Best Kukri Machetes in 2020 – Complete Guide & Reviews

Last Updated on October 10, 2020

Hailing from the mystical mountains of Nepal, kukri machete is a resourceful cutting tool for both domestic and military purposes. For years, it has been the blade of choice for the Nepalese army and also been commonly used in Nepalese households for agricultural, cooking, and gardening uses. In today's piece, we will discuss some of the best kukri machetes you can consider adding to your toolkit.

Kukri machetes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. For example, the back of the blade could be straight or slanted up to the tip. As kukri spread across the world, the original design went through a lot of evolution. Still, all of these iterations are capable of generating the destructiveness of a hatchet with the accuracy of a compact knife.

This particular design trait makes the Kukri a handy utensil to own for many different applications. Reading this article, you should be able to differentiate between the effectiveness of kukri according to their construction. In our kukri machete reviews, we will talk about kukris for survival, a handful of top-rated kukri machetes, and many other kukri related topics.

Before we start finding the best kukri machete in this review, we would like to share an exciting trivia with you. Remember Jonathan Harker from Bram Stoker's timeless horror-thriller Dracula? The knife he used to slash Count Dracula's throat before Quincy Morris plunged another knife through the vampire lord's heart was a kukri.

ImageProduct NameOverall LengthWeightEditor RatingPrice
KA-BAR 2-1249-9 KukriKA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri17"1.7 lbs4.85/5Check Price
Condor Tools & Knives 60217 Kukri KnifeCondor Tools & Knives 60217 Kukri Knife14.5"1 lbs4.7/5Check Price
SOG SOGfari MC11-NSOG SOGfari MC11-N18"0.94 lbs4.6/5Check Price
Ontario 6420 OKC KukriOntario 6420 OKC Kukri17"1.12 lbs4.5/5Check Price
EGKH Gurkha KukriEGKH Gurkha Kukri15"1.65 lbs4.45/5Check Price
Cold Steel 97MKMCold Steel 97MKM22"1.32 lbs4.4/5Check Price
Cold Steel 97KMS Kukri MacheteCold Steel 97KMS Kukri Machete18"1 lbs4.3/5Check Price

7 Best Kukri Machete Reviews 2020

1. KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri

KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri ReviewKA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri boasts an 11.5-inch carbon steel blade that boosts its aesthetic value as well as its utility. Being utterly black, the blade won’t reflect light and give up your position when you are out hunting or trying to avoid attention in the woods. You can expect the pitch-black coating to last for a long time unless you continuously use it in rugged conditions.

KA-BAR Kukri 1249 machete’s weigh is only 1.7lbs, which makes them conveniently portable. But most of this weight is concentrated towards the tip, which makes sure the lightweight feature doesn’t make any compromises in the kukri’s penetrating power. The heavy tip balances out the overall low weight of the kukri machete and allows the user to get a fast, powerful cut.

The handle is made of Kraton G thermoplastic elastomer to give you a natural feel when you are holding it. Whether you are using it in dry or wet hands-you will enjoy the same level of grip comfort. The handle size is ideal to take on heavy-duty tasks like skinning animals or chopping wood.

To add to the premium experience, you will also get a gorgeous black leather sheath to store the kukri machete. For all these amazing features and advantages, we keep it in the first place in this review.

Highlighted Features:

  • Anti-reflection carbon steel blade
  • Kraton G made handle
  • Black leather sheath
  • Completely synthetic

Pros

  • Durable construction and coating
  • Built for the rough environment
  • Good price
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Used by many military forces around the world, including the US Marines

Cons

  • The sharpness of the blade wears off quickly
  • Some users might find the blade a bit too small

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

Condor Tools & Knives 60217 ReviewCondor Tools & Knives 60217 Heavy Duty Kukri Knife comes in a bulkier and heavier shape compared to most of its best kukri machetes rivals. While lighter knives fail to impress when you need to do some heavy work, you could rely on Condor 60217 to get your job done. If you want your knife to tolerate some hard-hitting, you won’t regret going for this item.

This 60217-condor heavy duty kukri review would overlook the kukri machete’s formidable build. We are talking a full tang construction forged out of 1075 grade carbon steel. To put this into context, you should know that 1075 steel is one of the most resilient variants of steel out there and are incredibly rust-resistant. The steel scores 56-58 in the Rockwell Hardness Test, which certifies the blade material as “very hard steel.”

To match the effectiveness of any other kukri, Condor Tools & Knives 60217 Heavy Duty Kukri packs a 10-inch long blade which is 5/16 inches thick. This is not the largest machete you will see, but the convex grind design enhances its slashing and chopping power to a significant degree. The ergonomic hardwood handle features a notch that attaches to a hanging extension.

Highlighted Features:

  • 1075 steel construction
  • Hardwood handle
  • Black leather sheath
  • Convex grind design
  • Heat resistant blade

Pros

  • Purposefully made for heavy-duty projects
  • You can carry it in a backpack
  • The hardwood handle is sturdy and comfortable
  • Good price
  • Easy to sharpen

Cons

  • A bit heavier than expected

3. SOG SOGfari Kukri Machete MC11-N

SOG SOGfari Kukri Machete MC11-N ReviewIn this part of the best kukri knife review, we have SOG SOGfari Kukri Machete MC11-N. It is a marvelous inclusion to SOG’s line of specialty knives. The Sogfari has a dual-edged design that makes it some sort of a saw-knife hybrid. The smooth curved edge serves as the main cutting edge while the toothed edge on the other end makes up for a saw edge. You can easily use the saw end of the blade as a mini handsaw and use it for cutting wood, tree branches, etc.

SOG MC11-N Kukri Machete is a full tang knife, which means the tang and the blade of kukri act like a unified, single unit. A full tang design makes sure the striking force is evenly distributed across all parts of the knife. This causes superior damage and widens the user’s wielding range. The Kraton rubber enclosed handle is cozy and keeps your stranglehold tight.

SOG SOGfari MC11-N is a multi-utility apparatus that can prove its worth in a mix of various scenarios. It can cut deep in minimal time and help you in your hunting excursions, clearing bushes off your backyard garden or hack your way through dense forests. This is an excellent tool for hunting and exploring.

Highlighted Features:

  • Full tang design
  • 3Cr13 high carbon steel build
  • Dual edged-one smooth cutting edge and a toothed saw edge
  • Kraton rubber handle
  • Nylon sheath

Pros

  • Toothed saw edge to mimic the services of a handsaw
  • Full tang design promotes superior striking force
  • Lightweight
  • Great price

Cons

  • Sheath quality is not much impressive

4. Ontario 6420 OKC Kukri Knife

Ontario 6420 OKC ReviewOntario 6420 OKC Kukri Knife is an American re-imagination of the classic Gorkha weapon. It’s an obvious cross between traditional kukris and machetes. The key differences between this Ontario knife and Nepalese kukri lie in the blade’s coating, handle, and sheath material.

Ontario kukri model 6420 accentuates an utterly black appearance due to its black coating. This is in contrast to the bare steel physique of the kukri machete used by Nepali natives. The handle of Ontario 6420 is made of Kraton instead of wood or buffalo horn used in the Nepalese version. Also, Ontario opted for nylon in place of the originally preferred leather for making the sheath.

Despite having all these dissimilarities with the classic kukri prototype, Ontario 6420 OKC Kukri Knife is just as potent as the original weapon in terms of performance and durability. The 1095 steel structure gives the blade a remarkable amount of resilience while the black coating maintains the blade’s sharpness for an extended period.

This is a fantastic multipurpose tool that can tackle some serious heavy-duty challenges. The OKC kukri is a prime example of the astounding craftsmanship – Ontario has shown over the years through its products.

Highlighted Features:

  • 1095 carbon steel construction
  • Anti-reflective black coating
  • Kraton handles with finger grooves, lanyard hole, and retention wrist strap
  • Nylon sheath

Pros

  • Ergonomic handle with maximum grip and comfort
  • The black coating prevents rust
  • Forward weight design
  • Great price

Cons

  • The sheath is not durable

5. EGKH. Genuine Gurkha Hand Forged Kukri – 10″

EGKH. Genuine Gurkha Hand Forged Kukri 10" ReviewIf you are longing for the best kukri knife, go for EGKH. Genuine Gurkha Hand Forged Kukri, which is officially provisioned to the Royal Gurkha Regiment of the British Army. These are also known as Afghan kukri machetes since they were heavily used during the Afghan war. These blades come straight out of the workshop of “Bishwakarmas” –the traditional kukri makers in Nepal.

The iconic Gurkha design would be the obvious focal point of any Hand Forged Gurkha Kukri review. A 10-inch double fullered blade highlights the 15-inch knife. The blade is made of AISI 5160 steel, a high-quality carbon, chromium, and iron alloy that is usually used for swords and car springs.

With thickness measuring up to 3/8 inches, this Afghanistan kukri offers more power and sturdiness than the ones used in Iraq by British special forces. Regarding chopping finesse, EGKH. Genuine Gurkha Hand Forged Kukri can cause as much ravage as a hatchet or an axe. You can effortlessly hew through flesh, bone, tree stem, and bushes with the knife.

To make your hacking experience even better, you get two additional knives upon purchasing this kukri knife. This three-knife package makes this hand-forged kukri is one of the top kukri machetes offerings. The sharp one (Karda) is proficient in performing smaller cutting jobs like trimming fishing line or cutting fruits. The one with the dull edge (Chakmak) works as a sharpening tool for the kukri knife.

Highlighted Features:

  • Full tang design
  • AISI 5160 steel construction
  • Hand crafted by Nepalese traditional kukri makers
  • 5-inch rosewood handle with finger grooves
  • Buffalo leather sheath
  • Official hand combat weapon of the Royal Gurkha Regiment of the British Army in Afghanistan

Pros

  • Comes in a three-knife package
  • Refined buffalo leather sheath
  • Made by Nepalese Bishwakarmas-the ancestral kukri makers
  • Thick blade for better performance and durability

Cons

  • Heavier than most kukri machetes
  • Outdated sheath design

6. Cold Steel 97MKM Magnum Kukri

Cold Steel 97MKM ReviewCold Steel 97MKM Magnum Kukri is a 22-inch long monstrosity. This model is straighter than conventional kukri, but its weighted forward style ensures it tears deep upon impact. Therefore, you can use this kukri machete to clear up an overgrown backyard and do some landscape maintenance. The full tang knife can go through a substantial amount of abuse and serve you for years.

Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete 97MKM has a blade thickness of 2.75mm, which is very decent considering the 17-inch blade length. But to make it all work, you need to have an ergonomic handle that lets you assert complete control over the kukri’s movement. The polypropylene made handle plays that role perfectly.

For the price tag, Cold Steel 97MKM Magnum Kukri characterizes a great range of usefulness. If you are on a budget and looking for a quality blade for taking care of your hulking chores or to aid you in your expeditions out in the wilderness, this kukri is tailor-made for you.

Highlighted Features:

  • Full tang and weighted forward design
  • Polypropylene grip handle
  • 5-inch handle and 17-inch blade
  • Cordura sheath

Pros

  • The polypropylene made handle allows for a secure and comfortable grip
  • Full tang and weighted forward design to induce stronger hits
  • Great price
  • Best-rated kukri machete

Cons

  • Sheath quality is unconvincing

7. Cold Steel 97KMS Kukri Machete

Cold Steel 97KMS ReviewWe will wrap up our list with another Cold Steel kukri. Cold Steel 97KMS Kukri Machete also improvises on the traditional kukri design, but this one is more curved and similar to the ones used by the Gurkhas. As to size, it lies in between a standard-sized machete and a hatchet. In terms of performance, you can also expect to get a bit of both world using this kukri sword.

The common talking point in any 97KMS kukri Cold Steel machete review is the 13-inch blade’s 1055 iron body. Since this is a budgeted kukri, it won’t be wise to compare the blade’s effectiveness with top-of-the-line counterparts. But, the blade holds up quite well and does well to chop woods, prune off dead branches, trim trees, etc.

The polypropylene handle isn’t the best one you’d see, either. That said, the handle does a satisfactory job of giving you the desired grasp over the knife. The textured grip makes it easier to hold on to the knife, even when your hands are sweaty and wet.

Highlighted Features:

  • 1055 carbon steel construction
  • Finger guard
  • Correx sheath
  • Polypropylene handle

Pros

  • Sturdy build
  • Finger guards to avoid your fingers get cut accidentally
  • best kukri machete for the money
  • 15.5-inch long blade

Cons

  • Low-quality sheath

Product Guide

Since their inception, kukri machetes have been used for hand to hand military combat. To this day, kukris are a must-have for any Gurkha soldier. In 1948, the Prime Minister of Nepal Maharaja Padma Shamser Jangbahadur Rana famously wrote -
"The Kukri is the national as well as the religious weapon of the Gurkhas. It is incumbent on a Gurkha to carry it while awake and to place it under the pillow when retiring."

Besides armed forces, Nepalese natives use kukri knives for many household purposes, thanks to the fantastic versatility the knives possess. The closest you get to the handle of a kukri machete, the narrower the blade gets. This part can substitute for small knife operations while the heavy part of the blade (towards the tip) can function as an ax.

The usual household uses for kukri involve clearing bushes, cutting meat and vegetables, chopping firewood, etc. kukri machetes are also becoming famous as survival gears in recent years among adventurists.

Buyer’s Guide

After reading this detail review, perhaps you were here in the first place, expecting an article like this. If you wanted to know how to pick up a good kukri machete for yourself instead of choosing from a select few, we got you covered as well. Now we will talk about a few factors that are instrumental in identifying best-quality kukri machete

Size Determines the Purpose

The kukri knives we have reviewed vary in size and shape. The larger ones are meant for heavy-duty purposes like wood chopping and are unsurprisingly heavier. The smaller ones are lightweight and are aimed at doing simpler tasks like can opening and such. For simple household use, a mid or small size kukri will be enough. Go for the larger ones if your chores are more demanding, or you are an adventure freak.

What is the Blade Made of?

Kukri blades are either made of carbon steel or stainless steel. Stainless steel blades are rust-resistant, but they are susceptible to losing their sharpness rather soon. Carbon steel can maintain their sharpness longer, but they are not immune to rusting.

Angles Matter

The utility of a kukri blade depends heavily on the blade's curvature. There's no finite answer to the question - "Which blade shape is best for kukri?" Each shape caters to a different set of objectives, and you need to carry out thorough research in this regard before you buy a kukri machete.

Full Tangs are Always Better

Full tang means the blade runs through the complete length of the handle. A full tang kukri is always preferable over half/partial tang ones as they provide much better balance and durability.

Lightweight is Convenient but Not Always Desirable

Lighter kukri machetes are easy to carry, but they might not always be up to the task. Heavier machetes are challenging to keep in hand for a long time, but you need these kukri machetes to tackle more challenging situations like hunting and making your way through a thick wild trail. If your demands are heavy-duty, you need to opt for a heavy model.

Leather Sheaths are the Best

If the sheath material is poor, it could cut through the sheath and might injure you while you are carrying the kukri machete. Nowadays, manufacturers tend to use plastic derivative materials to make sheaths as an attempt to keep the price low. But, old fashioned leather sheaths are still the best you could buy for your kukri machete. They are stylish, and more importantly, more durable than other sheaths.

Final Thoughts

If versatility is what you've been looking for in a knife in this kukri machete review, then you will make the right choice of buying one from the list. For more than a thousand years, this equipment has graced the hands of skilled soldiers, and now its application has grown to an even wider scale. The best kukri machete can make your outdoor adventures easier and also help you get to grips with some daunting projects at home.

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