Valiant Golok Hitam review

Le 6 juillet 2002, par James,

Review of Golok Hitam from Valiant.

This information is SERIOUSLY outdated.

Hitam : 10" 1/4 convex blade, 1/4" thick, total 17"1/4, 740 gr total.

First impression

The handle is nice, and comfortable, though seems made for a huge hand. The blade shows forge hit marks, and forge planning. The edge is sharp, needs just a touch to be razor sharp.

The wooden clip was for some reason glued on the free side, one shot of a chisel freed it. the inside of the sheath was covered of some powder/ abrasive, and needed a wash (I suppose it is the polishing compound). The 4" from the handle are not sharpened, and rather thick (1 mm edge), going slowly to a fine edge.

Hitam in hand


Blade Thickness



A nice grip, comfortable, slightly too big. Penetration is OK, not to the level of the Survival golok. The sheath is nice, and equipped with a clip.

Still, I find this blade much more comfortable than the Chiruwa Angh Khola Khukuri, though the chopping ability is less. The machete job is a pleasure, though I generally like a longer blade with more reach.

I’ll say overall, it feels like a good light and compact compromise for outdoors.

Involuntary extreme testing

I was whacking this cypress trees in the garden (these are 8" diameter trees), Cleaning 2 to 3" inches dead branches at head height. Real whacking job, as these when you hit them, create bits and dust flying everywhere, specially in your eyes, so the faster the better.

I felt like hitting something that stopped slowly my movement and inspected the blade afterwards, there was one small dent ! I wonder, look at the tree, and discover a thick 2mm iron wire, going through the branches, with a big and deep nick in it and going V were I hit it.

The blade is ok, the dent is 1/3 rd of mm or less, will disappear next few sharpening sessions. The edge was a bit dumb for 1" up to the tip, as I did my "saber" hit. I tried to take picture, but it would not appear on the picture. When I compare the dent to the strength of the blow, the damage is really minimal.

I also hit some stones in the ground while cutting low, and the result was a rolled edge near the tip (the angle). Light hammering and pushing the steel back did it, and with a bit of sharpening, the nick disappeared.  [1]

The garden being the garden, it turns out that I had to dig some 8" hole in the ground, and found the blade quite convenient to do this. There were stones, damage is a duller edge, but not to the extent of what I expected...

End of test : The blade was doing less, in the end, due to ground digging, and iron wire encounters, as well as stones whacking, the efficiency was much diminished, which seems normal to me..

The previous was done with blade in NIB state,


The blade performed well, but to my taste is a bit too convex near the edge in some places, and it feels in terms of penetration.

It inspired to me some improvements :

The Hitam is a good blade, 10 cm from the handle are not sharpened, and pretty thick. I also found the convex grind a bit too convex, so I re-profiled, as well as sharpened the blade on the whole length. The re-profiling I did with 120 grit, rotating grinder, hands free... The other modification is a piece of leather in the mouth of the scabbard, to retain the blade when gravity is reversed. I also epoxied the inside of the mouth of the scabbard, to secure the two pieces together, and narrow the hold on the blade.

I have to test the modification now, it is much closer to the survival G profile.

Re-profiled blade




Modifications test

The re-profiling & sharpening did great, a good 20% increase in performance. I did hit the wire again, again same minimal damage.

I got a blister on the little finger where it touches the handle, because on heavy whacking, the "ball of the handle touches there. It is not rounded enough...

Therefore, this is the new handle


You can see my mighty field burnisher (a small file I use to test hardness, and whose "handle I use to burnish), and heavy/coarse sharpener, re-profiler


More modifications

As the sharpening work I did hear the handle turned out to make a useless edge, I transformed the hitam in a small parang, by removing some steel near the handle, and creating a real ricasso.




The result is a blade which can be used as short machete, big knife, but also small knife, as if you hold it with the ricasso, you get a very equilibrated 6-7 " knife, very precise in cutting, perfect for fine tasks.


A 30 US $ blade with differential tempering, which is good in its original state, and becomes excellent after a few modifications. [2]

Please read this safety warning if you intend to use one.

Post-Scriptum :

Hitam means "black" in Indonesian.

Notes :

[1] Use a small hammer to bring an edge back, and go slowly !

[2] A comparable sized blade is tested in Chiruwa Angh Khola Khukuri.

par James,