Latest 2005 Update on modifying Kukri Handles
Why the Kukri ?
Paul’s Note: Started this article late one night, and it sort of “flowed well.” I present it “as is,” for now, and may add to it later
Ever see the movie “The Edge?” People are stuck in the wilds of the North, and one of them has a lot of survival knowledge, and a little folding, lock-back, four inch bladed knife. With that knife, the main character cuts a spear, brings four-inch thick wood to a point, twenty or thirty times, skins a bear, cuts a juniper, and just does anything he wants with his magic knife. Apart from skinning a bear, I submit to you that the main character in “The Edge,” could do nothing he is shown doing with his knife, and everything he is shown doing with a Kukri. The kukri I speak of has an twelve inch blade, and an overall length of about sixteen inches. #AH-3451 Khukri Service
#AH-3451 Khukri Service - Source:
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For about twenty dollars, the Kukri knife is over-all about sixteen inches long, or as long as my arm from elbow to the tip of my middle finger, with a twelve-inch blade. The forward curve of a kukri presents the blade to the cutting surface at a “slicing” angle. Only thing is, you chop with it. The power of a “chop” delivers the cutting action of a “slice” and a Kukri glides through what it is aimed at.
Incidentally, if you don’t believe me about the movie, “The Edge,” try taking a four-inch knife and cutting down, and making a point, on even a small sapling. Good luck.
For that matter, take almost any large-bladed hunting knife, which can cost three-to-ten-times what the Kukri, Service, costs, and try just cutting a walking stick. You can use such a knife with what is called a baton, and strike the back of the knife with it, and chop that way. I have never tried that.
To be sure, a Kukri is much better in green wood, and you need to cut at the base of limbs, or over a chopping block, to use effectively. I have cut as thick a tree as eight-inches-in-diameter, with the twelve-inch-bladed Kukri, in a pinch. Not my first choice for such a task, but it means that the knife I speak off can be worn on the hip, and do virtually all normal brush gathering, and any other cutting and chopping and slicing chores you might want to do, in the field. On the blood-thirsty side, The Gurkha Warriors used the Kukri in various wars for decades, to deadly effect.
Sharpening is done with a file, and be careful, you will get a razor-sharp edge on your Kukri. Using one of those sharpening steels, like the sell at WallMart for you kitchen knives, with a wooden handle, will help your blade muchly. ( My spell checker does not seem to like the word, muchly.) Be careful, the war-time-limb-amputating Kukri could get you while cutting a walking stick, if you abuse it. Be sure the rest of your swing, if it cuts entirely through your target, can not hit any parts of our body, you might wish to keep.
Incidentally, barking a green limb with a Kukri is an amazing experience. The curve of the blade follows the tree, and glides between bark and branch.
The Kukri handle typically has a ridge in the middle, which I typically grind off. Alternative to that may be use a work-glove when cutting with a Kukri.
Now, when I was a boy, back in 1964, we lived in Panama for three years. Dad was in the army. (I sure miss dad.) At twelve, they gave me a South-American Machete. For some forty years, I have been using the machete. Trying to use a machete in North American forests, can be tough. The first time I used a Kukri, I knew I had found the equivalent, and greater, of my beloved machete.
Accordingly, you need to know I have had a lot of training an practice with such a knife as a Kukri. I instinctively cut at the base of branches, and make sure that the continuation of my swing, will not hit me, personally.
Again, incidentally, the metal on a Kukri, and a machete, has to be somewhat soft. It has to be hard enough to hold an edge, and soft enough not to shatter, in use. Hitting rocks, or other hard material, will nick the blade. Does not seem to matter much, though.
To work in a forest, I would like to have a chain saw, bow saw, axe, hatchet, and the like. If I were taking a hike, with all that, I would need a truck. (This is what is known as exaggeration to make a point.) Point is that a Kukri can be worn on a belt, and just hiked with. When or if needed, you can do most of the normal cutting tasks, you might need in the field, with this one knife.
There are stories of a man killing a bear, one killing a large hunting cat, and one even an alligator, in a pinch, with a Kukri. Wouldn’t want to try to do that, but a Kukri would beat a sharp stick, or normal hunting knife, any day. Read one story where the person, flailing in a panic, hit a large hunting cat with the back part of his Kukri, and shattered its skull. Again, would not want to try that. If something attacked me, and I could not get away, and was carrying a Kukri, I would “give it a bad day.”
As I first began to work with the Kukri, I began to write about it.
Have written so much about the Kukri, and my opinions and favorites have changed so much, this "master" index is needed. By no means complete, hope it leads to some clarity.
New Kukri 2006 May. htm Latest format changes
You have recommended two Kukris, which one do you mean?
2005 Recommended Kukri, Supercedes others- Kukri Service
2004 Recommended Best Kukri, Superceded by the above
"Newest" overall Kukri intro page
my first web pages about the Kukri.
Kukris With Curses?
Important, Read this Warning !
Kukri Epoxy Handle Method link
The best shape to modify a Kukri Handle to
Knife Sharpening, retaining the "Slicing Edge."
There is an audio file I recorded about the Kukri Knife, under this link
Large picture of three Kukris re-worked, "final" form
1) "M 40" Web Link about converting a Kukri to a Field Knife
"Disk only" link to "M 40s" article , above
2) Second "M 40" Web Link about converting a Kukri to a Field Knife
Disk only link to second article Same as above article
Notes and pictures as I convert my Kukris as in above articles
What My First Kukri Looked Like
Kukri Religiosity Removing the Dedication to false gods.
The Khukuri, Edge of myths & legends Tilak Sunar
Origin of the Kukri
Other Kukri links- browsing can be fun. I wrote these as they came up, and need to find the files again, myself. Some repetition of above.
Listed by the folders they are in on my disks
---- A word on Sunday ---------------------------------------
20040404 Sunday.htm first articles on the kukri
Collectable Bayonets.htm archived web page lists Kukri like very first one
Origin of the Kukri.htm
Why the Kukri.htm
Kuk_Cer_Cut_index.htm Pictures of the first use of the ceremonial kukri.
----- Kukri Convert -------------------------------
---- Kukri Dimensions ---------------------------------------------
----- Kukri Epoxy Handle -----------------------
------ Kukri Handles ----------------------
Kukri_Epoxy_Handle_Method 2005 .htm
--- Kukri Sheath -------------------------
--- Kukri Service -------------------------
Kukri_Service.htm one I recommend the most