The kukri knife is one of the most interesting knives out there. In addition to being useful both as a piece of weaponry as well as for general utility, these knives are just fun. They mix things up a little bit, and when you see one, it catches your eye in a way that a more traditional knife doesn’t.
Whether you’re looking for one of these bad boys for a practical use, or whether you’re just looking for a fun toy to play around with, you’ll be happy with this investment. This article reviews five of my favourite kukri knives and the pros and cons of these options.
Table of Contents
What to Look For in a Kukri Knife
There are a number of different factors that are worth considering when buying a knife. The three that I think about the most for kukri knives are the weight, the portability and size, and the materials used.
Kukri knives are used for a variety of purposes, and their weights can vary substantially. If you want to do something like cut shrubbery or chop wood, a heavier knife may be advantageous. Some of the heavier kukri knives feel more like a hatchet than a classic knife. However, lugging around a giant knife all day through the forest may not be on your agenda if portability is a big question for you.
It’s worth noting that while kukri knives seem like they might be designed to primarily be heavy blades for chopping, there are plenty of lighter kukri blades as well. If you want to be able to do finer, more detailed work as well, you might consider a lighter blade. If you’re primarily looking for a chopping instrument, heavier blades can be nice to have on hand any day of the week.
Portability and Size
A kukri knife can be a great tool to take with you on something like a camping trip. For me personally, this is one of my favorite things to do with these kinds of knives. Because of that, if you’re carrying around this kind of a knife all day, then you do generally want to have something that’s a little bit smaller than if you were just going to take it out to your backyard for a quick task.
Both the blade and the handle of a kukri knife can vary.
Handles may be made of rubber, wood, synthetic carbon fiber, or other materials. These materials can affect the grip of the blade, as well as its weight. Blades may be made out of a number of different kinds of metals; harder steels, for example, can often result in a thinner, lighter blade, whereas softer steels may use more weight instead.
The materials used for both the handle and the blade of course also affect the aesthetic appearance of the tool, which comes down to personal preference.
Kukri Knife Reviews
I’ve used a ton of kukri knives over the course of my life. To help you find the best kukri knife for you, I’ve reviewed five kukri knives. Check out the reviews below to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of various knives, as well as some recommendations for what you might look for and purchase.
In terms of its main focus, this is quite a sizable blade. It works well for tasks that involve applying a fair amount of strength, like chopping wood, dropping branches, or even cutting through things like Blackberry brambles. This is in contrast to a smaller blade that you might use for something like skinning an animal or whittling. This is really a blade designed to be able to provide a substantial amount of force.
I love to go hiking, camping, and bushcraft, and I was in love with this knife as soon as I received it. It was razor sharp out of the box, and has a good bit of weight to it. This is a well-rounded kukri knife. It can do basically any kind of task reasonably well. I do use other blades if I have them with me, but for something to take into the woods that can do it all, this is a great tool.
The way this knife is built, you can tell it will last a lifetime. Sharpen it up here and there, and you’re good to go. The blade is full tang, it has a nice and sturdy fit, and so far it’s stood up great to wear and tear. After the nuclear apocalypse, this knife will still be doing great.
Out of all the kukri knives I’ve tested out while writing this article, this was my favorite hands down. This knife is also made in the United States, and you can tell the quality is good just from holding it.This is a perfect tool for chopping wood and for general camping type tasks. This is a Full Tang knife and you can definitely tell that it feels strong and well-made. It was very sharp out of the box.
The price on this knife blows my mind. It comes in at a substantially cheaper price than the tops bushcrafter, but it provides way more bang for your buck that I would expect at this price point. You’re really getting every single cent that you pay for this in terms of value. While I could tell that there were a few things that the higher in knives like the Tops Bushcrafter provide that this knife lacks–for example the build quality feels just a little bit lower with the handle in particular–the same sorts of chopping and cutting tasks can easily be done with this knife and it truly is a pleasure to use.
If I were doing some really heavy duty tasks, I might opt for one of the higher-end blades, but for semi casual use, this is a good option that will do the trick with no questions asked. It may not be the best tool on this list but this is a standard issue tool for the Gurkhas, it’s industrial by nature.
It’s designed to never let you down and you can sense it when it’s in use.
There are a few things that I noticed when I received this knife. First, I noticed the handle size. The size of the handle is particularly large, and is definitely larger than some of the other knives on this list. If you have large hands, this could be a plus. Out of this box, I found this knife to be a bit dull; however, like any knife, this knife can be sharpened. Once I had a little time to sharpen this baby up, it was cutting quite well.
Now don’t get me wrong, this is a very solid knife. Personally, at this price point I would lean towards spending just a bit more than this model and instead getting the Tops Bushcrafter, which is made in the United States. You can tell the quality is just a little bit higher. This knife was made in El Salvador and feels a little bit lower end. In particular, I thought the sheath on the Tops Bushcrafter was higher-quality as well, although that’s not necessarily the line you have to draw in the sand.
Overall, a solid knife. I lean more toward some of the other models, but you would definitely be satisfied with this product.
When using this blade, I found it to be a great tool for chopping, but limited for other tasks. This is a heavy tool, which limits how much you can do in terms of more precise tasks. However, one of the main tasks of kukri blades is to chop, and this tool does a great job at chopping and cutting. There are a few minor flaws evident in the blade, but nothing major; this is of course a hand made product.
As for the sheath, I was impressed by the quality. The sheath was a little stiff at first, but after some use it loosened up a little. Other than that, the sheath works great, and a little stiffness is to be expected for new leather products.
While this is certainly a solid knife, I think I actually like the CRKT KUK a bit more, even though it’s at a substantially lower price point. Although you can tell that this knife does have a little bit higher quality in some areas, particularly it is a very aesthetically pleasing knife.
If you’re like me, you’d like to have every single one of these knives sitting in your house. But if you were just to pick one, there are three big pics that I am leaning towards here.
First, the Tops TPBKUK01-BRK Bushcrafter Kukuri is my favorite kukri knife in terms of pure quality. The price of this knife is higher than some of the alternatives, but considering how it performs, looks, and feels, the rate is worth the money.
Second, the CRKT KUK Fixed Blade Knife is a knife that performs as well as some knives at higher price points. I’d even be willing to pay a little more for this knife than what is listed. All in all, this is a sleek and modern kukri knife. It’s got a great ergonomic grip, is comfortable to use, and most importantly, it cuts great.
Third, the Genuine Gurkha Kukri Knife is a great knife to choose on a budget. This is a great “beater knife,” which is well suited to yardwork and bushcrafting type tasks. The other options are a little more durable, but having a basic knife around is always nice. This will last you a while, but you might want to replace it further down the line if you find that you use a kukri knife frequently. I’d also recommend sharpening up this knife once you get it, although it’s still decently sharp out of the box.
So which one of these is your favorite? Drop a reply in the comments below to share your experiences.