Top 5 best kukri knife in 2019
Posted: Mar 23, 2019
Do you know Kukri knife was first invented in a small country of South Asia? To your utter surprise, it was created in Nepal and used by the Nepalese soldiers Gurkhas more than 2000 years ago for a battle. Since then the kukri knife is still considered as an intense survival weapon if you can manage to have the best Kukri in your collection.
However, after thousands of years, we don’t see the kukri knives as they were during Gorkhas. Over time, many manufacturers have emerged who are producing kukri with versatility. Thus, quality also differs. As a result, the consumers get very confused thinking which the best kukri to buy is!
No doubt! The last thing we would even want a poor quality kukri for our survival. Therefore, here I am going to review 10 of the best kukri knives at present market. Additionally, for you to easily decide, I am also going to include basic information about kukri and some must-have features.
Let’s begin the reviews first!
What is a kukri knife and why do you need it?
As you are in search of kukri knife or kukri machete, it’s evident that you already have an overall understanding of what this knife is. Yet, there might be some users who are newly introduced with this item; thus we would like to share some basic information about kukri briefly. Kukri knife is also known as a combat knife. The best aspect of this knife is when you are in combat, you or your opponent may get injured, but the knife will stay as intact. They are very hard to break or get dull.
Moreover, the design of the knife makes it an effective weapon for your survival. Now, you may wonder this knife is meant only for battle. Not at all. Rather, you would be glad to know that you can use this one knife for multiple purposes. For example, imagine you are in a camping site, and you need to cut woods for fire. You can comfortably and quickly use the kukri machete for this purpose.
From the ancient period of Gurkhas, the kukri has been used for agricultural and household purposes too. So, even if you are not an adventurer, you may still find this kukri useful. Because, this is a versatile knife that you can use for chopping vegetables, cutting fish, butchering, skinning, cutting fruits and what not. Isn’t it amazing to have a multifunctional knife that can help you with your survival whenever and however you need?
What are the types of kukri knives?
Though a thousand years have passed, the need for kukri knives has not changed. Instead, more variations are added to the design for the user’s’ convenience. These days, if you look up for kukri machete, you will find different size and types are available. Below, we are going to share some of the most popular types introduced!
Kukri for combat
Most of the users’ first preference for purchasing kukri is combat. If you also have the same intention, then we would suggest you purchase the HSS (high carbon spring steel) blade for kukri. Usually, the combat knives are of a maximum of three fullers. They are lightweight and swift to use. So, according to your comfort and requirement, most users prefer to pick 12-inch small kukri knife.
Kukri for household or cooking
What kind of tasks we do at home using a knife? Mostly chopping vegetables or cutting fish or meat. For such type of asks, it would be comfortable to have a sharp knife with a long handle, right? Therefore, you can choose to have the knife with strong culling. And, unlike the combat knife, go for a blade with no fillers. Also, having a longer blade will also be comfortable for cutting large fish or mutton leg.
Kukri for personal collection
To me, kukri is an antique piece to keep as a souvenir. The moment I hear the name it takes me back to the Gurkha’s era. If you are also interested in having on in the collection, then owning a very traditional machete would serve the purpose. So, as you search for such a knife, you may pick off any length of the blade or fuller as you wish. However, your knife should have parts like, handle rings, who, aunlo bal and so on.
What are the must-have features to consider finding the best kukri knife?
Whether you are searching for a kukri for survival, agriculture or souvenir, the best kukri machete must have some identifying features. As you already know there are thousands of kukris available in the market, it’s not easy to find the high-quality ones. When I was searching for my kukri, I faced the same problem as well. Hence, I have decided to share the must-have features that helped me to filter the high-quality ones. I also strongly recommend the readers to consider these features when they purchase their desired kukri.
As you are going to purchase a knife, ensuring the strong build quality is most important. Therefore, you must check the material of the blade steel before anything else. There are two types of blade steels often used in kukri. One is stainless steel, and another one is high carbon plain steel. If you go for the stainless steel, you may enjoy anti-corrosion and a rust-free performance. However, the chromium used in the steel makes the knife weaker compared to the high carbon ones. Because the existence of chromium cases larger grains.
However, the high carbon may be plain or come with a feature like stainless steel. In both terms, you will find fine grain structure in the blade which will ensure strong and durable knife. Even though you may need to ensure proper maintenance to stay away from corrosion, you will get the best performance with the high carbon blade steel.
Hardness of blade
The factor hardness also refers to performance. If the performance is not satisfactory, then there is no benefit purchasing kukri knife. Hence, to get the extraordinary performance, you must check the blade’s hardness. Even though your knife may be tough, that does not necessarily make it a hard knife. Therefore, you should go for knives that are resistant to shock when used on hard material.
Usually, the hardness is measured on the Rockwell C scale. The lower the number is on the scale, the stronger the blade is. Here, please bear in mind that you may need to sharpen the blade frequently with lower Rockwell hardness. But they are resistant to shock. Other than that, the blades with 60 on the Rockwell scale tends to be strong and tough. So, don’t forget to check the hardness of blade on the Rockwell C scale.
Now, let’s come down to the design or construction quality. So, after you find the blade is of high quality, the knife needs to have a comfortable grip as well. For kukri, you need to check the tang design for grip. There is a wide variety of tang design. You may choose from full tang to stick tangs. Usually, full tangs are considered strong and durable. There is some folding kukri knife that comes with a hidden tang. They are also strong compared to the partial tangs. So, overall, the full tang, hidden tang and partial tangs are in chronological order in terms of their tang strength.
I’m sure if you didn’t read through the must-have features, you may miss checking the spine thickness. I am glad that I did check this feature before purchasing. So, the spine is related to the blade. To be specific, it’s the back of the blade which is just the opposite side of the cutting section. Why should you check the thickness? Because the thickness of the spine will give you a strong and durable blade that will last long.
The next thing I would suggest you check is the weight of the kukri. The weight depends on the overall construction and material used. However, it mostly depends on the blade especially the spine thickness. Usually, the heavier kukri tends to ensure better performance for combat or cutting and chopping. However, if you prefer to have kukri for household or cooking purpose, we recommend you to go for lighter kukri. You will be able to handle the knife comfortably and quickly. Otherwise, the heavier kukri is suggested for self-defense.
When you have checked each part of kukri from tip to tung, the final thing you should not miss is the health. Since kukri is an aesthetic knife, it’s better to choose a leather sheath. Not only because they would complement the appearance, but also they will preserve the knife as well. Also, don’t forget to check the stitching of the health.
What will happen if you do not consider the must-have features?
Frankly speaking! To me, purchasing a knife regardless of any purpose without considering the must-have features is like 50-50 gamble. You would increase the risk of investing money on a poor quality kukri. Therefore, to avoid such a massive risk, I have recommended the kukri considering the above mentioned must-have features. If you are not sure what are the risks you may encounter with, let’s find out!
You may purchase the kukri that you do not need
The kukri blade may not be made of high-quality steel
The blade spine might be thin that will effect on the durability of the knife
The tang may not come with the required grip
You may need a household kukri but end up purchasing a combat kukri
5 best kukri knife
Before I begin to present the kukri knives, I would like to reiterate that the suggested knives are taken considering the users of diverse needs. Moreover, each of the products belongs to the top brands. So, no matter whichever kukri knife you pick, you may have the trust that it’s one of the highly recommended kukri knives. Because each of the picked knives is also strongly suggested by the real users.
Besides, we will also analyze each knife as per their quality, performance and versatility along with the most and less liked features. I believe you will be able to take the right decision reading through my reviews.
Cold Steel 97KMS Kukri Machete
Before I talk about the 97KMS kukri, I would like to introduce you to the brand Cold Steel first. It’s one of the old brands that has been manufacturing high-quality cutlery utensils since 1980. Their experience and design innovation in producing versatile knives without compromising the quality help them to stay in the race of the knife industry. Now, let’s find out how they have created this 97KMS Kukri Machete.
Let’s begin with the good news first! An authentic kukri is very expensive. But, having an ideal kukri with tremendous quality at an affordable price is a blessing. That’s what you can expect from this kukri by Cold Steel. So, if you are in a limited budget, yet need a good quality kukri knife, then this kukri is rightfully designed for you. Moreover, this knife also has the capacity to deal with tough jobs like cutting wood.
From the performance quality, you can already understand it’s build quality. Certainly, the kukri machete comes with a sharp knife, polypropylene handle, and sturdy co-ex sheath. Even though the blade spine seems moderately thin to me, the thickness makes the knife strong enough to last long. Additionally, it will not affect performance. So, overall, it’s a lightweight kukri that comes with all the features you are looking for at an attractive price. Would you like to consider purchasing this knife?
What we liked
- Ergonomic handle
- Budget-friendly price
- Strong and lightweight
- Comfortable grip with cor-ex sheath
- Made of a 13-inch durable steel blade
- Features polypropylene handles
What we did not like
- Handle seem less comfortable
- Designed with a thin blade spine
2. Schrade SCHKM1 19.7in Kukri Machete
Here is another budget-friendly kukri machete by Schrade. You will be happy to know that Schrade is a renowned brand due to its craftsmanship, product quality, and reliability. You may find a wide range of small tung, folding kukri knife, fixed blade, axes, and spears. And, among all of their kukri knives, I feel confident suggesting one of their best selling kukris to you.
To begin with, its basic feature, it’s a multipurpose knife that you can use for survival as well as kitchen works like cutting, chopping and even butchering. Now, regarding the build quality and design, the SCHKM1 19.7in Kukri Machete comes with around 14-inch long Stainless Steel Blade. And to control this long knife comfortably, you are also getting a Safe-T-Grip Handle.
Nevertheless, just like most of the kukris, the blade of this knife is made of stainless steel. However, the blades are coated with 3Cr13 Powder for strength, sturdiness, and durability. Since it’s a multi-functional knife, the lightweights will help you use the knife indoor and carry easily for outdoor activities. If you are an adventurous person, this Schrade kukri machete might be the friend in need.
What we liked
- Strong and durable
- Lightweight and portable
- Features Safe-T-Grip handle
- Comes with Polyester sheath
- Designed to carry on shoulder, leg and belt loop
- Blade made of 3Cr13 Powder Coated Stainless Steel blade
What we did not like
- Compared to the traditional kukri, the blade seems thinner
3. Kershaw Camp 10 (1077), Fixed Blade Camp Knife,
Are you searching for a simple kukri? Then you may check out this Kershaw Camp 10 (1077), Fixed Blade Camp Knife. It’s a simple looking knife that comes with a 10-inch blade. Even though the look may not be super fancy, it does not lack in quality.
Rather, the blade that is attached to the tang is made of carbon tool steel coated with black powder coat. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about the build quality of performance. Moreover, the full tang handle with rubber over-mold will give you a comfortable grip even if you continuously use the knife for hours.
To me, the construction and performance quality make it an ideal knife to support you during your camping days or hiking on trails. On top of that, moreover, you can choose from the diverse blade shapes, steel quality and desired grips. I would say, having this knife in your collection will help you manage the indoor and intense outdoor activities including cleaning brush, scraping, splitting, kindling and so on.
What we liked
- Easily portable
- Ergonomic and durable handle
- Made of high-performance steel
- Full tang handle with rubber over-mold
- Black powder coated carbon tool steel blade
- Designed with contoured grip, had guard and front and ack lanyard holes
What we did not like
- Blade comes with grind edge
- The thin coating on the blade may eventually erode
4. SOG Survival Machete with Sheath
The SOG kukri machete is ideally designed for combat. It’s a full tang knife that comes with a 9.5-inch stainless steel blade. The high-quality blade and convenient size make it a perfect knife to have for outdoor activities. Thus, it’s named as jungle primitive survival machete. So, using this knife, you can go hunting, cleaning brush, butchering, cutting and so on.
While the knife claims to be well suited for survival, the tang quality must be of great quality as well. The SOG has done a great job regarding this matter. In fact, the knife comes with a Kraton handle that is strong and lightweight at the same time. So, you will be able to control the knife easily during an emergency or tough jobs without any hindrance.
Moreover, you can also use the knife for chopping, sampling tree branches, fishing, cutting, etc. another good aspect of this knife is it comes with a pouch. So, you don’t need to think about a secure place for storage. You can carry this knife on your shoulder easily. Overall, it’s a high-quality multifunctional kukri machete you can have for hiking or camping.
What we liked
- Sturdy and durable
- Strong stainless steel blade
- Lightweight and easily portable
- Features machete with sheath
- Ergonomic design with Kraton handle
- Can be used for chopping, cutting brush, sampling branches, etc.
What we did not like
- Features blade with a thin spine
5. KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri
Ka-Bar is a Taiwanese brand that does an amazing job producing amazing knives. Thus, their famous kukri knife is also competing with other top-rated brands. Talking about KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri, similar to any other high-quality kukri, this knife is made of a carbon steel blade. This knife is also recommended for the multipurpose job including chopping, clearing campsite, agricultural and household jobs.
Even though the blade is of high-quality material, the spin is thin compared to other blades. Thus, it’s less recommended for intense cutting and chopping jobs. However, the 17 inches long blade will help you easily do the kitchen and gardening jobs. It also weighs a few lbs that will help you operate the knife swiftly and quickly.
Moreover, it also ensures 52-54 Rockwell hardness. So, you can easily understand what kind of tasks you can perform using this knife. Overall, it’s a moderate quality knife that you can use for the diverse type of tasks. Would you love to give it a try?
What we liked
- Resistant to corrosion
- 11.5 inches of long lade
- Lightweight and durable
- Features Rockwell hardness up to 54
- Ergonomic design with ribbed handle
- Comes with leather straps with belt sheath
What we did not like
- The sheath is not satisfactory
- Thin spine makes the blade less durable
Finally, I am towards the end of our kukri knife reviews. I hope you enjoyed the writing and more importantly the reviews were helpful. My utmost try for this article was to include the important details in simple ways. If you can take the decision to purchase your desired kukri knife from this list, my hard work would pay off. You may trust to pick any of the kukri knives, and I assure you won’t be disappointed. But, before you actually make the purchase, I strongly recommend you to consider the must-have features I mentioned.