History of the “Hornbill”Rubber Tapping Knife
Mr.Manayi Rahu is a descendant of the para-rubber gardeners in Wang District of Narathiwas Province. He was born a para-rubber gardener; and with long experiences in rubber tapping, he became an expert full of knowledge on the matter. He saw defects and problems about the old generation rubber tapping knife (called “Jaebong”) which was originally designed by an Englishman over a hundred years ago, bur is still in use nowadays.

 

The problems pointed out about the old knife by Mr.Manayi are as follows;
  1. If the rubber tapper is not sufficiently skilled, the rubber tree may be destroyed, which may cause the para-rubber garden owner to hire outsource tappers.
  2. The average period of tapping for rubber trees is mostly not over 20 years; non standard equipments and the lack of true skill result in too deep tapping.
  3. Today’s rubber tapping equipments are complicated to use, requiring 7-15 days of training. Therefore, there will be a high risk of mistakes while tapping, which will destroy the rubber tree.
  4. The knife needs to be whetted every day after use; it is a difficult job to properly whet a knife.
  5. It is difficult for tapper tapping on low level because they must bend down for do the work.
  6. The original-styled knife (Jaebong) cuts too much on the tapping trace, thus the latex does not flow out very well.
  7. The quality of iron is not good enough, resulting in deep cutting.
Due to these problems, Mr.Manayi has designed a new form of rubber tapping knife, which is an integration between local wisdom, modern technology and design creativity; that is to use the prominent points of the old knife (Jaebong), replaceable razor blade, and traditional spokeshave (i.e. a carpenter’s plane with a wooden body and an iron blade). This is a new innovation of rubber tapping knife, called “Hornbill”, the blade of which can be replaceable. The “Hornbill” rubber tapping knife has been registered for petty patent protection with the Department of intellectual Property (petty patent no.0303001096).
Prominent points of the “Hornbill” Rubber Tapping Knife
“Convenient and Saving”
  1. Convenient
    • 1.1 No need to whet it, saving time in daily life.
    • 1.2 Easy to use, comfortable, more in control than the old system; the blade is adjustable for thick and light cut (applying to young or old tree).
    • 1.3 The blade is as sharp as a razor; just one blade can cut upto 1,000 to 2,000 trees.
    • 1.4 Easy to train in a short period of time, which resolves the ploblem about the lack of manpower. It only takes 1-2 days to train to use and to be skilled of the “Hornbill” knife, in contrary to the old-styled knife (Jaebong knife) which requires 7-15 days of training. It also helps reduce the chance of damaging the rubber tree.
    • 1.5 The “Hornbill” knife is ready to use after purchase, unlike the old-styled knife (Jaebong knife) which needs to be whetted before the use; the cost of whetting is about 50-70 Baht per time.
    • 1.6 The old-styled knife (Jaebong knife) has a very delicate spindle, easy to break. If it is broken while tapping, the job can be stopped for the day. There will not be such problems with the “Hornbill” knife.
    • 1.7 It can be used by women and children as it only weights 0.27 kg.
    • 1.8 Easy to find through representatives in every province all over the country and in any agricultural equipments store nearby.
  2. Saving
    • 2.1 The “Hornbill” knife provides more latex than the old-styled knife (Jaebong knife).
    • 2.2 The “Hornbill” rubber tapping knife only works on the cutting depth of 1 mm., which is less than the ole-styled knife (Jaebong knife). It helps prolong the age of the rubber tree as well as the period of rubber tapping.
    • 2.3 Worth an investment; the of blade is low in comparison to the cost of whetting the old-style blade. Registered for patent protection with the Department of Intellectual property (petty patent no.0303001096)
Marketing possibility, opportunity and growth channel in the future
In Thailand, there are approximately 1.5 million rubber tapers. At present, the manufacture of the “Hornbill” knife can match the market need. The market response was really good. The first time it was launched on December 5th, 2010 at Kasetsart University, Bangkhen, during the event “50 years, Half Decade of office of the Rubber Replanting and Aid Fund: Developing Thai rubber in the honor of HM the King “held by Office of the Rubber Replanting and Aid Fund (ORRAF). And today, it has been launched into foreign markets such as in Vietnam, Laos, Combodia, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Responsibility for the society and the environment
Use of material and wisdom as components in production
The production of the “Hornbill” rubber tapping knife uses local materials found in the country. The handle is made of the rubber tree wood; the shank and the blade are made of stainless steel produced in Thailand. The designer are: Mr.Manayi Rahu, a Thai nationality born, Users can be sure that the “Hornbill” rubber tapping knife is no copy of any others.
The production of the “Hornbill” rubber tapping knife uses local materials found in the country. The handle is made of the rubber tree wood; the shank and the blade are made of stainless steel produced in Thailand. The designer are: Mr.Manayi Rahu, a Thai nationality born. Users can be sure that the “Hornbill” rubber tapping knife is no copy of any others.