Be Careful with your Kukri
At I write this there is finger-tip bandage over the end of my pinky finger. I cut off part of its tip with a kukri. How did I do that? I picked it up, in its sheath, upside down. They do not put a holding strap on a kukri. In fact, making a holding strap yourself, even if you have done some leather work, is hard, because of the shape of the handle.
You need to be aware that a Kukri blade takes a razor-sharp edge. That is part of its strength. Let me be a little graphic, a kukri blade is used in war to cut off body parts. What makes you think it won't cut off yours?
Whenever you swing a kukri, you need to be aware of where it is going to land when it cuts through what it is hitting. Otherwise, after it has done its job, it will cut into, or through, you. Enough said?
Strap was made from an old section of belt, and a snap kit bought in the sewing section of a department store. Sewn into belt loop, and very tight. Stretched it on, in fact, when the leather was wet. When it dries, it should hold its shape. Has to be very tight to work on a Kukri.
here are a couple of articles:
Taken from: http://www.himalayan-imports.com/faq/safety/
Safety Thread: Be safe, not sorry!
(original by Harry, revised by 'Gonzo Beyondo' )
1. A kukri is a tool which has a sharp blade. It can and is used for many useful tasks. It is not a toy. Treat it with the respect that it deserves.
2. Take the time to learn how to handle a kukri properly. You'll find that your use will be more efficient and enjoyable.
3. Always handle and use your kukri with safety in mind. If you are not 100% dedicated to safety, you have no business using a kukri.
Below are some examples of things not to do and consequences:
And this is an example of the damage a kukri can cause.
4. Even when a kukri is being sheathed
and unsheathed, safety should be kept in mind.
Notice how the user keeps his hand away from the edge area.
And the wrong way to unsheath/sheath a kukri...:
The fellow handling this kukri was lucky to avoid serious injury to his hand. He could have ended up like this:
5. Watch out for the sharp chape!! (this is the sharp brass thing covering the tip of the scabbard) Take a file and round it off or remove it completely.
6. Maintain your kukri. Keep it sharp and make sure that it fits snugly in its scabbard.
If it needs repairs, consult Uncle Bill and the kukri experts at the Himalayan Imports Forum for advice.
7. If you are allowing others to handle your kukris, make sure that you instruct them on how you expect them to handle them.
This is for their safety and yours. If any doubt exists as to safety, do not let them handle your kukris.
After all, what responsible kukri owner/user would give a sharp knife to an idiot? Remember, you are responsible for your kukri.
8. If you see another person using a kukri in an unsafe manner, stop and instruct them in safe kukri use. You, and they, will be glad you did.
9. Once more, a kukri is NOT A TOY!!! It is a sharp tool that can hurt you and others if not used with safety in mind.
10. The pictures and information above were provided by Uncle Bill Martino, Tom Marker, Russell Slate, MauiRob, Howard Wallace's Kukri FAQ, Terry Sisco and other responsible kukri users.
11. The author of this safety thread is not responsible in any way if you misuse a kukri and hurt yourself in any way.
You, and you ALONE are responsible for your actions. No exceptions.
Controlled safe cutting principles... By
As per a request, I'm adding this to the safety thread. Think of it as prevention...
Consider these principles when or before attacking some unsuspecting lumber with your kukri:
1 - Controlled Striking with the primary cutting edge:
Before cutting hard targets, it is best to practice controlled striking (with the hardened area--have to determine that as well) on softer targets, like 2x4s and limbs. You can tell you're ready to move on to harder targets once you can always hit with the hardened area of the kukri (you can tell this by looking at marks on the blade made by cutting wood--they should mostly be in the primary cutting area).
Conveniently, the Center of Percussion -- the 'sweet spot' -- of each HI
kukri is the zone that is hardest. It is no accident that this is the primary
cutting area of the kukri, and will deliver the most efficient cut.
2 - Controlling force and depth of strike:
When you swing the kukri at the target, do not think of striking at the surface of the target--but through it or many inches into it. Try cutting plywood edge-on to master this technique. You can draw a line 3-4 inches down on the side of the plywood, and aim for that depth of cut. This also makes you conscious of blade control--by cutting TO the line, not through it or above it, you learn to stop the kukris downward descent so that it does not exit the target out of control and into one's leg or arm or rocky ground...you also get a feel for the strikes that are too weak or not perpendicular to the target. As you must initiate the swing, so must you terminate the swing in a controlled fashion.
3 - Ignore the Point (or tip) of the kukri:
When using the kukri for cutting, realize that the tip (meaning the part of the blade that extends past the sweet spot) is really not the cutting area--The point is the secondary cutting area of the kukri. Most folks when swinging a sword or long blade for the first time want to strike with the point. This is not the sweet spot, and delivers an ineffective cut with no mass behind it (and using the softer tip, also a no-no).
Basically, the last few inches of the kukri are there to put mass further out past the sweet spot, which is mass that converts to a more forceful blow. The tip is there to roll the blade through the target without snagging.
When test cutting, ignore the tip of the kukri--act as if the kukri stops right after the hardened area. You will be surprised how well the tip of your kukri will hold up when it not used as a primary chopping edge.
4 - Think in arcs:
Unlike a spear, arrow, or bullet, a kukri does not travel in a line. It and other swung objects travel in an arc. When you swing your kukri, be aware of the start and finish (and everything in between) of the arc. Be aware that anything that gets in this are is subject to being cut. Check the path of the arc by envisioning the swing, and make sure there are no obstructions.
5 - Cut away from yourself:
This basic rule for all knife use is paramount in kukri use, as they have two deadly ingredients --- mass and sharpness. When thinking in terms of arcs, the kukri arc should always start closer to you than where it ends up. If you are swinging an arc that goes away from you but comes back close to you as well, you must rethink this arc or you risk injury. We all know that a kukri goes slicing thru most target materials much faster than we think it will, so do not assume that the target will miraculously stop the kukri dead.
If you practice for a while, master blade control and can use your wrist in conjunction with the swing to 'snap' the blow into the target, You will be ready for safe and effective cutting.
_ _ _
Chopping Felled Trees
Here's one for all the kukri lumberjacks out there. Let's say you just felled
a nice tree with your chainsaw, and now it's time to draw the trusty kukri and
set about de-limbing and such. Be dad gummed careful of any small saplings the
tree might have fallen across. They'll be bent over storing energy just like the
pole in a good snare setup. A large kukri will lop through a wrist thick sapling
with one good lick, suddenly and violently releasing the energy stored in that
bent sapling. A sapling of that diameter will recoil with enough force to put
out an eye, crush a windpipe, et cetera. So what do you do? Don't cut either
end, cut in the middle of the arc of the bent piece of wood, and only enough
until the wood cracks, releasing most of it's energy. Same deal for limbs that
are supporting the weight of the fallen tree, they're storing energy too.
Before you ask, no, it's never happened to me, and I'm sure plenty of you out there already knew about it, so I thank you for your patient indulgence. It just occurred to me that there's a lot of brand new kukri users popping up on the forum, and some of them may be new to chopping trees down/up. I've been through several hurricanes and seen a lot of folks hurt trying to deal with fallen trees. They can be very dangerous and entirely unforgiving.
AND PLEASE.....!!! From Kismet
1. Contain your initial enthusiasm.
2. Go slower when you are tired, and be more deliberate in your actions.
3. Stop before the accident. The job will stay there until you are rested.
Copyright (c) 1999-2001 by Howard Wallace, all rights
reserved.; 2002-3 Himalayan Imports.
This FAQ may not be included in commercial collections or compilations, or distributed for financial gain, without express written permission from the author. This FAQ may be printed and distributed for personal non-commercial, non-profit usage, or as class material, as long as there is no charge, except to cover materials, and as long as this copyright notice is included.