This past Labor Day weekend I had the pleasure of traipsing through the woods with Ethan Becker. We brought along a few Becker prototypes to play with, one of which was the hotly anticipated BK21 Reinhardt Kukri. Now that KA-BAR has officially announced the blade, I can give you my first impressions on how it handles.
The Reinhardt Kukri has not been available since the Becker Knives were made by Blackjack in the early 1990’s and it has now been updated with a thicker blade and Ka-Bar’s 1095CV steel. Although I wasn’t able to exhaustively test the Reinhardt, I was able to get a good feel for it. After taking down a small tree and cutting up some green wood, here is what I can report…
– The Kukri is a chopping monster. In addition to the Beckers, I also brought along an ESEE Junglas. Within the first few strikes it was quickly apparent that the ESEE was outclassed by the Reinhardt. It should be noted that the Kukri is significantly longer than the Junglas.
– It took me 5 strikes to go through the tree with the Junglas, and only 3 with the Kukri. Ethan told me that if my technique was better, it ought to have handled the tree in one strike. It was about four inches in diameter.
– The blade has the same thickness and edge/grind geometry as the BK9. The 9 is my favorite knife for batoning. I never go on a camping trip without it and I have achieved some pretty heroic splits with that blade. The Kukri should be no different.
– There is a smooth ricasso that acts like a finger choil allowing you to choke up on the blade for detail work. The angle of the first few inches of blade is not too bad for carving despite the weight of the blade. Rather than being a crisp cutout, the edges of the ricasso are rounded, increasing comfort for your finger.
– The blade coating is smooth, rather than rough/textured like the most of the Becker lineup!
– The highest praise I can say is this. I’m selling my Junglas and buying the Kukri just as soon as I can!