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Himalayan Imports 15" BAS

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by JNieporte, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. JNieporte


    Nov 1, 2004
    This is my first Himalayan Imports knife, and I have to say that I'm impressed. Shipping was fast (three days) and the product is great. This specific kukri is the 15" BAS (British Army Service) model. Here's what Himalayan Imports says about this model...
    "British Army Service (BAS)-Our #2 best-seller, A jack-of-all-trades in a packable length, this khukuri is very easy to throw on a belt or lash to a pack. It chops well, pries well, and will do most camp chores with relative ease. Although lighter than khukuri of the same size, it doesn’t sacrifice much in chopping power for weight manageablity during extended trekking. This is the same size and style khukuri (but considerably better quality) that is carried by present day Gurkhas serving in the British Army. Battle tested and proven."

    My specific BAS, from Himalayan Imports' owner right before shipping...
    It's 15" long overall and weighs 20 ounces. Hand made by Dil Bhadur.

    And here are the details of the BAS:

    The Handle: Mine is made of sitisal wood, and is 5-3/4" long (from the butt to the end of the bolster). The wood is a nice, medium brown color and is carved very nicely. As far as I know, the butt cap and bolster are both made of brass. The butt swells so the kukri stays in your hand, which is really nice when doing forceful chops. I haven't used the kukri yet, but it seems very well built and heavy-duty. The handle is quite comfortable and beautiful. The tang goes all the way through the handle and is secured to the butt cap by a tang button.

    The Blade: Himalayan Imports uses leaf springs from trucks and cars (mostly Mercedes-Benz) as their blade steel. It's pretty much the same thing as 5160 carbon steel. My blade is 10-1/4" long and a whopping 7/16" thick. Almost half an inch! I don't know what the symbols on the blade mean, but they're nicely done. The scroll pattern is also a nice addition, and at first I thought they were fullers. The blade came very shiny with a light coating of oil on it. I removed this and sharpened the edge (it wasn't very sharp out of the box) and re-oiled with some Tuff Glide. It's sharp enough to cleanly slice paper, and I suspect it will hold this edge for a while. The blade is differentially tempered; it's hardened to different degrees depending on the area of the blade. From what I understand, the "sweet spot" is hardened to about 60 Rockwell, while the tip and rear of the blade are a little softer. The spine is pretty soft - I think I read it's about 52 on the Rockwell scale. The blade is convex ground.
    The blade has a nice, sharp point and I think it will do a great job at any task I have for it in the woods. I should also point out the cho - the crescent-shaped notch in the tang. It's present on all kukris, and it's said that "it's not a kukri unless it has this notch". It represents the god Shiva's trident.

    The Sheath: The BAS' sheath is made of wood with a water buffalo leather covering, which is black. The sheath is 11-1/2" long and has a brass tip. With the kukri inserted, the sheath is 17" long from tip to butt in a straight line. There are two loops in the back for belt or pack attachment, and there are two slots behind the main kukri slot for the karda and chakma (more on those later). The sheath is of great construction; it's sewn tightly in the back and has no lumps or swells typical of leather-covered sheaths. The leather is as close to perfect as you can get: no bruises, scuffs, or stretch marks. If you're going to hang it off your belt, it might stick out a bit due to the thickness (nearly 2-1/2"). All in all, it's an extremely well-made sheath and will hold up for many years :thumbup:

    The Karda and Chakma All traditional kukris come with two smaller blades: the karda and chakma. Their handles are made out of the same material as the kukri. The karda is a smaller blade; mine is 4-1/2" overall (2" handle and 2-1/2" blade). It came really dull, but sharpened up readily on a crock stick. It came heavily polished. The chakma is a burnishing tool, and it looks like an unground karda. It's exactly the same size as the karda and is highly polished as well. I've not used it yet, but I'm eager to try it out. The karda is useful for skinning and makes a nice fixed blade for when you don't want to pull out your kukri for small jobs. As mentioned earlier, they both fit into the sheath right behind the kukri.

    The Himalayan Imports kukris are advertised as being the finest in the world, and many people (including here at the Forum) swear that's true. I'll take their word for it, as I haven't used mine yet. From all appearances, it feels like a very well-made chopper. I can't wait to take it into the woods and give it work-out. It looks great and performs (from what I hear) better than any other out there. I'm very pleased with my BAS :thumbup:

    And now, here's a random photo of me doing some kali with my daughter. I'm using two corn stalks as garrotes and she's using one.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
  2. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Great review:)

    I've actually enjoyed reading several of yours in the general section:thumbup:
  3. Carolina River Rat

    Carolina River Rat

    Oct 29, 2008
    As Steely said, you always do first rate reviews; even when you don't like something, you still write an excellent bad review. That pic of you and your daughter is awesome.
  4. wildmike


    Nov 17, 2007
    With time and experience you will find that these fantastic blades will do a lot more than chop.
  5. Karda

    Karda Banned BANNED

    Jun 1, 2007
    Great review, JNieporte! except for the two parts i emboldened. The Steel is actually 5160 steel and comes for the rear end leaf springs of mercedes benz trucks and probably cars too.
  6. Cpl Punishment

    Cpl Punishment

    Jan 28, 2006
    +1 a great review!
  7. b.c.molin


    Nov 28, 2008
    Another +1 from me.

    I also like your reviews even when I might not agree with your all your conclusions, they have helped me made a reach a purchase decision which is never an easy task for a Libran. :thumbup:

    By the way, the sheaf is not made by the Kami, but by yet another caste based craftsmen called Sarki's.
  8. JNieporte


    Nov 1, 2004
    Corrected the information about the blade steel and sheath.
  9. kimon


    Aug 22, 2007
    another +1 from me

    I've been drooling over HI kukhris for a long time and these reviews are very helpful in assisting me decide which to get
  10. GRIM 62

    GRIM 62

    Mar 29, 2009
    Damn,now I want one!
  11. Karda

    Karda Banned BANNED

    Jun 1, 2007

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