be a wall-hanger, and something to gaze upon. I might also wear it on day hikes once in a while in place of my large Bowie knife -- largely as a defensive tool.

    My first question, when the choice exists, is a bone or wood handle preferable? Which is most durable? Which is most traditional?

    Second how does the BAS differ from the 15" Ang Khola? The BAS seems to be about a half pound lighter -- #1.25 vs. #1.5? How does it impact the respective kukris?

    Finally how does the BAS and 15" AK really differ from the 16.5" WWII kukri?

    I really appreciate any help on this one. Thank you all.
     
  2. EricTheRedBeard

    EricTheRedBeard Basic Member Basic Member

    799
    May 17, 2018
    For the purposes you describe I would recommend a BAS. It would make a beautiful wall hanger because it has a pretty ornate engravings on the spine. It is also one of the best khuks for backpacking. I think of the BAS as the jack of all trades. Perfect middle of the road khukuri.

    If you want something to take heavy duty abuse all the time I would choose the Ang Khola. All khukuris are tough but the AK is almost unbreakable. That being said I would rather have the lighter BAS on my hip while hiking in the woods.

    The WWII would be my choice for self defense. They tend to be around 18" and their balance is magical.

    All of these knives would be strong enough to hold up to pretty much any task you needed them for. They would all look GREAT on the wall. When it comes to wood or horn each person has their own opinion. I love wood but the horn is nice too. People have spoken of horn being slippery but I have never had one slip out of my hand. Wood is warm and beautiful but the horn is shiny and adds an interesting talking point when showing it off. Regarding duribility and being traditional they are equals in my opinion. Hopefully others chime in on that. Each has their own opinion on handles and I'm sure you will too.

    You made the right choice coming to Himalayan Imports. Send an email to [email protected] to see if Yangdu has a slightly blemished khukuri at a discounted price. After you buy one you will probably want to buy another. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
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  3. cul4u01

    cul4u01 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 5, 2012
    They're all good, but I agree with David on his comments.

    If I could only choose one, it would be the BAS, and then the AK.

    All 3 are rated for field use, so they are all under full HI warranty, which in my opinion is the best in the world.

    Whichever you decide on, you will not be disappointed.
     
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  4. XelaXela

    XelaXela

    246
    Feb 22, 2010
    If primarily a wall hanger, I would also think BAS.

    (And then save up and just get the other two later :) )

    RE: size/length/weight. Personally, I find my full size CAK more nimble than my mid size M-43's. It's weird, but it is what it is. Maybe it's my hand and wrists, or arms. Of the 3 you list, I would think the WWII to be like this, longer, but well, maybe even better, balanced. Especially for an outdoors excursion.

    You will not regret your decision whichever way you go...

    Cheers,

    xx
     
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  5. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt

    Jun 23, 2007
    Bone is less common. Horn is more common. It is durable. Also various woods are commonly used, also durable. If you get a crack or check fill with thin superglue snd sand.

    [​IMG]

    Horn on the outside right, wood on the left, both HI Khukris.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
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  6. SanLuisObispo

    SanLuisObispo

    369
    Nov 14, 2020
    Thank you so much for your advice! I really do appreciate it. Between the BAS and AK, it's definitely the BAS based on your comments. But your words "...The WWII would be my choice for self defense. They tend to be around 18" and their balance is magical..." really caught my notice. My kukri would be foremost to hang on a wall, but second, for self-defense as noted, so I am deeply intrigued.

    It doesn't sound like the 16.5" WWII would be any less agile than the BAS (?), so I might just man-up and accept the additional 8 ounces on my hip? ;) In any event, thank you again for helping me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  7. SanLuisObispo

    SanLuisObispo

    369
    Nov 14, 2020
    I found this photo online of a HI WWII. Looks beautiful! It appears not to have the ornate engravings of the, or perhaps I cannot see them due to the bling? As beautiful as the wood handle is, I'm definitely going with the horn. Looks more traditional to this noob.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
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  8. Aardvark

    Aardvark Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    If I had to part with all my khuks except one, I would keep my 16.5" WWII. It was the first I bought, and the first/only one that I modified (added a couple of rings to the wood handle).

    I use my khuks (and I have, ummm... "several") mainly for yardwork: chopping up wood scraps from pruning/clearing, so weight has never been an issue.

    The WWII is pretty agile, and chops better than the BAS, which is certainly prettier.

    Just something to keep in the back of your mind: you will like which ever one you get, and it's rather unlikely that you will stop at one...

    Another side note: the ceremonial knife that Yangdu posted this morning is damned impressive, and has, in my opinion, the nicest handle I've seen on a khuk.

    Please let us know what you ultimately choose, and post pics if you can.

    Thanks.
     
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  9. SanLuisObispo

    SanLuisObispo

    369
    Nov 14, 2020
    Beautiful collection. Thank you for sharing. I meant to say "horn", not "bone." I think I'm going to do with the horn at this point.
     
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  10. SanLuisObispo

    SanLuisObispo

    369
    Nov 14, 2020
    Thank you again for your insights. It's definitely between a HI BAS or 16.5" WWII at this point. That ceremonial kukri is indeed beautiful.
     
  11. davidf99

    davidf99 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    1. I think you meant horn rather than bone. Wood and horn are the most common materials for HI handles. Bone is available, but much less common. All three are pretty much equivalent in functionality and durability. It comes down to which look you prefer.

    2. Which looks better as a wall hanger? That's entirely a matter of taste. Spine carvings are a nice added touch, but they won't be very visible if a blade is actually hanging on the wall. Fully engraved blades are in a class by themselves (see picture below for my favorite), but hard to come by and pricier than non-engraved HI knives. The amount of skill and time that goes into a fully engraved blade is astonishing.

    3. Your question about the weights (#1.25 vs #1.5) suggests that you are going by information at the HI online store. That is misleading. Although you can order from the HI online store, it is limited to the most popular models and the most common lengths and weights. HI blades, hand-made with traditional tools and methods, come in a large variety of lengths and weights. Many alternate models are also available. I believe that most people familiar with HI order from Yangdu's frequent postings on this forum, or email her directly to discuss preferences. You can get a better idea of what might be available by following this forum for a while, or going back through previous postings for that past year.

    Of the three models you mention, the AKs are heaviest, followed by the WWII, and the BAS. However, a 15" AK might weigh the same as an 18" WWII, and all the models are subject to the above-mentioned individual variations. Length and weight are not much of a consideration for a wall hanger, but if you are going to wear it on your belt for a day hike, I'd stick with the 15" length, especially if you go with an AK.

    The main difference between the three models is their intended functions. The AK is a heavy chopper. The BAS is based on military issue blades, but in modern times the gurkhas mostly use firearms and helicopters, with bladed weapons as a last resort. Therefore, I'd categorize the BAS as essentially a large camp knife. The WWII model is a compromise, good for heavy chopping but a bit lighter weight and therefore more versatile than the AK. Another good choice is the M43 model, which tends to be similar to the WWII in functionality and weight, but with a different look and handle type. Note: The actual World War II era knives on which these designs are based tended to be somewhat thinner and lighter weight than the more recent HI versions. Soldiers carry a lot of equipment in the field, and a few ounces here and there really add up on extended hikes through rough terrain.

    This is my engraved YCS model HI blade by the late Bura Kami. It's 17" overall length and weighs 30 oz.

    YCS-17in-Bura30oz-engraved-03.jpg YCS-17in-Bura30oz-engraved-09.jpg YCS-17in-Bura30oz-engraved-05.jpg
     
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  12. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt

    Jun 23, 2007
    I had a close up photo hosted...could not find it today. That was the only pic I could find that had the two HI khukris in it.

    Found a copy in another older post.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. XelaXela

    XelaXela

    246
    Feb 22, 2010
    davidf99 makes good points.

    Full tang variations were not mentioned (originally), so I didn't lean on my preference (full tang blades). But, if leaning towards the WWII, then the M-43 and Father's Military Replica are worth the mention, and consideration. A full size, and lighter version, of these are rare'ish. Best to order one directly from Yangdu. But they do come up from time to time around here.

    X
     
  14. SanLuisObispo

    SanLuisObispo

    369
    Nov 14, 2020
    Thank you for your highly informative post. I really appreciate the effort. I looked at the M43 as well, but the shape of the blade just doesn't resonate with me.

    My day hikes -- more accurately day hike/climbs, are fairly brutal themselves, so I am conscious about the amount I pack. I would have to give the 16.5", bone-handled HI WWII kukri the lead right now. I wish I had the resources to commission a WWII kukri with at least a touch of engraving. Your YCS kukri is absolutely stunning.

    Thanks again for your insights.
     
  15. davidf99

    davidf99 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    A bone-handled WWII sounds great. I don't think I've ever seen one of those.

    About seven years ago I got (from another forumite) a 19" long WWII blade by Sher Kami that came without a handle. I've been meaning to give it a handle for years, but it deserves something extra special. Now I'm thinking a bone handle would be perfect.

    Does anybody know where I might get a nice giraffe bone? It would have to be 6-7" long to fit the tang of this WWII blade. I suppose I could use a longer bone and cut off one end.

    WWII-Blade12.5-Sher-01.jpg
     
  16. Bawanna

    Bawanna Moderator Moderator

    Dec 19, 2012
    Your thinking bone, not any kind of antler? I've seen like giraffe bone on line but it was awhile back.
     
  17. davidf99

    davidf99 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    I've heard good things about giraffe bone, so I'd like to try it.

    I just found a company that sells giraffe bone handle slabs, so I'm going to order a pair and see if I can make a hidden tang handle.

    I don't know how to work giraffe bone without damaging it, but I'm sure I can find something on the internet to help.

    Giraffe bone must be very tough stuff. I've seen videos of male giraffes banging their long necks against each other like gigantic baseball bats. Those neck bones are huge. Apparently a giraffe has the same number of neck vertebrae as a human, so you can imagine how big each vertebra must be.
     
  18. Kismet

    Kismet Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 30, 2002
    My day hikes -- more accurately day hike/climbs, are fairly brutal themselves, so I am conscious about the amount I pack. I would have to give the 16.5", bone-handled HI WWII kukri the lead right now. I wish I had the resources to commission a WWII kukri with at least a touch of engraving. Your YCS kukri is absolutely stunning.

    If you are looking for day hike utility, and not all-night firewood search, consider either a 12 in villager AK or a 12 inch Pen knife. Each is nicely utilitarian, certainly not intimidating, and will lighten your load every step of the way. The eight ounces you made light of in an earlier post in this thread is eight ounces EVERY TIME you take a step, coming and going. That adds up to a bunch of eight ounces.

    Have fun. Be safe.
     
  19. cul4u01

    cul4u01 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 5, 2012
    A 12" Gopte would work well for a hiking blade.
     
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  20. XelaXela

    XelaXela

    246
    Feb 22, 2010
    Ohhhh.... If considering 12-13 inch length... I'm gonna have to suggest the Suga with bone handle. Would make a great display knife, and the size is perfect for the outdoors.

    The most recent offer is pretty. I prefer the now classic one (but I think they are all gone at this moment). But this one still up, and it ain't too shabby.

    https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/villager-suga-knife-for-12-30.1767547/

    xx
     

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