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The ASTK or One of the best ideas coming out of Nepal

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Steely_Gunz, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    How many times a year do we have a thread where one of new guys (whom we always eagerly envelope into the fold:D:thumbup:) asks about a khukuri that a good all 'rounder and tough as nails?

    I think the Kamis may have come up with the closest thing to that I have seen in awhile with the new ASTK.

    Take 2 parts Chiruwa AK, sprinkle in some Siru, add a bit of WWII wasp-waist, garnish with a built in lanyard hole, and you have the ASTK. IMHO, one of the most well rounded khuks to come out of the shop in a long while. Everything about it oozes "survival knife". It's pointy enough to really puncture with, it's heavy enough to chop with, it's compact enough lash to a pack or strap to your hip, and this thing could be used as a pry bar by a gorilla. It is the most chiruwa-ish or chiruwa khuks I have ever seen.

    Here are some of the specs:
    Weight: (just a guess) just a hair under 2lbs. maybe closer to 1.75
    OAL: 15.5"
    Balance Point: 1" in front of cho (very neutral)
    Spine thickness: At bolster 1/2"+:eek: at its thinnest 5/16th!! It's a bruiser.
    Finish: Good ol' village satin with what I believe is actual steel furniture (not white metal) and very nice wood slabs.

    This design reminds me of a slightly pointier and more elegant Yeti Knife, a knife that I wanted but never was able to pull the trigger on. However, I believe I like the ASTK even more in design.

    It's a simple design with classic lines that would be right at home along side you as you hacked your way through a wilderness adventure. I know when a khukuri is right for me when it speaks to me. The ASTK actually sang. I cannot remember the last time I felt so much tangible magic in a blade. It practically pulses with soul.

    Terrible Picture Time:)

    I really love the elegant lines on this knife. Very classic and no frills. Just clean utility with a splash of grace.

    Look at the junk in da trunk:p!
  2. Mike L.

    Mike L.

    Aug 19, 1999
    A magnet will quickly tell you if the furniture is steel or not. :)
  3. pugs75

    pugs75 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    I want one, I want one, I want one.

    That looks really unbelievable, I love how they meld it together, and 1/2 inch at the spine, incredible. Did I mention that I want one. Hope to see them soon.
  4. Venice Will

    Venice Will

    Jan 11, 2007
    it sure does look like a lightly trimmed WII...but you're right, it has that "swagger" about it -

    oh, damn....another stash of cash to set aside...:eek:
  5. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    I thought about that:) I can't find a magnet in my office:confused: I'll check it at home tonight:D I seriously think it's steel. It doesn't have that tawny hint to it like white metal does.

    Shoot Yangdu an email:) I'm sure she'll be getting more in. These are incredible. I still can't wrap my head around how a blade this narrow forged this thick can handle so well.
    I can't wait to try it out. Honestly, short of tweaking the ring I can't think of a thing I would do to this design.

    Looking at it closer, I even noticed that the aluminum pins in the handle have been lined in brass tubing as well:)

    I'll put it this way, Yangdu knows that whenever i order anything that she can send me the most blemished of the blems. Rust stains, out of spec edges, dings or cracks from shipping. They all add character and I can fix any of them. This particular example has about 5mins worth of light rust on the finish and the lanyard tubing is not a perfect circle. That's nothing. The fit and finish of the handle and straight as an arrow blade have floored me more than any other design in a good long while:thumbup:
  6. alexs


    Nov 26, 2009
    To be completely, brutally honest, I just don't see the point of a spine 1/2+ in. thick on a kukri that short. 3/8in seem more than enough to me for a 15.5" OAL.

    If it were 18" OAL or even better 20" all-out chopper, I get it. And this is a complaint that I have with the 16.5" CAK too, which I dearly love, so it is not a dealbreaker, but just a thought.

    Is it just me?
  7. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Personally, I could take or leave the 1/2 spine. I actually prefer a hidden tang over a chiruwa anyway. However this khuk get's a couple gripes right that I've had with chiruwa knives for some time.

    One: The kami actually used more steel at the spine in the grip. I never understood the fascination and fixation on a chiruwa tang when most of the time they are just a rat tail smashed flat:D This one is not going anywhere. This is as stout of a tang as you are going to see short of making the whole thing out of steel.

    The extra tang makes this a very balanced knife. It's not a full on chopper like an AK or a GRS or any of that ilk. It really feels like it was designed to fill the function of jack-of-trades. It's a got a neutral feel that would right at home splitting kindling or slicing up veggies to go in a camp stew. The handle is more WWII in length so it really gives you some room to rock back for chopping and choke up for finer work.

    To be quite honest, it's a brilliant design. A lot of thought went into this. The devil's in the details;)
  8. alexs


    Nov 26, 2009
    The tang is great, I agree there. And for variation, I am pretty sure I saw some of these on DOTD that were hidden tang.

  9. Ankerson

    Ankerson Knife and Computer Geek Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002
    Nice looking blade. :D
  10. Iboschi


    Sep 17, 2009
    I'll take it!
  11. stickfred


    Nov 6, 2009
    Thanks for the review Steely. Seeing the AST and Tamang knives recently has piqued my interest in both. It is good to get info on these new khuks so that newbies like me can get a better idea of what they are and their uses.

    If you don't mind, and whenever you get the chance, I do have a couple more questions. When you say the AST is two parts CAK, does that mean the blade has a fuller? If so, is it full length or partial-like the AK? What is the blade width? TIA

    I'm glad for you on finding another khukuri that sings to you. That is where the magic is and its good to have that rekindled.

  12. Venice Will

    Venice Will

    Jan 11, 2007
    I have a little bit bigger one coming next week...looks pretty "stabby" towards the tip as well...beyond the moderate belly -

    Attached Files:

  13. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Glad the review helps a bit:) It's actually a fullerless khuk. I rather like that about it. I prefer plainer unfullered blades like the WWII and M-43.

    I guess when I said 2 parts chiruwa AK I meant both the handle style as well as the thickness of the blade:p
  14. Wolf_1989


    Mar 30, 2007
    Looks like a good design to me. I'm guessing by looking at the dimensions and proportions it would probably handle much like a Chitlangi. It's a graceful design and yet it has a lot of "don't mess with me" attitude too.

    But I still think the 20.25" 34.45 oz Sgt Khadka Super CAK is the ultimate khukuri. It's blade is 2 3/8" wide, but only 3/8" thick. It's a powerful cutter, but very fast and agile.
  15. Ryan M

    Ryan M

    Aug 18, 2001
    I really like the long, thin center part of the cho, on that one.

    You have to remember, the majority of khukuris have about as much metal as a flat-ground or slightly hollow-ground blade, so being 1/2" thick doesn't really add all that much weight. The thick spine mainly comes in handy when you're splitting wood lengthwise. I've got a 12" hatchet right here, that's got a 3/4" thick "spine." Same principle, pretty much.
  16. stickfred


    Nov 6, 2009
    Thanks for the info Steely. Its not always easy sorting through the Hi models sometimes, but it sure is fun.
  17. budthachud

    budthachud Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 30, 2008
    I bought the 18.5" on the 2/11 (I think) DOTD. Beautiful blade. It does have the hidden tang. I'll try to get some pics up tonight after work.

  18. Nicholas


    Apr 1, 2009
    The "ASTK": I'm glad to see that the little guy has a "nickname" now, so we can discuss it ore easily.

    And STEEL furniture? I'm officially jealous!
  19. Andrew Colglazier

    Andrew Colglazier

    Sep 14, 2006
    1/2" does seem terribly thick until one thinks about the use of a khuk; mainly as a chopper.

    They are often compared to hatchets, which is fair. How thick is the back edge (pall) of a hatchet? :D

  20. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Andy, this is the oddest (in a good way) feeling 1/2 khuk I have ever hefted. It doesn't feel "heavy" but it does feel "massive" if that makes sense. All the steel in the grip gives this blade a really easy swing without the drawback of the blade traveling farther than you want it to (like into your shin). You do give up some chopping power. However, the neutral balance means that you can control the khuk for a lot more detailed work.

    I'm about 95% sure that it would handle chopping and splitting 3-4" logs for a camp fire, then with a fully sharpened re-curve could easily (without fatigue) carve marshmallow roasting sticks or tent pegs:thumbup:

    I got a note in the box that called it the ASTK. I'm glad Yangdu thought of it, because i don't even know if I'm pronouncing it correctly...let alone spelling it:p

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