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JKM-1 newbie Review

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by brachal, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. brachal


    May 17, 2006
    Hello, all. I'm not a knife expert at all, but I like HI, and I like to contribute, so here are my thoughts about the JKM-1 I picked up last month. I have a few pictures, but can't post them. It looks like the knife on the site, but the blade is deeper and not as pointy near the tip -- almost a WW2 khukri shape.

    Mine is by Dil, and it's bigger than described on the web site -- 8" long, 4.5" of that is blade. The blade's spine is exactly 1/4" thick at the handle. I can't say for sure how much it weighs, but it's heavier than the 6oz listed on the HI site. I'd guess closer to 10 or 12 oz. This knife feels strong. You could use it as an oyster knife if it weren't for the risk of driving it clean through your hand. If I have a gripe about the dimensions of the knife, it's that the handle is a little shorter than ideal for me. The butt rests pretty comfortably at the base of my thumb, but I can't really hold it any further up without risk of cutting myself.

    The knife came with a pretty good edge, and it only took a couple of dozen swipes on the kitchen steel to get it shaving sharp. The fit and finish are excellent -- everything smooth and no rough edges. I'd definitely be happy to get another Dil knife. The blade is too thick for slicing tomatoes or fileting fish, but it seems to do everything else you'd ask a knife of its size to do well. Overall, the knife feels very compact and strong.

    The scabbard is well made and seems durable, but the thin leather dangler strips seem a little flimsy; I'll probably replace them with a length of rawhide boot lace at some point.

    If you don't have a JKM, I'd recommend it. I'll be getting a couple more for friends at Christmas.


  2. Svashtar


    Dec 28, 2003
    Good review Bill! I like them as well, but you hit exactly on the three small limitations: the short handle, the thick blade which makes slicing and dicing a bit hard, and the dangler thongs. (Although the thongs are stronger than they look.)

    But they already make a JKM with longer handle and thinner blade called the Kumar Karda. :D Still, a thin bladed little guy would be cool. You aren't going to break them that's for sure.

    A couple of guys here have done nice jobs cutting a choil in the long ricasso for their index finger, which gives you more handle to work with. I think Nasty might have done one, and someone else did one in his antler JKM. That might be an option for you.

  3. Big Bob

    Big Bob

    Oct 13, 1999
    From what I've heard, Dil makes the thinnest KKs and JKMs. We need to ask Yangdu to tell the kamis to make the KKs and JKMs a bit thinner. That would make them more useful IMO. I admit that I don't have either, so I'd like to hear the opinions of others on this matter (maybe even start a new thread to avoid highjacking this one).

  4. Nasty

    Nasty Chief Cook & Bottle Wash

    Nov 11, 2003
  5. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    Great review, and Welcome to the forum. You will like it here. HI makes an excellent knife, and the warranty and service you get can't be beat either. Have you gotten a khukuri yet?

    Here are my two JKMs and the danglers I made for them. I'm going to redo them with belt pouch sheaths like the ones at the bottom I did for my Sarge knives.




    Thats a sweet choil you ground into yours Nasty.
  6. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    Jul 30, 2004
    Brachal, does it look like one of these:


    Mike :D
  7. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Great review. Thanks!:)

    A couple of things to think about: If you are really looking for a good do-it-all knife in the kitchen with a heavy lean toward meat/bone processing, then I would suggest the Sarge/KPH. A great stout little knife that is strong enough to do anything you could ask of a knife but is not so over-built as to hinder cutting performance. I have 2 or 3 of the little darlin', and they pretty much get all of my kitchen duty.
    Also, if you don't want to take the time to file in a choil on your JKM (which really doesn't take long. I did it in 45 mins with just hand tools), then you might check out the "R" line of knives.

    The R-6 is basically a bomb-proof Sarge/KPH, or maybe the love child between the Sarge/KPH and a JKM. It comes in with an OAL of 8.25", 5" of which is grip if you factor in the choil...at least that's what mine is like.
    Here is one that was on sale a few months ago. I have one in just like it. I believe it's called Monkey podwood. While not thin, it did come in a little thinner than my JKM's...at 7/16" instead of 1/4:rolleyes: ;) Oh and the R-6 will fit in your JKM sheath;)

    Now, going the small route, you might think about the R-3. I just picked one one of these up for a gift for a good friend of mine that was helping me out of a jam at work. I have to tell you. I really had a hard time giving it up;) The one sent to me came in with a grip of 4.5" and an OAL of 7.25". A great little kitchen knife that you can really choke up on to get a better grip. Probably a good potato knife, but it's still thick. Mine came in right at 1/4"
    Here's a shot of the R-3 in a group of other "R" knives. An R-6 can be seen at the top with the R-3 being the bottow two.

    ...just more fuel for the fire;)

  8. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    Thanks for the review- sure like reading them. Though I think I've 'heard it all before' it is like reopening my favorite gun magazines.

    When you sharpened it, did you notice if the edge was uniformly hard? I'd like to know how successful the Kamis are being at hardening full length the conventional knives HI makes.

  9. brachal


    May 17, 2006
    Wow, a lot of replies to get to!

    Have you gotten a khukuri yet? -- yep, 3. A 16.5" WW2 by Sher, M43 (antler handle!) by Vim, and a 18" WW2 by Kumar. I had a 15" Sher AK for a little while, but I gave it to my father for his birthday. I'd probably have one more, but my wife doesn't like khukris. :grumpy:

    Brachal, does it look like one of these -- it looks exactly like the horn handled one on the bottom. :)

    When you sharpened it, did you notice if the edge was uniformly hard? I'd like to know how successful the Kamis are being at hardening full length the conventional knives HI makes.
    -- I'm not really qualified judge the edge hardness, but I'd say its uniform. It seemed to "bite" the sharpening steel the same for the length of the blade. I haven't put it to hard use, but the edge has held up very nicely as well. It's seen kitchen use and a couple of minor chores out in the yard.

    From what I've heard, Dil makes the thinnest KKs and JKMs -- wow. I have a hard time imagining why you'd need a 4.5" blade thicker than 1/4". I don't really mind the blade thickness. It might be more useful if the blade were thinner, but I like the solid feel and heft of it. I think it'll be a great camping knife. I might think about filing a choil in there, though. I think the best way to improve this design would simply be to make the handle an inch longer. You'd have a 4.5" handle and a 3.5" blade. Easier to hold, and I don't think you'd lose much functionality from the knife. Just a thought. All in all, I really like this knife.
  10. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    Good news about the edge.

    You know, if you put a full size handle on a small utility knife, it's not a small knife exactly anymore....it's a medium small knife.

  11. Sylvrfalcn


    Jun 4, 2002
    Good point Munk. A lot of folks (I confess, I'm one of them) think the JKM-1 would be improved by making the blade thinner and the handle longer. But, with the changes would it still be the same tough little knife many of us have come to love? Perhaps a longer handled, thinner bladed version could be tagged the "JKM-2". ;)


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