Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Russian Kindjal - Reliks.com

 I picked up an example of the traditional Caucasus "long knife" recently from Reliks based out of Ontario Canada.


The Kindjal, produced by Windlass Steelcrafts, is a functional carbon steel Russian military version of the iconic blade indigenous to the central European steppes. Made famous by the Cossacks of Russia and the Ukraine the actual blade has a long linage dating back to the Roman gladius.

"This style of weapon was indiginous to the Caucasus and Persia long before the Russian influence spread over that region. Most probably, the original configuration came from Rome. As far as I can determine, the kindjal was not necessarily a part of "Russian Cossack" regalia until after the conquest of the Caucasus c.1854..."

Very similar to the Georgian Qama this version of the Kindjal is a light sword with a slightly curved blade placing it somewhere between a short sword and sabre. Originally designed as a working blade it eventually found a military application specifically with the horse borne Cossacks and later with the Russian military.

The package arrived yesterday via Canada Post. The blade was extremely well packaged with plenty of paper within a solid shipping box. No issues whatsoever with Relik's shipping department. Delivery was fast with good communications including an emailed tracking number.

Produced by Windlass Steelcrafts based out of India the Kindjal itself was surprisingly nice considering the price point of $69.99 CDN. Having read online at SBG (sword buyers guide) about the improved sharpening service offered by Reliks I decided to spend the additional $17.99 CDN for that feature. The blade came sharp on both edges, capable of slicing a sheet of looseleaf paper that saved me alot of time and effort.Worth every penny of the service.

Rather unique with a double fuller the blade has a slight curve similar to a sabre but in a smaller package being only 17 1/4 inches in length.

Possessing a full tang the handle has a (surprisingly) attractive hardwood grip, attached by two brass rivets. The height of the two rivets seems rather odd but it fits well in my hand.My understanding(?) is that the brass rivets serve a functional purpose. Designed as a fast blade without a traditional cross guard, it's defense was quick and agile spinning movements added by the fore finger wrapped around the front rivet for control purposes..

The brass attachments were quite nice with the exception of the guard, collar or chappe. Not quite sure what to call it but the brass was tarnished. A little elbow grease should bring back the shine. You can see the difference in comparison to the throat of the scabbard. Not a deal breaker for a severty dollar blade.

The scabbard itself was quite nice as well with the brass throat, frog attachment and chape in good condition. The sword does sit loose in the scabbard so there is some rattle.Some modifications to the throat of the scabbard would remedy that situation.

Overall it appears to be a solid piece for the price and would probably make a solid backyard cutter. It is quite light and, with an overall length of just over 24 inches, would fit in a backpack, on a belt or with a baldric.


So I addressed the two issues I had with the Kindjal. A little brass cleaner and some elbow grease did wonders for the tanished section.

I also added two thin strips of suede leather(using epoxy) to the inside of the scabbard throat to snug up the blade when sheathed. Not only did it stop the rattle but also made the blade secure in the scabbard.


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