Pros: Overall Quality, Weight, Finish
Cons: Handle Material, None
Good blade, questionable grip
I purchased this kukri through knifecenter.com a week or so ago and have just finished using it for some medium brush clearing - I was cutting blackberry and bamboo. My first impression is good, with a couple of slight reservations. The knife arrived sharp but rough - the edge was not polished. The knife comes with a sheath that includes a pouch with a diamond sharpening block inside. The block isn't labeled so I don't know what the grit is, but it feels like about 100 - ok for sharpening but far too coarse for honing. I spent about an hour with an EdgePro sharpener using 220 and 400 grit stones, applying a polish to the thickest part of the blade and putting a narrower edge on the thinner part. This wasn't strictly necessary as the blade was sharp enough to use when it arrived, but I like to sharpen my knives as part of the getting acquainted process. The knife comes with a rubberized grip, a loop of paracord through the butt of the knife, and a longer loop of paracord attached to the tip of the sheath. The handle and the paracord attached to it are the biggest problems that I had. First, the paracord: it's clearly meant to be used to wrap your wrist so that you don't lose the knife while using it. But it's not attached in a way that allows you to do this. You have to remove it and re-tie it according to your tastes. Maybe this is meant to be a feature, but it felt needlessly fussy to me. I would have preferred a simple loop. Next, the handle: the grip is about 1/4" thinner where your index and middle fingers wrap around it. It feels like the designer was trying for an ergonomic effect, but for me it completely backfires. It would be more comfortable for me if that section was thicker instead. I have a touch of arthritis and I felt that the shape of the handle weakened my grip rather than strengthening it. The knife is very nicely weighted and balanced. I was using it as a hatchet with the thick part of the blade, and stripped twigs and limbs off of branches with the narrower section. The knife was very easy to control throughout, with the weight being easily manageable and the grip being secure, despite my reservations about its shape.