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Question for Uncle Bill about chakmas and kardas and comments.

May 18, 1999
Bro H.I. has come a long, long way since the beginnings of Shop 2 and now Birghorka.
And I have say that I am mighty proud to have been around to see and be a part of that growth.
H.I. and this forum has consistently been the best to promote customer, friends and family feedback and to have custom blades made to order at much more than very fair prices.
The overall product has improved beyond anyones expectations and has even saw a reduction in prices since I first started coming here.
H.I. has always demanded and gotten the best khukuris available no matter the source, but now and for some time H.I. can definitely be called The World Class manufacturer of Khukuris and many other blades and rightly so!

So now the question.

Since the H.I. khukuri's and scabbards are continually reaching new heights of quality can something now be done to improve the hardness of the chakmas and kardas that come with the rig?

Their size has been improved or not depending on one's point of view.
But imo they are now at a size that's very usable.

I have seen the improvements in the actual quality of the karda's hardness improve to mostly acceptable standards,(the newest kardas have been excellently hardened and the Kumar Karda's and JKM-1's are Most Excellent!!!!) but many times the chakmas are still too soft to perform their function.
I realize that if too hard they might break if dropped on a hard surface, but I for one would be willing to accept that risk if they could consistently be used for their purpose. At least the broken piece(s) could be picked up and used with flint for a
fire or perhaps used carefully for restoring the edge on the khukuri.
And I also realize that since the easy access to Bic® lighters and matches of all sorts that fire is usually easily obtainable and also with good hones & files the kamis may think the chakmas don't need to be that hard any more.
However I would like to be able to use the chakma with flint to make a fire in the traditional way of our people.

Often times I use the harder edge of the karda to perform the chakmas role in steeling the blade, but I don't want to try and strike a spark with one unless it's an emergency.

I have some chakmas that i'm going to try and harden a little later in the year but many people don't have either the skill or a place to do so. And that way I will know the chakmas in my rigs that I use most will be fully functional and I won't have to dull a karda's edge to maybe make a fire if needed or perhaps by not paying close attention, cut myself while using a karda's edge in place of the chakma.

So do you think you might talk to the kamis or Pala when he gets here about this?


Indin word for lousy hunter.

[This message has been edited by Yvsa (edited 01-23-2001).]
The chakma from my YCS is pretty good. It is hard enough to do it's job. The others I have are less so.

Roger didn't your YCS come with 2 kardas?



Indin word for lousy hunter.
The chakma and karda that came with my 18"
WWII were both excellent and well tempered!
I agree with you, the small tools should be
useful just like the ones used in the distant
past, fire and a sharp tool were some of our
first friends.I am planning to order an 18 th. century soon,and would like an early type sheath with a tinder pouch and a larger variety of tools if this is possible. I'll have to ask Bill about this. I really like the idea of it being a historically acurate
khukuri, just like what would have been used
during the time of the first Gorkha king.
I second Yvsa's praise and suggestions for improvement. Some of my Karda's are pretty hard but most won't hold an edge for any time at all. The chakmas tend to be soft also, however the chakma that came with my 20" AK is PERFECT and I use it on ALL my knives! The karda that came with that also seems to be well hardened and HUGE!
We will send Pala back with this suggestion. As you can see from the posts the karda and chakmas have improved but they are still sort of hit and miss. I notice they are much better when BirGorkha is not behind a lot which tells me they don't get the treatment of the big blades when things are hot and heavy.

Blessings from the computer shack in Reno.

Uncle Bill
Himalayan Imports Website
Khukuri FAQ
Himalayan Imports Archives (33,000 + posts)
Thanks Bro.!!!
By stressing the importance of the small tools and getting their quality consistent with the H.I.Khukuri and scabbards all the time will be a genuine plus!!!!



Indin word for lousy hunter.
I second the motion. I have only used my larger chakma's but would like all of them to work.

I think the ones I have are good, they seem to work. How do you tell if they have been heat treated well? I am a bit ignorant about steel, but I am trying to learn more.