Sunday, July 22, 2007


Click to enlargepadSpyderco Karambit

The Karambit's claw-shaped curved blade originated centuries ago in Indonesia and was used primarily to cut crops, today it is considered a self protection tool.

Knives steeped in tradition of their homelands are finding their way to the American knife buying public. They offer an exotic menu of designs, shapes and innovation. Custom Knifemaker Warren Thomas has collaborated with Spyderco to produce a folding Karambit. Fully stainless steel, the arc of the curved blade carries through to the handle ending in an index-finger ring allowing the blade to be swung into a range of gripping positions. The blade is 2 1/8" and double flat-ground out of VG-10 steel with the one-hand-open Spyderco hole.

Made of burnished stainless steel, the handle has thumb recess guiding the thumb over the 13mm hole for swift blade deployment. With an affirmative click, the blade locks open by means of a Chris Reeve style integral liner lock. A multi-positional metal clip carries tip-up and both left or right-handed.



Click to enlarge


Blade Steel:
Blade Thickness:
3/32" - 2.5mm
Stainless Steel
Diam. Blade Hole:
1/2" - 13mm
Edge Type:
Plain Edge
Handle Material:
Stainless Steel
Length Closed:
5 1/16" - 128mm
Length Cutting Edge:
1 13/16" - 47m
Length Overall:
5" - 127mm

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


What is a Karambit ?
by Steve Tarani

The Ancient Karambit

The Karambit (pronounced kah-rahm-bit) is a remarkable utility knife that was born in the Indonesian archipelago with roots in Malaysia and the Philippines. Akin to the Swiss Army knife of today, this was the "pocket knife" of ancient villagers. This extraordinary little personal tool was first documented to be carried around the early 11th century AD and to this very day can be seen in various remote locations throughout the Indonesian islands, parts of Malaysia and the Southern Philippine islands. To learn more about the history of the Karambit, click here.

Although rumored to have been brought to America around the late 1800's, the Karambit was "officially" introduced to the United States sometime in the late 1950's and made popular, especially with martial artists, through the late 1970's and 1980's. Virtually unknown in the secular community, by the mid-1990's it was predominantly recognized as a martial arts training element derived from the heritage of Indonesian Pencak Silat, Malaysian Bursilat and Filipino Kali.

The predominant uses of the Karambit in ancient times were similar to the uses of the European pocket knife: field work, including cutting twine or rope; chopping fruits and vegetables; and, in some rare cases, as an exceptional personal safety knife.

The Karambit as a Modern Utility Knife

In modern times, this utility tool still performs the same functions as its distant ancestor for such daily chores as opening packages, cutting rope, leather work, home repair, yard work, etc., and outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, construction work (shaping carpet, drywall and other building materials), mountaineering, hiking, etc., and is additionally recognized as a training tool for interested martial artists for its personal-safety value.

The modern Karambit, its design and practical operation were developed by renowned Karambit authority Steve Tarani as a result of the demands of his many students. Specifically designed for the rigors of modern application, this versatile utility knife and personal-safety tool is a remarkable combination of ancient marvel and modern technology.

The modern Karambit is available in many shapes and sizes. More importantly, the method of operation of a Karambit as both a utility knife and as a personal-safety tool are what set it head and shoulders above any other edged tool. The modern Karambit functions as three tools in one - a utility knife, a martial-arts training implement and an option for personal defense.

As a utility knife it is superior to other blades as a result of a remarkable safety feature - a finger loop which prevents the blade from slipping in your hand when in use. This significantly drops the number of "cut yourself" injuries, as the blade is secured to your finger just like a pair of scissors in order that it does not slip and cut your hand. This especially comes in handy when it's freezing cold outside or if you're underwater, in the rain, in the snow or all of the above!

The Karambit as a Martial Arts Implement

As a martial-arts implement, it is an extraordinary ancient artifact that permits the accomplished practitioner grace, style and freedom of creative movement. Very much akin to dance-like movements, the true art of the Karambit is like ballet.

The Karambit as a Personal Safety Tool

Lastly, sometimes used for personal defense, the Karambit is an outstanding tool that provides the experienced operator with both the superiority of a quality utility blade and an unparalleled martial arts implement. This allows far more control of your attacker in a life-or-death altercation and provides far more options for escape and personal protection than any regular pocket knife.

The traditional Karambit is a fixed blade and was made popular in the US by numerous demonstrations across the country by Guro Dan Inosanto, Pendekar Herman Suwanda and Jagabaya Steve Tarani. Over the many years of inquiries by various knife companies and interested individuals, Steve Tarani introduced the concept of a folding Karambit to various knife-making companies. Today, as a result of this introduction, the market bears two configurations of this remarkable utility blade - a fixed blade Karambit and a folding blade Karambit.

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