The Kukri machete is part of 11 popular types of machetes on the market today. This article is part of a series in which we try to explain which is the best machete, for different uses by comparing all types. Be sure to also check out the Bolo, Parang, Golok, Panga, Latin, Billhook, Cane, Barong, Bowie and Tapanga machetes in order to have a complete view of all that is out there.
- 1 How old is the Kukri?
- 2 Why is a Kukri Curved?
- 3 What Are Kukri Machetes Used For?
- 4 Who Makes the Best Gurkhas?
- 5 The Best Kukri Machetes on Amazon in 2019
- 5.1 Best Quality Kukri Machete – Cold Steel 39LGKI Gurkha Plus
- 5.2 Best Long Blade Kukri Machete – Cold Steel 97MKM Magnum
- 5.3 Best Short Blade Kukri Machete – Khukuri House Hand-Forged 10-Inch Machete
- 5.4 Best Wooden Handle Kukri Machete – Condor Tool & Knife
- 5.5 Best Authentic Kukri Machete – Khukuri House 11-Inch Authentic Machete
- 5.6 Best Saw Back on a Kukri Machete – SOG SOGfari Sawback
- 5.7 Best General Purpose Kukri Machete – Schrade SCHKM1 19.7 inch
- 5.8 Best Wide Blade Kukri Machete – KA-BAR
- 5.9 Best Low Priced Kukri Machete – Cold Steel 97KMS
How old is the Kukri?
To answer this question correctly, we will discuss the origin and history of kukri machetes. It is not clear where the kukri originated or who initiated it. The original place and date have been lost in the midst of time.
There are many beliefs and suggestions as to how the kukri blades came into existence. The most convincing one states that the kukris were first used by the Mallas, who were the rulers of Nepal in the 13th century. There are even kukris which are over 500 years old, displayed on the walls of the Chhauni National Museum.
Other people believe that the Kukris were first used by the Kiratis, who were the rulers of Nepal in the 7th century. During this time, the kukri was regarded as the national knife of Nepal. Apart from being used as a weapon; it was used as a peaceful all-purpose knife of the people of Nepal.
The first kukri with an impressive cutting edge was first used during the Gurkha War of 1814 to 1816. Nepalese soldiers used kukris to resist the British East India Company, often headlong into battle with their curved blades held high.
Even today, All Gurkha soldiers were issued with two kukris, a ceremonial kukri and a service kukri. The weapon became increasingly popular during this time and it continued to be used during the first and second world wars.
Why is a Kukri Curved?
Kukris have a distinct forward-facing curvature, usually accompanied by a kink in the blade’s spine. This curved-shape gives the kukri additional chopping leverage, making it perfect for clearing thick brush, felling small trees and breaking down firewood. A kukri is considered halfway a machete and a hatchet, which explains why it is an excellent multi-purpose blade for survivalists.
Kukris are also popular due to their hardiness in combat situations; they have never been damaged in battle. This because:
- Kukris are quite thick in their construction, usually more than an inch thick
- Most are made with high carbon spring steel, which gives them a long-lasting cutting and reasonable flexibility
- They have fullers along their blades that help to reduce their weight without affecting its strength
- The machetes have a unique design that is very aesthetically pleasing when compared to other machetes.
What Are Kukri Machetes Used For?
A kukri knife is a multi-purpose tool. The Gurkha soldiers commonly used kukri knives as a weapon. If the primary reason for buying a kukri is combat, consider buying a shorter blade less than 12 inches with two or three fullers. Remember that the higher the number of fullers, the lesser the weapon’s weight.
Kukri knives are also used for chopping, clearing thick brush and felling small trees. If you need a kukri machete for chopping, choose one with high carbon spring steel so it can withstand heavy duty cutting. More importantly, go for a blade without any fullers.
If you want a kukri for clearing brush, choose one with two fuller blades. It is recommendable you go for a machete with a long blade length as it allows you to clear a greater area.
Who Makes the Best Gurkhas?
Some of the top trusted brands of the best kukri machetes include:
Cold Steel is well-known for its sturdy, ultra sharp knives. Their machetes are recognizable with a signature black rust resistant finish and superb build quality.
Condor Tool and Knife:
Condor Tool and Knife has been producing quality machetes and knives for over 225 years. All Condo Kukri machetes come with a heavy-duty sheath and are unsurpassed in the quality of their craftsmanship.
SOG is also a popular knife and tool manufacturer. They are commonly known for their top quality machetes and outdoor tools. SOG may appear like a budget company on the surface, but they manufacture exceptional machetes for a reasonable price.
The Best Kukri Machetes on Amazon in 2019
Best Quality Kukri Machete – Cold Steel 39LGKI Gurkha Plus
Made of high-quality steel, this Kukri Plus Machete by Cold Steel is guaranteed to last a lifetime. The high carbon steel gives maximum strength to carry out heavy-duty cutting tasks. The ultra-sharp cutting edge makes it the Best Kukri Machete for chopping, breaching, cutting, piercing, smashing and slashing. It has a downward curved blade that has long been identified by Gurkha.
The Kray- Ex handle is not only durable but also comfortable to hold for an extended period. The handle also offers a strong non-slip grip and cushions the hand from the hardest blow.
The Cold Steel 39LGKI Gurkha Kukri Plus also has a sharp and thin point that allows you to use less energy when piercing via thick and tough things, like bones.
Like other Cold Steel machetes, the Gurkha Plus comes with a secure Ex sheath to protect the blade and allow for easy, safe transportation. The sheath has special clippings that will enable you to wear it safely on your side.
This Cold Steel Machete is also a perfect option if you a looking for the best survival machete or an affordable weapon to defend you and your family. The machete has an overall length of 17 inches, 22.9 Oz weight and 5/16 blade thickness.
Pros & Cons of the Cold Steel 39LGKI Gurkha Kukri Plus Machete
- The 0-1 High Carbon steel gives it maximum strength and durability
- The blade maintains its ultra-sharp cutting edge for long
- It is perfect for chopping, breaching, cutting, piercing, smashing and slashing
- Has an overall length of 17 inches, making ideal for a wide range of cutting tasks
- Deeply checkered and perfectly contoured handle of the machete offers a firm, non-slip grip and cushions the hand from the hardest blow
- Supplied with a secure Ex-sheath to protect the blade.
- The Sharper and thinner point of the machete allows you to use less energy when piercing through thick and tough things like bones
- It is very sharp therefore care is needed to avoid injuries
- Requires sharpening after purchase to achieve an ultra-sharp cutting edge.
Best Long Blade Kukri Machete – Cold Steel 97MKM Magnum
If you are looking for a high quality long blade machete, then the Cold Steel 97MKM Magnum could be a perfect option. Made in the USA, this Kukri Machete has an overall length of 22 inches, making ideal for clearing brush.
The Cold Steel Magnum is currently one of the most popular machetes on Amazon. The machete works excellently. The long blade and ergonomically designed handle ensure that your hands are safe while clearing brush and thick vegetation
The Cold Steel Magnum is made out of 1055 carbon steel with a tough spring temper and is surfaced with a black, baked-on anti-rust finish. Every Cold Steel machete comes with an ultra-sharp cutting edge that remains sharp for long.
The machete also boasts a sturdy, polypropylene handle that is designed to provide you with a comfortable, secure grip, and it is rugged enough to resist cracking, breaking and chipping, thus lasting forever. The “magnum” models with a large 17-inch blade, which is always ready to plow through the most difficult chores life can dish out.
The machete also features a unique weight-forward balance of your top line models, and always presents the edge on an angle so that you are guaranteed to “bite’ deeper with each stroke. Finally, the Cold Steel 97MKM Magnum Kukri Machete comes complete with a sturdy Cor-Ex Sheath for safe storage of the blade and secure transportation.
Pros & Cons of the Cold Steel 97MKM Magnum Kukri Machete
- It has an extra-long blade that makes it ideal for brush clearing
- The kukri blade is made out of 1055 carbon steel with a tough spring temper and is surfaced with a black, baked-on anti-rust finish
- Tough, polypropylene handle that provides you with a comfortable, secure grip
- Excellent rust and corrosion resistance properties
- The polypropylene handle is firmly attached to the blade and is guaranteed to last for long
- Made in the United States hence quality is a guarantee
- The thick edge makes the machete ideal for heavy-duty cutting tasks
- Features a distinctive a weighted-forward balance so that you can cut deeper with just a single stroke
- Comes complete with a sturdy Cor-Ex sheath for safe storage
- The blade comes unsharpened and you need to sharpen it with the Best Sharpening Stone to regain its sharpness
- The sheath is made of nylon and thus not too durable
Best Short Blade Kukri Machete – Khukuri House Hand-Forged 10-Inch Machete
The Genuine Gurkha Hand-Forged Kukri Machete is a perfect option for those looking for a short Ghurkha machete. The machete is very popular because it was used by British Soldiers in their Iraq operation. The shorter blade length of this machete makes it a perfect self-defense machine. It is believed that this machete is still provided to every British Gurkha soldiers during their army career and enlistment.
The Genuine Gurkha 10-Inch comes with a heavy deep, gripping handle that can be used for usual work. The handle feels comfortable in handle and does not slip out easily.
Both the sheath and handle are specially designed to match the Iraq environment. The blade of the kukri resembles the “Panawala Angkhoal Kukri,” but it is heavier. The core reason why this model was introduced is that most buyers wanted a durable, heavy-duty machete that they could use for both rough and daily tasks.
The blade of the machete is hand forged directly from the Official Supplier of the Gurkhas in Nepal. The entire machete is handmade by the “Bishwakarmas” (Born khukuri Makers) with high quality materials.
The handle of the kukri is made of white Sadhan wood.The shape of the kukri is different and has a figure grip with a blocker. The machete also has a full tang running through it making it super strong.
All kukris have two pockets on the back of the blade called “Chakmak” and “Karda.” These are two small knives that come with the purchase of this kukri. Chakmak which has a blunt edge is used for sharpening the kukri blade. Karda is a small knife used of skinning animal hairs. This is handcrafted kukri, therefore, you should note that each one might have slight variations in measurement.
Pros & Cons of the Genuine Gurkha Hand-Forged 10-Inch Kukri Machete
- It is one of the best khukri with a heavy deep, gripping handle that can be used for usual work
- The blade is hand forged from strongest spring steel by the Official Gurkhas supplier in Nepal
- The blade is processed for a long period than any other kukri
- Excellent craftsmanship and balance makes the machete worth its price
- It comes with two pocket knives on the back of the blade called Chakmak and Karda
- Chakmak which has a blunt edge is used for sharpening the kukri blade. Karda is a small knife used of skinning animal hairs
- The tool has a full tang running through it making it super strong
- The shape of the kukri is different and has a figure grip with a blocker
- Has a heavy deep, gripping handle that can be used for usual work
- The handle of the kukri is made of white Sadhan Wood
- The blade of the kukri appears similar to that of panawala Angkhoal khukuri, but it is heavier
- The soft steel is not hard enough to keep an edge, and it easily cracks on the spine
- The sheath is not very durable
Best Wooden Handle Kukri Machete – Condor Tool & Knife
The Condor Tool & Knife Kukri Machete is a gorgeous machete with a beautiful riveted walnut handle. The 13-inch blade is forged with 1075 high carbon steel for maximum strength, durability and excellent rust and corrosion resistance properties. All this makes the machete ideal for cutting, slashing, clearing brush, chopping and making kindling.
The Condor Tool & Knife comes with a full tang construction to boost its durability and a lanyard cord to enhance grip security. Apart from that, the condor tool has an ergonomic walnut handle with brass pins to provide you with a comfortable, secure grip. The knife comes completely with a sturdy, rugged Cor-Ex sheath for safe storage and transportation.
Pros & Cons of the Condor Tool & Knife Kukri Machete
- Perfect knife for cutting, slashing, clearing brush and making kindling
- Has an ergonomic walnut handle with brass pins to provide you with a comfortable, secure grip
- The blade is made with 1075 carbon steel for maximum strength, durability and moisture, and humidity resistant properties
- Has a full tang construction to boost its durability
- Lanyard cord for an enhanced grip security
- Sturdy and rugged Cor-Ex sheath for easy transportation and storage
- Guaranteed a life warranty
- Made in the USA
- Specially maximum performance and durability
- Some Amazon customers complained that the blade chipped when using for heavy duty tasks
- Other customers complained that the Blade was not well balanced
Best Authentic Kukri Machete – Khukuri House 11-Inch Authentic Machete
The Genuine Gurkha Kukri 11-inch Machete by R&T Trading Co.is a unique curved Nepalese knife that is very common with the Nepalese and Gurkhas. This machete is valued all over the world for its fearful effectiveness as a close combat knife and has hence been regarded as the best authentic machete. It just looks like the other machetes, but it is commonly used as a utility knife in Nepal.
The Genuine Gurkha 11-Inch is ideal for clearing, chopping, skinning animals, digging, slaughtering animals for food, slashing and cutting vegetables. The Genuine Gurkha is used as a survival blade of the Nepalese army, the Royal Brunei Guard, Singapore police, Gurkha regiments of the Indian army and Royal British Gurkhas regiment of British Army. It is also used as a camping knife or a survival knife for survivalists.
The Genuine comes with an 11-inch semi-polished hardened blade for enhanced strength and durability. The full tang handle is made of Rosewood for enhanced comfort and reduced slippage. The brown leather sheath protects the blade and makes it transport the machete.
Just like other kukris, the Genuine Gurkha 11-Inch Authentic Kukri Machete has two pocket knives on the back of the blade called “Chakmak” and “Karda.” These are two small knives that come with the purchase of this kukri. Chakmak which has a blunt edge is used for sharpening the kukri blade. Karda is a small knife used of skinning animal hairs. This is handcrafted kukri, therefore, you should note that each one might have slight variations in measurement.
Pros & Cons of the R&T Trading Co. Genuine Gurkha 11-Inch Authentic Machete
- Has a unique curved Nepalese knife that is very common with the Nepalese and Gurkhas
- Perfect for clearing, chopping, skinning animals, digging, slaughtering animals for food, slashing and cutting vegetables
- It can be used as a camping knife or survival knife
- Full tang handle is made of Rosewood for enhanced comfort and reduced slippage
- The blade is hardened for maximum strength and durability
- Shorter blade length makes it a perfect self-defense machine
- The entire craftsmanship of this knife is amazing
- Some customers complained that the knife was too bent making it difficult to remove from the sheath
- There are defects due to the fact it is hand-made
Best Saw Back on a Kukri Machete – SOG SOGfari Sawback
The SOGfari Kukri Blade W/ Sawback Machete is one of most recent machetes by the SOG family. The machete is ideal for chopping wood, sheltering, harvesting crops, blaze trailing, preparing meals, protecting and hunting. The 12-inch blade is forged from high carbon stainless steel for maximum strength, durability, and long lasting sharpness. The long blade length, 12 inches and the saw back feature makes this machete ideal for clearing brush. The saw has double ground teeth that ensure it cuts deep without sticking in the wood.
The SOG SOGfari is made of 3CR steel with a good-looking black powder coated finish. The machete features a high carbon steel saw back with a firmly affixed blade. Overall, the blade is a well-balanced and the Kraton rubber ergonomic handle with a black finish feels comfortable in your hands. A synthetic rubber material that provides you with a no-slip surface with increased weathering, chemical and heat resistance.
The SOG SOGfari Kukri Sawback Machete is well built. Its front-weighted aspect makes it easy to cut heavy vegetation. The machete comes with a Nylon sheath for the safe storage as well as transportation of the blade. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty guaranteeing its superior quality.
Pros & Cons of the SOG SOGfari Kukri Blade W/ Sawback Machete
- The tool is ideal for chopping wood, sheltering, harvesting crops, blaze trailing, preparing meals, protecting and hunting
- The blade is made with high carbon steel for maximum durability, strength, and long-lasting sharpness
- Well balanced blade for easy control
- Kraton rubber Ergonomic handle that has a black finish for reduced slippage
- The SOG machete has excellent corrosion and rust resistance properties
- Even holes in the handle to mount lanyards
- Real working saw on the back of the blade with double ground teeth for deep cutting
- Has a synthetic rubber material that provides you with a no-slip surface with increased weathering, chemical and heat resistance
- Guaranteed limited life warranty
- comes with a nylon sheath that is not as durable and protective as the leather sheath
- Some customers complained that the blade is too soft. This means that the machete cannot be used on heavy-duty cutting tasks
- Required to be sharpened regularly with the Best Sharpening Stone to regain a sharp cutting edge
Best General Purpose Kukri Machete – Schrade SCHKM1 19.7 inch
The Schrade Kukri machete is a beautiful tool with a strong cutting power compared to other knives and machetes. This machete excels in creating a trustworthy knife that is ideal for outdoor adventures. You can use the Schrade SCHKM1 19.7in Kukri Machete for camping, hiking and bushcraft. It comes with a highly durable blade made of reliable 3Cr13 powder coated Stainless Steel with a black handle that gives you a comfortable grip.
The machete is secured in a way that it doesn’t slip when using. The tool features a Ferro rod, sharpening stone, a lanyard hole, and a safe T-Grip handle for outdoor survival.
The Schrade SCHKM1 19.7 inch also comes with a convenient polyester sheath, a removable shoulder strap, a pouch, a belt loop, and leg straps. All these features allow for safe and secure transportation and storage of the machete. The machete is also covered by a limited lifetime warranty.
Pros & Cons of the Schrade SCHKM1 19.7in Kukri Machete
- Has a strong cutting power compared to other knives and blades
- It is best in camping, hiking and bush crafting
- It is secured in a way that it cannot slip out of hand when using it
- Boasts a highly durable blade that is forged from 3Cr13 powder coated Stainless steel for ultra-sharpness and excellent rust and corrosion resistance properties
- Features a black handle that feels comfortable in the hand
- Comes a Ferro rod, sharpening stone so you can sharpen it whenever you like
- The lanyard hole helps you to hang the blade when you’re not using it
- Safe –T-Grip handle for outdoor survival
- The blade requires regular sharpening to keep sharp
- The blade is too soft, which means you cannot use the machete for heavy-duty cutting tasks as it can bend or break.
- The nylon sheath is not as durable as leather sheath present on other top-rated machetes
Best Wide Blade Kukri Machete – KA-BAR
If you love machetes with a wide blade, then the KA-BAR Kukri Machete will undoubtedly please you on the first sight. Made in the United States, this machete is of very high quality and is guaranteed to last a lifetime. The blade is forged using the 1085 high carbon steel for maximum strength, durability, and long lasting sharpness. The blade also has excellent rust and corrosion resistance properties. The thick blade also enables the machete to withstand the toughest cutting tasks and is widely known for its excellent results in chopping and basic field use.
The KA-BAR comes with an ergonomic handle that is made of Kraton G and features a hole for a slip rope which will help you keep the knife safely in your hand during use. The handle is also designed in a way that it will not slip out of hand when in use.
Overall, the KA-BAR Kukri is well built and is a perfect machete for heavy-duty cutting tasks. It’s lightweight making it easy to carry around and use comfortably. It comes with a durable sheath for the safe storage and transportation of the blade. It also features an added loop on the bottom of the sheath to allow for extra safe strapping to the leg. The sheath itself is made from Cordura military fabric and black leather.
Pros & Cons of the KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri Machete
- Has a wide blade making it ideal for the toughest field cutting tasks
- It can be used for clearing a campsite, chopping down weeds, hacking and slicing small branches with less effort
- The blade is made from 1085 high carbon steel for maximum durability, strength, and long-lasting sharpness
- Ergonomic handle made from Kraton G for a comfortable firm grip
- Its lightweight, making it easy to carry around
- Sheath made from Cordura military fabric and black leather
- Has an added loop on the bottom of the sheath for extra safe strapping to the leg
- It comes unsharpened and may require to be sharpened with the best sharpening stone to regain an ultra-sharp cutting edge
Best Low Priced Kukri Machete – Cold Steel 97KMS
The Cold Steel 97KMS is a perfect option for machete enthusiasts looking for an affordable Kukri Machete. Retailing for about 30 bucks, this Kukri by Cold Steel comes with a simple, razor-sharp 13-inch steel blade and durable polypropylene handle. You can use this machete for cutting, hacking, slashing, cracking, smashing, splitting and chopping. It front-weighted balance allows you to cut heavy vegetation with ease.
This Cold Steel 97KMS comes fully sharpened and ready to do the toughest jobs. It is also known to be the ultimate survival and outdoor tool. The blade of the machete is made of steel and has tough spring temper and is surfaced with a black, baked-on anti-rust finish.
The machete’s tough polypropylene checkered handle is styled to give you a comfortable, secure grip. It is also well rugged to prevent it from breaking, cracking or chipping. The machete also comes with a Cor-Ex sheath for the safe storage and transportation of the blade.
Pros & Cons of the Cold Steel 97KMS Kukri Machete
- Retails at an affordable price of less than $30
- It is ideal for cutting, hacking, slashing, cracking, smashing, splitting and chopping.
- Comes completely with a sturdy and rugged Cor-Ex sheath for safe storage and transportation of the blade
- The blade is made with high quality steel for an ultra-sharp cutting edge
- The blade is easy to sharpen
- Weighted-forward balance allows you to cut thick vegetation with ease
- Polypropylene handle provides a comfortable grip
- Machete comes with a limited manufacturer warranty
- Like other steel machetes, this machete requires regular sharpening to maintain its sharpness
- The steel blade is soft and cannot be used for heavy-duty cutting tasks