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Which Kukri = more chop?

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Zymologist, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. Zymologist

    Zymologist Gold Member Gold Member

    May 21, 2012
    Hello all,

    I have been researching HI and I like what I see. In the near future I plan on making a purchase.
    Ive been doing some researching and just cant seem to find all the information that Id like.
    And Id love if some of you could shed some wisdom and insight for me.
    My Goal is to have a kukri that is a mean chopper that has the power of a hatchet/small axe.
    Ill use my smaller fixed blades to perform the finer tasks.

    22 inch Ganga Ram Special
    20-30 inch Sirupati- Sirupati appears to be much thinner than the Ang Khola + Ganga Ram Special.
    20 inch Ang Khola

    Ive read the descriptions on the HI website on all 3 which is how I narrowed them down.
    So out of these 3 which one would be the best chopper?

    *Edit* the size of the blade/weight is no issue for me. The Sirupati seems much skinnier than the others.
  2. Heattreet


    Nov 4, 2011
    22 inch Ganga Ram Special - Hardwoods
    20-30 inch Sirupati - Grasses and reeds
    20 inch Ang Khola - Sort of the middle ground
  3. shortwinger


    Apr 7, 2010

    You are starting off on the wrong foot IMHO. The models you mentioned are huge and impractical and in no way out chop models that are appropriate for the task. The 16.5" - 18" models are considered heavy choppers and more than enough for any task.

    Look into the ASTK, M43, AngKhola, 18" Ganga Ram, Bonecutter and if you are a large, the CAK. These models are perfect for medium/heavy wood processing and general camp chores.

    In the kukri world bigger is not better; it is usually heavier, less safe and much much much harder to handle. To put it in perspective, when lives depended on the kukri as they were in the late 1800's - early 1900's the MkI and MkII had 15" and 13" blades respectively and weighed in at about 500 - 750 grams. Longer blades and yet much lighter weights than we see on today's kukri. Look for the correct edge bevel for the task, appropriate weights and intangibles such as balance and feel. The right model will match your body and feel like a part of you arm, not like a tool. It will also be efficient at the intended task. For instance some may pic an M43 as their main remote camping blade because of its reputation as an all-around while others may want a Ganga Ram or Bonecutter as a heavy wood processor. The ASTK or M43 might be the ticket if you are looking for the lightest weight and easiest carrying of the heavy choppers.

    You (your size), the method of carry and the task will dictate the model. Good luck with your search.
  4. JayGoliath

    JayGoliath Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    HI's Siru is robust enough to handle good chopping.

    Are we talking about oak here as hardwood?

    I've enjoyed chopping with 18" Bonecutter(a mean chopper that has the power of a hatchet/small axe), 18" Gelbu Special, 20" Farmcata, 13" Salyan and all of them requires good orientation and skills.
    You will mention now that the size of blade/weight is no issue to you but in 2 hours or so (unless you are Energizer Bunny) you going to get real sore and tired buddy.Something like M-43 or the Boomerang model will amaze you with the angle of strike but by all means please observe the safety.

    Couldn't agree more; All of these are good points for a keeper(s) khuk.
    A poorly ground bevel height and broad bevel angle will wear you down as you keep chopping at a limited depth.

    I would hiss at parang heavier than 25Oz since it's never this heavy. Most carry them for deep into jungle where foot and boat can access and not an inch of steel to protect you from the unknown dangers that lurk out here in tropical rain forest. I can understand the versatility of a Siru when the Gurkhas were here; They really dig the famed parang here too.
  5. arbiter


    Jun 4, 2011
    Zymo-The 20" khuks are huge,specialized tools not well suited for carrying away from a vehicle. As stated earlier,the 18" models will handle the toughest chopping you are likely to do with a one handed blade.Ang Khola or Ganga Ram 18" as a hatchet equivalent. Joe.
  6. wildmanh

    wildmanh KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 9, 2000
    Back when I was in my early 20's, before I buggered up my back and would split firewood every winter to keep the house warm, I special ordered a 25", 5 pound Ang Khola. I gave that Khukri the name Godzilla. He split wood about as well as a 3 pound Ax and Chopped 4" green Limbs in a single swipe. The Karda and Chakma were full sized tools, think Kumar Karda sized. The sheath, Khukri and tooks weighed in around 8 pounds! Not something that you want to wear on your belt.

    Back before I sold him to a friend to pay college expenses, I used him to split lots of wood and chop and limb a few trees. It was impressive, though wearing ones self out was a distinct possibility. 2 years ago the friend I sold Godzilla to came over to Utah for a camp out and visit and brought Godzilla with him along with many other blades. Everyone on the campout had to test Godzilla out while doing some trail clearing, Even the girls gave him a try. We all had a blast. Holding a Custom large Khukri is something else and really cool! Seriously when ever I hold Godzilla I have a smile glued to my face. :D I probably look goofy, but have so much fun using him in short bursts.

    I've been using Khukri's to do most of my chopping for the last 11 years or so, so my experience level is pretty high. I was able to make quick work of 4 to 8 inch diameter dead fall. Much better time them most everyone else that tried Godzilla out. I noticed that Technique played a big part in how well people chopped with Godzilla. Some of the guys tried to use their impressive muscles to strong arm their way through the logs, others used fines and got through at the same speed but were less tired afterwards. My trick for using such a large tool is to bring gidzilla up to my shoulder, Start a swing, guiding him toward the target and let Godzilla go at his own pace. I'm just holding on and guiding him. Let the big blade do the work and hold on for the ride.

    *Safety bit* Don't try to make any major course corrections with a large blade, it will more then likely end very badly for you. A 15" Khukri can take a persons hand or arm off, a 25" Khukri in the right hands can cut the same person in half shoulder to spine. Thats not a pleasant thought considering that Godzilla can probably slice a person in half on a ricochet. Always make sure that you know the target and the back drop. Big Khukris can blast through things faster then you think they will. Good swings are awesome, bad swings can be Very Bad!! Sure Godzilla is an Extreme case and a fun one, but it does help show what can happen if you are not careful. When you are tired, swinging a large heavy blade of any sort isn't good, more mistakes can happen and when things get big and heavy, little mistakes are now big ones. I'm not saying don't get a big Khukri, shoot, I practically started the Big Khukri movement here, All I'm saying is if you go the Big and Heavy route Be Carefull!!!

    I recommend that people start in the 18-20" Range then move up from there if they want more. That way you have some experience with a Big chopper before moving on to the really big and heavy things. I started with a 15" Ang Khola (summer 2001) on the heavy side, then a 15" Sirupati and 16" Gelbu Special, WWII, M43 and then Godzilla. Sold some, bought some and ended up almost 2 years later (Spring 2003) with a 16.5" WWII and 20" Sirupati (still had the 15" AK and a 12" AK) which became my most used Khukris for many years. Right now my biggest chopper is an 18" ASTK thats on the thick and heavy side for an ASTK. It doesn't get used much, but if I know that I need to limb a tree thats the first one I grab. Honestly it's not the best chopping in it's size range that I've owned and used. The edge and edge shoulder are to thick. Thinning them out a bit will greatly improve it's chopping abilities. Right now it does okay, but below it's size and weight class. A thinner edge will help it bight deeper which in turn helps it cut out more wood per swing which is better. As for a battle blade, if I was Stronger in my arms, this ASTK would be unstoppable. The shear mass of it would allow it to smash through Old school shields and armor with ease. I'd pair it with a fast light blade for slashing and stabbing and use the ASTK to cleave helms, shields and armor. Smash the shield away the stab with the light fast blade. Mass, momentum and all that matter when bashing armor, not so much when chopping. Thin and fast can sometimes out chop thick and heavy.

    The trick is finding a bigger Khukri that you can Carry and Use with out wearing your self out, that has good mass behind it and is still thin enough in the edge to penetrate deep into the wood. If it can't bite deep into the wood, all that mass is waisted, like in the case of my ASTK as it is today. Shoot, my 14 to 18" Machetes will out chop my ASTK and it's over 2 pounds (about 2.5 pounds?) vs a few oz for the Machetes. . . A proper Bone Cutter Khukri has the right combination of Mass and thin edge which enables it to chop really well! If I remember correctly it's do to the BC having a Thick spine, then it tapers quickly from there to the shoulder of the edge allowing the edge to be as thin or thick as it needs to be to bite deep yet still retain the strength for hard woods. . . . Godzilla had a 3/4" or thicker spine, but a thin edge, thats one of the reasons why it chopped so dang well.

    Again, start medium sized which to me is around 18" and go from there. An 18" Ganga Ram, Bone cutter or maybe Ang Khola are what I would start with in Choppers. BTW a 12" Ang Khola makes a great small bowie knife. I use mine as a belt knife on trips paired with a pocket knife for smaller stuff and Khukri or Machete for the big stuff. A 12" Blunt WWII would also make a great belt knife to pair with your Bigger Chopper. And if you wanted something small more Bowie like, a 12" UBE or UF would be good, because they are essentially Clip point Khukris. . . Think of this last bit as a full service post. Covering what you asked about and something you might like. ;)

    Good luck with your search and Please let us know how it goes!
  7. buckmaster96


    Jan 6, 2012
    They had a 30 inch ang khola. Not sure if you can still find em though
  8. Dirtbiker

    Dirtbiker Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 2, 2010
    I have Kukris from 15oz to over 40+oz. My favorite choppers are 16-18" and run from 28-36oz. A 18" Bonecutter in that weight range is a monster chopper.

    When I'm doing tree work at my house I use a 17" 30oz Ganga Ram to remove the large branches from the tree. Once they are piled up I find that my 16.5" 24oz WWII does a better job of trimming them down to fit in the trash can.
  9. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    My 22" GRS is my go-to HD chopper. That said, I bought it to clean up a mess at my mom's house after a storm back in...2003? I think I've used it 6 or 7 times since then, but it is NOT the first khuk I grab for multi-tasking.
  10. Zymologist

    Zymologist Gold Member Gold Member

    May 21, 2012
    Yes sir I have a lot of hard wood. Oak, cherry, hickory, and locust.
    And I probably will wear myself out. I cut and process a lot of my own wood and love using hand tools.
    I have learned to love my GB splitting axe over a big ole heavy MONSTER MAUL. :D
    So after relating it to that I can certainly see what you mean by bigger/heavier not necessarily being better overall.
    Thank you for your advice Jay!
  11. Zymologist

    Zymologist Gold Member Gold Member

    May 21, 2012
    Thank you very much for sharing your experience. I really enjoyed reading that. I love the idea of splitting wood and 1 swiping 4'' limbs.
    I have quite an arsenal of hatchets,axes, and all that and I think a Kukri would really be a blast.
    Im going to at least go with 18'' like many of you have suggested. Im definately going to take safety into consideration.
    As with all of my tools they must be respected. Im 25 and I heat my home with firewood. So this will give me another fun and efficient way at
    having some fun with that task. Plus when I go down to my grandfathers to help him cut some wood/brush bringing a Kukri would really SHOCK him so that would be a neat surprise for him:thumbup:

    As I mentioned earlier I use a splitting axe usually over my monster maul. My grandfather is a great man and I love him to death but he swears by that monster maul. I showed him my splitting axe and in his older age I think he secretly fell in love with it but just wouldnt admit to it. Now Im getting off track...

    I want to thank everyone for their advice I really appreciate it. I will most definately keep you all posted when I make my decision.

    Take Care
  12. wildmanh

    wildmanh KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 9, 2000
    I'm glad that my post made for good reading. Hope it wasn't to long winded.

    I have a 5 pound maul that blasts through rounds really quickly but I frequently use a 2.5# 3/4th Axe when ever I can. I think the little guy grew on me a lot after I put my own edge on it and made a custom leather edge cover for it. So I can totally understand using what you like. ;)

    If I was to become a mountain man today, I'd have a Khukri, Axe, Saw and Machete as my Build a cabin and survive tools. Some people feel that you can only use one or the other + a saw, but I have all 3 and use them often. This weekend I'll be going backpacking with my Brother and his wife. Am taking a break from going over my load out. Got a 9 inch folding saw packed but am considering switching it out for my 15 inch Stanley SharpTooth saw. Am also trying to decide if I want to bring my 18" WWII and or my 12" Fiddleback Forge Machete in it's new custom sheath (I love being a leather guy, I make what I want for my gear, when I have time).

    When you get your Khukri, Use it, learn it and have fun!
  13. doc trinidad

    doc trinidad

    Aug 29, 2009
    I just bought a Hi 21 inch TRISULI GHAULE KHUKURI that weighs in at 42 ounces with a 1/4 inch spine and I gotta tell you while I really love it and feel I will be able handle it well, I cant imagine ever needing anything bigger! this baby is a real brute which I have named Conan and it will be able to handle any heavy job with ease.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  14. Zymologist

    Zymologist Gold Member Gold Member

    May 21, 2012
    Thats one of the other things on my list a camping saw. I gotta research some good folding bow saws and or possible look at scoring an old buck saw.
    What saws do you use?
  15. wildmanh

    wildmanh KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 9, 2000
    A 9" Corona folding saw, a 21" Bow saw that needs a new blade or my new 15" Stanley Sharptooth saw. The sharptooth is a double cut construction type saw and it makes quick work of things. If I take it, I have to rig up some kind of edge cover for it first.
  16. Grease


    May 10, 2012
    I've cut down small* trees with a 15 inch kukri... Bigger =/= better. As the others have said, get one that's comfy and easy to use, and don't worry about size.

    *Small meaning 2-5 inches thick.
  17. arbiter


    Jun 4, 2011
    Congrats Doc-That is a beautiful,big chopper.Very reminiscent of the Sgt.Khadka bonecutter in my collection.Enjoy!
  18. tikkidaddy


    Jan 1, 2012
    funny thing--i was just thinking of ordering a 30 in ak/m43/ram----as long as its double-rivited. My 18 in ak is the go-to(hell, that is) chopper. Just wanted sumthin' BIGGER. Dont think anything will beat my kangas katnae though. Used it to kill 2 zombies last week.....heh,heh
  19. JayGoliath

    JayGoliath Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 27, 2010
  20. gomipile


    Apr 17, 2010
    As a general rule, take the heaviest (one handed) dumbbell you can easily lift from the ground to fully extended over your head and set back on the ground 12 times in quick succession. Divide that weight by 16. That's about the heaviest khukuri you want to be using for real work.

    So if you can, with one hand, lift a 35 pound dumbbell from the ground to fully extended over your head quickly 12 times, you don't want to go over a 35 oz khukuri. It should go without saying that you need to be able to do this with either hand, since you will run into situations where you need to chop with your off hand.

    This rule of thumb is for a tool you might be using for extended periods of time for forestry, wood processing, or in a camping/survival situation.

    As with all advice, YMMV. This works for me, it may not work for others.

    Oh, by the way, I think the Ang Khola blade is the best blade shape HI makes for chopping hardwoods. That more or less includes the dui and tin chirras I've seen, and the ASTK.

    I use a CAK, but a normal (non-chiruwa) handle might be more comfortable for extended periods of chopping.

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