Sirupati is one of the traditional kukri patterns in Nepal. According to Himalayan Imports web site:
"traditional khukuri of the Rai and Limbu people of Eastern Nepal". Anyway, after acquiring few Ang Kholas and WW2 model I was interested in Sirupati as well. Generally,
it's a lightweight and agile kukri, favored by martial artists for the qualities stated above. Now, lightweight is a relative term, and 20" long 3/8" thick knife that
weights over 1.75 pounds can be called lightweight only when compared to other kukris, but not to the knives in general :)
In short, one day I saw 20 inch Sirupati in Uncle Bill's blem box and went for it. The decision later proved more than right. I'm really pleased with Sirupati performance. As majority of Himalayan Imports kukris Sirupati comes in various lengths. 12, 15, 20, 25 and even 30 inches long can be ordered from them. For my level of kukri skills I chose 20 inch. 25 and 30 are rather extreme for me at this point.
General- Sirupati, despite of being in the blem box came with no visible defects, at least I couldn't find one. Standard setup, which is Kukri itself with leather sheath, plus karda and chakma. My Sirupati has black, horn handle, although, as usual you have handle material choice, you can get it with a wood handle as well. Visual inspection of the kukri and companion tools showed no rust, or other any problems. Fit and finish for the blade completely made by hand, without any modern knife making tools is excellent, especially the blade finish. Pleasant surprise was nicely rounded buttcap on the handle, without those nasty sharp corners. Also, nice detail, the handle didn't shrink in Reno hot climate and there is no separation between the handle and cap, though that's real easy to fix with small amount of epoxy. The sheath was god, and fit the blade well.
Blade- Sirupati blade is as simple as it gets for the kukris. Long, curved blade and basically that's it. Obviously, Cho is there :) Otherwise it wouldn't be a kukri. That's all description-wise. No fullers or other extra features. Of course, straight part of the blade, closer to the spine has some fileworks, as high end kukri. Blade is a lot more slender compared to Ang Kholas, or even WWII models.
As you might already know, the steel used in majority of HI kukris is 5160 spring steel. Source material is truck spring leaves, preferably Mercedes.5160 is in the list of the "good steels" by custom makers, especially for large blades. When properly heat treated it can take a lot of abuse. As later use showed this kukri was no exception from others I have, heat treatment was well done, no soft spots on the convex edge. As usual kukris have really soft spine and quite hard edge around 59-60 HRC. So is this Sirupati. Differential tampering though being a subject of several controversies, nevertheless works very well ;)
Handle- Ordinary Bir Gorkha handle, horn this time. As I've already mentioned above, it didn't shrink in Nevada's hot climate. Can't say I like this handle pattern the best, but definitely workable. Especially that this one didn't have sharp edges. Nonetheless, it will require from you to have a firm grip on it. Which is a good idea during chopping anyways :)
Heavy duty use Part I- This can be called Sirupati versus Christmas tree. After holidays I had to dispose of the tree, and since our garbage company has a policy that the tree has to be cut in pieces less than 3ft. long I had a job to do :) I had to test Sirupati since I haven't used it so far, and in case it didn't work well I took my trusty 18" Ang Khola too. That turned out to be an unnecessary precaution. Sirupati handled the job with flying colors. Actually, it performed a lot better than I have anticipated. Not that I underestimate chopping power of any kukri, but still, based on my limited experience I was not expecting results that good.
First of all, Sirupatis greater length, it was very convenient to have longer blade for limbing xmas tree. Extra inches of the blade increased the reach and that helped a lot. Aside from the increased reach, longer blade means greater speed of the blade tip, and increased chopping power. For limbing smaller branches it was just great.
Overall, the whole thing took less than 15 minutes. For the stats the tree was 5 1/2 ft long and I've chopped the stem into 3 pieces. Each cut took approx. 8-9 chops. Partly due to my lack of chopping techniques. The nasty thing about xmas tree is that I've had to wash the blade twice as long compared to chopping itself. Well, that's not directly related to chopping, but it is related to knife usability anyway. Mirror polished blade is a lot easier to clean that any other type of the finish. If it was any of the rough coatings you can find on many knives today it would've been real pain to clean the blade after that sort of workout.
- Blade - 406.40mm(16")
- Thickness - 6.35mm
- OAL - 508.00mm(20")
- Steel - 5160 steel at 58-60HRC
- Handle - Wood
- Acquired - 03/2004 Price - 70.00$
Last updated - 09/01/11