I was a little hesitant to write a knife review, mostly because what the fuck has it got to do with writing? Nothing really, I just like it and I know what you’re thinking; ‘Oh so you’re a school shooter?’ I can’t tell you why I like knives any more than someone can tell you why they like collecting stamps.
It probably ties in with my obsession with the zombie apocalypse, of which I know isn’t coming, but at one point I sort of did. I haven’t always been sane and don’t really claim to be now, or even that there is such a thing to cling to. A little Lovecraftian? Yeah maybe.
Nevertheless I still fantasise about zombies ravaging the world for some reason. I wrestled with this a long time, I know it’s a little sad and childish but I did really fear that it would happen and I started collecting knives preparation. I literally almost breathed a sigh of relief when I bought my first cold steel gi tanto, so sad ha-ha.
But I remember when I had a dream about zombies and I started to realise that what I really needed was a crossbow or a gun or something but then I realised that that would take all the fun out of it and also be more than I was willing to pay. I realised that I realised it was just a fantasy and I didn’t really think it would happen because otherwise I would get a crossbow or learn to use a bow or something but I didn’t. I just wanted to collect cool knives and display them. It was a way of using cognitive dissonance to justify my collecting of something I liked, like I wasn’t just collecting shiny things like a magpie, I was assembling an arsenal to survive.
I used to watch these shows like doomsday preppers and I realised I wasn’t like these people, I didn’t really think it was going to happen, my brain wasn’t as broken, I didn’t feel the need to horde food or learn to eat bark or something, it was just a hobby not a way of life or an actual reality.
But it still intrigued me and wanting to understand and satirise that mentality is what drove me to start writing Green Sunday, not another zombie apocalypse story but one that tried to get into the heads of the people that actually want this. I didn’t want to write another zombie story as just a framing device for some pointless drama, I wanted to get into and satirise the minds of people not too dissimilar from myself and try to understand the fascination with zombies and more broadly the end of the world.
Ok rambled enough, bullshit ceased, now for the review for the;
Tora WW2 1/2nd Battalion Kukri
This isn’t my first Khukri/kukri/Khukuri? Fuck it, big shiny leaf shaped knife! I was kind of ambivalent towards them since being a zombie film lover I’d see their love affair with the knife and being a little contrarian hipster fuck I naturally rejected them and samurai swords and anything else lots of people liked and poopooed them. But then someone bought a samurai sword and I fell in love with Khukris after watching an episode of ultimate warrior and I’d been going through this phase and still am of loving anything WW2 related that can be used to hurt people. Pretty much anything that resembles something that killed Nazis interests me. I would collect some Nazi stuff too just for balance but it’s either a tacky replica or a ridiculous expensive antique, there doesn’t seem to be a happy medium of knife makers making quality replicas, could be the stigma I guess, guilt by association or some such silliness.
So I shopped around and I skimmed through condors and your cold steels and all manner of KLO’s (Kukri like objects), my brother has the cold steel Kukri machete and it’s functional but nothing special. I hovered over the condor and kabar but I kind of wanted something really authentic so… I bought a Khukri house. Now I know if you’re a seasoned knife collector or a Khukri lover that was probably a punch line. But I liked some of their designs and they had great prices for knives that were actually handmade in Nepal, not china or Taiwan or America, actually from their country of origin.
When I got hold of it, I quite liked it, it was a little heavy for a ten inch knife but I liked it, seemed nice and tough, I thought, ‘shit if it’s blunt I could just throw it at them’. So I was happy with that. But after a while I stumbled on Tora and realised what a twat I was.
And now holding a tora in my hand I understand the extent of my twattishness. When I first picked it up, it felt like I was picking up a piece of a downed alien space craft, made from some eldritch unknown metal. It was so unbelievably light for a twelve inch ww2 replica kukri. I was amazed by how light and agile it was.
It made me realise how pointless the Khukri house knife was in terms of its use, it’s over built with the full integral tang and the thickness of the blade and it makes it cumbersome to a point where it becomes almost unusable when you go above ten inches. Those two features are purely to sell it to American tourists who want some big knife and see the tang when really having the tang visible all the way through the handle doesn’t denote the quality of the knifes construction. So I’m not trying to shit on Khukri house and as a collector they make handsome knives and I will definitely buy from them again because they go beyond the standard replicas and make their own styles which I love.
But if you want real quality replicas, a real Khukri made to the specification of world war designs of authentic Khukris I’d go with Tora.
The blade came fairly sharp but to be frank, Khukris are like axes in how they chop, it’s all leveraging of the blade angle, it doesn’t need to be hair shaving sharp to cut, but I appreciate a little bit of an edge. The mirror polish is lovely, the sheathe is very nice quality, well stitched, I remember with the Khukri house one I could see where it was glued but it’s still functional.
The blade feels great in the hand; it has a partial tang, so the handle isn’t bulky like the Khukri house Kukri. I think the wood handle is a slippery and it takes a little practice to get the edge alignment right for cuts. But as you can see I’m a weirdo who likes ruining his expensive knives by wrapping the handles in masking tape, I’m just too lazy to use paracord and I think tape works better and I think it looks cool but I’m a retard so don’t listen to me ha-ha.
Overall the knife is great quality, I noticed a bit of a bend at the hilt but it’s to be expected from a handmade knife, it doesn’t really affect the knife; it just irked the perfectionist that lies within.
I think what amazed me the most about the Tora is something that just caught me off guard and that was the point; it actually has a functional point. Which is something I had come to expect was not something you could get with a Kukri, which is why most of them don’t come with hilts or any form of guards because they’re not knives that are meant for thrusting (Which is sort of interesting since most people seem to think they originate from the Greek kopis which has a really extensive guard for stabbing… yeah it’s the 300 sword… philistines ¬_¬).
I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually quite pointy, I’m sure it’ll come quite a shock to those hapless pumpkins.
The only negative points I could say about it is the waiting list, you have to wait quite a while to get hold of one because they make them in batches and also they use parcel force, I think it was, and they’re about as useful as an arsehole on your knee. I’d have preferred something like ups or FedEx but as it stands I’m very happy with it and I would recommend it to anyone.
I haven’t actually taken it out and whacked a tree with it and I don’t plan to (well I hacked the shit out of the box, but that’s because my daddy didn’t hug me enough as a child), but it makes a beautiful addition to my collection and I hope to get many more, salary willing.
October 7, 2015 at 3:11 pm
Ryk. Interesting, I own many Kukri’s, for different reasons, and love Tora blades.
A Kukri is a tool. It will cit wood for your fire, or posts for your tent, but don’t use it to cut a tree down. It out performs most things and Tora exceed those.
I know many who tape handles, as European hands are bigger than Nepalease, and anyway, most Nepalease handle them from birth, and are used to them.
I carried a Kukri during my service days. No not a Gurkha, it served me well.
Enjoy your reason for having one of the best knives available, handmade and don’t cost a year’s wages
October 7, 2015 at 4:17 pm
Thanks, I’ve been getting a lot of flack for the tape haha. I don’t plan on using on anything except zombies, I’m just a collector, not an outdoorsman in the least I’m afraid, the closest I get is playing fallout haha.
October 24, 2018 at 2:22 am
I owned mk2 tora KUKURI ,and been using with Australian tough dried red wood , Tora Blades couldn’t withstand its toughness ,it got lot of chips, and once I was trying stabbing to split some chunks , and blade tip got bend completely,where I lost all the trust about Tora Blades.
U see that’s the difference between real Gurkha KUKURI and replica of that .
Totally I say Tora Blades are not trustworthy to depend on .