Kukri vs Machete — Which Should You Get?

Last Updated: by Aiden Williams

The kukri knife is classified as a type of machete and it is effective as a tool and as a weapon. It makes a great camping accessory because it can have so many applications; from bush clearing for your campsite to chopping wood and cutting up your bush meat.

The ordinary machete is also just as useful for wilderness survival but it is more commonly used as an agricultural implement.

It has many other varieties such as the Bolo, Panga, and the Latin Machete which are used for chopping, bush clearing, and cutting down trees.

This kukri vs. machete review will compare these knives for you to determine which would be better and more effective in the wilderness.

If you need a heavy-duty machete for bush clearing or chopping down trees, we recommend the Cold Steel All Terrain Chopper. It is a good quality machete that will effectively clear the thickest bushes and vegetation for your campsite.
However, if you want a multi-purpose camping knife, the Ontario 6420 Kukri is a perfect option. It’ll cut down saplings and clear vegetation as well as chop firewood and slice your food for you.

Machete vs Kukri Product Reviews

ProductDetails
1. Cold Steel All Terrain Chopper

  • Blade: 21.5-Inches
  • Overall Length: 30.5-inches
  • Blade thickness: 2.8mm/3.4mm
  • Weight: 2 lb 14oz
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2. Ontario 8683 SP8 10-Inch Survival Machete

  • Blade: 10-Inches
  • Overall Length: 15.20-inches
  • Blade thickness: 6.35mm
  • Weight: 1 lb 14oz
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3. Ontario 6420 Kukri Machete

  • Blade: 12-Inches
  • Overall Length: 16.7-inches
  • Blade thickness: 6.35mm
  • Weight: 18 oz
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4. KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri Machete

  • Blade: 11.5-Inches
  • Overall Length: 16 3/4-inches
  • Blade thickness: 4.1mm
  • Weight: 1 lb 7oz
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1. Cold Steel All Terrain Chopper

Cold Steel All Terrain Chopper

The ATC features a wide 21.5-inch blade made in 1095 carbon steel with a black anti-rust matte finish. It is made for clearing all kinds of vegetation and is a very efficient companion in wilderness survival.

The blade is as tough as a small ax in chopping power. It comes with a black Cor-Ex sheath that allows for carrying lightly over the shoulder or across the back to reduce fatigue while carrying it for long periods.

The quillon handle also features a lanyard hole to add balance to the machete.

Specs

  • Blade: 21.5-Inches
  • Overall Length: 30.5-inches
  • Blade thickness: 2.8mm/3.4mm
  • Weight: 2 lb 14oz

Pros

  • Great chopping power
  • High-quality blade and sheath
  • Has easy two-handed use
  • Long blade and weight allows for extra reach
  • Affordable

Cons

  • The handle doesn’t provide a firm grip
  • Doesn’t provide other use besides chopping

The ATC chops small trees and vegetation better than most machetes. It also provides a shoulder/ back slung sheath distributes the weight allowing you to carry it for longer.

Overall Rating – 4.7/5

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2. Ontario 8683 SP8 10-Inch Survival Machete

Ontario Knife Company 8683 SP8 Machete Survival 10" Sawback Blade, Cordura and Leather Sheath

This machete features a 10-Inch full tang blade made of 1095 carbon steel that is coated in epoxy textured powder. The blade has a flat tip with a wedge shape and features a sawtooth back making it lightweight.

It comes with a quillion style Kraton handle with a Cordura nylon sheath. This machete is built for military, sporting, and rescue use.

Specs

  • Blade: 10-Inches
  • Overall Length: 15.20-inches
  • Blade thickness: 6.35mm
  • Weight: 1 lb 14oz

Pros

  • Can be used in thick bushes and cutting down small trees
  • Very sharp out of the box
  • Good weight and balance for batoning wood

Cons

  • Comes with a poor quality nylon sheath

Ontario Knife Company is an American company with a long history of producing a range of high-quality knives and tools for military and commercial use. Their machetes are built to military-grade standards.

Overall Rating – 4.5/5.

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3. Ontario 6420 Kukri Machete

Ontario 6420 OKC Kukri Knife (Black)

This high-quality Kukri machete from Ontario Knife Company features a 12-inch 1095 carbon steel and plain edge blade with a black zinc phosphate finish for durability.

The blade comes already sharpened from the factory and makes chopping easy work. It is a full tang blade and comes with a nylon sheath.

Though it is too short for extensive bush clearing, it makes a great camping companion due to its versatile use. It features a quillion style textured Kraton handle with finger grooves to provide a firm grip and a lanyard hole.

Specs

  • Blade: 12-Inches
  • Overall Length: 16.7-inches
  • Blade thickness: 6.35mm
  • Weight: 18 oz

Pros

  • High quality and durable blade finish
  • Comfortable grip handle
  • Good value for money
  • Has a wide application outdoors

Cons

  • Poor quality sheath

This machete is a good camping companion because it has multiple uses. It is also lightweight and has a good balance for safe and effective use.

Overall Rating – 4.3/5

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4. KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri Machete

KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri

This Kukri machete from KA-BAR is designed for chopping down weeds and bush clearing with minimal effort. It features an 11.5-inch full tang blade made of 1085 carbon steel finished in a powder-coated epoxy finish.

It also features a Kraton G quillion style handle with a lanyard hole for a firm grip.

Specs

  • Blade: 11.5-Inches
  • Overall Length: 16 3/4-inches
  • Blade thickness: 4.1mm
  • Weight: 1 lb 7oz

Pros

  • Full tang design provides durability
  • It has versatile use for chopping, cutting, and slicing.
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Easy to carry with the quality sheath

Cons

  • The epoxy finish chips easily

The blades finish easily comes off and will expose it rust. However, the Kukri is well balanced and handle has a firm grip and is comfortable to use.

Overall Rating – 4.6/5

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Kukri Vs Machete Overview

What is a Kukri?

The Kukri is a Nepalese utility knife used also as a weapon. It became widely known for its effectiveness during the Gurkha War of 1814-1816 and thereafter during the two world wars.

It is the national weapon of Nepal and for many Nepalese, a symbol of their social status and culture.The Kukri is an inwardly curved, one-sided blade used for chopping, hacking, cutting, and slicing as well as being a deadly weapon.

The inward curve is closer to the handle and the blunt side of the blade is thicker, giving it a wedge shape. It is similar to the machete in resemblance with a wide, heavier tip.

Key Features

  • The average Kukri used for general purpose is a medium length knife at approximately 14 to16 inches long sheathed in leather or decorated wooden scabbard.
  • The traditional Kukri comes with two small accessory knives on the scabbard. The Karda is a sharp utility knife and the blunt Chakmak for lighting fires with a flint.
  • It features a wedge-shaped, high-grade steel blade that curves inward with one side sharpened and the blunt side thicker. The blade features a notch at its base that has a more ceremonial use than a functional one.
  • It comes with a hardwood, metal or animal horn handle that has a flared shape at the bottom. It may come with a metal bolster and butt plate mostly made out of brass or steel.

Pros

  • Has multi-purpose use for small and large tasks
  • Its curved design allows it to cut effectively with the least effort
  • It can chop or split wood as effectively as a small ax
  • You can keep it as a ceremonial object that gets passed down generation to generation

Cons

  • The bigger kukris can be a little bulky for carrying on the belt
  • There is a learning curve to using it effectively and safely

The Kukri is a useful tool to have on your outdoor adventures. It takes a little getting used to but when you get the hang of it, you’ll like it.

 

What is a Machete?

A machete is a broad, heavy knife that is used as an implement or as a weapon. This knife originated in Latin America where it is used widely as in many other developing countries.

There are many varieties of machetes used around the world and it has been gaining popularity in Europe and America because of its versatile use.

The machete has wide application as an agricultural implement for harvesting, clearing bushes, and wood vegetations, and cutting down bush meat into smaller pieces.

It also makes a great camping accessory for clearing trails, hunting and protection against wild animals, and chopping firewood.

Key Features

  • The distinguishing feature of the different styles of machetes is the blade. The most common length is 18-inches, made in stainless steel and carbon steel.
  • Just like the blade, machete handles come in various styles. The most common style is the single quillion style that allows for a firm grip for most applications. Its design prevents the hand from slipping on to the blade.
  • Apart from the Kukri, the most common types of machetes are the Bolo, Panga, and the Latin Machete.

Pros

  • Comes in a wide variety of styles for different applications
  • Inexpensive and durable with little maintenance
  • Used for heavy-duty work such as chopping and slashing

Cons

  • Not very useful for spearing or thrusting
  • Some styles can be heavy to carry in long hikes
Machetes are part of daily life in many parts of the world. Although they are not easy to use as a weapon because they are bigger and heavier to use.

Conclusion

The Kukri is one of the many machete varieties and as we’ve seen, it is one of the most useful knives to have when camping or working around in a small garden or yard.

It is multi-functional, lightweight and you can get a good quality Kukri such as the Ontario 6420 Kukri at an affordable price.

But if you’re looking for a functional, heavy-duty knife, the machete is a good option. They’re a bit one dimensional in use because of their size and weight but are very effective.

A good example of a good quality machete is the Cold Steel All Terrain Chopper that has good chopping power to cut through small trees and all kinds of vegetation.

In the end, whichever you choose between the kukri vs machete, it will depend on how well you can use it to be effective for you.

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