Kukri knives often go unnoticed and you might never have heard of it. Outdoor enthusiasts know just how useful the best Kukri knife is. It has the power of a machete with the accuracy of a knife. These knives are some of the most underrated and unique outdoor knives.
They can handle brunt force work like chopping wood and small branches, to finer work that requires a more accurate touch. These are incredibly versatile knives. Our guide will help you choose the perfect one for your need and budget. Let’s get into the guide!
Top 7 Best Kukri Knife Reviews in 2023
We’ll take a deeper look into each of the knives. You find out what’s unique about each one and why it’s worth your money. We’ve tried to include the best knives that suit different needs, budgets, and skill sets so that there’s something for everybody here. You see what we did and didn’t like about each of the knives and the kind of real-world performance you should expect.
By the end of our guide, you’ll be ready to make an informed and educated decision – hopefully getting a Kukri knife that’s last for years and make every cent count! Let’s dive into our best Kukri knife review!
Ka-Bar Black Kukri Knife
Here’s one of our top picks for the best Kukri knife for outdoor enthusiasts. The full tang design gives you extra durability and bends resistance to help you plow through tough work more easily. The gorgeous black design immediately catches your eye and is matched by the beautiful – but sturdy – black resin handle.
There are rings around the handle to help you get a solid grip and an extended handle but to stop your hand from slipping. Despite the larger size, this knife isn’t too heavy and will go unnoticed when fixed to a backpack or tactical belt.
It comes super-sharp and ready to use right out the box and gives you more durability and longevity than you’re paying for. It’s an excellent choice for the outdoor enthusiast who wants serious cutting power without the weight of a larger Kukri or machete.
- Full tang design is bend-resistant and durable
- The carbon-steel blade is coated to give you corrosion resistance
- An ergonomic anti-slip handle gives you more than enough gripping power
- Comes sharp and ready to use right out the box
- Chopping branches can ruin the finish of the blade
- Not easy to mount the blade on your right side due to the arrangement of the loop
Schrade Stainless Steel Kukri Knife
One of my favorite features of this knife is the extended bolster that protects your fingers and stops them from accidentally slipping onto the blade. This might seem a minor feature but comes in clutch when you’re clearing bushes and temporarily lose focus.
The handle has two dips that help make it one of the more ergonomic handles if you have large hands. You’re getting 3CR13 stainless steel that is resistant to rusting and corrosion. This is a blade that will reward you well if you take good care of it.
It sticks true to its Kukri roots and has the same stunning design and performance you’d expect from a high-quality best Kukri knife. You’ll be able to use this knife in almost any outdoor application and it won’t weigh you down much either. It’s possibly the best Kukri utility knife for the money with this kind of dependability.
- Very reliable knife for broad outdoor usage
- High-quality 3CR13 stainless steel
- Ergonomic grip gives the blade a well-balanced feel to it
- Protective bolster stops your fingers from slipping onto the blade
- Long term durability isn’t what it could be at a slightly higher price
- Not easy to sharpen
Cold Steel All-Purpose Kukri Knife
If you’re into camping and want a knife that can help you clear out campsites and trekking paths, here’s an excellent option. The design veers a little from the traditional Kukri design and more closely matches a machete. While you’ll lose a little accuracy unique to the shorter curved Kukri blades, you’ll get extra cutting and clearing power.
You’ll find the handle is very easy to hold despite appearing smaller. Its textured coating gives you slip resistance and comfort in either hand. You’re getting the functionality of a machete without all the added weight and bulk.
While you’re not going to be able to easily cut thicker branched, this knife is more than enough to quickly clear out a campsite. It’s a high-quality best Kukri knife that comes razor-sharp and holds its edge well considering how you’ll be using it.
- A longer blade gives you the force you’ll need for clearing campsites and trekking paths
- Easy to wield despite having a shorter handle
- Anti-slip textures handle doesn’t fatigue your hand or forearm quickly
- Less expensive than many of the knives on this list
- Not the most ergonomic handle design and not especially well-suited to large hands
- A longer blade makes it significantly harder to carry on a belt or on-person
SOG Sogfari Kukri Knife with Rear Saw
Here’s one of the best Kukri knife options with a rear saw. This is the kind of Kukri you want with you if you’re a die-hard survivalist. Kukri knives have their cutting limits, and that’s generally when you involve cutting thicker branches. With this SOG knife, you’re getting a sharp and functional saw on the spine of the blade.
I especially like that the saw covers almost the whole spine. This means you’re getting more teeth, leading to them wearing down more slowly. Of course, it’ll take maintenance to keep them sharp, but it’s worth the versatility they add.
Aside from that, you’re getting an incredibly well-designed ergonomic handle with protections in place to protect your hands. You’ll get a good grip while sawing with the reverse side. The butt of the handle has teeth that let you use the weight of the knife to smash and break objects.
- Extremely versatile applications and outdoor use
- Broad saw on the spine of the blade
- High-quality ergonomic handle
- The blade can be sharped to an exquisite edge
- The black finish will most likely come off around the saw area
- A little on the heavy side
Condor Tools Heavy Duty Kukri Knife
If you’re looking for something slightly smaller than the 12” Kukri knives, here’s an exceptional 10” option. You’re getting a gorgeous hardwood handle with a broader base to give you slip resistance and enhanced grip. Despite the smaller blade size, you’re getting serious power. The edges have a more gradual bevel that leads to an exquisitely sharp edge.
You’ll make easy and quick work of weeds, bushes, and shrubs. This is the kind of knife you want if you’re an avid camper, gardener, or hiker. While being better suited to lighter and more accurate cutting work, you’ll get all the versatility and durability you’d expect from a far more expensive Kukri knife. It’s one of the best Kukri knife options for light outdoor work.
- Beautiful design and appearance
- Doesn’t use a powdered black coating that comes off easily
- Durability and versatility that’s more common to some far more expensive blade
- Lightweight and easy to carry compared to 12” Kukri knives
- Struggles to cut through branches and chop thicker wood
- Not as resistant to rusting and corrosion
EGKH Gripper Handle Kukri Knife
Here’s a premium, high-end, original Gurkha Kukri knife. You’ll immediately notice that it’s incredibly beautiful and comes with a unique and equally stunning sheath. This knife is often used by British Gurkha soldiers and kept throughout their entire life. It’s quite a bit more expensive than the other knives on this list, but the price is warranted.
If you’re an avid collector, these knives are handcrafted and follow centuries-old practices. This is a knife that’s built to last a lifetime. It will handle outdoor use easily, but needs a very high level of care and maintenance if you want to upkeep its eye-watering attractive appearance.
You’ll find this knife is better suited to defensive and tactical use – as opposed to extensive outdoor use. It has a hilt that’s designed to catch other blades and stop blood and dirt from soiling the handle.
- High-end incredible quality craftsmanship and aesthetic design
- Buffalo horn fixed tang gripper handle
- Comes with a scabbard made from buffalo leather
- Comes expertly sharpened out the box
- Expensive and not practical for real-world use if you want to maintain its beauty
- The point of the blade needs to be refined and finished manually
Ontario OKC Black Kukri Knife
This is one of the best Kukri knives you’ll find at this price range. It has a 12” full-sized blade that’s surprisingly easy to carry as it has a steep curve to it. Once you secure the sheathed blade to your belt, it sits steady. You’ll find it’s one of the more reliable on-person carry Kukri knives and could even double as a daily carry (depending on where you live).
It sits higher on your hip and won’t hang as low as many other knives. The more pronounced curve of this blade reduces the strain on your hand and wrist when you’re working for a longer period. You won’t need to put much force into your swings. This has a double benefit of not wearing your blade out as fast and making it less likely to bend or break under heavier use.
- One of the most comfortable to carry Kukri knives
- Excellent value for money considering the intelligent design
- Not as straining as many Kukri knives thanks to the curved blade
- The blade is thick enough to be pretty bend-resistant
- The full-tang design would be better on a blade-like this (pronounced curve)
- Blade scuffs and chips quite easily if you’re not careful
How You Can Get Yourself a Capable Kukri Knife
While choosing a kukri for yourself, the first thing you should do is decide what type of kukri you want. If you just want something as a decoration piece, it’s best to get one that looks as much as an authentic, forged Gurkha kukri, with a prominent curve on the blade, notch on the spine hardwood, or bone handle.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for functionality, you could either go for a machete-length kukri or a smaller one that you can carry on your person. Take note that decorative kukris come at a lower price than functional ones.
The length of the blade you choose depends on the type you’re looking for. So we’re not going to touch upon that any further. Traditionally, kukri knives were forged from carbon steel. However, a lot of modern kukri knives are made from stainless steel. Depending on the use, you could pick either of them. However, if you’re planning to use it outdoors, carbon steel is less suitable.
The shape of the blade also matters. There’s a conspicuous notch on traditional kukri knives that isn’t present in most modern ones. This notch helps to absorb impact and drain tree sap (or blood) before making the handle slippery.
If you’re going to use your kukri to clear out vegetation, chop or shave wood, or even pierce and stab objects, it is a good idea to go for full tang options. Traditionally, kukri knives didn’t have much of a tang. But I always advise that getting a full tang knife is always the best.
While picking a kukri knife for yourself, don’t forget to consider the handle seriously. The handle provides at least half the beauty in the case of decorative kukri knives. Even if you pick a kukri for regular use, getting a comfortable handle is necessary. The handle of the kukri should be ergonomic and large enough to provide ample leverage. A characteristic of functional kukri knives is the bolster.
It should be large enough to prevent your fingers from slipping onto the sharp edge. The handle material is important too. All kukri knives were made with natural materials such as bone, horn, or hardwood in the past. Nowadays, synthetic materials have taken their place, and they’re somewhat more comfortable and easy to maintain.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: How Do I Go About Sharpening a Kukri Blade?
A: You’ll need to use the two sharpening knives that come with many Kukri knives. Hold the large Kukri blade vertically, with the tip at the bottom. Hold the sharpening blade at 45-degrees to Kukri’s edge. Sharpen in short rhythmic motions until you reach the bottom of the blade. Rotate the Kukri 180-degrees horizontally and repeat the process of sharpening, but this time moving from the bottom of the blade to the top. Maintain the 45-degree angle of the sharpening knife.
Q: Can a Kukri Blade Be Used as an Everyday Carry Knife?
A: Yes, they can. You’ll need to check on your local laws to make sure this kind of carry is legal. If it is, go ahead. 10” – 11” Kukri knives are better suited to everyday carry as they are lighter and don’t sit as low as 12”+ Kukri knives. Bear in mind, all these knives are pretty weighty and you’ll notice them on your belt.
Q: What Are the Advantages of a Kukri-Style Blade Over Other Types?
A: Kukri knives have the benefits of a machete or hatchet, and the accuracy of a small knife. They’re able to split wood more easily than hatchets (mostly) and small axes. A lot of Kukri knives come with 2 smaller companion knives, giving the set extreme versatility. Kukri knives can also be used for lighter and more accurate work – but this takes practice and some skill. They can also baton well once you’re used to the dynamic of the blade.
You should feel confident and ready to choose a knife that meets your needs and budget. Take some time to go back over the review and have your remaining questions answered. Kukri knives are incredibly versatile and capable knives for protective and outdoor uses. Once you’ve got the best Kukri knife, you’ll be ready to take on anything that comes your way! Your outdoor experiences will be seamless and you’ll get more from every trip!