At Kailash Blades we aim to have our traditional knives be as faithful to historic examples as possible. There’s a few reasons for this, which we outline HERE in our traditional info. As a result of this, we chose to make a distinction between the Modern Service issue and the Original pattern first issued by the British, which we call the Historical Service Issue. The Modern military version’s issue is that it is produced by whichever of the larger houses is the lowest bidder on the contract. The lowest bidder as a result is usually the house which can either afford to lose the most money or has the most efficient production line. This is inevitably a producer of tourist style khukuris, because the market is so large and the style of khukuri is a lot simpler. As a result of this the Modern Service No.1 has a lot of the same issues that tourist knives have. Unreasonably thick at the spine, a thick, inefficient grind, a shape based more off ease of forging than any functional criteria and inaccurate balance.
The Historical version, produced from the early 50’s into the late 80’s is an entirely different beast. Longer, broader, sharper, meaner in just about every way. The rat tail tang and polished buffalo handle remains unchanged and is an absolute classic, but the blade is drastically different. Coming in at 11.5″ long it has much more tip speed for superior chopping, brushwork and combat performance but actually comes in at approximately the same weight due to the steeper primary grind, 6mm tapered spine and large gentle fuller which all decrease cutting resistance and weight without sacrificing much rigidity. Despite the extra length and meatier belly, the knife achieves a commanding, refined balance that is agile when handled gently but still delivers massive, controlled power when you start putting some energy into your swings.
Lengths and weights are as follows:
9.5″:6mm spine at bolster, 380g
11.5″:6mm spine at bolster, 475g (HIstorical, Optimal Length)
13.5″:5.5mm spine at bolster, 560g
All blade lengths come with a 5.5″ handle.
This knife has been used by Ghurkas in the dense jungles of the malayan emergency (1948-1960), in close combat skirmishes during the Borneo Confrontation (1962-1966), and in harsh survival situations during the Falklands war in 1982. In all of these varied theatres of war, this knife excelled and remained virtually unchanged for three decades. It is because of this stellar pedigree and its otherworldly balance of versatility, power and resilience that many consider it to be the Perfect Khukuri.
Before Purchase, please read through our section on Warranty and Factory Seconds for information on the different grind types, tang options and how they affect the level of warranty we offer.