Friday, June 5, 2009

The Utility Blade (Z Kit)

I realize I'm going to sound like a cliché here, but the best survival tool you can possibly possess is a good, strong knife. (Blah blah blah will to live, blah blah blah your brain, blah blah blah optimism. I'm talking about tools, not attributes.) Now, a lot has been said about multi-tools like Swiss Army Knives and Leatherman Tools, and they do have their place in any decent Z Kit -- in fact, I have both -- but if I had to pick one and only one item in my kit, it would be my Kukri Machete.

I have the smaller blade on the left -- and by smaller I mean it's only eighteen inches long. If you want to feel like a Spartan warrior or are simply overcompensating for a small penis, get the 22-inch Magnum.

The Kukri, as you can see, is kind of a combination axe and sword -- more like a combat meat cleaver, than anything else -- and it can do a lot of tasks:
Despite usage in the military, the kukri is most commonly used as a woodcutting and general purpose tool, and is a very common agricultural and household implement in Nepal... the kukri is most commonly employed as a multi-use utility tool, rather like a machete. It can be used for building, clearing, chopping firewood, digging, cutting meat and vegetables, skinning and also for opening tins.
So what we have here is a tool that is allegedly very, very good at chopping, slicing, and thwacking, and can do all sorts of other things at various levels of competency. (Admittedly, if you want to dig a hole, a shovel is better than a kukri, but a kukri is far better than your hands.) Naturally, there are the twin questions of Cost and Durability, i.e. "Is it worth my hard-earned cash." These are legitimate concerns, as there are some hellishly expensive kukris out there, and some that are made of really cheap 420 stainless steel (which is good for steak knives and not much else). In response, let me say this:
  1. I bought mine for $23.50 including S&H from Your Corner Store. (Edited 7/3/2015: now available for $20 at Amazon)
  2. It's made from 1055 high-carbon steel, which isn't the sharpest in the world but is very, very durable. This is what farming implements are made from, and it's designed for strength and impact resistance.
  3. OH NO NOT THE CONCRETE! Kukri wins.... fatality! If it can chop through a block of concrete, you just KNOW it will take off a zombie's head (or hand, or arm, or...)
So as you can see, you get quite a lot of bang for not a lot of buck.

Do I need to mention how this fits into D&D?
Kukri8 gp1d31d418–20/x22 lb.Slashing

(Although really, I have to take exception to that puny 1d4 damage. Even without talking about differences in metallurgy, it's at least comparable to an axe in damage, which is 1d6.)

There you have it. A cheap, durable, reliable blade that fits easily into a pack, will easily decapitate a zombie, can support your weight and survive all the abuse you can throw at it as it performs tasks it was never meant to do.

If you can't see why this is my #1 item in my Z Kit, there's no reasoning with you.

1 comment:

  1. My brother and I both own Cold Steel Kukri Machetes, and they are unendingly useful, as well as being durable. good choice!


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