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Thai blades?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by uyotg, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. uyotg

    uyotg Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    I have some family visiting Thailand and had a thought that they could pick me up some traditional blades. Sorry, the correct word escapes me, but I'm not looking for, say, a French chef's knife made in a factory in Thailand, but a knife design that was invented and used in Thailand, whether by farmers, military, etc.. Something exclusive to the culture that a native uses, like Indonesian parangs and Javanese karambits.

    I'd probably have this for my collection. Any size, any function, anything.

    In my searches, this one came up a lot called an e-nep:
    Can any experts tell me how this differs from a kukhri? Or perhaps it's just the Thai's local take on kukhris?

    I found this sword and knife set, but I'm unsure what they're called:
    The site says they were made in 1965, but I don't know their purpose. I'm more interested in the shorter one:

    The same site has this Thai short sword, but it's manufactured by Aranyak, who makes replicas--as a member of Bladeforums, I'm embarrassed to say that replicas were all I knew once, but now I know better. Anyway:

    Well, I won't continue posting links from that page since that seems kind of pointless.

    Anyone have any other suggestions? Reputable Thai knifemakers who make users and not replicas?
    I'm aware some of these knives may have ambiguous origins... but I guess as long as they were used in Thailand, I wouldn't mind, too. A further search showed me that those e-nep are actually Hmong knives, but they're still employed by Thai laborers.
  2. jayinhk


    Apr 25, 2006
    Where in Thailand are they going? If they're going somewhere really touristy, authentic Thai knives are going to be harder to find. The sword in the pics you posted is known as a darb Thai and is a traditional fighting sword found all over Thailand. I have a very nicely done modern one right next to me (definitely not a tourist piece)!

    I was in Phuket in 2011 and tried to score some good local knives--the only Thai knives I ended up coming home with from there were Kiwi Brand kitchen knives (which are cheap and good)!
  3. uyotg

    uyotg Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    They're mainly in Bangkok, but they're going around. They have a whole month there--I may even be able to get them to go out of their way to get me something nice.
    Is the darb Thai that longer one in the second picture, or is it the short sword? I like the three shortest ones I posted. The e-nep in the first picture look to be the most practical though.

    Any idea on your darb Thai's origins, manufacturer, so on?
  4. Dagon


    Nov 12, 2007
    There is a village in Thailand with several cutlers that can make a custom knife to your wishes for reasonable money. Their own designs are rather over the top in ornaments, but if you give them a sketch of a clean design then something nice may come out of it.
  5. JayGoliath

    JayGoliath Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    I suggest your family get a local guide. It's a lot safer this way.
    Speaking of which you may see my OTOP blade for sale in the sales section.They produce stuff like this.
  6. jayinhk


    Apr 25, 2006
    Aranyik is the commercial heart of Thailand's knife industry. I, personally, have no interest in swords or knives from the town since I can always order Aranyik-made blades online (not that I want to)!

    I prefer delving a little deeper for my blade fix. My sword was hand forged up in Lampang Province, not somewhere you see too many new swords coming out of nowadays!

    The darb is the long sword: the shorter ones are like mini darbs.

    As far as e-neps...went looking in Phuket and failed! Hopefully I get another chance to look further afield in Thailand soon. It's only a few hours from here, but JayGoliath's even closer ^_^
  7. uyotg

    uyotg Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 5, 2010

    They're Thai, so I think they should be OK on their own. However, they're not into knives at all so they could be misled easily.
    I guess it would be a long shot trying to find that village and putting in a custom order to get one done by the time they leave.

    I often have doubts about commercial centers for any type of good... I feel like eventually they start going for quantity over quality. I hope they can find a good smith in their short time there. I don't know how far they're venturing out of the more urban areas.

    I'm going to hope for a mini darb and an e-nep, made in the traditional style but with modern improvements.
  8. jayinhk


    Apr 25, 2006
    Do you know which region in Thailand they're from, and if they're going there? Their best bet would be to get you local knives from their home areas. They might even mean more to you that way. I absolutely love Thailand. Can't wait to explore more of the country!
  9. uyotg

    uyotg Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    They got back to me saying they saw some knives. I'm a little skeptical of their taste, but I said I wanted a real knife a farmer would use, not just a souvenir (even though it will be a souvenir). I'm really into the enep and the shorter darbs. They're also a little concerned about running into any trouble bringing them into the US.

    I forget where they're from originally, but they all live in the capital now. I went "home" once and it was pretty rural but I don't recall any local industry that required such tools... just a nice cleaver for the barbecued chicken stall right across the street from the house.

    Oh jeez, my childhood memories... they're all flooding back into my brain right now. I wish I had more opportunities to go there.

  10. ktk


    Jan 15, 2005
    ัplease do search on "santi". He has been BF member for a long while. He has good connection with traditional Thai bladesmith.
    Or you can visit www.konrakmeed.com. You will find a lot of helping hands there.
  11. aranyik


    Jun 13, 2011
    The E-nep, is actually pronounced hnep, and must be joined with the word knife, as in Knife Nep = "meat-nep". This means Leaf-Knife.

    This is where the main distinction between a Kukri (spelling?) and an E-nep comes into consideration. The E-nep always strives to be close to the shape of a leaf slicing through air. While the Khukuri's have seemed to take the shape of 'choppers' while E-neps are used as 'swift cutting' tools or throwing knives. I don't know if Nepal claims the importation of the design from Arab Muslims, but the Thai people do give credit to the Muslims for the design.

    Hope that helps.
  12. RemyKaze

    RemyKaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 23, 2012
    Long sword looks like a Burmese dha.

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