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My Best Balanced Khukuri

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Glenn Jones, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. Glenn Jones

    Glenn Jones

    615
    Feb 26, 2002
    Over the years I have owned many khukuri - both antique and new. My best balanced khukuri in hand until now from literally hundreds I had owned was a very special antique M43 from World War II (special because it appears to have been hand made for an Officer and not a mass produced version - it has the officer's name on the sheath). That perhaps has not changed but it now has a smaller partner that balances just as well and which I like more because it is lighter and therefore livelier in hand.

    I have just received a new Tamang that I had ordered from HI a few months back. At first I was a little disappointed. I had wanted a Tamang that had similar specifications to the original one but with a high polish. I had two tamangs that fitted these specs that I had bought from HI a few years ago. They both had 16 inch blades in villager style and weighed in at 13 ounces and 14 ounces. I had previously written of my love of the Tamang model at http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/1315895-My-Favourite-Khukuri-Model-–-long-winded! When the new beautifully finished and polished Tamang arrived it had a 16.5 inch blade and was close to 16.5 ounces in weight. Bearing in mind I had specifically asked for it to be lightweight like the original (the original was lighter than this), I was not happy with 16.5 ounces - that is until I started handling it. I then quickly realised that it felt great in my hand and was as easy to use as my lightweight and shorter original style Tamangs. I couldn't work out how this was so when it was longer, bigger, and weighed more.

    That's when I discovered its secret. Whoever made this kukri did a magnificent job. It has a wonderful taper along the spine from handle to blade tip that seems to have made this kukri come alive in my hand. When I looked closely at the well balanced WWII M43, it also had a magnificent taper. It appears that blade taper has a lot to do with how a khukuri balances in the hand. A well conceived spinal taper leads to a well balanced khukuri. My two original Tamangs are great but there is next to no taper along the length of the blade spine - but if you refer back to my previous thread referenced above, they were still kukri that I loved. Now I have achieved their feel with a heavier and longer version. Now I have a new favourite. (I have taken some photos for this thread but unfortunately I am technologically challenged and didn't know how to load them here. However the Tamang at http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/s...3-Pix-Bagh-Bhairab-Movie-Model-and-Great-Buys appears to be identical to mine and no doubt made by the same master smith. I am a happy man. :)
     
  2. Scara

    Scara

    Jun 21, 2014
    Yeah, a good kukri with distal taper can feel amazing in hand. I've actually discovered that a lot of HI kukris have some distal taper. My favorite Chainpuri has it noticeably, while my WWII has one almost too subtle to see.
     
  3. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    [​IMG]

    That is a beautiful Tamang. I like the polished version. That was an excellent choice if you ask me. Lachhu is a great Kami. I have several by him. The Kamis also have a talent for tapering the chiruwa style slab handles as well. I have a few of them that are so well tapered through the handle and blade to the tip that they feel like a traditional Khuk. Enjoy you Tamang. Thats the coolest one yet:thumbup:
     
  4. Jens Schuetz

    Jens Schuetz

    Jun 24, 2013
    The best balanced one might be good for fighting. The best ones for chopping hard stuff are very front heavy in my opinion.
     
  5. Glenn Jones

    Glenn Jones

    615
    Feb 26, 2002
    Yep, the original Tamang was carried for self protection and it is not a dedicated chopper. It has a more neutral balance compared to many khukuries.
     
  6. SingleGrind

    SingleGrind

    894
    Jun 15, 2015
    I do like the look of your Tamang. I got my first one recently, and it quickly became to my favorite. Yours has a slightly different blade shape, which at first turned me off, but it has grown on me for sure. Didn't know it was a self defense blade originally, so that's cool to learn, and sheds some light on the blade length and weight choices.

    On my to-do list is hitting mine with vinegar to remove the forge scale and impart an etch onto the blade.

    Right now, it looks like this

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Glenn Jones

    Glenn Jones

    615
    Feb 26, 2002
    If you do a search you may find the original story of the first Tamang. From vague memory, two men in Nepal each carried a Tamang for defence against Maoists. They kept one for their trip home and sold the other one to HI or something like that. My recall is not as fresh as it used to be but I think that is the Tamang's origin.
     
  8. Moonw

    Moonw

    Nov 19, 2014
    It was not against commies, it was against predators through their way back home. That was before the Maoists, as far as I recall.
     
  9. Glenn Jones

    Glenn Jones

    615
    Feb 26, 2002
  10. J W Bensinger

    J W Bensinger

    Mar 26, 2009
    Good distal taper in anything is a game changer.
    It's even more pronounced in khuks because so few have it-when you get one it's somethin' else.
     
  11. SingleGrind

    SingleGrind

    894
    Jun 15, 2015
    Great story! I wish the original pictures were up, but there are a couple others posted in replies. Seems to me like the Tamang is one of the more underrated models available. Everyone in that thread loves theirs, and same with this thread including me. Mine is even starting to take the place of the KLVUK.

    I would love to see more Tamangs, and some with bone handles too!
     
  12. Bawanna

    Bawanna Moderator Moderator

    Dec 19, 2012
    Bone handles rock!
     
  13. yes.tenji

    yes.tenji

    2
    Oct 28, 2015
    I like ur khukuries, from long time i study n learn about forging blades, its really a fully art by hand, but now a day it is diffucult to get good balanced khukuri.
     
  14. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    Welcome yes.tenji! You should try one from HI. They are the best when it comes to balance and they have the best Kami blacksmiths on earth right now. Watch for the daily deals here and you can get one fast and for a great price.
     
  15. Derzelas

    Derzelas

    241
    Nov 23, 2015
    The best balanced kukri I have is one I acquired for a couple of months now. It is a longleaf kukri, forged with a very interesting and well thought distal taper and hollow ground to eliminate the unnecessary material of the blade. I was impressed with the balance and weight: for a 18" kukri it weights 593g / 20.9 oz. It is a very live blade in hand and it points very well even if the kukri is mostly a slashing weapon. It came with an old scabbard that almost fits it and I am thinking to redo it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    If someone can give me more information regarding it, I will appreciate. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  16. Mdinana

    Mdinana

    44
    Feb 28, 2009
    That looks like the IMA khukris, google them. Basically they biught a warehouse with a bunch of old military.

    Mine balances well, amazing balance and looks great... till the handle slipped off after about 30 chops. Trying to figure how to repair it, since it would be a wonderful tool. Long, well balanced, light. Handleless....
     
  17. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    Looks like a Gurkha Army Khukri but those usually have inscriptions on the spine. Theres another smaller version the doesnt usually have inscriptions they call them Bojpure. Are there any markings anywhere, blade, ricasso, end of handle? It definitely looks Victorian. Your real lucky to have the sheath for it. I wouldnt do anything to the sheath. Maybe make another one and keep the historical one? Very nice blade. Ill wait till someone with a Bojpure chimes in but theres plenty of info here on this forum and from there you will find many other links. IT does look like a "Longleaf" but I havent seen any without markings yet.

    Should be plenty of reading here to get you started:

    https://khukurilipi.blogspot.com/
    https://staefcraeft.blogspot.com/2009/10/thrice-honoured-moon-mystery-of.html
    https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/my-first-historical-khukuri-long-leaf-victorian.1106261/
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  18. Derzelas

    Derzelas

    241
    Nov 23, 2015
    Thank you gents. No markings I could find on it. I don’t intend to use it for wood chores - this one feels too good as weapon and it is quite old to mess around and ruin it. A new one will be the tool.
    And for the sheath I was thinking to do another one based on the one I have.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
    EricTheRedBeard likes this.
  19. Derzelas

    Derzelas

    241
    Nov 23, 2015
    Ndoghouse, thank you for the links. It may look like this kukri is one of the 9 out of 10 that were not stamped, made for army, and were smuggled out from the country to be sold outside. It can be early 1900s or 19th century made, something I consider a “museum piece”. What makes it interesting (at least for me) is the spine of the blade is not flat or rounded. It has a central "ridge" shallow sloping toward the sides continuous from handle to tip, the way my katana is done. The master smith / kaami knew his art and what to do with a blade for slashing. You pointed me in the right direction and I thank you for this.
    BTW the handle size and the way the ring is preventing the fingers to slip on the unprotected by a guard blade is perfectly done and very ergonomic - even if it is chipped in some places. I dislike the long handles on most of the new ones.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
  20. ndoghouse

    ndoghouse Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    Your very welcome Derzelas. Some HI blades dont have a ring at all and many are made with minimal handle drop and thats mainly done because they sell lots to westerners which are used to that style. Its a compromise I suppose. They do make plenty of traditional styles so just watch for them. I do like the straight handle ones if they have a ring to rotate around but having the traditional drop in the handle is really advantageous once you get the right technique. I prefer plenty of drop however some models do fine with straight handle if balanced properly like the AK Bowies. Proper technique is everything. I use a twenty inch AK for heavy chopping and my elbow will never go above my shoulder because the real power comes from utilizing them two little fingers and rotating around that ring which most westerners are'nt really accustomed to. You can let the wrist and forearm take care of the brunt of the work and expend much less energy than using a death grip with all fingers and a long broad swing.
    Sounds like you got a rare one and yes the spine on most of those old Army Khuks had a beveled spine from tip to bolster.
     

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