Archive for the ‘Exotic’ Category

Killer Karambits!

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

In a previous post, I wrote briefly about a very interesting weapon design. One that utilized a forward sweeping blade, as opposed to the traditional blade belly that curved outwards. In that post, I pointed out that there are good reasons why we generally do not generally use out ward curving blades. For one thing, a cut using an outward curving blade, would be difficult to achieve on a flat surface.

For whittling wood, it might be helpful, but because the shape of the edge would cause all of your cutting strokes would tend to want to pull the knife out of your hand, I think it would be a rather fatiguing design. However there is a specific knife style that utilizes just such a design, but in a way that makes it perfect for it’s intended use. And a wicked little knife it is. Ladies and germs, allow me to introduce you to: The Karambit.

Filipino Karambit

Filipino Karambit

Ain’t it a beaut? The Karambit (sometimes also called a Kerambit or Korambit) is of southeast Asian origin. Much like the Japanese kunai, it started off as a simple utility knife, used for household tasks, the southeast Asian equivalent of the American pocket knife, or hawkbill utility knife, and eventually ended up being used for self defense, and martial arts. However unlike these knives, the Karambit possesses a number of very interesting and unique design features.

The most noticeable feature is the large ring on the pommel of the knife, much like how many Kunai are depicted today. However that is where the similarities end. Karambits have a very pronounced reverse curve to the blade, and depending on the design, may have any number of other unique features as shown below:

Parts of a Karambit

Parts of a Karambit

Now that’s just a mean looking little knife. My kind of pocket knife. It would probably make your average pocket knife run screaming in terror. But that’s a plus in my book. Modern day Karambits come in a variety of shapes and sizes, some features are removed to meet the restrictions of local laws, and others simply a matter of tradition. Some are double edged, others are single. Some have rippers on the spine, others don’t.

Karambit Designs - Strider Knives

Karambit Designs - Strider Knives

However the things that are common to all karambits, is that characteristically curved blade, with an sharp inside edge, a grip, and the ring. And therein lies the beauty of this design. Remember before how I said that a concave blade design actually placed more drag on the knife in use? Well this design actually allows you to use that drag to your advantage.

That ring in the pommel gives the wielder a very solid purchase on the knife, allowing very strong cutting strokes, and even low pressure draw cuts, simply by laying the edge on a target and pulling the knife across by the ring. It is really quite an effective design. And, unlike like most over knives, you get a very secure forward and reverse grip.

Undercover Karambit (Black)

Undercover Karambit (Black)

Incidentally, I am not particularly impressed with those little mini blades on the spine, (aka rippers). At least the way I often seem them implemented. They are a very cool (and sinister looking) design feature, but most of them do not appear to be designed for maximum efficiency. But a properly designed set of rippers, shaped more like small sharp gut hooks, than flat chisels, could really do some damage. Kinda like this:

Dawson Large Karambit Field & Tactical Knife

Dawson Large Karambit Field & Tactical Knife

Nowadays, the Karambit is a fixture in several southeastern Asian martial arts, where it is used, with great effect, to inflict large numbers of superficial cuts, deep major artery cuts, joint or limb control, weapon defence, or any combination thereof. About the only weakness of the Karambit is that you have to learn a whole new set of techniques for fighting with it, because it does not work the same way a traditional straight bladed knife does. And there are so many more things you can do with a Karambit that you could not easily replicate with a regular knife, that you really need training in order to use it to it’s fullest potential.

Traditional Karambit With Wood Sheath

Traditional Karambit With Wood Sheath

However it is definitely a very cool tool. My kind of tool. In fact, I could see someone like… Riddick… using a karambit. It’s totally his style. I bet if we upsized the karambit to large knife proportions, this would probably be a much more effective weapon than the saber claws Riddick uses. Hmmm…

Dragon Claw Toenail Set

Dragon Claw Toenail Set

I think I’ve got an idea for this piece of steel I just so happen to have lying around. I’m off to the workshop. I have a karambit theory to test! 😀

IT’S 2010? ALREADY!?! WELL HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Wow… It’s 2010 folks… 2010!

2009  just flew away… And didn’t even look back.I, for one, would like to thank the thousands of you that read this blog on a daily basis, believe me, I never thought I was writing anything that interesting. Well at least not to anyone but me… 😀 But I can’t say it hasn’t been rewarding. And to my regulars, I say Domo Arigatou Gozaimasu. Thank you very much! I will do my level best to continue to keep you all entertained in 2010!

And 2010 looks like it will be an auspicious year. It’s a nice round number, for one thing. And It has a movie named after it… though somehow I doubt the events in the movie will actually occur in real life… 😀 But either way, I think this is going to be an amazing year… I can just feel it in my smoldering bones. I’ve got some interesting projects planned, and I think you will all like them.

This will be the year of really, really, cool stuff. And I leave you with one such piece of cool to contemplate:

The Sword Gun

The Sword Gun

Awesome to 2010 and BEYOND!!!

Best wishes for the new year, from me, your perpetually fiery host, from the Realm of the Dark Blade! 😀

~Phyreblade~

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 25th, 2009

So, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m taking a break from posting over the holidays. I’ll be back in full swing after the new year, but I just thought I’d post to wish you all a happy holidays.

And in celebration, I thought I’d throw in the most Christmassy kind of blade stuff I know of…

Samurai  with Light Sabers!!

Enjoy…

Have a Merry Holidays, (whatever that holiday may be for you!) and have a Happy New year!!

~Phyreblade

Wood: the other dark steel…

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Ok, So I will readily admit that the title of todays post was highly influenced by thoughts of thanksgiving turkey…Light meat or dark meat… It’s all good… But I digress.

You may recall a few posts I’ve done in the past on weapons made of wood. Some of them have been about reproduction, prop or cosplay weapons, weapons you could give to your little rascals, or for cosplay (costume play), designed primarily to be a safe alternative to the real thing.

Macahuitl

Macahuitl

However, I’ve also posted about weapon designs that, while made primarily of wood, were still quite lethal as edged weapons. The Macahuitl was one such weapon, using flint or obsidian blades, embedded in a wood frame shaped like a club, or a large broadsword. And then there was the Leiomano, which accomplished the same thing, using shark teeth, but packaged in a small axe form factor.

Leiomano

Leiomano

But I recently ran across an even more beautiful design, yet another based on the small axe form factor, but without any kind of hard blade material whatsoever… Just wood. Really hard wood… Have a gander at this:

Samoan War Axe

Samoan War Axe

Now chances are, the edge would be nowhere as keen as that of a macahuitl, so this would be more likely used freehand as a club, or to break or dislocate bones than an actual cleaving device,  (unless you had a hard surface to chop against and were willing to keep whacking away until the job was done :/ )  However,  it is just a beautiful piece of work.

I just love this thing. Between the smooth and highly polished finish on the weapon, the Samoan patterns on the blade, and the absolutely evil lines on this axe, I just love it to death. Ok, maybe not to death, since I kind of like being alive, but you get the point.

The points on this thing are amazing. The deep bevel of the edge is accentuated by the light colored patterning of the blade area, making it look almost like a thick slab of dark steel. The patterning runs all the way down the shaft, stopping just short of the light colored jute or twine wrapped grip. The combination is just sweet.

Truth be told, I think this wooden axe looks more both more beautiful  and sinister than most of the other evil steel axes I’ve posted on this site so far…

And that’s no small feat for a weapon made entirely of wood.

Samoan War Axe – [My Armory]

Taking Multi-tools too far…

Friday, November 20th, 2009

So I like multitools as much as anyone else, but I think there is a common sense limit to what they should be able to do. I have a SAK (Swiss Army Knife)  that I bought oh, about 15 or so odd years ago, and in spite of being one of my regular use EDCs for the vast majority of that time, it works today pretty much like it did the day I bought it. I’ve misplaced the pen from the SAK, and signal mirror that used to be stored in the leather case, but besides that, it’s a gem.

Now my SAK has about 17 or 18 different tools on it, not counting what’s in the sheath that it came with, and I have used each and every tool on that thing at one point or another so I can’t really complain about it having too many, however I’ve always wondered if there was such a thing as too much… Like too many tools… or maybe a tool that just makes no sense.

Wenger Giant Swiss Army Knife

Wenger Giant Swiss Army Knife

Well, I’ve seen the humongous, gazillion tool Swiss Army Knife, so that first question has been answered. 🙂

However the answer to the second question came in the form of a rather unique multitool I found a while back… I’ll let you judge for yourself:

Utility Knife & Tool

Utility Knife & Tool

Now this is certainly an interesting multitool. In addition to having very few tools, at least compared to most other multitools out there, it has a rather… eclectic… selection of tools. By my count I see 6 tools. Which, in an of itself, isn’t bad, if all you need are 6 tools, I’m a fan of economy of tools, and getting only what you need, but, in this case… well, lets go through the list.

First, the staples of any multitool, we have a simple knife. Good to go. Then moving on, we have a can opener. No complaints. Then a set of heavy wire cutters. Cool. The wire cutters are part of a set of pliers. Can’t go wrong there. And what looks like maybe a spring for the handle of the pliers. I dunno. BUT, Then we have, integrated with the head of the pliers… A claw hammer.

Yeah… A claw hammer. Really? A CLAW HAMMER? on a MULTITOOL?!? Now don’t get me wrong, I think the claw part is actually a good idea. You could use that to pull nails, open crates, etc. But the hammer head… This thing would have to be built like a tank in order to handle use as a hammer.

Now I must cede that there may actually be people out there that would find something like this incredibly useful. But even so, that whole claw hammer thing just really kills the portability of this tool. Yes, it comes with a sheath, which I’m guessing would b rather large. And I don’t know how much it weighs, but it would probably feel like a brick hanging from your belt.

And even if it didn’t wouldn’t the hammer just be a pain to use being attached to the swiveling part of the pliers? Keep swinging open on you and stuff? I’m all about innovation and invention, but this thing… I don’t know.

I really don’t know…

Utility Knife and Tool – [True Swords]

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