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Karambit Claw Knife Design Offers Superior Ergonomic Control Of Blade

A claw knife is a distinctive classification of weapon characterized by a distinctive curved blade with a shape inspired by the claw of a large predatory animal, most often a tiger or bear.

The handle of a claw knife follows the curve of the blade to make for a comfortable hand grip allowing the user excellent leverage and balance for cutting or fighting. The arcing blade can be single, double or triple sided.

Perhaps the most famous example of this type of knife is the karambit claw knife. This hand-held tool/weapon is believed to have been developed centuries ago by the Minangkabau people of the Indonesian province of West Sumatra. Local Minangkabau folklore says the shape of the blade was inspired by the claw of the tiger.

The karambit claw knife was most likely first used as an agricultural tool. It’s curved shape and comfortable grip make it a good digging tool, for raking roots and for cutting other plants. As the karambit became increasingly weaponized, the blade grew longer and more curved. As a weapon, this excellent design for a fighting tool quickly spread from Indonesia to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines.

Today the karambit claw knife is among the most popular knife design for collectors, hunters, campers or for anyone who just likes to have a handy knife to carry as a basic utility tool, especially those that can be folded.

In addition to the curved or arcing blade, most karambit claw knives incorporate safety rings or gripper rings. Looping the fingers through the grips provides superior ergonomic control over the blade. The combination of curved blade, handle and grips provides functionality that is vastly superior to any straight blade.

Finally, many people value karambit claws knives as collector’s items. It’s common for dealers to offer artistic, custom designs or units fitted to the individual size of a user’s hand.

Author: Alessandro Alcala

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