The Kukri Knife is typically thought of as a weapon of choice for the Gurkhas of Nepal and India. It’s also well-renowned for being the national weapon of Nepal and the weapon of choice for the Nepalese Army.
However, due to its unique design, the use of the knife is pretty common around the United States. The bent blade makes it optimal for chopping wood. While the top of the knife is mainly used for chopping and splitting wood, the middle of the blade is for tasks that require a bit more precision.
The curved design of the kukri knife is noticeable. The curved blade may look weird, but it makes the knife optimal for chopping motion.
Why Do People Prefer a Kukri Knife?
People prefer a kukri knife to a traditional ax because of its optimal geometry and weight distribution. These allow it to match and, in some instances, excel the effectiveness of an ax.
So, if you’re looking to get your hands on an American version of this Nepali knife, you’re at just the right place. Here are the five top manufacturers (along with their top products) who’re creating knives that will be a fantastic addition to your tools/weapon collection.
1. Cold Steel
Cold Steel is one of the country’s leading manufacturers of knives, blades, and machetes, with a quality product that is second to none. They have a couple of different products in their kukri lineup, but one in particular that catches our attention is the Cold Steel 97 KMPS Kukri Machete.
As you can probably guess from the name, Cold Steel creates this mix between a machete and a kukri knife that’s the perfect tool to take with you on a camping trip. The blade is 20 inches in size, has a thickness of 2.8mm, and weighs a meager 1 pound. The blade has a rust-resistant coating baked onto it that makes it shine through years of brutal use. The material used for the blade is 1055 carbon steel. This variant of carbon steel is a prevalent choice for its durability. The mixture of carbon and manganese gives your blade a fair amount of wear resistance and keeps it intact for years to come.
Apart from the blade, the end is engulfed in a durable polypropylene handle designed ergonomically to suit the grip of your hand and ensure comfort during usage. The handle is 5 inches in length and adds to the existing 13 inches of the black blade.
Cold Steel 97 KMPS is a great kukri blade, without a doubt. However, there are two variants of the blade in the market. One of them is much more inferior in quality, and the durability factor is absent. Ensure you’re buying directly from Cold Steel or their approved vendors to get the actual, high-quality material the company is so well known for.
- The machete-style blade is excellent at clearing bushes on a camping trip
- Rust-resistant matte black coating
- 1055 carbon steel blade
- Wear-resistant material
- Comfortable polypropylene handle
- It has an inferior variant in circulation in the market
KA-BAR’s blades and fancy knives are a must-have for all weapon enthusiasts.
They have this classy finish that makes them more of a collectible than a weapon you’d use. The KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri knife is another phenomenal addition to their already esteemed collection.
The blade on the KA-BAR can either be called a small machete or a large knife. It’s 11.5 inches in length and weighs almost 1.7 pounds. Like the Cold Steel kukri, this knife is also of durable carbon steel and, with the thicker and heavier blade, this knife offers even more durability. The blade is sharpened and ready for use right out of the box.
KA-BAR manufactures its products in Taiwan, the hub of top-quality knives and machetes. The company has become the preferred fighting knife of the US Marine Corp. That goes to show what the company has done and what it’s capable of.
The handle on the knife is of Kragon G thermoplastic material with a curved end. No matter what you’re cutting or chopping with this knife, it won’t slip away from your hand. They spared absolutely no cost to make the perfect kukri knife, and the price tag is proof of that.
However, the sheath could have used a bit more love. It’s made of a combination of black leather and Cordura. Pure leather could have kept the knife way more secure. Regardless, a sheath isn’t the critical part of the knife. You could always buy a new one specifically based on your requirements.
- Large-sized blade
- Made from top-quality carbon steel
- Imported from Taiwan
- Approved and endorsed by U.S. Marine Corps
- Thermoplastic handle for comfort
- The sheath lacks quality
There’s only one word to use when defining the EGKH knives; elegant.
Every single one of their products comes with a tremendous shiny blade that is just awe-worthy. The EGKH Service No. 1 Kukri knife is a brilliant sample of the refined products in their lineup. This kukri is a shiny aesthetic knife paired with a black handle that has golden highlights. There are some serious Prince of Persia vibes with the EGKH kukri, and we adore it.
The origin of the EGKH blade makes it particularly special. Similar to the knife above, EGKH also imported this knife from Nepal. The country is reasonably famous for its kukri knives, and EGKH made sure to choose the best of them. The makers of this knife are the Bishwakarmas, folks who were born and bred into the kukri knife business.
The Best Part
The blade is the most exciting part of the knife. It’s arced a bit forward, giving the blade the ability to make deep cuts without much effort. It’s a 10.5″ blade with a 5.5″ handle. There’s nothing special with the size of the blade, but it feels natural with the longer handle. This highly polished, sharp edge blade is officially issued to the Gurkhas in the UK Regiment.
Service No. 1 is a fantastic knife, but some things could be better when we talk about price-to-performance. The knife requires a fair bit of maintenance to keep it in good condition.
The shiny blade is undoubtedly a huge selling point of the knife. However, it also needs great care, which means you won’t be using this knife as your daily driver. This is where the price point comes into play. It’s a reasonably expensive knife – more costly than most of the other products on this list. If you’re paying that much for a fantastic knife but won’t be able to use it for fear of dullness and rust, it practically voids the purpose of getting a kukri knife.
- It is made by people who’ve been in the kukri knife-making business for generations
- It has a shiny, well-polished, and durable blade.
- Elegant handle
- Requires a lot of maintenance to keep it in good condition
4. SOG Store
SOG is another name that has garnered a decent reputation as a military and army favorite. What’s unique about this particular kukri knife is its multipurpose functionality. The SOGfari Specialty Knife is a regular kukri from the front and has a saw on the back for your wood splitting and cutting ventures. The blade is sturdy enough to support the saw, and the carbon steel won’t break even under immense amounts of pressure.
This kukri knife is reasonably long at 18 inches, so it’s a machete kukri knife like the Cold Steel knife we talked about initially. The extra size doesn’t come without a disadvantage, though. It does add a fair bit of weight to the knife and props the weight up to 9 lbs. That might not sound like much, but if you plan on swinging the weight for more extended periods, your arm will give out to fatigue. The heavyweight does add durability to the knife, but it also reduces the performance. Make sure this heavy blade is what you’re looking for.
The handle is also the longest of any product on our list and hits a sturdy length of 6 inches. It adds a fair bit of comfort to the knife and ensures you have more than enough space to grab the heavy blade.
The sheath, however, isn’t anything special. It’s a simple nylon sheath that doesn’t feel like it’s in the same league as the high-quality knife. You’re better off buying some other sheath to protect your knife.
- Durable blade with saw back
- Long knife
- Comfortable handle
- The sheath is low quality
- The knife is heavy
5. Gerber Gear
The Gerber Gear is a Chinese-made kukri knife and is one of the best ones you can buy in the market. Gerber means business, and being in the market for years, they’ve made some of the world’s best hunting and survival equipment. The Gerber Gator Kukri is similar to SOG in terms of length, but it holds its own for being a fantastic knife.
The Gerber Gator has a 19 inches blade, longer than any other product on this list. This makes the kukri knife extremely suitable for cutting bushes out in the wild. However, the convenient part is that the knife isn’t heavy. It weighs less than a pound and is pretty easy to use. But, the weight set aside, wielding such a long knife isn’t easy, and the chances of you accidentally hurting yourself are pretty high there.
However, Gerber reduces the likelihood of that happening by adding a safety lanyard. This lanyard may seem like a small detail that all the other knives on this list missed. But, it will make sure that you don’t yeet your knife and accidentally damage your knife or hurt someone.
The lightweight may be attractive for some, but there’s some performance left on the table. Judging by the weight, or better yet, the lack of it, it’s evident that Gerber cut away from the most crucial part of the knife, the blade. Don’t get us wrong. The blade isn’t low quality or flimsy; it’s pretty strong. Nevertheless, it is too thin for our comfort and will break in situations where other thicker ones won’t.
The Gator Grip
Another fantastic part of the Gerber brand is their patented Gator Grip. The company puts so much trust into their grip that they went the entire length and patented the idea, and for a good reason. It’s probably the best grip you’re going to find on this list.
Do your hands get sweaty from swinging the knife in hot weather? No worries! The anti-slip material adds friction between your hand and the knife, even in harsh climates.
- Anti-slip, shock-resistant Gator Grip
- Long knife with low weight
- Lanyard for safety
- The blade may break due to its thin design
How to Choose the Best Kukri Knife?
We’ve listed five of the best kukri knives in the market, but how are you supposed to choose the one that best fits your needs? Here are some factors that can help you make the right decision.
● The Length
The first factor to think about is the length. What exactly do you plan to do with the kukri knife? Do you need to cut bushes in the wild, or do you just need a handy sidearm? If it’s the former, you need a longer blade to wield like a small sword. If you’re buying the kukri as a side weapon, a smaller blade would be perfect for you.
● The Weight
Weight is another primary concern that people have. You’ve probably noticed that some of the blades in this list weigh less than a pound while others go up to a hefty 10 pounds. The weight you should go for primarily depends on how long you plan to use the knife. If you’re going to be chopping away for hours, you’ll need a lighter knife to avoid fatigue.
● Durable Blade
This one goes without saying. You need a blade that can last you a long time. Kukri knives are an expensive investment, and it’s not one you can make every day. Make sure that the knife you buy is durable and its blade won’t chip off anytime soon. With that said, durability is a core factor of all the knives on this list, so choosing to buy one of the knives here would be ideal for you.
Now that we’ve listed the companies that make the best kukri knife, along with their top products, the final decision is in your hands. Consider the buying guide and choose the kukri knife you find the most useful. After all, the best one doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the best fit for you.