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I Love My New 15" Ang Khola Villager !!!!!!

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by coote, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. coote

    coote

    Apr 3, 2006
    I've been out of town for about nine nights. I was delighted to unwrap my new khukuri when I got home last evening.

    I spend a lot of time in the outdoors. I hunt and trap, and I also do a bit of occasional voluntary work removing pest plants.

    This morning there was a working bee arranged for pest plant removal in a local stand of native forest. The main pest plant there is 'Old Man's Beard' vine.... a type of clematis that climbs trees and can strangle them. There are also other plants like the passionfruit vine, wild blackberry, barberry and hawthorne. Naturally I slipped my khukuri in to my pack for the occasion.

    The tool I use most in this patch of forest is a pruning lopper. This is good for softer vines up to maybe an inch and three-quarters thick. I will generally also carry a machete of some sort for the occasional thicker vine or tree.

    Today I found a really big Old Mans Beard vine that was much too thick for the loppers. The khukuri chopped through it with ease. I was so impressed that I brought the stump home so I could take a photo of it:

    [​IMG]

    My khukuri is sitting on the stump of the vine. Above are the other tools I might use...my loppers, an ex-army golok, and a home-made machete.

    I have made a few primitive-style bows. I figured the khukuri might be good for roughing out the staves. So I got a well-seasoned stave of hard kanuka wood and tried using my new blade. It worked well:

    [​IMG]

    My main 'justification' for buying the khukuri was that it looked like it might be a good all-purpose tool for carrying on my trap line. I can see that it will be....and I hope to get out to set a few traps next week.

    Those Nepalese certainly know what they are doing when it comes to designing and making all-pupose cutting tools. It makes me wonder what other Nepalese wisdom I might benefit from. I live fairly close to the land, and I spend quite a bit of time away from the 'main grid', so I think it possible that these people could have a lot to show me.

    The khukuri was fairly darn sharp on arrival. I saw a bit of a 'feather' on one part of the edge but that was easily removed with a couple of wipes from a fine pocket stone. I also tried the wee 'sharpener knife' (sorry, I cant remember the correct name for this), and I can see that this would work to restore an edge. I found that part of my blade was sharp enough to shave hair after I'd used the sharpener.

    If the 'villager' models are meant to be a bit less well-finished than the standard 'shop' models of khukuri, then those shop models must be pretty darn fancy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my villager...except maybe I might get a bit of emery paper to round off the ends of the metal butt cap on the handle. I did a lot of chopping today, and I found that the points of the butt cap caught on my palm a bit. But that is easily remedied...and, anyway, it may just be the way that I hold the tool.

    I found a hawthorne tree with a trunk thickness of around 5 inches. I cut it down easily with the khukuri. Sure... a chainsaw would have been quicker...but who wants to tote a smelly, noisy chainsaw everywhere for the occasional job? Besides, some of the ground is so steep that you have to hang on to a tree with one hand while you chop with the other.

    I am very pleased with my khukuri and the service I got from Himalayan Imports.

    I'm now wondering what I could do with an even bigger khukuri....an 18" Ang Khola maybe....or even a longer, lighter one for tackling thinner vines and fern.
     
  2. OldPhysics

    OldPhysics

    Sep 2, 2006
    You definitely need that 18" Ang Khola. I keep thinking about it ... and must pull the trigger soon.

    Great knives, eh?
     
  3. coote

    coote

    Apr 3, 2006
    Darn right OldPhysics!! It just took me a while to get used to the fact that khukuris were 'bent' compared to the knives I grew up with.

    But khukuris have figured in my upbringing a bit. My Dad was a soldier, and he spoke of the Ghurkas and their khukuris with apparent high regard. And although I am not sure whether I should admit to it because I don't know if the guy was a paragon of virtue, but Sir Eyre Coote of India was a relative....and I think that this 'Indian' connection may possibly have had something to do with my Dad's admiration for blades from that part of the world (although I acknowledge that Nepal is a different place altogether).

    Dad had a small khukuri...but I'm guessing that it may have been a tourist version. If I come across it I must test the blade with a file to see how it measures up against my Villager.
     
  4. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    Jul 30, 2004
    Of course you do... :D glad to hear. I have a very light 18" that feels like a 15"... it's a second favorite.

    Mike

    edit: No1 fave: The 15" Villager- but they are all different- all vary, even 15" Villagers.
     
  5. coote

    coote

    Apr 3, 2006
    So what is your #1 favorite Ad Astra???
     
  6. markksr

    markksr

    Mar 15, 2007
    Good on you.

    Good to see pics too.

    Mayhap you'll add them in the sticky thread up top.

    I struggle to refrain from chopping down walls and doors with my 16.5 CAK.:D
     
  7. IUKE12

    IUKE12

    Nov 25, 2005
    Glad you got one you like Coote, looks like the AK found a happy home:)
     
  8. sams

    sams

    Apr 21, 2001
    Glad to hear the fine report. I knew you would like the 15" AK. For the thin stuff, a lighter but just as tough is a Gelbu special. I think there is is one available on the DOD 10-4. Great price too.
     
  9. coote

    coote

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hmmmmmmm....I like the look of those Gelbu specials....
     
  10. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Great report from the field:):thumbup: Be careful. They are...habit forming;)
     
  11. Yangdu

    Yangdu [email protected] Himalayan Imports-Owner Moderator

    Apr 5, 2005
    Great review & pictures, thank you coote
     
  12. kronckew

    kronckew Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 17, 2003
    and thus falls another victim to the infamous HIKV. no-one can own just one. :D





    (Himalayan Imports Kukhri Virus)
     
  13. SilverFoxKnows

    SilverFoxKnows

    Sep 25, 2002
    It's hard to wrong with a 15" AK. As much as I love my big WWII I wouldn't want to carry it on my hip for very long.

    Frank
     
  14. coote

    coote

    Apr 3, 2006
    I agree....they are a bit habit forming. I've observed that much of my thinking in the last couple of days has been connected to my khukuri and khukuris in general. It is more of a mild obsession really.

    While I don't need another khukuri, I've been giving the matter some serious thought. I think that you are right SilverFoxKnows....while an 18" would be fun to own - and very useful on occasions - it is a relatively big, heavy bit of hardware that is less likely to be carried on a serious excursion into the bush anyway. I have a lot of other stuff to carry.

    I'm thinking that I'd get a lot more use from a sturdy twelve or thirteen inch blade built like an Ang Khola. The 15" Villager is excellent, but I now realize it is 'overkill' for the majority of the jobs that I need such a tool for on the trapline. So I might just see if Yangdu can help me out with something a bit smaller.

    A smaller khukuri would also attract less attention from folks I might meet when trapping. I don't want to freak people out, and I don't want to have to explain what I'm doing to everybody. A 12 incher would be easier to keep out of sight. I wonder how I could best carry it 'concealed'.

    Not only are these things tough and practical, they are beautiful and they have a certain honesty and authenticity about them.
     
  15. IUKE12

    IUKE12

    Nov 25, 2005
    Coote,
    I think you are heading in the right direction with the 12 incher, my 12 inch Sgt. Khadka Special is bigger than most fixed blade choppers that are all the rage. It weights in at 10.3 oz, so it is a very easy carry. You can get a lot done with it and it will take a beating. Pictured here with my Ranger RD-6, 6 inch blade. One thing to consider though, the smaller khurks tend to have smaller handles, I have large hands so I re-handled this one for a better fit. Adding about 1" to the handle length.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. sams

    sams

    Apr 21, 2001
    I have an 18" Gelbu special that I take with me hunting. It is not heavy, cuts both big and small stuff. I wraped the sheath with my old olive drab duct tape. I don't use it around the house. I use a BAS or had a 15" AK. My Gelbu is special, it is for killing and doesn't let me down.
    If my shot doesn't end the life the Special does.
     
  17. coote

    coote

    Apr 3, 2006
    Yep....I reckon I'll get something like yours IUKE12. I'm still very pleased to have the fifteen incher, and I'd eventually love to have something even longer as well....but the smaller one will simply be handier for most of what I do. A smaller handle would most likely be OK for me....my hands aren't huge, and the smaller handle would make the whole thing easier to carry in an unobtrusive manner.

    Sams.... how do you actually use that Gelbu special for dispatching those animals? It seems that khukris aren't shaped like the ideal 'sticking' knife and I'm curious to know how easy they might be to use in this way.

    Thanks.... Coote.
     
  18. sams

    sams

    Apr 21, 2001
    Coote, every khukri is one of a kind. So what I have and like may not be what you like. My 18" is what I wanted. I have 8 khukris that work for me. A new topic for sure. :)

    The 18" is quick. I swing it fast and it is over. I don't over travel because the lighter blade is controllable. I can use it fast and accurate. Thats why I like it. In my canoe the gar can thrash around and wham, done. The varmits, snakes, possum, racoons, hogs, it's over quick. I don't kill deer any more. I take pictures instead.

    The blade is narrow but not thin. It does take abuse and chops well. At camp I use it for fire wood and clearing the brush. Then I spend an hour or two honing the edge. It is razor sharp.

    I reread your question. I chop in the back of the neck. Very quickly.
     
  19. C.S. Graves

    C.S. Graves

    Jun 13, 2006
    I think if I was a racoon, dog, or hog crossing sams' path, I'd vie for the chop rather than the sticking. :D

    But I've also used my 15" AK for rough carving of a hatchet handle and it working nicely slimming things down. Sadly, I later took TOO much wood off in a far slower process using a wee Opinel.
     
  20. coote

    coote

    Apr 3, 2006
    I know what you mean about taking off too much wood C.S.Graves. I have made a lot of primitive bows, and I only have a few survivors. It is very easy to reduce a nice 45 pound bow to a 25 pounder with over-enthusiastic use of a big blade. Sometimes I've gotten away with using a hatchet (nowadays it might be a khukuri) for the whole job....but it is probably better to take off the last few hundreths of an inch with a scraper or something.
     

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