Shaila M43 review

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Jun 11, 2006
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I recently received the M43 by Shaila I purchased in the 7/25/08 deal of the day. The shipping was very quick. Upon inspecting the khukuri I noted first a very poor fit job on the handle. Which is probaly why it was a dotd.
M43hnd.jpg

I decided the first thing I would do is smooth handle up before proceeding to the rest of the testing. Some sandpaper,elbow grease and linspeed soon had the handle looking a bit better.
M43hnd2.jpg

Note that,as well as the wood being poorly fitted (with plenty of laha),the bolsters are uneven and the tang is tappered unevenly and slightly off-center to the blade.
M43bol.jpg

Despite these flaws I still felt that the M43 deserved a chance. I am a strong proponent of function over beauty. I tested the M43 against a 3-4" standing oak. I reasoned if my sirupate can do this than surely the much heavier M43 should manage this easily. I was wrong, the blade took a couple bends right off. As soon as I realized the blade was deforming I stopped chopping and set the blade aside. My personal opinion is that the heat treat is bad.
M43bld.jpg

In summation the only thing that was done correctly on this khukuri was that it looks like a khukuri.
I am well aware that some people will consider this to a be a very harsh review . It's not,any flaws associated with the cosmetics can be fixed ,and I'm willing to do that. The heat treat being poor to non-existant I'm unwilling to overlook. To forestall the inevitable, I'll tell anyone that reads that I believe is is a bad heat treat based on the fact that my sirupate and kobra will complete the task the M43 failed at. It's not blade geometry,it's not poor "chopping technique" ,thin blade or anything else.
The only questions I have is why Bura thought Shaila was ready to make khukuris? Why did the QC dept at HI allow this to happen? And should I contact Yangdu to see if I can exchange this KLO for something else?
 

Karda

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Wow,

to answer your questions:

there are a few shaila- made khuks in existence now and while there may be others this is the first bad heat treat i've become aware of. Any Kami can have a bad day, i have a bura made BAS with uneven bolsters...the rest of the khuk is fine. in short, some imperfection is to be expected on a totally handmade knife. the heat treat is another matter altogether, it shouldve been properly done, if for nothing more than safety.

the Q.C. at H.I. is not a "dept" but i believe consists of the kami's policing themselves with bura,the shop manager and even kami sherpa giving final approval.
all are fallable and some "bad" khuks getting thru is to be expected.

Yes,by all means you should contact Yangdu on this matter
 
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Karda-Yah,I can live with a bad handle,they can be fixed. Bad heat treat can't be.I wonder if Bura is in good health?
 
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im sure yangdu will make this right...ive got one by shaila that is great...sometimes a dud can slip through...
 

Karda

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Karda-Yah,I can live with a bad handle,they can be fixed. Bad heat treat can't be.I wonder if Bura is in good health?

As far as i know Master Kami Bura is still doing well, but i'm not absolutely postive. I'm sure Yangdu or Steely Gunz would've said something to us if he werent. I suspect the problems with Q.C. and shipment etc.... can all be attributed to the political climate in nepal as much as anything else.

I believe Steve Ferguson does Re-heat treating at times.If you want to keep that particular blade. The handle would need to come off before it's sent to him. I believe the Sarki Shop could also fix or rehandle it for you.

But best to contact Yangdu first to see what she wants to do.
 
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nagod-I'll wait until Monday to send her an email,no sense in bothering her on a weekend. Maybe she has something else I can exchange it for. I've no doubt that HI will stand behind their products.
 

Steely_Gunz

Got the Khukuri fevah
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That is a bummer:( Just contact Yangdu, and I'm sure she'll set it right. My trisul is Shaila-made. I happen to agree that he needs a little more polish when it comes to finishing his blades. My trisul has a couple of spots where he gouged the metal with the cutting wheel. It probably does nothing to hinder the function of the knife, but I would like to get another example of his work maybe 6 months from now to see how he has improved:)

I will say this, though, his edges (when properly heat treated, of course) are very Bura-like in nature. The trisul took a mean edge and after destroying a phone book and wailing on a couple of scrap pieces of wood, the knife is no worse for wear and would still take hair off my arm.

As Karda said, I'm sure the political climate in Nepal might be the REAL culprit here. However, that is one M-43 that should not have made it through QC. No biggie though. Even the bad reviews serve a purpose. How else can a company improve if they are not made well aware of the mistakes that they make. Yangdu will know what to do:):thumbup:
 
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Both my HI khuks have performed well. The blade performed well in chopping and splitting and took a good edge. But you got what you got. I would seek a refund or replacement.
 
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Steely Gunz-Yah I'll likely contact Yangdu either tomorrow or later tonight,I've still got the box so shipping it back won't be a problem.My thought is that Shaila needs to apprentice under Bura for a while longer. Sadly my interest in the M43 has diminished as a result.

Horn Dog-What I received is not typical of HI ,my other khukuris perform well. I'm sure it can be replaced without difficulty.
 
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...Horn Dog-What I received is not typical of HI ,my other khukuris perform well. I'm sure it can be replaced without difficulty.

I'm glad to hear that. I am very pleased with mine. Hope you get it taken care of soon. :thumbup:
 

Yangdu

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I do not have another M-43 in stock for replacement and I will refund your money today. Thank you for the suggestions
 
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And should I contact Yangdu to see if I can exchange this KLO for something else?

FWIW, contacting Yangdu with a problem should be step #1. Personally, I'd have shot her an email before posting.


My thought is that Shaila needs to apprentice under Bura for a while longer. Sadly my interest in the M43 has diminished as a result.

Question. What would you have said if it was a Bura blade? It's rare, but members have had Buras with a bad heat treat. (IIRC they were too hard and chipped). I've enough trouble heat treating with a proper oven and recipe from the steel manufacturer, so I'm willing to give guys that heat treat with a teapot some leeway, and a chance to make it right.


Don't take my comments as criticising for posting a negative review, we all like honesty here (I think).
 
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I consider a review of this sort to be just as important,if not more so,than a positive review. To just post positive reviews,no matter what, would be dishonest. Also it demonstrates to everyone that even when something isn't right HI will step up and resolve the issue.
If I had received a khukuri like this made by Bura,I would inquire if he had suffered another stroke. A kami should be held accountable for their work,isn't everyone?
 
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There is an universal rule that we should not forget: Sh*t happens.

QC can't be 100% perfect. It's how companies deal with those imperfects that show their worth, and... well, we all know Yangdu.
 
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I consider a review of this sort to be just as important,if not more so,than a positive review. To just post positive reviews,no matter what, would be dishonest. Also it demonstrates to everyone that even when something isn't right HI will step up and resolve the issue.

:thumbup:

Too bad there aren't any more village M43's in stock currently, but I reckon a refund is an amicable compromise.
 
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