Villagers are a separate, special category of kukris in Himalayan Imports lineup. Simply put,
villagers are low end versions of the same kukris in the main line. What makes them so attractive is the lower price (compared to already quite low prices on main line kukris) and
the same high performance. Basically main difference is the blade finish. It's satin vs. mirror. Now in my opinion if you want a beater knife villagers are the best choice. They're
cheaper, and satin finish is a lot more durable in terms of looks than the mirror one. Obviously, villagers won't have any fancy engravings and filework, but we already agreed,
those are the workhorses right ;)
Currently I own only one villager, which is 12 inch Ang Khola, being reviewed on this page. Later I am not sure, probably I'll get more if I find interesting models. I don't hesitate to use and beat up my higher quality kukris anyways, besides I don't have all that much kukri work living urban life ;)
General- This villager Ang Khola came in with standard setup, which is Kukri itself with leather sheath, plus karda and chakma. Villager has wood handle which is more characteristic, I am not sure if I have seen villager with a horn handle, though there can be :) Chakma and karda also have wooden handles. Karda was reasonably sharp, but I wouldn't call it very sharp or scary sharp. Same was true for the kukri itself. Also, there were minor rust spots on the kukri itself. Although removing and cleaning up the blade took less than 15 minutes. For 50$ delivered this is a bargain anyways. By the was chakma and karda were sitting quite tightly in the sheath, which was nice. No complaints about the sheath, simple kukri sheath, except it's too tight.
Blade- This is the smallest kukri I own so far. I am not sure if I will be buying anything smaller, as getting 12" long kukri was rather an experiment from my side, however it worked out very well. Judging by the simple fact that I use 12" AK the most... It was a good choice and it's a useful knife. Blade isn't 12 inches long, the straight line from the tip to the handle is around 7-8" since kukris are measured differently. However, cutting and especially chopping power of this little kukri are surprisingly good. Most of the time when I need to do some medium cutting/chopping I don't really need the power of 20" 3.5 pound AK :) Small one handles lots of light chopping and cutting as well. I've been using this blade quite a bit lately, including my kitchen, backyard, some other cutting chores in the garage and so on. All I can say I am very pleased with its performance. Later I am planning to do more serious or determined testing to get more specific data compared to other kukris and more conventional blades.
Sharpness and Sharpening- NIB sharpness was satisfactory. It could slice hanging paper, although I'd describe the edge as rather rough. Thanks to its small size villager was very easy to sharpen compared to its big brothers. Overall I've spent around an hour to sharpen the knife to my satisfaction. After that it could shave cleanly, and the edge was high polish, convex grind edge. I prefer that one for chopping, and it does work well for cutting as well. Since I don't use kukris for delicate cutting/slicing frequently (to be precise, very rarely) the edge profile described above works the best for me. Now, judging by the time I spent sharpening, effort and metal behavior, the edge is hardened quite uniformly. I didn't notice any soft spots on the tip or the sweet spot, after the curve probably it's slightly softer, but I can't really tell. During the use I've managed to chop through the nails and on several occasions hit the rocky soil. All that abuse produced no more than minor edge rolls, nothing that couldn't be fixed by steeling and sharpening. No edge chipping after few months anyways.
Handle- The usual Bir Gorkha wood handle. Not the best in terms of comfort and ergonomics, but does the job. If you know how to handle kukri, then I wouldn't have too many complaints about this particular one. I've used sandpaper to round sharper points on the pommel and that's all. Well, had to clean a few rust spots too ;)
New Sheath- As usual the original sheath was standard Bir-Gorkha one, wood and leather. Once I managed to cut my palm when drawing the kukri. Which by the way was mainly because of me, neglecting safe kukri drawing technique. That is I had my palm pressed against the belly with fingers around the sheath. Since by that time AK was very sharp with polished convex edge at 3000 grit, it did manage to get through the wood and then leather and inflict minor cut. Was a good lesson. Although this was one of the reasons I wanted a new sheath for the little one. So, when I sent 20" AK to David Brown for custom made Kydex sheath this one went along with it. Overall, as I've mentioned in 20" Ang-Khola review I am very satisfied with the quality, fit and finish of the new sheathes. Nice job and for me very practical. Draw is much easier and yet the blade is very secure in the sheath, no chance of falling it out. Pix in the gallery.
- Blade - 203.20mm(8")
- Thickness - 4.76mm
- OAL - 304.80mm(12")
- Steel - 5160 steel at 58-60HRC
- Handle - Wood
- Acquired - 03/2005 Price - 62.00$
Last updated - 09/01/11