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REVIEW: Museum Model!!!

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by MauiRob, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. MauiRob

    MauiRob

    Nov 15, 2000
    Yup...moved per request.

    I have to apologize ahead of time for this review: it’s been awhile since I read one, and awhile since I had any good chopping time under my belt. However, I had a really good time trying this blade out and if you read on I hope you won’t be disappointed.

    The Museum Model arrived in the usual triangular box that raises our blood pressure a few points no matter how many curved pieces of steel live under the bed with the dust bunnies. I was quite surprised by this piece. My first words were “ARGGHHH! Now there be a fine pirate knife!” No seriously, they were. I picked it up and liked the balance of it: not quite as forward heavy as some khuks (nothing near an AK in this department). The POB is only 3.25 inches ahead of the handle ring.

    Ok, ok. I told my wife just now as I ran into the kitchen : I need the scale, and a tape measure—these guys will eat me alive if I post a review without specs! So here we go:
    (in inches)

    Length: 21.25 from tip to pommel point
    Blade width at widest:2.25
    Spine thickness: 3/8ths
    Handle Length: 5 3/8ths
    Handle width at widest: 1 3/16ths

    Weight: 2lb 10.1oz

    First impressions (pre-use):

    Uh oh this handle’s gonna be trouble. The smooth metal combined with the fairly large rings—particularly the lower one—made me wonder about catching a steel handle ring in the bottom of my hand on a swing. The smooth metal made me nervous concerning slippage. And the metal concerned me because of shock transference.

    The real test: Chopping

    SURPRISE! I took a few swings and sailed through some green saplings about 1” dia. And the rings were no problem. Neither was grip retention. Ok, I know you’re thinking what I was too: saplings are fine, now how about heavy dry stuff. Well, here was the real surprise: no ring trouble and no appreciable shock issues (I must qualify that I only chopped hard heavy stuff for about 10 minutes due to a very busy evening of work that needed to get done). I chopped some very dry and hard firewood: I hacked into the end grain and the blade bit deeply and stuck pretty fast. Check out the edge profile pic and you’ll see why. This thing is a darn good chopper but it may bind a bit splitting firewood. YMMV. I have a feeling that it wasn’t designed for this purpose---I’m thinking this was a war blade but that’s just a guess. Next I slammed the tip crossgrain onto the large slabs of wood to inflict maximum vibration damage on myself. The result: no big vibration at all. In fact IMO the vibration falls at about the same level as a chiruwa handled Khuk.
    I also slammed the flat of the blade HARD into a 10” block of hardwood about 6 times on each side (cringe). But it passed with flying colors.

    Conclusions:

    I was pleasantly surprised with this khuk. Fit and finish were outstanding—the metal handle is a thing of beauty, as is the blade. But I’ll let the pics do the talking on that front. Blade hardness seemed very good with the edge loosing very little of its bite even after chewing some hard wood.
    I personally would not recommend this as your first choice HEAVY chopper due to handle shape and possible sweat + smooth metal grip issues. However, roughening up the handle steel might help and/or donning a light pair of work gloves.
    But if you want a very cool and historically accurate blade (IIRC this was made based on an old museum piece—Yangdu will have to help with its background info..) that will do some fine chopping work while scaring the crap out of your neighbors then this is your blade. Personally, its growing on me more and more all the time. ARRGGHH!!



    Edited to add: I have medium sized hands so hopefully that pic will show that even you guys who palm basketballs will have room to move on this handle;)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Josh Feltman

    Josh Feltman

    Feb 12, 2001
    Great review! As far as the pics, there's a free program you can download called IrfanView. It will do thumbnail galleries, slide shows, etc, and will also allow you to resize, crop, and enhance pics with ease. Did I mention it's free?
     
  3. MauiRob

    MauiRob

    Nov 15, 2000
    Thanks Josh:)

    I tried resizing them (I deliberately shot them at a small file size so it wouldn't be such a drastic change in resolution etc..) in Adobe Photoshop, but as soon as I made them small enough (below 100KB) the pics are all fuzzy when you enlarge them to viewable size.

    Is this a hosting vs posting issue?

    Anyone, anyone,................... Bueler?
     
  4. munk

    munk

    Mar 22, 2002
    Damn. After reading that review I want to chop something, anything...

    these be dangerous waters you're coursing on....

    A good tool wants to be used.
    Thanks Rob!




    munk
     
  5. Nasty

    Nasty Chief Cook & Bottle Wash

    Nov 11, 2003
    Sweet! Nice review too Rob...I need to get clear of a few things so I can add one of these beauties to my stuff.
     
  6. Bri in Chi

    Bri in Chi

    May 28, 2003
    Good review, Rob. Makes me want one. Was it a DOD? How'd I miss it?
     
  7. Svashtar

    Svashtar

    Dec 28, 2003
    Great review Rob, and like all the best ones it makes me want to get one! I wish I had had the bread at the time or I would have given you a run for that guy. I have always wanted one since seeing the original on the HI "past runs" web page.

    That was my first impression of the handle also, but glad to see it chops so well. It certainly looks striking. I hope more come out about the time I start working. :thumbup: :D

    Thanks,

    Norm
     
  8. ArchAngel

    ArchAngel

    Feb 13, 2000
    Nice review Rob!:thumbup:
    It is good to see that you are still grabbing a khuk now and again. That is a piece that I thought of grabbing myself. I am glad that you did and I didn't.
    That way I see a good review on it and also know that a good guy has it, and has used it. Too many of mine sit unused.:eek:
     
  9. MauiRob

    MauiRob

    Nov 15, 2000
    Yangdu actually sent me this Khuk as a gift...absolutely blew my socks off. I was believe it or not speechless. I knew she was sending me a museum model to review and I was flattered. then the box arrived and the note asked me to please accept the knife as a gift for being a good friend to HI and the Kamis.

    in the interest of total disclosure I had to sit down and think about things before I could write this review. My first impression was "uh oh I've been given an amazing gift--can I be objective now?" then I thought of who Yangdu is and what she and Uncle Bill have always stood for and I knew that they would want me to be completely honest. And that's what you got. I was prepared to rip this khuk a new one if it deserved it even though I would have hated to do that. But one of the reasons HI is so popular is honesty. I have seen blades made by HI over the years that had flaws and bad runs have happened too. But in each case the faults were openly admitted and positive change was the result---and in those cases the customers were made happy (even the ones that I may have thought were dead wrong and may have been taking advantage--even they were given a fair shake).

    So thank you Yangdu and HI and the Kamis for the chance to review this blade and for the honor of being given such a gift
     
  10. munk

    munk

    Mar 22, 2002
    Rob, you do a lot for many people, and are a voice of friendship and peace in our forum. I'm so glad you are here.



    munk
     
  11. Yangdu

    Yangdu [email protected] Himalayan Imports-Owner Moderator

    Apr 5, 2005
    Great review, thank you Rob
     
  12. MauiRob

    MauiRob

    Nov 15, 2000
    Thanks very much Munk!

    and thank you as well Yangdu.
     
  13. MauiRob

    MauiRob

    Nov 15, 2000
    Yes, it had been too long! I did chop a few blue spruce limbs a few weeks back that were terrorizing me when I mowed the lawn..but no serious chopping like I used to do when I worked clearing downed Redwoods in California;):D
     

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