Looking at my first Kailash Kukri - some questions

Daniel L

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Nov 2, 1998
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Hi there - since I couldn't find these answers anywhere I thought I'd make a post so that it can help others.

1. What's the difference / advantages / disadvantages of the different bolster materials? Steel / brass / copper / white metal.... and what is "white metal"?
2. How do you measure the handle? Is it from the butt to the where the bolster starts, or from the butt to where the bolster ends and blade begins?
3. My other kukris have a peaked ridge running down the spine - I notice most Kailash blades do not have this. What is the benefit of the ridged spine? Is it possible to get a ridged spine on say a Mutiny?

I'm planning a Mutiny with a micarta handle... still deciding the other options!

Thanks,
Daniel.
 

HJA

Joined
Apr 29, 2021
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1) Mostly aesthetics. White metal is an alloy that seems to have a few variants, no idea what kailash uses: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_metal
2) It appears to include from the front of the handle to the very end of the rear bolster, so not including the bolster that holds the blade. But maybe I'm wrong and instead it's based on the upper or outer curvature. If you're in-between sizes I would go with the larger size up though.
3) My HSI and Mini have a spine ridge; it's fairly subtle though. Not sure what dis/advantages having it flat would be.
 

Kailash Blades

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Nov 21, 2015
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536
Hey there Daniel! Thanks for reaching out.

Hi there - since I couldn't find these answers anywhere I thought I'd make a post so that it can help others.

1. What's the difference / advantages / disadvantages of the different bolster materials? Steel / brass / copper / white metal.... and what is "white metal"?
2. How do you measure the handle? Is it from the butt to the where the bolster starts, or from the butt to where the bolster ends and blade begins?
3. My other kukris have a peaked ridge running down the spine - I notice most Kailash blades do not have this. What is the benefit of the ridged spine? Is it possible to get a ridged spine on say a Mutiny?

I'm planning a Mutiny with a micarta handle... still deciding the other options!

Thanks,
Daniel.

H HJA has done a great job with his answers- I'll add a bit more detail.
We'll be updating out options info page with hardware and handle size info soon so this information will be more readily available.

1: Our steel plate bolsters are made out of the same 5160 as our blades. For the sheet bolsters as seen on traditional khukuris and buttcaps they're made of regular steel sheet. This is the most resistant to scratching, denting and bending but can rust over time if not taken care of. This can be done when cleaning and taking care of the blade in much the same way.It can bea cid washed for a dark look or can gain a patina over time.
Brass and copper are very similar. Both slightly weaker than steel but with the advantage of not being susceptible to damaging corrosion. Brass is a bit tougher than copper and while it does oxidise it does so in a less extreme manner-f unctionally it is superior. It's a bit less exciting than copper though which provides a warmer pinkish golden tone even when polished and has a broader range of oxides and patinas that can form with different levels of exposure. From pink through to black or bluish green.

White metal is a term for a large range of silver coloured alloys that contain zinc and pewter. it's highly formable and takes a fantastic polish that doesn't tarnish much over time. It's the same metal found in silverware platters and the like. It is however not as strong as our other metals and is usually chosen for display, martial arts or non workhorse blades. With this said we use a thicker gauge of white metal than other houses so our hardware is more resistant to bending and dinting- be aware that on a working blade it will aquire small dints and scratches more easily and will require upkeep to polish.


2: Our handles are measured in a straight line from the centre of the front of the bolster where it meets the blade to the centre of the rear of the pommel. As a result blade length plus handle length pretty much equals overall length. For a traditional khukuri this bolster is usable as grip if needed. This goes some way to explain the large handle measurements on our website- many users are used to seeing grip lengths of 3.5" in folding knives etc rather than the whole handle as is the norm with sword and larger blades. The average western male hand will be able to fit all three handle sizes, the 4.25" small very snugly, the 4.75" medium with a nice fit and a bit of wiggle and the 5.25" in a looser way with room to adjust grips forward and back.

3: All of our traditional blades feature the pentagonal/house roof/ridged spine as standard. It may be that the spines are thinner or our finish a little smoother so the edges don't stand out so much looking at them in photos.
It's an ornamental feature really and doesn't add or detract from the usability of the blade. For some customs we have made sharp flat spines for use with a firesteel or rounded smooth spines for those that do a lot of skinning and handle the spines frequently.

Hope that helps!
Feel free to reach out if you're in need of any further guidance.

Take care,
Andrew
 

Daniel L

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Joined
Nov 2, 1998
Messages
1,821
For a Mutiny with a 14" blade and micarta handle, will the historical Large 5.3" handle still be a good choice, or is it recommended to drop to the Medium handle?
 

Kailash Blades

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For a Mutiny with a 14" blade and micarta handle, will the historical Large 5.3" handle still be a good choice, or is it recommended to drop to the Medium handle?
If you'd like a snugger fit them the medium is a good option, otherwise the historical handle size is great for all hand sizes, allows room for adjustment and a touch of counterweight on the blade :)
 

Daniel L

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Joined
Nov 2, 1998
Messages
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Yes I like larger handles!

Would a 12" blade Mutiny with a large 5.3" handle be unusual?
I know the 15.5" blade will be too big for my personal liking... I have owned kukris with 20"+ OAL and didn't like them.

So just deciding between 14" and a 12". I'm erring on 14" to be closer to historical... but I do know 12" is closer to my personal preferences for a compact tool for bushcrafty tasks and martial arts practice.
 

Kailash Blades

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Nov 21, 2015
Messages
536
Yes I like larger handles!

Would a 12" blade Mutiny with a large 5.3" handle be unusual?
I know the 15.5" blade will be too big for my personal liking... I have owned kukris with 20"+ OAL and didn't like them.

So just deciding between 14" and a 12". I'm erring on 14" to be closer to historical... but I do know 12" is closer to my personal preferences for a compact tool for bushcrafty tasks and martial arts practice.

I don't think it would be that strange- a lot of customers buy large handles on blades smaller than that.
I think a 14" would be a more useful size. While you may have had larger blades in the past they may not have the lighter weight of the mutiny. the 12" loses a lot of chopping power and is like a lightweight sirupate.
If a more compact bushcrafty/martial arts tool is what you're after then I'd suggest the 11.5" HSI as it has a bit more beef to it for chopping and allows for greater versatility. It's still very fast and great fun for martial drills.
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
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I don't think it would be that strange- a lot of customers buy large handles on blades smaller than that.
I think a 14" would be a more useful size. While you may have had larger blades in the past they may not have the lighter weight of the mutiny. the 12" loses a lot of chopping power and is like a lightweight sirupate.
If a more compact bushcrafty/martial arts tool is what you're after then I'd suggest the 11.5" HSI as it has a bit more beef to it for chopping and allows for greater versatility. It's still very fast and great fun for martial drills.
I like how you make recommendations on these. I'll be receiving the 11.5" HSI soon and it sounds like it will be very versatile. Any recommendations for a very versatile full-tang model? I'm not thinking of any particular role for it, just what is most capable of handling whatever comes along. There are many different ones of yours I like, but I think I'm also learning from your knowledgeable input.
 

Kailash Blades

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Glad to hear you're finding it helpful :)
We've got a lot of positive feedback on our 13" angkhola ek chirra and 14" sirupate as versatile full tang options.Both blades are bigger and more difficult to carve with than the hsi but lean slightly outwards into chopping and brush clearing respectively.
I think your best bet would be to wait until you get your HSI and have given it a decent workout. From there you'll be able to see where you feel it hits the nail on the head for your kind of use and what areas you'd like to optimise for more. Maybe you light the shorter length but want more chopping power for example. an 11" mk1 could be a good option. We could give it a full tang for you as well if you'd like.
Take care,
Andrew
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
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Thanks for the guidance!
Full tang Ek Chirra and Sirupate both sound like good candidates. On the modern side, would the Regent Khukuri be an option? Or have you not had much feedback on it?
Would the Standard Grind be the best bet for all around use and clumsiness? I'm thinking the Heavy Duty Grind might only find itself on a Panawal, subject to brutish use and for various "non-knife" duties.
But, I can't rule out the impulse factor trumping research and patience...
 

Kailash Blades

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
536
Thanks for the guidance!
Full tang Ek Chirra and Sirupate both sound like good candidates. On the modern side, would the Regent Khukuri be an option? Or have you not had much feedback on it?
Would the Standard Grind be the best bet for all around use and clumsiness? I'm thinking the Heavy Duty Grind might only find itself on a Panawal, subject to brutish use and for various "non-knife" duties.
But, I can't rule out the impulse factor trumping research and patience...
The regent khukuri hasn't been a big mover but from those that own it we've heard nothing but positive things. in particular the solid bolster adds a great way to modulate balance- when choked up it sits inside the hand to make for a very manoeuvrable blade. When you slide back it's a few cm in front of the fist and adds a lot of power. The standard grind is just about perfect for general use and clumsiness as you've described. A few overswings or the odd rock won't ruin your knife with it but it'll still cut well. On the Panawal they already have a very meaty bevel so a HD grind will definitely hurt slicing, carving,flexible brush clearing and other lighter work. a HD grind on a panawal willabsolutely excel at prying, crowbar use, splitting bricks and similar acts of foolishness haha
 
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