The Audacity of Making Great Tools

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by munk, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    Quite a few years ago now, before I ever held a Khukuri, Bill and Pala had an idea to make the best khuks in the world, offer them to the market place under the most gentlemanly, fair, and compassionate business arrangment, (where the customer was 'right' or the business would not be done.) improve the lives of those in Pala's immediate sphere of influence in Nepal, and let Karma find it's balance. It worked. Then Yangdu had an idea to go internet, and the forum was born, and something unexpected and wonderful happened; a new cultural experience with people from all over the world celebrating friendship and wonderful tools.

    What were these tools? They were great. They dared to be different. The Kamis were skilled and confident enough to offer both traditional forms and improvements of strength and durability. There is a place for 'fighter' and 'replicas', and there is a place for enhanced, stronger modern renditions.
    It makes little sense to criticise a chopper for not being light and marital, or a martial blade for not being thick and strong enough to fell trees. It is not sincere or genuine to mock the entire line as being clumsy and axe like, when no other company offers as many khuks with as much variety. Some companies get their steel from India in sheets, of very modest quality. To say then that HI also has this same steel is rather like a Taiwan wrench saying it's as good as the US Proto because both of them are shiny. I asked Yangdu not too long ago to inquire in Nepal if HI still used leafspring; she asked and the answer came back they used leaf spring.

    IN confidence, HI changed and experimented over the years. When you are that good, you can diverge from some concept called 'traditional', (which in truth is not an absolute and never really existed.) Are the British WWll blades in contract the only 'true khuks'? Because metal was so expensive, and the khuks relatively slight for small statured people compared to some of HI's renditions today, does that make the khuks of 150 years ago the only 'true' khuks? Should the only firearms sold in the commercial market be Black Powder of weaker steel because that is more authentic?

    AFter a lot of discussion, some bickering and flickering, we returned to the 'traditional' bolster recently. This does not mean habaki bostered khuks are not khuks, that they are weak, or that owning one means you beat your dog every Sunday.

    I'm just a naive kid who added a few extra decades to his life and found himself nearing 50. The shots and sour grapes, the whining and sneering from dark corners of the Globe about HI took me by surprise this last year. I was caught 'unawares'. I'm not 'unawares' any longer.

    HI is the best. That there are other wonderful khuk manufacturers does not
    take this away.

    This is a renewal of things I've said before. I just felt like saying them again.
    It's OK. It's OK to build great khuks. It's OK to have friends. It's Ok to talk about khuks.

  2. bullfrog99


    Sep 4, 2002
    Well said munk.

    kuraa pokha, manmaa naraakha
  3. Grob


    Nov 29, 2005
    Great post Munk
  4. J W Kilpatrick

    J W Kilpatrick

    Aug 11, 2001
    Greetings: Munk

    We truly are fortunate to be able to purchase such world class magnificient blades of all types at such low prices. It is absolutely amazing for the small number of us here at this forum to be able to have piles of 5160 spring steel directly converted into such beautiful blades by the world's best kamis and then have such blades sent half way around the world to us and be delivered at our homes without even having to pay any shipping charges for them.

    This truly is the golden age of Himalayan Imports under the guidance and care of Yangdu. It is true that Uncle Bill, Yangdu, Pala, the kamis and all the combined efforts of all involved came together to arrive at where Himalayan Imports is presently at today. However, we are all able to reap the benefits offered to us by Himalayan Imports by simply sending a few dollars to Yangdu"s Best Buys and then have the world's best khukuris and other types of great blades laid in our lap without any shipping cost and all at such low costs for such great hand forged blades, properly heat tempered, and all other parts hand prepared and everything hand fit together by kamis that come from generations of kamis with as much as 400 years or more of experience within their family lines.

    This really is something to think about is it not? I mean these kamis take raw piles of spring steel and make them into the khukuris that you and I now own and they do all the work necessary to create these great blades in the most humble of surroundings.

    I guess that it is possible that things could get better, but I sure don't know how. I just don't see how it is going to get much better than it now is. Tell me men, have we got it good or what?

    Yangdu, it is a good and great work that you and Uncle Bill accomplished with your lives and we are all thankful for you and Uncle Bill. You and Uncle Bill helped a lot of people to have a much better life than they ever would have experienced, if you both had not done what you did with your lives.

    God bless you and may God watch over you and prosper you in all that you endeavor to do while upon this earth. J. W. Kilpatrick
  5. littleknife


    Nov 29, 2000
    Great post, great forum (the Cantina), great company (Himalayan Import), great khuks and great people here.

    Thank you all for creating this place.


    Aug 16, 2005
    I'm sitting here looking at the $50 BAS from a recent best buy and it's sitting side-by-side with the $55 BAS from another DOTD.

    One pointy with a traditional bolster looking a lot like my Shop 1 and one more rounded with a habaki bolster. Both with the inlaid sword of shiva, both beautiful. Kumar makes a nice BAS regardless of how traditional it is...he made them both.

    16" 25 oz. BGRS villager, traditional bolster, walnut handle...
    16.5" 23 oz. WWII villager, habaki bolster, chiruwa horn handle...
    I'd hate to have to pick only one...

    Things really are great around here.
  7. Kevin the grey

    Kevin the grey

    Aug 26, 2005
    Way to go . One way to know you are good is if you have detractors . We must be the best as it is the only way they can compete .
  8. MauiRob


    Nov 15, 2000
    Reminds me of something I heard an NPR newscaster say when the interviewer asked him about accusations of bias. He said that they get accused by both left and right equally of being baised so in his opinion they are doing a good job.

    I think this applies to khuks,thread topics, and a host of other things in life. When you do what's right, what you know in your heart is right, and right for the right reasons, you will draw praise and criticsim. You will also draw both if you do wrong for the wrong reasons. The difference is you can look at yourself in the mirror in the first case, and stand up tall and smile back at that person looking at you from the glass. And that is pretty important IMO.

    I don't buy many khuks these days. I used to feel bad because I can't keep up with others' buying habits, or because I'm not helping the kamis enough. But I realized that I buy them when I can, and when I need to for a good reason (like a gift), and that's OK too.
  9. my19


    Aug 19, 2005
    I'm very new here, having wandered in a couple of weeks ago while looking around for a good fixed blade outdoors knife. And then the enthusiasm I found here for the HI blades and for the people who make them and sell them completely swept me away. My first HI, a 15" BAS by Sgt. Khadka, was ordered on a Friday and arrived early Monday, stunning service, but nothing compared to the blades held within that triangular box. It was absolutely gorgeous. And to think this amazing example of hand-made art made its way half-way around the world to my little part of it for $80 or so was almost beyond my imagining.

    A second order quickly followed, for a WWII in the 20 inch range, which I eagerly await. Based on some preliminary chopping with the BAS, I have no doubt either will serve my needs for decades to come.

    And when I consider both the craft and the art that goes into these, and the quality I see, I'm glad to be just a tiny part in an enterprise that offers customers much more than they pay for and one that helps keep a great art alive and provides income to the artists and their families.

    So thanks, HI and all those involved, and those on this list whose passion is contageous.

  10. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    Good to have you here.

  11. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    Thanks for posting this Munk. You are right, HI makes the best khuks in the world. Their line is the most fun line to learn about, and shopping for an HI khuk is a very rewarding knife hunting experience. Its also rewarding helping Ram with his tuition. There is so much to feel grateful about here at the Himalayan Imports Forum. I am happy to be a part of it. Thank you Yangdu because without your efforts it would simply not happen.

  12. Morgane


    May 29, 2005
    Due to buget, I could only afford one full-size khukuri. I shopped around looked at all my options and picked HI. I've not regretted that decision for a second. I've ended up with a khukuri from 2005, part of an ongoing and rapid evolution. If I had wanted a military khuk in the style of 1945, I'd have probably picked someone else. Nothing wrong with getting a historic blade, but I wanted some of the future.
  13. Yangdu

    Yangdu [email protected] Himalayan Imports-Owner Moderator

    Apr 5, 2005
    Munk, This post is fantastic --so well expressed--so sincere--so factual and so loyal to HI. It is difficult to reply to such a post. My most sincere thank you for expressing so well my opinions as well. I appreciate your loyalty and all the help you have given HI.Thank you again.
  14. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    ...actually...looking over your own English.. You're Improving!!!! You are writing wonderfully.

    We're all in this steam ship together, plugging along.

    I think you are being too kind. Possibly as a result of over much operant conditioning I gave you several months ago during the initial mind control experiments. Dark Arts taught to me directly from ZOMBIES when I lay in their clutches on a sandbar on the Brazos river.....


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