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Limited khukuri review (Himalayan Imports, Gurkha House, Gurkha Knives Limited)

Jan 13, 1999
This is a post in response to a thread in the Wilderness & Survival Skills Forum:


It is only my non-expert opinion. Please do not flame. My sample is limited; your mileage may vary.

Over the last year, I purchased 6 khukuris. All Nepalese imports. All with buffalo horn handles.

Three from Himalayan Imports Shop 2
(18" Ang Khola, 21" Sirupati, 15" British Army Service)

Two from Gurkha House
(15" Bhojpure, 15" Service Number One)

One from Gurkha Knives Limited
(15" Angkhola Panawala)

I also helped design the WWIII with GH and will have one shortly.

The HI khukuris were all purchased when Shop 2 -- now BirGurkha -- was setting up. And fit and finish was reported to be inconsistent. I'm told this is no longer the case.


Fit and Finish:

In my experience, you would be hard pressed to tell which khukuri is from whom by looking at them. The Gurkha House sheaths are a little rougher, but a better sheath option is available. Himalayan Imports tend to have larger and better kardas and chakmas. But that's about it. They are all light years ahead of a junk Indian import I saw in a surplus store.

Fit and finish varies even from the same manufacturer as they are all hand made and no two are the same. HI tend to have a slightly shinier polish. But here I'm most interested in -- how straight the forge lines; how well formed the butt piece; whether the bolsters are tightly sealed; how well cut the rings on the handle; condition of sheath and frog; and whether the sword of Shiva, and the Choi on the blade is cut carefully or in a hurry. It's all subjective and someone else may rate them differently. In order of best to worst:

GKL 15" Angkhola Panawala, HI British Army Service, GH Bhojpure, HI 18" Ang Khola, HI Sirupati, GH Service Number One.


I did not test them to the extremes Cliff Stamp did. So I probably did not push them to the point where a difference will be obvious. I was only interested in how well they will suit my needs.

Not every khukuri I had was put to use. Some were bought for friends. I used the two AKs and the Bhojpure khukuris to chop hard wood, open canned foods, and throw against trees (to see how well the handles hold up). I also took them camping. They all performed well. I had a little edge chip (2mm diameter) off the GKL AK from chopping hard wood. That was a little disappointing as it had only landed 40 chops at the time. I thought it might be defective and proceeded to abuse it much more so than the other two khukuris, but it developed no further problems.

Needless to say the bigger 18" AK was in a league of it's own when it came to chopping. For the two 15" models, the Bhojpure chopped a tiny bit better due to the more dropped point. But naturally, the less dropped point on the GKL AK proved better at stabbing open canned foods.


I have to say I like the HI 18" AK the most, simply because of the size and reach that comes naturally to this larger khukuri. It is really not in the same class as the other two.

The GKL AK and GH Bhojpure are both 15" overall. They both weigh 1.45 lb. on a postal scale. Both have same length handles, but the GH khukuris (including the SN1 that I didn't chop with) consistently had more comfortable handles, due to a slight angling of the pointed pommel away from your hand.


I'm not sure if this comparison is useful at all because even the same shop employ many smiths and anyone could have an off day. For example you will never get two exactly the same Ang Kholas from the same shop. So a count of number of chops required to fall a small tree is a waste of time.

Furthermore, the three dealers/manufactures have changed their inventory quite a bit over the last year. So even this may not be current.

I can only say all the tested khukuris suited my needs quite well. They are far stronger than I need them to be. If you want to see an all out distruction test, Cliff Stamp has an excellent review on his webpage.

This is far from a thorough test. But I think it might give you an idea what your khukuri buying choices are like.

[This message has been edited by tallwingedgoat (edited 14 December 1999).]
Thanks much for this review of your khukuris, this review is one reason among many why this web site is such a excellent source of info to us newbies.

This is the type of reviews I enjoy, no personal feeings just the facts and how you relate to the knives. I'm learning more and more about knives daily. The wife had to pry me off of Cliff's review page for supper as I've spent hours there reading all his reviews.

Now I'm anxious for my first real khukuri to arrive so the fondeling and cressing can begin