The Best Kukri Knives for Survival and Hunting

Last Updated: by Aiden Williams

Every outdoor fanatic or survivalist often has a machete or knife they take along on excursions. Nevertheless, many are still not familiar with the kukri. The Kukri is one of the most versatile and hardest knives. This cutting tool is unique and it combines the precision and accuracy of a knife with the heft and power of a hatchet.

Kukris come from Nepal and its surroundings, so the high performance of this tool is a result of several years of testing and improvements. However, the design of this tool started changing as it spread to other parts of the world. The design now differs in most cases according to the thickness of the blade.

We prefer the Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri over all the others as it combines the traditional blade design with the latest advancements to give you the best performance.

Best Kukri Knife Reviews

ProductDetails
1. Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri

  • Blade: 11.5 inches, high carbon steel
  • Handle: Kraton G
  • Sheath: Black leather
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2. SOG SOGfari Kukri Machete MC11-N

  • Blade: 12 inches, high carbon steel
  • Handle: Kraton rubber
  • Sheath: Nylon sheath
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3. Ka-Bar Combat Kukri Knife

  • Blade: 8.5 inches, 1095 Cro-Van stainless steel
  • Handle: Black Kraton G elastomer handle
  • Sheath: Heavy-duty polyester
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4. Condor Tools & Knives 60217 Heavy Duty Kukri Knife

  • Blade: 10 inches, high carbon steel
  • Handle: Hardwood slap
  • Sheath: Supreme leather
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5. GK&CO. Genuine Gurkha Kukri

  • Blade:11 inches, high-grade carbon steel
  • Handle: Rosewood
  • Sheath: Water buffalo hide covered in softwood
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6. Genuine Gurkha Hand Forged Kukri – EGKH

  • Blade: 10 inches, spring steel
  • Handle: Rosewood
  • Sheath: Refined buffalo leather
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7. Ontario 6420 OKC Kukri Knife

  • Blade: 12 inches, 1095 carbon steel
  • Handle: G-10
  • Sheath: Nylon sheath
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8. Schrade SCHKM1 Kukri Machete

  • Blade: 13.3 inches, 3Cr13 power coated stainless steel
  • Handle: Rubberized handle
  • Sheath: Polyester
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9. Cold Steel Royal Kukri Machete – 97KMIGS

  • Blade:15.5 inches, 1055 carbon steel
  • Handle: Polypropylene handle
  • Sheath: Cor-ex sheath
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1. Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri

KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri

If you are looking for a kukri knife that offers professional performance, you should consider the Ka-Bar Kukri knife. This tool is designed to get the most benefits out of a machete. This kukri comes with all the features of an ideal survival knife, and you can use it for clearing campsites or bushes, chopping down weed or cutting branches. The blade of this tool is made of carbon steel, which offers numerous benefits. The blade is razor-sharp and it is solidly heavy. It is also very easy and quick to sharpen, and it retains its edge for a long period.

The blade eliminates reflection, thanks to its black coating. Despite its length, this kukri is extremely lightweight, as it weighs just 1.7 pounds. It is lightweight but it is designed for heavy-duty tasks. Another fascinating feature of this tool is its comfortable and great looking handle. The ergonomic handle is made out of Kraton G and it feels natural in your hand. The handle is a bit large, making it perfect for chopping and clearing trees.

This cutting tool also comes with a black leather sheath that is suitable to use in any drastic area. The sheath also allows for an alternative carrying position. The length of the blade is 11.5 inches, which is perfect for a wide range of tasks.

Specs

  • 11.5 inches, high carbon steel
  • Kraton G
  • Black leather

Pros

  • Perfect for rough areas
  • Inexpensive
  • Classic kukri design
  • Versatile uses
  • Durable and comfortable handle

Cons

  • Loses sharpness after some days.

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2. SOG SOGfari Kukri Machete MC11-N

SOG SOGfari Kukri Machete MC11-N - Hardcased Black 12"" Blade w/ Saw Back, Rubber Handle, Nylon Sheath

The SOG SOGfari machete from the SOG family is one of the best kukri machetes you can find in the market. This machete comes with a 12 inches long blade that is made of high carbon steel. It is one of the most impressive kukri machetes out there. The most fascinating and unique feature of this cutting tool is the saw back of the blade. This is a highly versatile tool, thanks to its awesome real-working class saw back that cuts deeply with the double ground teeth it comes with.

The normal side of the blade is curvy, like other kukri cutting tools. The overall length of the machete is 18 inches. The hard cased-black blade is strong and solid, thanks to its full-tang construction. The weight of the tool is also perfect, allowing for a real whipping power when swung through the air. The handle is made out of Kraton rubber and it offers a very comfortable grip. It does not also slip away from your hand when it is wet.

The handle also has some holes that allow you to mount lanyards for safety and full control over the tool. This cutting tool comes with a well-fitting nylon sheath. The sheath holds the machete very well and it makes it easy to carry around. In the Rockwell hardness scale, the hardness of the blade ranges from 44 to 50. This means that the blade can cut bushes, chop hard, and protect you from danger in the wilderness.

Specs

  • 12 inches, high carbon steel
  • Kraton rubber
  • Nylon sheath

Pros

  • Strong blade
  • Comfortable grip
  • Heavy-duty kukri
  • Real-working saw back

Cons

  • Not the best quality of sheath

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3. Ka-Bar Combat Kukri Knife

Ka-Bar Combat Kukri Knife

Undoubtedly, Ka-Bar is one of the best kukri knife manufacturing firms in the industry today. The Ka-Bar Combat Kukri Knife is one of the finest the company has ever made. This knife comes with amazing features for superior performance. It also comes with a classic design. This kukri from Ka-Bar comes with a surprising level of sharpness. The sharpness of this tool makes it perfect for not only chopping but for cutting branches and woods. When it comes to the blade, this kukri stands out from the rest in the market.

The blade of this knife is made of high carbon steel and 1095 Cro-Van steel. The design is pretty amazing, and the length of the blade is 8.5 inches long, which is an added advantage for better and versatile use. The overall length of the knife is 13.375 inches, and it weighs just 1.8 pounds.

Another great feature of this kukri is its slip-resistant handle. The design and material of the handle allow you to use it even in wet conditions. This is an additional benefit that is not very common in traditional kukris. The black Kraton G elastomer handle is also very comfortable to hold, and it features an ergonomic design. This tool also comes with a heavy-duty polyester sheath that makes the carrying of the tool pretty much easy.

Specs

  • 8.5 inches, 1095 Cro-Van stainless steel
  • Black Kraton G elastomer handle
  • Heavy-duty polyester

Pros

  • Portable and durable
  • Polyester sheath
  • Easy to carry
  • Tough blade

Cons

  • Poor sharpening system

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4. Condor Tools & Knives 60217 Heavy Duty Kukri Knife

Condor Tools & Knives 60217 Heavy Duty Kukri Knife (10-Inch)

The Joe Flowers designed the Condor Tools & Knives Heavy Duty Kukri Knife, and it is one of the good quality survival knives. This is a large-sized, compact, and heavy-duty knife. This kukri comes with some unique and extraordinary features. Looking at this knife, it features heavy-duty construction with an overall length of 14.5 inches. The length of the blade is 10 inches, which is perfect for survival and outdoor use.

The blade of this kukri has a convex grind with scales. It is made of high carbon steel and it features a full tang design. The blade is pretty tough and sharpening it is also not a problem. It also features a great edge retention ability. This tool comes with a generous handle made of hardwood slab. In addition, the handle comes with excellent pinned with brass tube hole, a feature that many machetes lack.

This Kukri knife from Condor comes with a supreme leather sheath with a swiveling belt loop and snap closure. The sheath makes the knife extremely secure to carry and move around. The sheath also has a very beautiful design. This knife features a notch that helps to enhance its performance. Its handle is also attractive, and it is strong and comfortable. Another reason why many people love this kukri knife is its low price.

Specs

  • 10 inches, high carbon steel
  • Hardwood slap
  • Supreme leather

Pros

  • Well balanced
  • Inexpensive
  • Great sheath
  • Durable and easy-to-sharp blade
  • Comfortable and strong handle

Cons

  • A bit heavy

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5. GK&CO. Genuine Gurkha Kukri

Genuine Gurkha Kukri Knife - 11" Blade World War II Wooden Handle Kukri - Handmade by GK&CO. Kukri House in Nepal

If you are looking for a kukri knife with great performance and aesthetic design, the Gurkha Kukri form GK&CO. is one option you should consider. This knife is from a reputable brand that is known for producing classic handmade kukri for a long time now. One of the most noticeable and outstanding features of this kukri is the amazing handmade design of Vishwakarma. This classic craftsmanship knife comes with superior functionalities also.

When it comes to the blade, this knife is very impressive, as it is made with high-grade carbon steel. The blade is 11 inches long, and it is perfect for a wide range of tasks. The blade is a bit thick, with 3/8 inches thickness. This tool is fully handmade and it is made with top-class materials. It also comes with an eye-catching, authentic rosewood handle. The handle is also pretty firm and sturdy, and it will not detach from the blade.

Furthermore, this tool comes with a classic Afghan brown sheath. The sheath is brown in color and it allows for easy carry of the tool. This kukri knife features a full-tang design with an overall length of 16.5 inches. The sheath is made out of water buffalo hide covered in softwood. The well water-tampered, well-polished blade does not come sharpened but it is very easy to sharpen.

Specs

  • 11 inches, high-grade carbon steel
  • Rosewood
  • Water buffalo hide covered in softwood

Pros

  • Versatile use
  • Easy and comfortable grip handle
  • Handmade design
  • High-quality, tough
  • Easy to sharpen

Cons

  • Does not come sharpened out of the box
  • A little bit heavy

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6. Genuine Gurkha Hand Forged Kukri – EGKH

EGKH. Genuine Gurkha Hand Forged Kukri - 10" Blade Authentic British Gurkha Iraqi Operation Gripper Blocker Handle Khukuri - By Ex Gurkha Khukuri House in Nepal

Are you looking for a tough kukri knife that you can use for the roughest adventures? If yes, search no more, as what you need is the Genuine Gurkha Hand Forged Kukri. This kukri comes with superior features, a full-tang design, and a perfect blend of craftsmanship, balance, and weight. The overall length of this tool is 15 inches and it was handmade by Bishwakarmas.

The blade is made from high-grade carbon steel and it is 10 inches long. The blade is also very easy to sharpen and it is perfect in holding an edge.

The thickness of the kukri measure 9mm at the spine, which means it is a bit gigantic. This tool comes in handy as both a weapon and a utility knife. It features a 5 inches blocker handle that is made with rosewood. The handle also comes with natural finger grooves. The finger grooves of this knife might seem a bit explicit than some modern kukris. The downside of this knife is that it is a bit slippery in sweaty and wet conditions. However, it comes with a lanyard hole to help you out.

This kukri comes with a beautiful sheath that is made out of refined buffalo leather. If you are an aesthetic lover, you will find this handmade kukri and its leather sheath very appealing. This tool also comes with two additional utility knives called Chakmak and Karda. The additional knives are smaller and are more suitable for smaller tasks that you cannot do with the big kukri.

Specs

  • 10 inches, spring steel
  • Rosewood
  • Refined buffalo leather

Pros

  • Handmade kukri
  • Additional utility knives
  • Leather sheath
  • Thick and durable blade
  • Aesthetic design

Cons

  • It can be slippery in wet conditions.
  • A bit heavy

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7. Ontario 6420 OKC Kukri Knife

Ontario 6420 OKC Kukri Knife (Black)

For those looking for a versatile tool that can serve both as a machete and as a kukri, this is the tool for you. The Ontario OKC Kukri knife is an American-made kukri with a full-tang design. This kukri comes with a distinctive blade shape that is 12 inches long. The blade is made from 1095 carbon steel, which is very easy to sharpen. It has a great edge retention ability and it is a multi-purpose tool for camping and other outdoor tasks. The blade is forward curved, which is a unique feature you cannot find in most traditional kukris.

The tool comes with a black coating that is pretty tough and it helps to protect the blade. It is portable and easy to move around, as it weighs just 18 ounces. This kukri comes with a G-10 handle with finger grooves that allow for a secure and precise grip. The handle rarely slips, regardless of the condition, whether wet or sweaty. It is also comfortable to hold and it features a great balance.

The handle also has a lanyard hole that offers a smooth feeling whenever you hit something. This tool comes with a nylon sheath with a basic but stunning look. The nylon sheath also includes a small D-ring loop, a riveted belt loop, and a plastic liner. All these features allow you to carry the tool with ease.

Specs

  • 12 inches, 1095 carbon steel
  • G-10
  • Nylon sheath

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable and well-balanced handle
  • Versatile
  • A durable and sharp blade
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not suitable for heavy tasks

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8. Schrade SCHKM1 Kukri Machete

Schrade SCHKM1 19.7in Kukri Machete with 13.3in Stainless Steel Blade and Safe-T-Grip Handle for Outdoor Survival, Camping and Bushcraft

If you are looking for the best kukri for the money, the Schrade SCHKM1 Kukri Machete is one of the options you should consider. This is a low budget kukri that comes with many great features. This tool can serve as both a large knife and a medium machete. The overall length of the kukri machete is 19.7 inches. It comes with a durable 3Cr13 powder coated stainless steel blade with a length of 13.3 inches. The knife is also lightweight, as it weighs 1.44 pounds. The tough, nice power coating of this tool is different from the paint-like coating of other machetes out there.

The blade features a great design, and each swing is very effective. It also maximizes chopping power, thanks to its curved structure and length. The blade is also designed to be used in a wide range of tasks. It is also razor-sharp out of the box and it can retain its edge for a long period. This Kukri machete comes with a Safe-T-Grip handle with front quillon. It is nicely textured with rubber, making it safe and comfortable to hold.

The design of the handle prevents slipperiness when used in sweaty or wet conditions. This cutting tool comes with a nice polyester sheath. It has a removable shoulder pouch, leg strap, belt loop, and shoulder strap. This tool also comes along with a sharpening stone and a Ferro rod.

Specs

  • 13.3 inches, 3Cr13 power coated stainless steel
  • Rubberized handle
  • Polyester

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Convenient polyester sheath
  • Free sharpening stone and fire starter

Cons

  • Thin blade

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9. Cold Steel Royal Kukri Machete – 97KMIGS

Cold Steel Royal Kukri Machete - 97KMIGS

The Cold Steel Royal Kukri Machete 97KMIGS is one of the best Kukri machetes out there. This machete is designed to perform the toughest of Bushcraft chores, chop firewood, and a wide range of outdoor tasks. It can also serve as a survival knife. This is one of the longest knives on our list, with an overall length of 20.75 inches. The blade of this machete is made of 1055 carbon steel and it is 15.5 inches long. The thickness of the blade is 2.8mm and it is protected by black baked anti-rust matte finishing.

The blade comes fully sharpened and it features an impressive balance. This tool comes with a polypropylene handle that is 5.25 inches long. The handle also has a lanyard hole. It features a firm and comfortable grip and it is suitable for use in sweaty or wet conditions. The handle comes with a finger guard that protects the finger from slipping towards the blade.

The Cor-Ex sheath that comes with this tool is not fancy. However, it does a great job of protecting the kukri. The sheath comes with three straps to snap the machete in place. Overall, this is one tool you want to consider if you are looking for the best kukri for the money.

Specs

  • 15.5 inches, 1055 carbon steel
  • Polypropylene handle
  • Cor-ex sheath

Pros

  • Great balance
  • Suitable for a wide range of tasks
  • Great price
  • Long blade

Cons

  • Medium quality sheath

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Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Buying a Kukri

Choosing your own kukri knife is very important simply because they are not all the same. While your choice should solely depend on your intended use for the kukri, there are some vital characteristics you need to look out for. There are some features that make some kukri knives stand out from others. Putting these features and traits into consideration would ensure that you settle for something that will last for years and serve the intended purpose very well. Here are some of the vital things you need to consider when buying a kukri.

 

The Material of the Blade

The material used to make the blade of a kukri plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of the blade. Hence, it is one of the most important, if not the most important, things you need to consider before picking out a kukri. Blade steels are commonly divided into two categories – high carbon plain tool steel and stainless steel. Each of them has properties that make them perfect for creating certain kinds of knives. For example, stainless steels have great resistance to corrosion because of the Chromium added to it. However, the addition of Chromium increases the grain size of the steel, and this weakens the steel.

Hence, metallurgists often add other elements like Vanadium and Manganese to refine the structure of the grain. On the other hand, plain tool steels do not have Chromium. Rather, they contain only Manganese and Carbon. These two elements together with the steel give these blades a very fine grain structure.

As such, high carbon steel blades are generally tougher and stronger than stainless steel blades. Nevertheless, they perform pretty poorly against corrosion because of their lack of chromium. To keep them free from corrosion, you need to put in extra effort in taking care of them. Nevertheless, carbon steels are a better choice for heavy-duty, large knives than stainless steels are. High carbon steel blades also tend to last more than stainless steel blades.

 

The Design and Length of the Blade

Looking at the material used to make the blade is not enough. Other vital features to consider include the design and length of the blade, with more emphasis on the design. The design/curvature of the kukri knife will determine the usability of the blade. Different blade shapes are designed for different purposes. As such, you need to keep in mind your intended use for the knife in order to choose a blade design that will meet your needs.

Another thing to look out for is the length of the blade; this also depends on your intended application. If you are looking for a kukri to use as a machete, you should go for one with a long and thin blade. However, if you are looking for one that would be suitable for multipurpose use, then you should opt for a smaller one.

 

The Design of the Tang

Another vital thing you need to put into consideration when picking out a kukri is the design of its tang. The tang is the part of the blade that the handle is attached to. There are several kinds of tang designs out there, ranging from stick tangs to full tangs. However, the major difference between these designs is their relative strength.

The strongest designs are full tang designs, and the next on the list is hidden tangs design. The third strongest design is partial tangs. Hence, since most kukri knives are designed for heavy-duty tasks, you should opt for one that comes with a full tang. We recommend that you do not settle for anything less than a hidden tang design. All the products on our list come with full tang designs.

 

Handle Materials and Quality

The only way you can enjoy the efficiency and full benefits of a kukri machete is when it has the right grip. However, the grip depends on the material used to make the handle as well as the level of comfort it provides. The handles of traditional kukris are often made with rubber, wood, and contemporary polymer. However, the modern versions usually come with materials such as G-10 and Micarta.

Regardless of the material used to make the handle, the most important thing is to make sure that it provides a firm and comfortable grip. You also need to make sure that the handle features an ergonomic design. In addition, you need to ensure that the handle is non-sticky and non-slip.

High-quality kukris come with well-fitted handles. They also come with hand-guards to protect your hands from slipping onto the blade, an accident that could lead to a severe injury. You also need to ensure that the handle is tightly fitted onto the blade and well balanced.

 

Cut-Out

The cut-out is a little notch on the blade’s shed. The cut-out is one feature that separates a kukri apart from other types of knives. Many people often assume that the cut-out is there for decorative purposes. The cut-out is a crucial feature, as it helps with shock-absorption. This feature allows the blade to flex while cutting without breaking or cracking.

 

The Material and Quality of the Sheath

It is not feasible to carry a bare kukri machete or knife in your hand. This is a deadly tool and it is also detrimental to your safety. As such, you will need to secure it when you are not using it or when you want to transport it. To achieve this, you need a sheath that is specifically designed for the machete you want to buy.

The majority of kukris in the market come with a sheath. However, not all sheaths are the same. The material, as well as the features of a sheath, differs. In all, you should ensure you go for a kukri with a good sheath. A good sheath should hold the knife securely. It should also have a considerable length, allowing for easy movement. The aesthetic, build material, and design of a sheath are also very important. Sheaths come in different materials but we recommend you go for a sheath made with leather and features a sturdy construction.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a bush or camp knife with a variety of capabilities, then you should consider knives with the kukri design. Kukris serve a wide range of purposes and they are suitable for survivalists and outdoorsmen. When hunting you can pair this with a good skinning knife.

With all the brands and designs of kukris on the market, we think the Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 stands out. It’s powerful and tough, which will serve you well in your adventures.

 

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