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Markus Fischer




Location: Germany
Joined: 14 May 2020
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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2020 2:36 pm    Post subject: Spine thickness on Khukuris         Reply with quote

This is quite a controversial topic.
Today most Khukuri houses make their spines massively thick (9-11mm) to safe time.
Most people say that these spine thickness are strongly exaggerated and not historicaly accurate.
Others say that they in fact were that thick.
I have seen some historical examples of Khukuri, and my impression is that in fact many of those a quite thick. What I've seen is mostly 9mm+ at the base. I've never seen anything under 7mm.
My Theorie (which is based on very little experience) is that there was quite a bit of verity in the thickness, as there was also a lot of verity in Khukuri types which all have different purposes.
There are big heavy chopping instruments that have more similarities with axes than knives (those might reach 1,3mm). On the other hand there are light Khukuris that were intended for martial arts and combat (7mm or less)
This is just a guess. I havent seen enough examples to be able to make any valid statement. This is what seems the most logical to me.
But what do you think?
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2020 4:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

99% of the time they were being used as a tool, not a weapon. I've used mine for clearing undergrowth, pruning trees, cooking food, scraping hotplates, shaving spear-shafts, dispatching game, butchering meat, splitting wood, tightening screws, levering rocks, and so on. A utilitarian blade needs to be a lot more sturdy than a martial arts blade.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

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PostPosted: Sat 25 Jul, 2020 8:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have three late 19th/ early 20th century khukris and all have very considerably thick spines; 13mm, 12mm, and 8mm. That's quite a bit of variation, but shows that they could be very chunky. As a chopping tool, the heavy weight of the thicker examples is quite handy, they also have much deeper bellies and make fair ad hoc diggers. If I were to use one as a weapon though, the 8mm has significantly more responsive handling.
'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jul, 2020 2:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
A utilitarian blade needs to be a lot more sturdy than a martial arts blade.


Millions of machete users world wide would disagree with you. Wink

But personally I think what you are saying makes sense. I've never been in Nepal but I guess they have more hardwood and less soft vines etc. You see a similar thing in Indonesia, where the traditional blades (goloks, parangs etc) may appear machete-like but are much thicker and better made.

If you look at the product line of Himalayan Imports you see a lot of variety depending on intended use, which I think makes sense.
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jul, 2020 4:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
A utilitarian blade needs to be a lot more sturdy than a martial arts blade.


Millions of machete users world wide would disagree with you. Wink

These tropical brush knives vary according to the local vegetation. In areas where its grassy, the traditional knives are longer and thinner and quicker. In areas where its woodier, they are shorter and heavier and not so nimble. In wet temperate Europe, people use actual axes and bill-hooks instead.

www.bookandsword.com
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Jul, 2020 5:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I personally don't know enough about original Kukries to say if they are overbuilt or not, so I can only judge them as they feel in my hand.

A Cold Steel San Mai Khukuri purchased a long time ago seem robust to me but not ponderous or overbuilt. Same design but different steel.
https://www.coldsteel.com/gurkha-kukri-in-a2-steel-39lmd?returnurl=%2fcoldsteel-knives%2f%3fcount%3d144

A longer than usual Khukuri I purchased a few years ago is fairly heavy, has a thick spine 8.4mm thick at the guard and a bit of distal taper on it's 18" blade 4.5mm near the tip. It does have a lot of blade presence but not too much as I see it more being a short sword rather thanjust a knife. It also isn't a traditional design as it uses a full tang, but the tang tapers from the 8mm at the guard down to 2mm at the end of the handle.

This one described above:
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...7%27+Blade

As a tool or weapon I would feel very well armed for a " Zombie Apocalypse " ...... Laughing Out Loud


Another one with a much shorter blade is truly much much too heavy in total weight and would put a double bit axe to shame ..... Sad WTF?!
Truly monstrously heavy and impractical, but a nice display piece:
https://www.khukurihouseonline.com/5-fuller-chirra-full-flat-tang-kukri-slayer


https://www.khukurihouseonline.com
They do seem to have categories including what they call wall-hangers !

Also interesting but not historically authentic designs, but they also seem to have more traditional one, a careful buyer should decide what they prioritize: Authentic looks and handling or something very different that can be good or bad depending on what one is looking for.

In general terms a thick blade at the guard will handle very differently if it has distal taper than a sharpened crowbar.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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