Uncle Bill Especiale

Jan 10, 2000
I just saw the Uncle Bill Especiale. It looks great! My question is about the butt-cap, though. I have very big hands and have had khuks in the past with the wide sweeping end-cap that dug into my hand when I swing. Anyone have this one that can give me good feedback? Thanx

Nice to hear from you. I haven't had any discomfort at all using mine. As a matter of fact, the handles feel great. They are geat all-around blades and I'd bet you will find them a "why didn't I get one of these before" kind of knife.

"To Know and to Act are One"
...Many folks here are not in the least bit
afraid to round-off/reshape the butt plate if
not recontour the entire handle to make it
comfortable. I'd imagine a little careful work and you'd never know it came any other way. Different wrappings (tapes, parachord, etc...) are also popular. And uhmm calluses.
Here are some dimensions from mine, measured through the center. They'd be longer if measured along the top of the handle.
Horn portion: 5 inches
From blade to butt-cap: 6 inches

My hands are medium, and there's more than enough room for me to adjust my grip up or down for different jobs.

Mine is a truly great knife. Versatile, sweet the length of the blade, strong, powerful, and a beauty.

The one I have fondled had a really huge handle, at least in circumfrence. Very confortable I might add, but large.
I have 2 UBE's--one by Sanu, and one by Bura. They both have chiruwa tangs. Although the handles are standard length (which is plenty long for me), I still prefer to grind off the upper point on the pommel. I do this because no matter what khukuri I've ever handled, that upper point is at the very least annoying and uncomfortable at the bottom of the chopping stroke, and at worst can quickly cause blisters. If the khukuri has a spike tang, I just grind the upper point down with a belt sander until it is rounded. On chiruwa tangs, I prefer to pop off the 2 layers of brass on the pommel and throw them away, as they are totally unnecessary on chiruwa tangs, and I can get a more ergonomic shape on the pommel without them. (Plus I prefer simplicity, and that extra brass is just more to have to clean). Anyway, after I have ground down and reprofiled the pommel on the belt sander, I hand sand it with 3 progressively finer grits of sand paper until the grind marks from the belt sander are gone, then I take the handle to the buffing wheel using a high polish buffing compound. At first I wasn't able to match the high-shine finish that the kamis put on it, but now I can at least match it, and usually I can make them shinier. However, I probably have the advantage of using better equipment, and having as much time as I need to work on it.

A side benefit to doing this to your handles is that it decreases the overall weight of your khukuri, especially if you have a chiruwa tang, since some of the mass you're removing is steel, not just horn or wood. And if you're working with a chiruwa tang and you permanently remove the brass at the pommel, the weight reduction is even more noticeable. Another added bonus to doing this is that it will improve the balance and perceived quickness of the khukuri, as it will shift the center of gravity forward even as it becomes lighter in weight.

It should be emphasized that this is not a flaw in the khukuris, but rather just a matter of personal preference and personal hand ergonomics.

[This message has been edited by X-Head (edited 04-16-2001).]
I have never found the flared pommel shape a problem at all. It is simply a matter of proper technique. If anyone recall's the old Viking and Saxon swords, it will be noticed that they have quite wide pommels- much more so than any khukuri. Vikings and Saxons used these swords very well, the wide pommels being far from problematic but providing an important added security to the grip when executing strong cutting and slashing strokes. I have used these weapon types extensively and agree (humbly) with the original designers, and also defer to the original khukuri designers and developers. I am not inclined to "fix" something that doesn't need fixing, and will bow readily to the generations worth of use that made the design the way it is. Every design aspect of the khukuri has a good reason behind it, arrived at through very long practical experience.

"To Know and to Act are One"
Since I went into my profile to update my email address I had to re-register with a new account and lost my post number- some of us are slightly proud of our longevity here at the Cantina, however long or short it may be. Maybe ole Spark knows what's going on.

"To Know and to Act are One"
Well Finn, that's really great but the reality of the situation is that the rest of us are gripping our khukuris the best way we know how, and we're still getting hot spots and blisters. So unless you'd be willing to to come over to Alabama and show me the proper khukuri grip and chopping technique, or write a book on it so I can buy it and learn, I guess my fellow khukuridiots and I will just have to keep rounding off those upper points on our handles.

In all seriousness though, if you could send over a few jpegs of your hand grip position on your khuk handle (especially at the bottom of your chopping swing), or if you could describe the "proper technique" in writing here on the forums, I will certainly be open and receptive to learning and improving. And if I find that there is some truth in what you say, and that your technique really is different (and better) than mine--quite possible, as I am no expert at anything--then I will deface no more new khukuri handles, and what's more, I will post here that I am a convert to the Finn khukuri gripping technique. I know this sounds like I'm being sarcastic, but I am really serious. If there's some ancient secret or little-known technique to holding these when chopping without that upper point digging into our palms, then please let the rest of us khukuri wielders in on it, and we'll stop modifying our handles. We'd do the same for you.

[This message has been edited by X-Head (edited 04-16-2001).]

Thanks, I'd be happy to. I'll try to comp a written description, but as you know- one picture..............I'll get a topic started as soon as this comes together. For now though- in a word, you let the pommel slide past your wrist.

I just can't picture the Nepalese as so masochistic and enept they would design a tool that is used daily, so that it would be so uncomfortable to use as I have heard described. Hey, what do I know?

"To Know and to Act are One"
I have slightly rounded the top portion of the pommel on some of mine, but a great deal of determining that depends on where the center ring is located in reference to the pommel.
I have and usually hold the handle to where the ridge is between my ring and middle finger.
That always seemed to be the most logical way, at least for

But my newest YCS has the ridge located to where it's more comfortable between my ring finger and pinkie as does my new BGRS.
I have yet to try any of the other khuk's with the grip further down, but I have found that I also have better control with the ridge placed between my ring and pinkie finger.

Y'all might give it a try.

And if it works please let me know what y'all think about it, either way.


Indin word for lousy hunter.
Firstly, thanks everyone for the great information. The khukri that causes me problems is a 15" Sirupati and the edges are pointed and dig into my hand. It looked to me as if the Uncle Bill Especial is much thicker. I also have a cheapo Gov model Khuk that I use for practice that does not have this problem. My Sirupati (I shamefully admit) is a GH. I have nothing but total respect for Uncle Bill's knives and currently I am merely deciding on what style to buy.

Thanks, everybody.

The handles sized for smaller Nepalese hands tend to create the problem you describe when westerners use them. Birgorkha has recently been sending over knives with handles long enough that the butcaps do not dig into large hands.
Hi everyone,

Seeing as how I fell in love with the UBE at first sight, I have to ask... just how big is the grip. I've got a smallish sized hand (use a medium golf glove), but I've lost some hand strength due to nerve damage back in the Air Force. If the grip is too big, I just won't be able to hang on to it for a very long time during use.

I do much better with a smaller grip size... Should I be looking at a Sirupati or Kobra instead?? Or is it possible to have one made with a smaller sized handle?

Thanks for any advice you can provide


When all else fails...JSTF :D
I am using Babolat tenis gripsies twisted around the grip of my UBE. It is good protection against slipping and fits to my long fingers.
Thanks all for good help.

Personally, if I want to modify a tool or weapon or anything else for that matter so that it works better for me it doesn't bother me in the least to do so. I modified the control system on an airplane I owned back in the 60's and have modified cars to suit myself. And, at the low end I often modified screwdrivers and other small hand tools to suit my needs. And, yes, I've modified khukuris.

Blessings from the computer shack in Reno.

Uncle Bill
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Many of my khuks have the horn or wood grip sticking out beyond the bolster a i/16 or a 5/32 all the way around, possibly to compensate for any shrinkage. Taking it down to even at the bolster, and removing even more further back can sometimes make a difference, and sometimes it can turn it into a completely different blade. I had three 12" Sirupatis. 2 had regular size handles, the third looked downright anorexic. Then you picked it up. I took them to the first convention in Reno, handed folks #1, #2, and finally the small handled one and watched people turn from Dr. Jecklyl to Mr. Hyde. Their fangs hung out. Regardless of their hand size.

So don't be in a hurry to change your knife, but don't be too hesitant either.

"Ayo Ghorapani!"

April 18, 2001 to April 21, 2001; Walker Lake, Nevada "Flyway of the Loons Festival".