Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Steel

Above: Chuck Pippin's kerambit, top; Steve Rollert's "Boxcutter" prototype, middle;
Jeff Crowner's Mini-korambit, closest to watchband



Look at the welting

So check out the Jeff Crowner mini-kerambit (korambit).

I think maybe the "mini" designation is relative -- see how it compares to a Chuck Pippin kerambit and Steve Rollert's prototype for his "boxcutter" kerambit.

It's a beast -- a quarter-inch thick -- pre 1980's 5160 chromium-steel, Jeff says. The cutting edge is a hair over an inch-and-a-half long, chisel-ground, sharped on the concave curve only, though he will sharpen both edges if you want, and it feels very solid in one's hand. I think you'd be hard pressed to break it unless you were maybe trying to chip granite. It weighs about seven ounces. Looks to me like multiple tempers on the blade, too.

Handle is black Micarta, and the tooled leather sheath is as sturdy as the knife.

This is a silat blade, made by a silat player, and Jeff joins my list of knifemakers who truly know how to work steel.


Terry said...

i'm glad you got one, and like. Jeff sent me pics the other day of it, and the sheath, and I thought it rocked.
Hopefully, you'll like yours as much as I like mine.

Some guy said...

Thanks for columns like this one. My kerambit education proceeds...

Some guy

VC said...

Nice. I would like to see some video on basics with these tools if you have the ambition...

Steve Perry said...

I'm not really qualified to do video stuff on blades. (Or much of anything else.) Plus the problem is that the knifework we do is part and parcel of our whole silat system, so you have to know the principles of the art to make any piece of it work -- it's almost impossible to cherry-pick stuff.

In a recent discussion Bobbe and I were having regarding a fellow we know who likes to pretend he knows more than he does, I allowed that taking a technique out of what we do would be sort of like taking the forty-first move out of a Go game without knowing what went before and expecting it to be useful. It's all relative.

With a knife, size matters. Longer is generally better. The advantages the kerambit offers are for in-fighting -- it's better used as a slasher or to hook and use as a handle, than as a stabber, though in our version of silat, we don't try to bury the blade to the guard every stab, a couple of inches of point can be effective, and you can do that with a kerambit just fine.

There are vids out, and people who come here who are adept with this tool. Trahan and Edmonds, for instance, and Bobbe has a video on his site and on YouTube.

Emerson Knives has vids of their folding model, how to draw, open, and do fancy twirls:


I have a short vid on YouTube of a flow thing I did, but it's just a drill I made up in the moment and not anything really useful.


Back when nobody had heard of these things, Steve Tarani had some commercial videos for sale, and he and I exchanged a couple of emails. Nice guy, seems to know his stuff.

If you go looking, try alternate spellings: kerambit, korambit, karambit, kerampit, etc. I've seen all those.