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Spec Plus Kukrie


Mar 8, 1999
The Ontario Spec Plus Kukrie I ordered (made for and sold only by Brigade Quartermasters) arrived today. This will be sent on to Cliff Stamp to be included in his testing of big blades along with a Spec Plus Bolo ordered at the same time from another dealer.

Initial impressions are of greater weight than expected, this because it is constructed of a 1/4" epoxy coated flat slab of steel, unground or tapered in any way outside the bevels within 1/2" to 3/4" of the cutting edge. It appears to have been cut out of stock, bevels shaped, tempered and epoxy coated and handle fitted, then an edge put onto it with a grinder or sander. Outside of the bevels and edge, the material and workmanship seem equal to the four other Ontarios ( 10" bladed tanto, survival bowie, marine raider bowie, and 8" bladed fighter ) I have owned. The bevels themselves were not closely examined as the edge was poorly done, distracting me from the rest of the knife. First, the edge ran off center of the stock as shown: [.......+................], each (.) representing .01". Second, the belly of the blade was fairly well flattened for about 2" rather than being a continuous compound curve.

Given that the blade's temper is probably the same or close to it throughout it's thickness, for the $49 price ( a fifth of the cold steel gurkha kukri's ) the filing work needed to true the edge and round the belly may be worth doing. Other Ontario kukris may not display these faults, but not having a chance to compare, I can't say.

This will be forwarded as is to Cliff, who I'm sure will have more expert comments to make.
Because of it's saber style grind, this one may even perform a little better than the CS kukri. Looks like a quality piece for the money.
Actually, it *should* be saber ground, and I'll probably do that later. After more thought about how to describe it, it's more of a 2/3rds chisel grind as it came. 2/3rds on one side of the blade, 1/3rd on the other.
It's the worst job I've seen from Ontario. I'm surprised it got out of the shop, but*it* can*be*fixed. They should have caught it though. But then they (Ontario and Brigade) probably *will* catch holy you-know-what when this Forum reads what Cliff has to say about their quality control.(( But I agree that my experience with Ontario before has been quite good quality for the money ))

[This message has been edited by Rusty (edited 06 April 1999).]
On a second look, the beveling and grinding are as bad as I remembered. And the flattened spot in the belly's curve is closer to 4"s.
Interesting, it seems that Ontario's QC is lacking in certain aspects. But then again the people that are commenting about imperfections in grinds and such are experienced knife users with tastes much higher than the target class Ontario is probably aiming for. Is it worth it for Ontario to put enough money into removing these flaws if most of the customers do not even notice them?

If the performance is only slightly effected or can easily be fixed I would not be concerned about it. Of course I would like excellent fit and finish every time. In any case, time will tell.

Your description of the general design does sound promising. It is probably a good thing you didn't send them all at the same time with the bowies, they would have probably been delivered with an armed guard looking for the Militia I was arming.

A little elbow grease and away you go with your sturdy well made carbon steel knife.
Per a conversation with Brigade,
The Ontario BQ Kukri has been redesigned
to a full flat grind. Some people felt the
full thickness edge and short hollow grind made for a kukri that was way too heavy.
I don't understand that at all - full flat grind on their khukuri. If you want that kind of performance why not just get a decent thin 18" machete, Ontario already makes one.

OK, now I understand - I was gone over last weekend ( Thurs/Sun ) which is why I missed the last couple of comments.

Yeah, I thought of the thing as too heavy, but it left plenty of metal to take off to where I liked. Give me a bandsaw and a sander, and I'd have had something to my liking. Apparently not too many other people feel that way. Sounds like they'll end up turning it into a machete or longer bolo, and they already have those.
I'm really disappointed to hear that Ontario is changing the grind before I even got to order one.

My q is where's the sweet spot?? (centre of precusion)

The second biggest drawback to the dismally poorly designed CS LTC Kukri, (aside from being too narrow waisted), was that it had a small, sub-optimal 'sweet spot'. That resulted in _less_ blade on target with each swing than a lowly camper's machete, resulting in a knife with severly diminished performance. Tertiary to that was that it's made thin like a machete, but since it lacks the proper chopping geometry, it couldn't even perform as well as a machete.

If you make a straight line from the rear of the handle where the pinky most naturally would be (excluding any butt knobs, etc), and extend it forward for the length of the blade, then how much 'contact' area is indicated on the Ontario Kukri? And also of similar importance, where is the sweet spot in relation to the handle?

That's my quick and dirty way of telling whether a chopper is even worth ordering. There's plenty more to making a good chopper, but if it fails the geometry test, there's not much reason to even continue.

I finished doing the chopping testing this weekened on the Ontario knives. The Ontario khukuri is by far the worst performer of the lot. Like Rusty says above there is *no* primary bevel at all. Its penetration is very low. Even though its really heavy its just too thick. Its no wonder that people have a low opinion of khukuris if their only experience is with models similar to this one.

Its not as simple as that though. The weight is nice as it is. And plus if you grind the blade down you will move the balance point back towards the handle and basically end up with the CS LTC. The Spec Plus Bolo has a full flat grind and chops lously because it is too light and the balance is off. Its not near the recurve its back by the handle.

Ontario needs to figure out what they want the khukuri and Bolo to do. If its to do heavy chopping neither design works well. Make them both very blade heavy with sabre / convex grinds. If its to do light chopping and slicing then yeah a full flat grind is nice, however a machete would probably be just as good or better in that respect.

The Ontario khukuri does make a decent sledge hammer though. If you wanted a knife that was very tough with almost no weak points (because it has no grinds) this would probably be it. It is the closest fit to a "sharpened prybar" that I have ever seen.

Cliff, the ontario kukri in my opinion from what you say is not worth it, especially when you consider an HI khukuri blem or a GH khukuri, both of which are much better and near the same price or close to it.
I don't usually like to harp on the negative aspects, but what you said is an understatement. If you ever get the chance to use one of these give it a go. I just figured out a use for it though. If you wanted a really good forearm workout its the way to go. Its fairly heavy and you need excessive force to cut through anything with it.

It should breeze through the toughness portion of the test though.