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HI ganga ram kukri or ang khola

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by MEJ, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. MEJ


    Jul 24, 2011
    Im look to get a khukukri for camping and i need a great chopper... so is 15 inches ang khola a good enough design and chopper or should i go for the bugger 18 inch ganga ram?
  2. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
  3. MEJ


    Jul 24, 2011
    sorry i didn't know there was one... lol
  4. JayGoliath


    Mar 27, 2010
    Hi Mej,

    Welcome to the kingdom of HI!
    Your question is very much the most popular one.
    Now other than chopping,what would you do with it?

    Both are fearsome choppers but not on par with the famed Chiruwa Angkhola or the big boss of all, the Bonecutter.
    If you are very much built i suggest you go for the 18" version of Ganga Ram.
  5. arbiter


    Jun 4, 2011
    Hello MEJ-The larger the blade, the more weight both to carry and in use. Heavy cutting such as firewood prep and shelter building? 18" blade.Lighter cutting and/or the need to pack over considerable distance on foot? 15-16.5" would save some weight and still serve.Either type you mention will not likely let you down.
  6. fearn


    Apr 12, 2005
    My ganga ram is my favorite. Choice depends on a few things:

    1. What you're cutting.
    2. Whether you're hiking or car camping
    3. How big you and your hands are.

    I've got big hands, so I like the 18" handle. I've handled a 15" AK fine, but the 18" fits a little better.

    The big blades are heavier, which is why I don't think a CAK or bonecutter is necessary for most hiking or camping. Unless you're planning on butchering a moose during the hike. If you're hiking, those heavy blades are going to weigh you down, and unlike water and food, you'll never shed the weight. When I'm working or hiking, the ganga goes in my pack, as it's heavy enough to pull my belt and pants down.

    Finally, it depends on what you're cutting. If your fuel of choice is ironwood, then I suppose you need a CAL. If you're cutting pine, you don't, and if you're cutting raspberries, you need something light and fast. The ganga works great on brush, although I had to have the original edge re-beveled.
  7. MEJ


    Jul 24, 2011
    well it would be my backpacking companion
  8. Cpl Punishment

    Cpl Punishment

    Jan 28, 2006
    The standard 16.5" CAK would be a good choice. If you are willing to look at other designs, the 18" M43 may be a better choice -- usually a little lighter than the AK/CAK or Ganga Ram.

    How well a large kukri will carry depends more on your style of carry than anything. I hump around a 20" CAK, and if I just hung it off a belt, it would suck to carry. I had a custom baldric quickdraw sheath made for it, and it's no problem to carry. There are several makers who can make leather or kydex sheaths. Another option is to put it on a large belt, like a GI pistol belt and use a thin strap like a GI sling to transfer some of the weight from the belt to your shoulders. Still another option is to use a sling like a rifle sling, attached to the frog of the standard sheath for use as a makeshift baldric.

    I'd pick the kukri that will do the work you want to do, and once ytou have the kukri (test it out when you get it), send it out to have a good sheath made for it and enjoy.
  9. javand


    Oct 17, 2010
    Personally, if you're going for something super rugged, I prefer a Ganga Ram over a CAK, but I don't favor chiruwa tangs personally, I don't find them as choppy, due to the extra weight aft. I know Cpl may disagree with me, but I'm of the opinion that chiruwa is overkill considering the size and thickness of all HI khukris (even the thinnest), and if you break a hidden/stick/whatever tang version, it's a flaw in the HT or the F&F of that particular knife.

    Looking around for an older lighter standard AK would be excellent if you're looking for something that's a great chopper, but portable.

    If you're car camping, you can lug anything you want. As a semi-professional outdoorsman, and long distance hiker, I can assure you that carrying a large 2lb khuk for any serious trekking is simple masochism.

    I carry a light 18oz BAS made by Bura, and while even that is pure extravagance in the back country (in my humble opinion), I don't find it too hard to justify, even after hiking 20+ mile days. Anything over that though, and a light axe/hatchet is likely a better choice for weight vs performance. With the aforementioned BAS, I haven't found anything too large to baton, and if I found anything too large to chop with it, it would likely be an actual tree, which generally, isn't permissible to be chopping on in most national park/forest/etc.

    Hopefully we'll all remember than any standing wood, dead or otherwise, is usually off-limits, when we're wielding our khuks in the backwood. ;)
  10. MEJ


    Jul 24, 2011
    cool so i am really leaning toward the AK but whats the opinion about carrying an HI over a hatchet?
  11. Cpl Punishment

    Cpl Punishment

    Jan 28, 2006
    And here's my counterpoint on the CAK:

    The top reason I went for the CAK over the AK is the warranty: I can pretty much do anything I should be doing with a kukri, and if it breaks, it gets replaced -- even if it broke prying chunks of wood out of a big log (sometimes the only way to get a decent amount of firewood without hacking into standing wood and making bunnies cry (not a reference to the quote I'm quoting, but to some of the hand wringing in other forums, even when your cutting wood on your own property).

    The second reason I chose the CAK, is that with my limited skills, I could make replacement handle scales if I had to. I don't have the skill to replace a hidden tang handle.

    After using it, I prefer Chiruwa handles because they balance further back. If you swing a kukri like a hatchet, then having the weight forward as much as possible helps. However, the Chiruwa handle makes for better balance, and makes it easier to use the snap-cut, which is more effective than using a hatchet type swing with the same kukri.

    Now, the same caveat applies to EVERY kukri recommendation: what is recommended is what works for that person. Kukri very much have a mind of their own, and as Uncle Bill said before, it's more that the kukri chooses the person than the other way around. Best thing to do is take all of the recommendations (I'd also email Yangdu and ask her what her recommendation is), and look through the pictures threads (links in my sig line), and get the one that calls to you.

    A kukri is more versatile. A kukri gives you a big knife.machete/hatchet in one. Properly sharpened, it will cut anything from light, viney vegetation to chopping wood, to butchering game. If you are good with a hatchet, you can also do these things, although cutting light vegetation is more difficult. A kukri designed for chopping, particularly the AK/CAK, M43, WWII, Ganga Ram or Bonecutter will outchop a hatchet of the same length, but will outwiegh that hatchet as well. The versatility of the kukri comes at the penalty of weight.
  12. JayGoliath


    Mar 27, 2010
    Hidden/ stick tang indeed is harder to re-handle.

    I've used partial, stick and full tang and come to this conclusion: A tapered tang along the handle serves best to move the weight slightly forward.Also the handle shouldn't be too long so the fulcrum is always concentrated along the sweet spot.
  13. fearn


    Apr 12, 2005
    I agree with Javand.

    Just as a comparison, my 18" Ganga ram is 25 ounces, or 36 ounces in the sheath. I'll also point out that if you're really worried about weight, a collapsible saw is even lighter than a hatchet.

    The real advantage of a khukuri is not to carry it as a replacement for a hatchet, but as something that does more tasks than a hatchet does. That's the best justification for the extra weight. It also means you should really get comfortable with it before you take it out hiking.

    As Cpl says, you'll ultimately find one that fits you, and that's probably the most important factor. The wrong one will raise blisters and lead to a sore arm.
  14. Spectre


    Nov 3, 1998
    I, too, like a 17.5-18" (B)GRS more than a 19" AK or a 16ish" CAK. All powerful choppers, but I find the CAK's chopping power doesn't warrant the weight, especially compared to HI's other choppers.

    For me, personally- a smallish guy, but who tend to use and like large knives- I'd go for a GRS. But not the full-sized 21-22" version, which is just too damn heavy. If the handle fits you, a 15" AK is also surprisingly effective.

    Welcome to the HI forum!

  15. Qeth


    Dec 13, 2010
    I love my 15" GRS so much I gifted my 18" AK. Pound for pound, I felt that the GRS had more mass behind the sweet spot than the AK (AK has fullers), and had it more where it counts to make the sweet spot hit hard. Smaller, more compact chopper. It just felt better to use... for me.

    I got my GRS as a backup for my AK cuz I initially thought the AK would be my kuk-chopper. Good DOTD, honestly thought it was ugly, but hey, 2 knives are 1, 1 is none and all. Once I had the GRS in hand and earning its keep, however, I kept gravitating towards the GRS. Funny thing is, I now think the lines of the GRS are gorgeous.

    Moral of the story: pics, recommendations, specs and theoretical dynamics can help you decide what kuk you think you want, but sometimes it takes some actual usage to see what kuk calls you.
  16. GlennS1956


    Aug 12, 2011
    I'm surprised yall talk about "ganga" on here. Isn't it illegal in every state but California and Colorado?
  17. Karda

    Karda Banned BANNED

    Jun 1, 2007
    Not the same Ganga, Glenn. The term you're thinking of, i believe is Ganja. Although i have seen it spelled both ways.
    Ganga Ram was an old kami, a friend of Uncle Bills, who made some remarkably good khukuri.
    The Khukuri named for him is his design, and is all we have left to remember him by besides a single picture taken many moons ago.
  18. JayGoliath


    Mar 27, 2010

    In case you haven't know this:


    He was one of the best- The great GANGA RAM (The one with Dhaka hat, left holding the Meister-piece)

  19. hollowdweller


    Sep 22, 2003
    I think the 17" 23oz Ganga is HI's best khuk for all around use.
  20. fearn


    Apr 12, 2005
    Thanks for the picture Jay. Good to see the designer of my favorite blade.

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