1. BladeForums has ZERO TOLERANCE for extremism or calls of violence. We request your assistance dealing with this as we do not want to see the site shut down due to violent threats. Please see this thread here in Tech Support: https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/bladeforums-has-a-zero-tolerance-policy-towards-threats-of-violence-extremism-be-warned.1769537/

YCS Karda Review and Pictures

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Skyler R., Feb 21, 2007.

  1. Skyler R.

    Skyler R.

    Dec 27, 2005
    It has been awhile since my last review, so I figure it's about time for another. I received the YCS karda in the mail the other day, a generous gift from a fellow forum member (thanks :) ). Since it was such a nice day out, I decided to give it a work out.

    Blade - The lines on the YCS's blade are very well formed, with a consistent even edge with high convex that gradually goes to a slimmer convex towards the handle. The sides and back of the blade are well formed and with little forging dips. The blade on it also has a bit of tapering, it starts off at 3/16" at the handle/blade junction and tapers to about 1/8" in thickness about 4" down the blade (starting at the handle). The blade finish is the same as on other normal HI products, which is a high, near mirror finish that is nice and even throughout the whole knife.

    Handle - The YCS karda has a very nicely done carved dragons on the monkey pod handle. The handle while carved, is not uncomforable in any way. When first picking up the knife, I questioned if it would be able to work well without getting blisters all over my hand, however it is very comforable in the hand and does not cause any hot spots when working. The finish on the handle is nice and clean, without rough areas (other then the carvings). The handle slabs fit nearly perfectly with the tang of the knife, with only one small area with filler.

    Sheath - The sheath on the YCS karda is nice and works well enough to hold the knife, however it could be much better. On the inside of the sheath the stitches from the belt loop are sticking though, the knife will often stick on these stitches when it is sheathed. After much use I am sure that the stitches will be cut, causing a new sheath to be inevitable. The leather of the sheath is of decent quality though.

    Cutting - To start off cutting I went with some 1/2" living branches, which the knife went though like with the ease of one strike. After this I decided to try out something a bit more of a challenge for the knife, for this I decided to try out an old hard branch that was about 2 1/2" that tapered down to about 2". The knife chopped though fairly easy, it did a great job of not getting stuck as well as not glancing. It was biting deep considering its size and what it was cutting. After cutting the branch into 5 pieces, ranging between 11-17" in length, I also batoned the wood. While the YCS karda chops well enough for it's size, it's ability to baton is not very good. It took quite a bit to get the karda though the wood in batoning, however it was going though dried wood and many knots.

    Overall I am very happy with the YCS karda. I feel that the YCS karda is a great knife that is capable of doing some decent size work for a knife it's size. While the sheath could use some work, it is not unreasonable considering that that the karda can be had a very reasonable price. With that said, I will probably some time down the road get a new sheath made for it so to compliment the workmanship of the knife.

    Here are a few stats to the knife

    Blade length - 5 1/2"
    Blade thickness - 3/16" - 1/8"
    Handle length- 4 3/4"
    Weight of knife - 7 3/4oz
    Weight of knife and sheath - 9 5/8oz
    Point of Balance - .5 cm after handle
    Kami - Kumar

  2. tony22r


    Nov 15, 2006
    That handle is amazing.

    I see the initials U.B. on the blade.. do they identify the kami?

    Great knife, thanks for posting the pics : o )
  3. Skyler R.

    Skyler R.

    Dec 27, 2005
    Hello Tony. The initials of U.B. are on all of HI blades after mid 2005. They are the initials for Uncle Bill. Bill Martino (Uncle Bill) was the founder of HI, and after his passing the kamis started to put his initials on the blades. The kami who made this one, kumar, mark is on the other side of the blade ( 5th photo down). Kumars mark is of a star and letters, the four point sun is HI mark.
  4. aliloff


    Jul 10, 2006
    You beat me to it Skyler
  5. Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    Jul 30, 2004
    Mine's a little straighter than that one, and if I ever grind the point tanto-style, it'd make a perfect companion piece to the HI katana- which has the identical dragon carving.

    They're pretty knives. Good stuff, Skyler.

    Agreed about the handle feel. Different but not bad.

  6. Jaiofspam


    Apr 24, 2006
    sweet review skyler and awesome pics :D :thumbup:
    glad you like the karda :)
  7. Skyler R.

    Skyler R.

    Dec 27, 2005

    Yup..I sure do like it. I can see now that it will be joining me more in the woods. :thumbup:
  8. Andrew Colglazier

    Andrew Colglazier

    Sep 14, 2006
    These YCS Kardas are kind of a sleeper in the lineup, I think. I have one also, larger and heavier than yours, really quite a robust knife that seems up to heavy use. Not like a regular khuk, mind you, but certainly light chopping, batoning, and general camp chores.

    Mine took a mean edge and its handle is both good looking and functional. I would like to make a new sheath for it eventually, but for now it is just right.

    Thanks for the pics and review, Skyler!

  9. Skyler R.

    Skyler R.

    Dec 27, 2005
    I think you're right. The main thing that detured me from buying one was the carvings. Personally I like to use all of my knives, and to buy one that I wouldn't use didn't interest me. However once I was able to handle the karda the carvings where not a problem, in fact if anything the carvings help add a little more grip without causing wear on your hand.
  10. Tohatchi NM

    Tohatchi NM

    Mar 26, 2002
    I have one that may be a bit smaller than yours. I've always thought of it as a little bit overbuilt, which it certainly is for my daily routine of boxes and letters. Sounds like it's time to take it outside find some beefier tasks.

    Thanks for the review.
  11. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    cut some steak, chops, chickens, or brisket with that... then your veggies. do a whole meal deal :)

    with that shape they should be decent skinners too; two of different sizes are included in one of the YCS combos. yar.

    that monkeypod wood is neat stuff - dark, good grain, and perfect for the chinese zodiac countering balance of the firey hog :)

  12. M. Taylor

    M. Taylor

    Dec 4, 2005
    I have one in monkey pod wood as well and really like it a lot. I still need to put an edge on it. Mine came rather dull except right near the tip. You're right; it's surprisingly very comfortable to hold. Thanks for the review.
  13. Svashtar


    Dec 28, 2003
    Great review Skyler! It's funny, but everyone first assumes that the carved handles are going to be problematic, but I love how they feel in the hand. You get a good grip, and they actually feel more pleasant sometimes than smooth handles, with good tactile feedback.

    The biggest problem with the YCS kardas sometimes is the thick edge, which can make slicing a bit harder, but a little work to thin them pays off.

    I know Steve has had several really nice sheaths made for his by Leatherface I believe.


Share This Page