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My 12" Ang Khola Proved to be Useful Again.

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by coote, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. coote


    Apr 3, 2006
    I've just come back from a trip to the Marlborough Sounds.

    Out of my 3 Khukuris, I picked the 12" Ang Khola as my travelling companion.

    I used it to trim scrub away from the edge of the tracks on the property where I was staying, and it worked very well. I also used it to cut the pest vine 'old mans beard'.

    My nephew shot a wild boar. I used the karda to completely skin and gut the pig. I later used the khukuri to cut through all the ribs so that we could fit the carcase into the plastic bags we had (the ribs were easily cut, but I splattered quite a bit of gunk around in the kitchen while doing the job).

    Arriving back at the wharf on the mainland, I noticed a number of nails protruding from the decking. These would possibly puncture vehicle tires, and they would definitely be a hazard to people walking on the structure with bare feet. These appeared to be four-inch long galvanised flat headed nails, and they were protruding maybe 3/4". I didn't have a hammer, but I did have the Ang Khola. Despite the fact that the back of the blade is heavily chamfered, I had no difficulty using the back of the blade to drive the nails right down into the heavy wharf decking. (I think that the flat headed nails would be easier to drive than round-headed nails).

    Once again, I can heartily recommend the H.I. Ang Khola khukuris as a versatile tool. And I have come to really appreciate the karda as a handy little knife. The handle shape helps to compensate for the lack of length to some degree. I am thinking about making a short knife or two based on the karda for carrying in my pocket. They would be quicker to use, more reliable, and cheaper than many folding knives.
  2. Kismet

    Kismet Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 30, 2002

    Very, very nice.

    I'm amazed at your skill with the 12incher's karda.

    Between the vines, the pig, and the pounding of nails, you've about replicated the Nepali need for a fully versitile tool.



    EricTheRedBeard likes this.
  3. SkagSig40


    Feb 1, 2001
    So how did the back of the blade/spine hold up to pounding nails? That is the soft part of the blade. Did the nails dent or mare the khukuri?
  4. Tohatchi NM

    Tohatchi NM

    Mar 26, 2002
    Nice review. It's good to know that one tool and a little ingenuity will take care of most jobs! Hope the pig tastes good.
  5. IUKE12


    Nov 25, 2005
    You are just breaking it in :D, give us a call when you do some real work with it:)
  6. coote


    Apr 3, 2006
    Thanks for all the positive comments.

    I don't think any unique skill was needed to use the karda for skinning. For skinning, the karda was only required to open the skin around the legs and the bum, and to make the long cut down the belly and brisket. The skin pulled off fairly easily without the need for a blade once these tricky areas were cleared. And for making the long cut down the belly wall for gutting, a small knife is good....I'm less likely to slip and cut into the messy stuff...These little knives have a design that seems to be suited to jobs like this. The blade on the particular karda in question is 2 and 3/8" long, and the handle is 2" long. I forgot to mention that I also used this wee knife to remove the head from the carcase.

    If the skin hadn't pulled off easily by hand, I feel certain that the karda would have been fine to use for the whole job.

    I reckon these kardas are nice little knives.

    I've just pulled out the khukuri to look at it. I haven't sharpened it since returning home. It won't shave hair now, but it is still plenty sharp enough to do a lot more work.

    There are a few marks on the back of the blade where I was hitting the nails (this was originally a highly polished surface, so it is not surprising). There aren't any obvious deep dents, but I can feel some roughness when I run my fingernail over the area. I imagine that if I were hammering a lot of nails daily with this khukuri, it would soon show some significant damage...although it would be a very long time before the khukuri was totally unusable.

    To me, tools were made to be used.

    This khukuri blade has lost its visible shine now. And frankly I like it better this way. It looks more like the sort of serious tool that I like to use, and it won't be sending mirror signals all over the countryside now when I pull it from the scabbard.

    Haven't tried any of the pig yet....but my brother just brought some around to my place unexpectedly, so maybe later in the week I will roast it. Unfortunately a lot of the game we get has very little fat on it, so it isn't as succulent as it might be...but it can be quite tender and tasty nevertheless.

    About two months ago, I'd never used a khukuri. Now I'd be reluctant to go anywhere outdoors without one. I just gave away one of my short, light axes...and I'm sure I won't miss it. Khukuris are certainly very handy, versatile tools. Although I'd be curious to play with a bigger one, I don't see the need for carrying anything heavier than a 15" Ang Khola for doing the type of things I do. The 12" model can do amazing things.

    Yep Iuke12, I'll let you know when I've graduated to using the khuk as a cold chisel :)
  7. greenwoods


    Sep 2, 2006
    That's some good eating there coote.
    I agree that the karda is a useful little utility knife. I got me a turkey last week and de-boned it with the karda from my WW II 17", it's karda is 6" with a 3 1/16" blade. I like the curved spine as I can guide it well with my index finger, and it's so tough I never worry about leaving a flake of the edge like when I use my thinner bladed neckknife. I'll bring my WW II to our family boucherie soon and see what I can do on a big,fat hog. They eat alot of day old doughnuts from the store, that's succulent meat...oh ya.
    be well in the bush
  8. Big Bob

    Big Bob

    Oct 13, 1999
    Great review, Coote. The 12" models can really be versatile tools.

  9. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    Jul 30, 2004
    Only here is a 12" knife considered small. :D

    Great review- thanks for sharing your part of the world with us.

    Mike :thumbup:
  10. Grob


    Nov 29, 2005
    Good to hear from another 12" AK fan(atic). By far my favorite knife, probably gets more use than all my others put together.

    Seems like NZ is pretty similar to Vancouver Island (except for a decided lack of wild boar:(, got the highest density of cougars though).
  11. bennyjenkins


    Dec 18, 2006
    glad to see another fan of the 12" AK. If you ever get the notion, try picking up an R-6. These are great little knives as well, though quite a good deal larger than a karda.
  12. coote


    Apr 3, 2006
    Thanks for all the comments and ideas.

    Had some of that pork last night. It was fairly darn good too....although a bit of fat wouldn't have gone amiss. Most pigs we get are lean.

    The 12" is a relatively big knife to have on a belt, and it is certainly much bigger than the other knives (other than machetes) I've used throughout my whole life. But having used this tool, I would not want to be without it or something similar.

    Cougars would make life a bit more interesting I suppose, but it is nice not having to watch your back down here. We have very little in the way of dangerous fauna. You have to be careful of any big game animal when it is angry or cornered, but otherwise there is nothing to worry about. No snakes, no big predators.

    I'll have to keep my eye open for an R-6. In fact I'd like at least one of most of the blades produced by HI.

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