What the H.A.C.K! (Human Apocalypse Chakra Knife) review

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Mar 27, 2010
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I want a Bowie that fights like a Katana.
I want a khukuri that cuts rattan efficiently like Parang.
I want a kris that skins a saltwater croc like hot butter.


Truth be told, whatever said above, I must be smoking something strong but we see wish-list like this everyday. We WANT something we don't have and hope it's out there.
The legend of HACK was first heard after countless trail blazing experiences in the punishing rainforests of South East Asia. Whenever you whisper H.A.C.K, the trees shiver violently and so we verified it. The last we heard it was seen near Golden Triangle, South East Asia.

Over the years I have amassed a variety of khukuris but relieved some as my taste has shifted towards versatility. However one blade stood out from the rest (and it isn’t even a proper khukuri) -
The Pioneer Chindits Knife; perhaps the earliest form of KLO (Khukuri Looking Object), It is a makeshift side arm for the Chindit armies who might have learned about the battle prowess of khukuris, both physically and psychologically, this KLO were mass produced via the Bessemer method back in 1920’s or older.(my reference was made in 1921) with a combo profile of khukuri and bowie, cho-less, slapped with 2 wooden scales and a mismatched but stout piece of leather sheath. At any time, when unsheathed, the sheer size and the battle hardened and savage side of raw forge just sent chills down my spine and a remedy for constipation. Such construction i believe was made to endure the punishing use in battlefield.

Fast forward to late 2019 I decided to have a survival blade made based on this profile but with subtle changes so I turned to one of the best knifemakers in Thailand, P’ SongRit Mawan. I sent him a cutout of the original blade and we spoke a lot about the history of khukuri and Chindit, my likes and dislikes. Mind you, he has not seen nor handled one on hand so it was tricky. I conveyed to him that i like to have a blade that he himself will use in a dystopia and not looking back since.


o4LthFs.jpg
 
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As for those who have handled the Thai E-nep before, both knives are similar in shape but from my finding, E-nep has its own story and believed to have originated from Dao, the quintessential Chinese knife.
Since P' SongRit MaWan has not made one before, he did a quick prototype to verify the use and then made adjustment to his liking as a survival knife.

aPeVCO2.jpg

Yes. this is the PROTOTYPE and it is taken! ;). It is now the property of forumite Shqxk here at BF.
I think it's proper to re-introduce the maker again. P' SongRit MaWan is also known as Hack.(SongRit MaWan)
Whilst the Brute de Forge look certainly has its badassery, Hack likes to try a cleaner blade by hollowing the surface and then add in high performance grind. You can see the deep fuller is introduced here to reduce its core weight and maintain the structural integrity of said blade. The integral bolster is then fitted to a wooden handle, sourced right here in South East Asia. The wonderful thick and supple sheath is made by the talented P'Yuk (เศกสรร พยัฆคานนท์) of Anthong, Thailand.

pJUJ8JH.jpg

From my experience using the famous Bonecutter (both from HI and GK), I have hinted to Hack about the edge performance which he gladly introduced later.
 
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Some WIP pictures :
0T3jEBK.jpg

Forging done and HT next. The steel of choice is SUJ2, Japanese equivalent of 52100, ball bearing steel.

FlZYOdg.jpg

Salt bath quench.

6EnwFGs.jpg

bare blade weight.

oYNvdzl.jpg

The blade surface have been hollow ground to reduce drag, weight but the tip kept strong for "crunch time" . A sexy swedge is also introduced to give the entire blade the aerodynamic blend.

F1OMQ5I.jpg

The tang construction is through and then welded with the SUJ2 steel plate, forged to shape
the butt followed by 2 copper pins on both sides for added support. The pommel is added for balance and not meant for "skull crusher".


q3ZqFZu.jpg

Hack at work.
 
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And it's done:
Pfy9RtG.jpg

9N0GZnd.jpg

:)
Overall length: 18" of forged SUJ2 steel @ HRC 60
Weight: 650g (23oz)
Point of balance: right in between the bolster and the swedge.
Handle : buffed Burmese Rosewood, neck secured with a thick copper ferrule, all locked in one place with the ultra strong adhesive.
Sheath : dyed, veg-tanned leather sheath from P'Yuk .


Overall the blade feels quick and lively. The balance is superb and have been used to clear trails and big branches. Unlike khukuris, this hybrid has an easy learning curve and practically overbuilt should occasions rise. I have yet to go 90% on it as you don't need to swing this at full force to hack branches size of forearm.
With humidity approaching 90% and above, a light and balanced blade with great edge retention is important. The blade has incorporated many design criteria;
Bowie cut and thrust, khukuri chop,parang/barong-esque grip to retain grip when swinging and chopping.

Ergonomics & Handle comfort
If you are a khuk purist, this blade is not meant to be.
There are days when your arms tell you the truth after a day of hardwork; it tells yo the muscle group you used and to reflect the choice of tool for the job. In this case, i have not experience such soreness the next few days .
Whilst I can understand the lack of ring handle as well as the traditional bell shape silhouette, the semi-pistol grip alike from most Bowie knives fit right into this profile (coming from a non-bowie fan).
I have felt some hot spot near the pinky area and highlighted this to Hack.
Technically i will like the handle to be tad bit longer but felt it is adequate without compromising the balance.
Score: 8/10

Edge retention
Big part of a knife; i have tried many steels out there and encountered sorts of vegetations that will weep the edge with no mercy, i like my blade to cut AT THE END OF THE DAY.

So far i like the edge retention of CPM3v as well as 80CrV2, i have only need to strop the H.A.C.K once out of say,10 trips to the bushwhacking?
The sweet spot is longer than expected and it is such a joy using this tool that i have enjoyed cutting, finally.
Score: 9/10
Balance and agility
It is a tall order to make an blade to fits into every bill. Quite simply if you have it, i like to handle it.

If you are told by a quiet man who have handled thousands of blades and he said: "I like the feel of this blade. It's good." That should be a testimony of its own.
What i can conclude from handling H.A.C.K for several months now is that this knife was given a lot of thoughts when it come to the overall package. It is meant to survive and it should come naturally without realizing it. Sometimes i wonder if Hack made it a little more wieldy than it supposed to be because this blade swings faster than what i am used to. Homerun for this.
Score: 10/10
 
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C9KHmU0.jpg

H.A.C.K. with the blessing from the Baby Hack.

X53q8oZ.jpg

TzJjVq2.jpg

Front & backview of the leather sheath. It can be carried with a dangler with a brass loop as well as a belt loop.
Pics don't do justice. This sheath can handle some abuse as seen few weeks ago brushing against branches and debris. All it took was a good wipe down with damp cloth, leather conditioner and all set.

32Z7iAk.jpg

Forumite Shqxk handling the H.A.C.K


nbYaGTb.jpg
 
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Out on a field day.

SGkVgzj.jpg

mNS2Bd7.jpg

Same-same yet different.
H.A.C.K with distant cousin, Sikkimese Bhampok.
Notice the new patina for rust resistance.


gBjnq5A.jpg

Hackin' out

pm411Rk.jpg

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High up and out in the sun.

I like to thank my brother & forumite Shqxk, Hack and folks at PaSak for this wonderful project. H.A.C.K is one of my top 3 blades.
 
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Apr 21, 2010
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Yep. It's the bomb. It won't chop quite as well as a proper khukuri, but it does so many things well. It's a great design, it's light for the power it generates, and the price is right!
 

Hairy Clipper

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Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
415
As for those who have handled the Thai E-nep before, both knives are similar in shape but from my finding, E-nep has its own story and believed to have originated from Dao, the quintessential Chinese knife.
Since P' SongRit MaWan has not made one before, he did a quick prototype to verify the use and then made adjustment to his liking as a survival knife.

aPeVCO2.jpg

Yes. this is the PROTOTYPE and it is taken! ;). It is now the property of forumite Shqxk here at BF.
I think it's proper to re-introduce the maker again. P' SongRit MaWan is also known as Hack.(SongRit MaWan)
Whilst the Brute de Forge look certainly has its badassery, Hack likes to try a cleaner blade by hollowing the surface and then add in high performance grind. You can see the deep fuller is introduced here to reduce its core weight and maintain the structural integrity of said blade. The integral bolster is then fitted to a wooden handle, sourced right here in South East Asia. The wonderful thick and supple sheath is made by the talented P'Yuk (เศกสรร พยัฆคานนท์) of Anthong, Thailand.

pJUJ8JH.jpg

From my experience using the famous Bonecutter (both from HI and GK), I have hinted to Hack about the edge performance which he gladly introduced later.

I really like this knife. WOW! really doesn't cover it!
 
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