Table of Contents
- 1 What is exactly a Kukri knife?
- 2 Some history knowledge about Kukri knife.
- 3 What are Kukri knives mainly used for nowadays?
- 4 What are the main materials of a Kukri knife?
- 5 How is a Kukri knife made?
- 6 What are the groups of Kukri knife?
- 7 Why should you buy a Kukri knife?
- 8 Top 5 best Kukri knife reviews in 2017
- 9 Who makes the best Kukri knife?
- 10 What is the average price of Kukri knives?
- 11 How to choose the right Kukri knife for your purpose?
- 12 What factors should you consider before buying a good Kukri knife?
- 13 How to maintain the Kukri knife?
- 14 Conclusion
What is exactly a Kukri knife?
A kukri knife is a traditional Nepalese knife that is used as a basic utility knife as a part of the outdoor survival kit. Although it is a multi-purpose knife, the kukri has been historically used by the Gurkha soldiers of Nepal.
Some history knowledge about Kukri knife.
It is estimated that Kukri knife first came into existence around 2500 years ago. The speculation is on the basis of its resemblance with the ‘Machira’; the classic Greek sword. Some experts suggest that Kukri originated in 13th century when the Malla dynasty came to power in Nepal. The first recorded use of Kukri in military combat was made in 1814 by the British who witnessed the deadly weapon while fighting the Gurkhas.
What are Kukri knives mainly used for nowadays?
The knife has proved its effectiveness in combat as well as in activities like chopping wood, hunting and also skinning. It can also be used for opening tin cans and clearing bushes and undergrowth.
What are the main materials of a Kukri knife?
Traditionally a Kukri knife is made up of high carbon steel that is obtained from recycling car and truck suspensions. The genuine kukri knife has a handle that is made up of buffalo horns, wood and metal. Other kukri knives are made up stainless steel.
How is a Kukri knife made?
Following are the key steps of the entire Kukri-making process:
- Measuring the steel size on the basis of the design and the weight
- The steel is heated in a coal oven and the red hot metal is then hammered to get the raw shape
- The semi-hot metal is then hammered by an expert blacksmith who gives the final shape to the Kukri
- The master smith then tests the strength of the blade by using homemade chemicals. The blade is then repeatedly hammered until it is strong
- The knife’s handle is made using appropriate materials
- The Kajo (Hilt), Chhapri (back of the handle) and Kothi (Metal Cap) are made out of metal on the basis of the order of the master smith.
- The handle is then fixed to the blade using laha (traditional Nepalese glue)
- The blade is made smooth using grinding tools
- The sharpness of the blade is further enhanced by handmade tools.
- The blade and handle are polished and decorated for good looks
- Karda and Chakmak, the two accompanying knives, are made in a way similar to the Kukri knife
- Scabbard and Pharas (handle) of Khukuri are then made as per the size and shape of each Kukri knife
- The final touches are given and experts check for any defects
What are the groups of Kukri knife?
Almost all the Kukri knives have the same characteristic blade shape. Even though their blades have the same characteristic inward curve, not all the Kukri knives fall into the same category. Kukri knives can be broadly classified into five different groups. The first comprises of the traditional kukris used by the Nepalese army. The second group comprises of kukri knives that are meant to be used by the Nepali native villagers for daily chores. These knives are used for civilian use. The third kinds of kukris are those that are manufactured by non-traditional methods. They are mainly used by Gurkha regiments of the Indian and the British army. These are machine-made and they have typical features like full tangs and slab handles. The fourth category consists of Kukri knives that are meant to be sold to tourists as memento. While buying a kukri it is important to identify the category in which the product falls. These types of kukris are not meant for easy-duty work. These knives usually have low quality and are available in the lower price range. Tourists knives are exported to several countries where they are sold in retail stores. The fifth category of kukri knives comprises of those kukris that are manufactured on a large scale using synthetic materials on an industrial scale. A major difference between non-traditional and genuine knives is that genuine Kukri knives are accompanied by two small knives called as Chakmak and Karda. Chakmak is a blunt sharpening tool while Karda is a small knife used for cutting and whittling. These knives are kept in the sheath and absence of these two pieces is sufficient enough to prove that the kukri knife is not crafted by traditional blacksmiths. Understanding different categories of kukri will help you to make the informed decision during purchase.
Why should you buy a Kukri knife?
A kukri knife has proved to be a good substitute for other heavy tools like machete, ace or a shovel. Hence, any hunter or adventure camper can harness the power of the versatile kukri knife to perform various activities like cutting, chopping, peeling and skinning. Besides, a small kukri knife can help you move with lightening speed when attacked by a wild animal.
Top 5 best Kukri knife reviews in 2017
Genuine Gurkha Aeof Kukri – 11″ Authentic British Gurkha Afghan Issue Khukuri
Condor Tools & Knives 60217 Heavy Duty Kukri Knife
Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri
1064206 Ontario Knife Co OKC Kukri Knife
Cold Steel 97KMS Kukri Machete
Who makes the best Kukri knife?
Traditionally, the best Kukri knife is handmade by the ‘Biswakarma’ or ‘Kami’; a Nepalese community of blacksmiths. Some of the other well-known Kukri manufacturers are:
- Cold Steel
- Ontario Knife Company
- GK & CO
What is the average price of Kukri knives?
The average price of a genuine Kukri knife is around $30. The price of the product depends primarily on the blade material and the blade size. Moreover, industrially manufactured Kukris offer precision cutting and hence they tend to be costly.
How to choose the right Kukri knife for your purpose?
Most of the hunters will use the knife as a defense weapon as well as a tool that is critical for outdoor expeditions. Hunters who want to use the kukri knife as a weapon must buy a knife that is made up of carbon spring steel.It is recommended to select a knife with at least 2-3 fullers as these will lighten the weight of the weapon. The length of the blade also depends on the type of the attack. A blade that is less than 12 inches is suitable for quick actions and fast movements while a blade that is more than 12 inches is good for situations that require brute force.
What factors should you consider before buying a good Kukri knife?
Anyone willing to buy a kukri knife must take into consideration the purpose for which the knife will be used. Following factors are to be considered while purchasing an effective Kukri knife:
Blade Material: The blade material is the most important factor that must be considered while buying a kukri knife. A stainless steel knife is cheaper and resistant to rust. However, it is less durable and loses its sharpness quickly. Carbon steel enables a higher degree of sharpness but rusts quickly if not maintained properly. Moreover, a kukri made out of carbon steel is more expensive. Your purchase decision must always be made based on the purpose of use. For example, a saltwater angler must use a stainless steel kukri because it will not be affected by rust-prone environment. On the other hand, people indulging in activities like camping and bushcraft must opt for a kukri made of carbon steel. It is important to note that carbon steel comes in different grades which need to be considered while buying the knife.
Blade Shape: Once again, the functionality has to be kept in mind while deciding on the blade shape. A kukri comes in various shapes and every blade shape has a specific purpose. Other than combat, a kukri can be either used for either fine cutting or rough cutting. Some other people may want to use the knife for chopping, slicing and skinning. Gardening enthusiasts may even perceive the knife as a terrific tool for digging. There are a variety of blade shapes namely, drop points, spear points, dagger points, tanto, sheep’s foot, clip point, recurred kukri-style. A drop point or a clip point kukri is appropriate for hunting while a machete-shaped blade is good for bushcraft and chopping.
Tang: Kukri knife is mostly used for heavy-duty and hence it is advisable to select a full tang knife. Full-tang knives are usually expensive but they are durable. Tangs of a half-tang kukri tend to break when they are repeatedly used to cut or chop thick objects.
Handle: A kukri can be used effectively if it has a good grip which depends on the material of the handle and the comfort level offered. Traditional kukri knives have handles that are made of wood and rubber while more popular models use materials like G10 and Micarta. Buyers need to check whether the knife is slippery and whether he fits well in the hand. Using the knife in rains tends to make it slippery.
Sheath: It is not feasible to carry the kukri knife in your hand the entire time and hence you need a sturdy sheath that will not only hold the knife but that can help you secure the blade when not in use. The length of the sheath must depend on your height. This will allow for easy maneuvering. Most importantly, the sheath must hold the blade securely and tightly.
How to maintain the Kukri knife?
The durability of the Kukri knife also depends on the efforts towards maintaining the knife. Following are the maintenance tips that will keep your Kukri knife in top condition:
- Clean the knife blade with machine oil or gun oil. Make sure that you apply the oil at least once in a month. Avoid leaving any fingerprints on the knife after the oil is applied.
- It is critical to clean the blade if rust has developed. The blade can be cleaned with gasoline and the rust can be removed by using fine sandpaper.
- Appropriate polishes have to be used for cleaning parts other than the knife blade. Use shoe polish for leather casing and furniture shine for the wooden handle. Brass fitting and silver casings must be polished by polishes like Brasso and Silvo respectively.
- The kukri knife is to be stored in dry and normal room temperature. Keep the knife away from moisture.
- Any carving on the knife must be scrubbed with gasoline and a hard brush.
- Avoid exposing the leather sheath for the longer duration of time as it may shrink due to over-exposure.
- Avoid using the blade on metallic surfaces and stones
A kukri knife has always been associated with bravery, valor and adventure. Today, it has become a necessary tool in the camping kit of any hunter or adventure enthusiast. However, many people are not aware of the different types of Kukri knives that are available. Different Kukris exist for different purposes and for different customer groups. This article throws open the detailed world of the famous kukri knife. It serves as a perfect guide for anyone desirous to buy a Kukri knife.