Sunday, November 28, 2010

New nata

A while back, I wrote about my ebinata and kukuri, offering a wealth of false information.

Of the ebinata, I wrote "I've used it savagely, especially when splitting very big culms of bamboo. This involves driving the tool through inch-thick material by hammering alternately on the spine of the blade and on the tang with another stout piece of bamboo. The tool is not harmed in the least by this rough usage."

Five years of this rough usage have unfortunately wrecked the connection between the blade and the handle, and only some very ingenious work will be able to replace it. However, it did serve magnificently during that time.

Of the kukuri, I wrote "The whole thing, sheath included, is a beautiful piece of workmanship, and the two-tone handle is especially attractive. However, a 12" blade is imposing and heavy, something I began to consider carefully only after I had ordered it. It does chop well, although not vastly better than the ebinata. The handle however fits nicely in the hand".

In fact, it isn't a particularly good piece of workmanship. The steel is rather soft and it doesn't hold an edge very well. Also, in an unplanned confrontation between the kukuri and a concrete wall, the kukuri lost part of the edge tore and folded over, and a chunk of the 'hardwood' handle chipped off. (I was splitting bamboo against a wall, and the bamboo gave way suddenly.) The handle is not ergonomic either. It's far too thick where the thumb and forefinger grip it.

To replace the ebinata, I got a straight nata. Oh, but this thing is a beauty. Look at the curves on it! It has chopping written all over it.

It's also remarkably compact, and in its case, it fits snugly against the body. The steel is far superior to that of the kukuri, and the handle is a much better shape.

I think I'll try to refrain from using this one as a hammer, and see if it lasts longer than the ebinata.

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