The Best Kukri Machete Reviews in 2018 – Cut and Chop with Ease

While gardening is mostly a relaxing and pleasurable affair, it also requires a lot of hard work. Making this work easier on yourself in any way you can is something we gardeners know very well. Buying a wide range of very specialized tool is a common part of this, and the kukri knife is one such tool. Most people don’t even consider buying it for gardening purposes, but it’s surprisingly efficient when used as one. That’s why we decided to write this article – to help spread the word and make people realize that the best kukri machetes are also some of the best gardening tools out there.

Why Buying a Kukri Machete?

Not everyone is familiar with kukri knives, or how they differ from other similar tools, and that’s understandable. The kukri is not just a simple machete or knife, no – it’s a great multi-purpose blade with Nepalese origins that has been improved upon for hundreds of years and traditionally used for a variety of tasks.

The basic design of a kukri involves an inwardly curved, pointed iron blade that’s wider near the tip and has a small notch at the base that allows it to bend on impact. The blade is multi-purpose – the tip can be used for stabbing, the wider part of it for cutting or chopping, while the narrower part can be utilized for carving or whittling. The handle is usually round, made of wood and fashioned with a flared butt.

Modern kukris, however, are made from many different materials and have plenty of size and shape variations, all attempting to improve on the basic, traditional design. Some succeed that doing that, while some do not.

For a long time, kukris have been used in the army as weapons and survival tools – and in some army units, they still are. In more recent times, however, campers and survivalists have also taken to using the kukri in their hobbies, and the blades are now most commonly known as a survival tool. Their use in gardening, while not so well-known, is picking up some steam lately.

Best Kukri Reviews

Kukris Have Been Used in the Army as Weapons and Survival Tools

It’s useful in the garden due to its multi-purpose design, allowing it to perform the functions of many other knives or machete. As it fulfills the functions of a carving knife, a machete, a scythe, a hand axe, and so on, the kukri is a great fit for almost any task.

Still, do to modern variations in design, some kukris excel at one of those tasks while under-performing in others and they are not all the same – choosing the right one can be a difficult task for most people. That’s why we’ve compared a few of the top kukri machete right here and paired them with some user feedback, to give you the information you need to make your purchase. Let’s have a look.

Meet the Best Kukri Machetes

Sale
Ka-Bar 2-1249-9 Kukri

The Good: Great durable blade, ergonomic, safe grip and a blade suited for multiple tasks.

The Bad: The handle gets slippery when wet.

The Bottom Line: It’s a great product in pretty much every category with just one small problem.

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

The Good: Light for its great length and has a safe grip.

The Bad: Not suited for tougher jobs and dulls very fast.

The Bottom Line: Decent kukri, but it is only good for lighter work.

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

The Good: Lightweight, cheap, and comes with great extra features.

The Bad: The blade can be brittle and is not suited for heavy use.

The Bottom Line: Overall – great for the price, but not suited for heavy-duty work.

Naturally, a table like this only offers a quick look at the blades we are presenting here – for more details, continue reading.

All of the Factors Considered

While having a fairly simple, yet terrifyingly effective design, kukris have a lot of intricacies that are not immediately obvious, but greatly affect their performance. That’s why picking out a great one from the large amount that’s on offer is a challenging task – but we’re here to help. Check out some of the most important properties of a kukri that we considered when comparing these products.

Materials

While a long time ago almost all kukris were made from iron and wood, nowadays various materials are used in their making. Blades can be made from carbon steel, titanium, and other materials, while handles are sometimes plastic, wood, or even iron or steel.

The most important thing here is to get a kukri made of durable materials, as you will be subjecting it to a lot of abuse.

Blade Design

As different manufacturers are constantly attempting to make the best kukri machete available, there are loads of different designs on the market, some radically different than the tried and true original. To compare the different designs properly, you’ll need to look at a few different aspects:

  • Blade length: The length of the blade is measured in a straight line from the tip to where it meets the handle. This aspect is important because different sized blades lend themselves better to different tasks. You don’t want to use a short blade when chopping wood, for example.
  • Blade shape: While the basic shape of a kukri always remains the same, there are a lot of variations. Some have spikes or hooks on the back of the blade; some have one or more holes in the blade, and so on. These variations sometimes offer great benefits, and sometimes they’re just for show, so you should carefully consider them.
  • Tang: No, not the soft drink. This is the unsharpened part of the blade extending partly, or fully, through the handle, fastened to it with pins. Usually, a full tang is better than a partial one as it better binds the blade with the handle.
  • Fuller: This is a groove made in the flat portion of the blade – its purpose is to make the blade lighter while not losing any strength. For some tasks, this is beneficial. However, if you need a heavier blade that you want to use like an axe for example, you should get a kukri with no fuller.

Comfort and Safety

Having a kukri machete, you’re comfortable with using for extended periods of time is necessary, especially if you intend to use it as a heavy-duty tool. This, combined with safety features like a non-slip grip, is what allows you to get the most out of your kukri.

Extra Features

Some blades have some additional features that can prove useful – while on others, those are just frivolous gimmicks.

Now that you know all that, here’s how we ranked these three kukris in those areas:

Ka-Bar 2-1249-9
Summary
Made from quality material and boasting a great design, this kukri is fit for a variety of uses, while being extremely safe and easy to carry. Only under certain conditions does it exhibit some issues, but otherwise it’s a steal for the price.
Materials95
Blade Design90
Comfort and Safety90
Extra Features85
What We Like
Highly durable
Safe non-slip grip
Comfortable to use
What We Don't Like
Handle is slippery when wet
Difficult to clean
90
Great

Key Features

Non-slip Grip

With a grip designed for safety and made of thermoplastic, this kukri is extremely comfortable.

Tough Carbon Blade

Made from thick carbon steel, this blade is durable and sure to stay sharp for a long time.

Long, Heavy Blade

With a blade measuring 11.5 inches and weighing in at 1.7 pounds, this kukri is ideal for chopping weeds or small branches.

Black Leather Sheet

A quality black leather sheet with straps ensures that carrying this kukri around safely is super easy.

Customer Reviews

Nice and sharp while being of perfect size and weight. Great, just like every Ka-Bar product that I own. Like the others it only has one flaw - the steel used to make the blade rusts VERY easily when it gets wet. The edge starts showing signs of rusts as soon as it’s exposed to a bit of moisture. It can be cleaned quite easily with a sharpening stone and the rusting can be prevented by putting a thin coating of oil on the blade. If you don't mind oiling and cleaning after each use, Ka-Bars are the best.
This knife is awesome, it's my prefered knife for almost everything I do - from working in the yard to camping in the woods. This thing will easily outperform a tomahawk or hand axe and will probably do a better job than anything short of a large, heavy, professional axe. For this price it’s just a fantastic deal and if it ever does break im just going to buy myself another one.

So far I used it to split logs more than three feet long. It only got damaged when I accidentally struck a steel fence with it while clearing out some fallen branches. It doesn’t dull quickly and is easy to sharpen, after an hour of chopping oakwood it was still more than sharp enough, only requiring a quick touch-up. If you ever needed to use it for self-defense, it would probably do a great job; I certainly wouldn't like getting hit with it. The only con is that the handle gets slippery when wet and not much else.

I bought this to clear out an area of the yard close to my fence. I got a few cheap machetes for this job but they just kept getting broken and bent. All I can honestly say is that I bought this product for actual work and not as a display piece. If you need an actually useful machete - get this one. I was troubled by some thick branches that I had to cut back and each time I hit them it went in deep.

Since I couldn't hit the same place more than once it was a bit hard to slice it in half cleanly. The blade is so thick that it actually split a a couple of branches straight down the middle. I also attempted to cut some lower branches on a wild tree and accidentally destroyed the tree by cutting it in half. Those of you who are not experts in cutting should take care.

Who Should Buy This Product

This one is suited for pretty much anybody, but especially good for those that want to do a lot of heavy-duty work as this kukri can take a tremendous amount of punishment and still stay sharp.

What to Watch Out For

The handle is usually great, but it can be a bit slippery when wet, so be careful and use gloves just in case.

The Conclusion

Overall, a great product for the price, offering a quality blade with a great handle, made so it lasts for a long time while taking a lot of abuse. While it does have one issue that you need to be careful about, it’s a superb product otherwise.

Schrade SCHKM1
Summary
With a light but long blade, this kukri machete offers a good swing, while being easy to carry around in its comfortable over-the-shoulder sheath. With a stainless steel blade and a comfortable handle, and at this price-point, it seems great. However, that might be too good to be true.
Materials75
Blade Design85
Comfort and Safety80
Extra Features85
What We Like
Affordable price
Light for its length
Good safe grip
What We Don't Like
Thin tip prone to breaking
Not thick enough
Dulls fast
81
Great

Key Features

Black Powder Coated Stainless Steel Blade

Made of stainless steel with a black finish, this blade is sure to last for a long time to come.

Long, Light Blade

With a length of 13.3 inches and a weight of 1.44 pounds, this blade is well-suited for cutting grass and chopping weeds.

Safe T-grip Handle

A grip made for extra safety with an added lanyard hole for easy storage.

Removable Storage Pouch

The sheath contains an extra pouch that you can use to store anything you might need.

Customer Reviews

I knew this would be a quality machete for the money as the company has a good reputation for delivering decently made blades. I must say, I was shocked at the sheer quality of it. The blade is incredibly thick, it has a durable, comfortable grip and other great features. The sheath isn't very good, but it does have a shoulder strap, which I needed.

It's basically a giant knife and it will cut down small trees with no effort. If you break it, you're simply using it wrong. My father showed me a long time ago how to angle a machete and use the momentum to chop. With this you can work for hours without getting too tired or hurting yourself. I use this kukri for camping, exploring, and many other activities. For forty dollars, if I can use it for a year, I will be content.

I was expecting to get a brittle, throwaway piece of equipment. That’s certainly not what I got as this is a durable piece of kit. It has a good balance to it and enough weight behind it to give you a great swing when cutting or chopping.

It was sharp out of the box but could definitely be better. It isn’t made for fine, precise cutting, but for chopping some small branches it’s more than adequate.Can't vouch for the longevity of the materials, but it looks like it should last for at least a couple of months.

The metal is able to hold an edge very well, but it's simply not hard enough. This means that it won't exactly chip or even crack on you and any damage is quickly and easily fixed. This is something that’s essential for any blade used for heavy work. If it’s bent it can still be fixed and reused but a broken blade is simply trash. The spine is reasonably thick, so you can use it for heavy work, no problem.

The kukri blade shape is perfectly suited for chopping, an excellent design for a machete. It does what it's supposed to do amazingly well. Plus, the bonus items that come with it (diamond sharpener, fire starter, and the AMAZING sheath with multiple attachment options) make it an incredible value for the price. I’m just floored and would recommend this to pretty much anybody.

Who Should Buy This Product

This blade is great for people who need a long but light tool to use in their garden, and this kukri shines the best when it is used for cutting weeds and other grassy plants.

What to Watch Out For

The problem is that it’s a bit too thin and can’t be used for some more heavy-duty stuff, and it dulls fast, while the length makes it unsuitable for some tasks that require finer control.

The Conclusion

For the price, this product seems like a great deal, but there are some issues with it that prevent it from being used for some tougher work. It’s not as durable as it might seem at first and doesn’t have the weight to cut branches or woods. Still, for lighter tasks, it’s ideal.

SOG SOGfari
Summary
Sharp and light blade with a great added feature in the saw on the back and a very affordable price – what’s not to love? Well, for some, it might be the blade itself and how brittle it can be.
Materials80
Blade Design80
Comfort and Safety80
Extra Features90
What We Like
Extremely cheap
Useful saw and handle butt
Lightweight
What We Don't Like
The blade is brittle due to the saw part
Not thick enough for heavy use
Poorly made sheath
83
Great

Key Features

Carbon Steel Blade

The blade is made of resistant carbon steel that is easy to sharpen and doesn’t dull fast.

Kraton Rubber Handle

The handle is ergonomically designed and made of rubber for extra comfort in use.

Extremely Lightweight

With a blade length of 12 inches and a weight of only 15 ounces, this kukri is easy to use and carry.

Saw Blades

The back of the blade is a fully-functional saw that can be used for a variety of tasks. The tang also extends through the butt of the handle as a mini-saw.

Customer Reviews

This product is simply a beast! This kukri machete provides you with everything you might need for your yard work. The blade was pretty sharp when I got it, not sharp enough to cut paper or shave your face but it's sharp enough for a machete. The back of the blade features an aggressively designed saw that cuts through wood extremely well too.

Handle is mode from a rubber material that allows you to grip it without needing to worry about slipping, and has metal spikes on the bottom that could even crush a skull, if you ever needed to do that. The sheath is nice and expertly stitched with thick thread. I would gladly buy this again.

I have used this kukri while out camping and around the yard for pesky trees that tend to spring up. The blade is sharp and doesn’t dull if you’re not abusing it too much. I struck a stone with mine while hacking down some thick bushes and I was able to sharpen it back to top form afterwards. The jagged back is great for cutting smaller branches.

The grip is kinda uncomfortable and might give you blisters from extended use, but maybe I just have soft skin. Still, I recommend wearing gloves if using it for more than half an hour. What it boils down to – would I put this in a survival bag? The answer is a resounding yes.

I purchased it because I had a need for a small machete to help with basic tasks while camping. So far I like it very much - the blade has a decent bite to it and is more effective than a small hatchet for cutting wood while being infinitely better at clearing grass and bushes. The saw on the back isn’t very useful and it seems flimsy.

However, the blade is incredibly strong, lightweight, and supremely effective at cutting. Every camper or survivalist should have one of these in his kit, not only because it’s inexpensive, but also because it’s just that damn good.

Who Should Buy This Product

This kukri is clearly made for people on a budget who still want a useful, light, multi-purpose blade, and this fits the bill.

What to Watch Out For

The reason it’ so cheap is that the blade just isn’t very durable and is prone to chipping and breaking rather easily if you try to do some heavier work with it. Keep it light, and it should be fine.

The Conclusion

This is a fine product for people on a budget and others that need a lightweight kukri that can do more than a couple of different jobs. However, it might prove too flimsy for heavy-duty use, so people who want that should look elsewhere.

The Best Pick – Ka-Bar 2-1249-9

As you can see, there are plenty of different kukris on the market, with lots of variation and different features. Choosing the right one for you depends on what you need, and an overall ‘best’ kukri might not exist.

However, the best one for us is surely the Ka-Bar 2-1249-9. It simply has almost everything we could want in a kukri machete – it’s durable, it’s suited for more heavy-duty use, it has great safety features while having practically no downsides. It simply stands tall above the rest and easily justifies its price.

Video Review

The Conclusion

While that is our pick for the best kukri machete, we must stress that it might not be the best one for you. Carefully consider all the relevant aspects and choose the product that fits your needs. We hope this article helped you with that. Cheers!

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