Looking for a Chopper/Fighter.

Feb 11, 1999
I'm looking for a tough blade, that can chop and yet is maneuverable enough for fighting. I'd like a blade around 12", that is reasonably priced. I did come across the "Pathmaker" series on the Brigade Quartermasters Catalog:


Is anyone familiar with these? Any recommendations for other options?



When I think of chopping I think of a khukri, and when I think of fighting I think of the Gurkhas employing them in absolutely brutal fashion.

Check out the Himalayan Imports forum. Of course, they are decidedly unsubtle weapons...might not be what you're looking for.


Hey! Uncle Sam!

(_!_) Nyah nyah nyah!

Refund! You lose! :)

Sounds like you want an HI BAS or WWII.
BAS is 15" overall, with a 5.25" handle and 10.5" blade, spine thickness 3/8ths".

WWII is 16.5"overall, with a 5.5" handle and 11.75" blade, spine thickness 7/16ths".

These are nominal specs off my two, which were blems, and may be off as these are hand forged. If you want to go more of a fighter, go to the Sirupati, if you want more of a chopper go to the Ang Khola. Both come in 15" overall lengths.

The WWII and Ang Khola also are made in 18" overall.

The Sirupati in 20" length has a 14" blade, 5.75" handle, and 7/16th" spine thickness. This is bigger than you said you wanted, but it's a tremendous fighter and surprizingly good chopper. If you are a Sumo wrestler, the 20" Ang Khola at between 3.5 and 4 lbs. is worth looking at.
A Cold Steel Kukri can be had for a pretty good price if you look around. Also check out Newt Livesay's big blades. A handmade machete sized knife for $150, that's hard to beat!
I second Rusty's recommendations. Is the Pathfinder a khukuri like thing that was originally brought out by Al Mar?

A H.I. WWII model seems to have an excellent balance between chopping (and it does not get stuck in wood) and cutting. Blade length comes closest to the 12" you are looking for and the weight is about 573 g. These are very tough knives and have a life time guarentee.

The Cold Steel Gurkha is excellent also if you are not planning to do very much chopping. The flat ground blade causes it to stick in wood too much. As a result a lot of time is spent getting the Cold Steel unstuck. The weight on this one is 645 g.

Himalayan Imports is the way to go. Between 3/8 and 1/2 inch of forged 5160 in a fighting khukuri blade is unstoppable. They are good looking to.
I would give a strong nod to the Himalayan Imports British Air Service model. Everytime I pick one up I find it hard to put down. These are awesome knives.

The Ghurka House Khukri's offer a cheaper choice for those interested in owning one but, hesitant to spend the money for the H.I.

I wouldn't exactly call my WWII maneuvrable for fighting (compared to say a rattan stick...) but history proves its effectiveness. Lighter weight as in a 15inch Sirupati could be the way to go and Cliff Stamp's chopping tests prove that it's a passable chopper as well.
I dunno if you want to wait for a custom,but I`d highly recomend a Eight Dollar Mountain Foundry 12" Trench Bowie. Blade is a broad 3/16" saber ground slab of blued steel similar to L6 (I forget the #). A sharpened false edge is a free option. Mine`s razor sharp,holds and edge very well,is strong but light enough to be quick for it`s size. Grips are tough alloy cast around a full tang capped by a steel plate for hammering and wrapped with paracord. A nasty integral D guard is an option. Imagine a WW1 trench knife on large doses of steroids. It handles well and I`ve chopped down trees as big as 6" without working up a sweat. Best of all they`re only about $100 with a really HD leather sheath. Marcus

Where can I find Mountain Foundry knives? Has anyone seen any other reviews of them?


Dave, one of the magazines had an article on them a while back and they had nothing but good to say about them. They are excellent working knives. They are not lookers, but they are workers.
Thanks for the info Cobalt! I'm still trying to find Mountain Foundry stuff on the 'net.

I did come across a possibility at Atlanta Cutlery's site. It's under their "Outdoor Knives" section. Does anyone know anything about these knives?

Hi Dave,

There was a review of one up in the review section of BladeFoums or KnifeForums. Do a search and it should turn up. I recall the tester was quite happy with his.

Hey Dave I finally found EDMF`s address on the web. It`s http://home.cdsnet.net/~edmf Only a few versions are shown on the site but if you e mail Dale he`ll mail you a flyer. His biggest standard knives are a 11 1/2" Smatchet,a 11 1/2" Bolo,and 12" Bowie. There are 4 grip styles available and the big choppers all go for $90 + $7 shipping. If you`re interested drop Dale a line ,he`s a great guy and he`ll answer any questions you might have. Marcus
That stuff from Atlanta Cutlery is for looking not really for using, although useable.

You would be muuuuuch better off spending the money (bite the bullet if necessary) and get a knife from Himalayan Imports. Other stuff isn't even close. I know! I've got a lot of "even close".
Happy Trails,
Dave, those Brigade Pathfinders are exact copies of an old Al Mar design right down to the name. The design is very good and the Al Mars were great but very pricey which is probably why they are no longer made. Brigade has a very good return policy so it might be worth a look although they obviously would not take back a used blade.


who dares, wins

Also keep in mind the 11" steel eagle from TOPS. I just got mine today from Sid Post and it is a serious piece of steel. I haven't had a chance to field test it yet, but TOPS knives do have Ron Hoods seal of approval.
I've got a Muella, a Spanish knife, that is like a smaller version of an Arkansa toothpick, a big bellied bowie. It sells for over $300 but we picked it up for $75 at a gun show becuase the owner had been splitting a deer carcase with it and it had become stuck in the bones so he hammered it the rest of the way thru with a hatchet, chewing up the back. Seven bucks to the local sharpening expert and the back cleaned up like new and we got a great, large but lively knife.

The Fighting Old Man

As for HI, it's not a matter of not wanting to spend that much $$$ on a knife. It's a matter of not having that much $$$ to spend.

I visited the Brigade website and the Pathmaker has a 1/8th inch thick blade. Not for me. Try Ontario Spec Plus Marine Raider Bowie.