Posts Tagged ‘Khukuri’

A cool short sword…

Monday, November 30th, 2009

As you should all well know by now, I have an innate bias towards blades of dark, pointy, sharp and curvy nature. However the nature of the sword industry today is such that most swords are made for collectors, and are generally shiny wall hangers. Obviously, this is almost the polar opposite of the kinds of things I look for in a sword. But every now and then, I find one that just speaks to me…

Junglee Short Sword

Junglee Short Sword

Meet the Junglee short sword. A symphony of modern technology melded with beautiful lines that look like they were taken from a few different sword styles. A beautiful curving blade of AUS-8 steel, that looks like a cross between a bowie knife, a scimitar and a khukuri. A blade that widens down towards the hilt into a small integrated guard, and then down to a textured kraton covered grip. All finished in an understated black teflon finish. Absolutely beautiful. I love it.

Now as short swords go, this is indeed a beauty. However I do have some concerns about it. One of them is about the steel. AUS-8, when properly heat treated, can be a great knife steel, possessing qualities similar to 440 stainless. For small knives, they are good, will take and hold an edge well, and provided they are sufficiently thick, are fairly resilient against flexing stresses. However these steels tend to be low carbon, relatively hard, inflexible  steels, so I generally do not like to see them used for swords.

Swords, due to their greater length, do tend to flex a lot more than knives do, and so my concern would be that under hard use, or in cold conditions, this sword could chip or break. A thick blade can generally help avoid possible breakage, but given it’s relatively light weight, (a whole 1.4lbs, lol ), I tend to doubt it is particularly thick. However to be fair, I should also add that this sword is a “short” sword, so the typical weaknesses of AUS-8 may not be as pronounced, and it could have been tempered slightly softer than normal in order to help mitigate that risk.

Another possible cause for concern would be the grip construction and material. While I love the way Kraton feels, and the kind of grip it gives you, most Kraton grips are essentially tang sleeves, and the tang has to be designed in a specific manner, or employ some additional retention methods, like a lanyard sleeve that goes through both grip and tang, for instance, in order to prevent the kraton grip from slipping down the tang under hard use. Don’t really see any of that on this sword, which means there is the possibility of the grip moving around on you…

So, if you plan to relying on something like this as a primary tool for survival purposes, you may want to keep the above points in mind.

But apart from that, I just love the lines on this. And the dark beautiful curves. Just can’t help it. I will probably never be able to rely solely on it for outdoor treks, however I’m probably still gonna get it because it just so cool… 😀

Junglee Short Sword – [eBlade Store]

More Kooky Khukuris…

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

In the comments of the post before last, I was asked by a friend what kind of sword I would pick for personal defense/offense were the world to be suddenly plunged into a post apocalyptic state where firearms no longer worked. My answer?: A Japanese Katana.

However it was a rather incomplete answer. In reality, I would not be limited to 1 weapon, and even if we retained the artificial “no firearms” limitation there would still be quite a number of considerations that would go into how many weapons I would carry and which ones. It is a topic I think worthy of a dedicated post.

However today, I thought I’d talk about one of the specific kinds of knives I might carry around with me for utility and defense purposes. Namely, a Gurkha Khukuri (aka Kukri) . Or a variation thereof:

Alice’s Khukuri

Alice's Kukri
[view full size]

Now the observant movie going folk among you might be asking: “Isn’t that emblem on the blade from “The Umbrella Coporation”?” Indeed it is. And the reason is because this particular Khukuri is a replica of the pair of Khukuri used by Milla Jovovichs character “Alice” from the “Resident Evil: Extinction” movie. In the movie, she worked those Khukuri like there was no tomorrow. I suppose it would be accurate to say she was trying to ensure that there actually was a tomorrow, and being suitably motivated to do so, well, I’m sure you get the picture… 🙂

Interestingly, the Khukuri has made an appearance in other post apocalyptic movies, such as “Cyborg” (one of Jean Claude Van Damme’s characters favorite weapons) and “Waterworld” (Kevin Costners “Mariner” used one to rather terminal effect). Now while the movies are a great (but sometimes unrealistic) showcase for the Khukuris flexibility, there are actually a lot of good real world reasons why a Khukuri would be a great blade to have as part of your arsenal in a post apocalyptic world.

The Khukuri is actually a very flexible and capable weapon design. It is a large knife with a stout spine, that carries all of it’s weight at the top half of a forward canted blade, making it an excellent chopping tool. But the unusually angled top half of the blade still retains a strong, sweeping cutting edge, so it is also a great cutting weapon, though not in the same way that a Katana is. And while thrusting isn’t really it’s forte, it does have enough point to be used for stabbing action. Although some of the more contemporary designs marginalize that particular weakness:

Kukrage (Paul Ehlers)

Paul Ehlers
[view full size]

Notice the sharp point, the knuckle guard, the saw back spine? Most of these features you’d find on your average survival knife. But here they are in Khukuri form. And its all black! Ha! Now this is a Khukuri I’d love to have, come the apocalypse!!

Yet an additional advantage of the Khukuri is it’s packaging. It is actually a fairly compact design, for what it can do. It is shorter and than a machete, but because of it’s stout, top heavy design, can be used like one. And it’s rugged build would make it suitable for the many tasks that you would not want to abuse a Katana blade with. A large bowie knife might also have fit this bill, but, no offense to the bowie purists among you, a Khukuri just feels balanced better to me, and looks a whole lot cooler… 😛

So while it might not be my primary combat blade, it would certainly be a great utility blade. With offensive capabilities. A good all around, general purpose blade. I’d never leave home without it… 😉

A Mutant Khukuri.

Monday, November 5th, 2007

If you are a fan of the X-Men comic book series, saturday morning cartoons or movies, you’ll probably be aware of the kind of cool things that a mutant can do. Obviously this isn’t a comic book blog, so no, I’m not posting about X-Men. Unless one of them happens to have a cool sword that some knife designer decides to produce.

However what if you could have mutant weapons? Well that would be a whole new ball game wouldn’t it. And when I saw this weapon, “It’s a Mutant!” was the first thing that sprang to mind:

Fantasy Dual Swords

fantasy Dual Swords
[view full size]

Yup, yup. It’s a mutant. Trust me. What was it before it’s x-gene was activated? I’ll tell you. It was a Khukuri. What’s a Khukuri? Ah, well let’s take a trip into the history of British Nepal and India. The Khukuri is a traditional knife used by the Gurkhas of Nepal and Northern India. The Gurkhas were recruited by the british army for their bravery, resilience and strength, and each Gurkha soldier carried with him a Khukuri knife. Eventually this unique knife became known as the Gurkha knife, aka the Gurkha Khukuri.

A Gurkha Khukuri

A Gurkha Kukri

Above is a traditional Gurkha Khukuri. If you ever watched WaterWorld with Kevin Costner, who played the role of the Mariner, (who was coincidentally, also a mutant), this is the knife he used to dispatch a rather unruly seafarer during the movie.

Now the Khukuri above has been polished to a mirror shine, which is not typical. But I”ll bet you can see a resemblance to it’s mutant form? See it? Huh? I thought so. Now given that the Khukuri is a fairly lethal weapon in it’s own right, it makes all kind of sense for there knife makers to produce several variants of this blade design, some of which I will probably blog about in the near future. However, this fantasy design really caught my eye.

As you can see, this mutant Khukuri carries the basic shape of a Khukuri, with several modifications. It is longer, with a narrower blade with in proportion to the original. The fantasy design also eschews a wood or horn grip for a full tang cord wrap. Also there is a divot in the spine of the mutant with a short connecting bar, also sporting a cord wrap. This I’m not too happy with, as it introduces a structural weakness into the blade that is really unnecessary. But that is my only major gripe.

The fine point sweeps down to a rearward hook just before the aforementioned divot, which is a nice touch. And the cord wrapped handle and integrated finger guard is equally interesting, conforming to a mild s-shape, probably intended to perform the same function as the sharp, 20-degree dogleg in the blade of the original Khukuri was designed for, which is to make the chopping edge meet the target as flat as possible without the need to bend the wrist. This makes for a much more powerful chopping stroke. In addition to this, the fine point and s-shaped grip could actually allow this to be used as a decent stabbing weapon, which is an ability that the original Khukuri was severely lacking.

From an aesthetic stand point, this design makes for a very futuristic looking Khukuri. A Khukuri that is an advanced evolution of the original. Hence, I have dubbed it “The Mutant Khukuri”. Regardless of what anyone else calls it, it will always be a cool “Mutant Khukuri” to me…

Mutant Khukuri (Fantasy Dual Swords) – [Collectors Edge]

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