Best Kukris of 2019 – Buyer’s Guide Review

If you are sick of hauling around a hatchet to clear your path and a knive to carve up your wood, we may have the answer for you. Kukris combine all the chopping power of hatchets and axes with all of the precise carving power of hand knives. Forget all the extra weight in your backpacking kit and merge two tools into one with an awesome kukri!

Comparison Chart of the Best Kukris

Product

Rating

Price

KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri

Best Overall

Tops Bushcrafter Kukri

Runner-up

Cold Steel Kukri W/Sheath

Best for the Money

Schrade 19.7in Kukri Machete

Best Survival Kukri

Timber Wolf Tactical Beast Kukri Pocket Knife

Best Folding Kukri

Condor Heavy Duty Kukri Knife

Best Small Kukri

Cold Steel Magnum Kukri

Best Kukri Sword

Ontario 6420 OKC Kukri Knife

Best Kukri Knife

What is a Kukri Knife and What is it Used For?

Kukri knives are a type of machete knife. It is one of the most popular submodels of the machete blade design, mostly because of its versatile nature that allows it to be used for a wide range of different tasks.

Kukri blades are tapered in closer to the handle, and widen out as you move towards the end of the blade. This design makes the knife excellent both for some serious chopping, as well as more fine and precise cutting and carving.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Kukri knives have some crucial qualities every potential buyer should keep in mind when perusing their options. Before we show you some actual kukri products, here is a review of the stuff you should be looking out for:

Handle Ergonomics

Because kukris are designed for a wide variety of tasks, odds are pretty good you will be holding your kukri for a long period of time and at a range of different angles. You need to find yourself a knife with a well designed handle that will allow you to do whatever you need to do without your hand cramping up or becoming sore.

Sheath Quality

If a kukri blade comes with a sheath, it should be a high quality sheath. That means a sheath that is explicitly designed to fit your particular kukri blade, and not one that your kukri’s edge will be able to accidentally slice through if you move it at a particular angle (do not scoff, it has happened before!). You also want a sheath that will sit securely and not be annoying for you to carry along with you.

Durability

This applies to a wide range of different features on a kukri knife. You will want to find a blade that can hold its edge for a long time and not constantly need to be sharpened. Find a kukri with a thick coating so that its metal components do not rust easily when exposed to water. You need one that can stand up to hundreds and thousands of chops without shattering. Do not compromise when it comes to durability!

Quick Take | Best Kukris

Before diving into our review of the best options, here is a quick take of our top 3 picks:

Review of the Best Kukris

Now that you have a better sense of what to look for in a kukri, let’s check out some actual products:

Best Overall:
KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri

Pros

  • Heavy duty
  • Nice aesthetic
  • Well balanced
  • Feels natural to hold
  • Well made of high quality material

Cons

  • Swivel ring angle makes the knife more noticeable

The KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri is a beast of a knife that will be able to do anything you ask of it. It is ready to go the second it arrives, as it comes razor sharp right out of the box. It has one of the best sheaths you will be able to find with a kukri. 

The sheath is extremely secure, mostly due to the fact that it has one more additional strap than you will find on most other sheaths. No need to worry about your tool falling out, no matter what angle you are at! 

Plus, this tool also comes with a swivel ring, so when wearing your kukri on your belt, it will hang slightly away from your body, which is much more comfortable.

And as for its efficacy, never fear! This one is great for chopping through thick branches and even some small trees. It is durable enough to last you years and years, no matter what you throw at it.

Bottom Line

The KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri is the premiere choice and our best overall pick. Its swivel angle makes carrying the knife more comfortable, but also makes it slightly more noticeable.

Pros

  • Well crafted
  • Great fit and finish
  • Made of carbon steel
  • Great for including in a survival kit
  • Arrives sharp and is easily sharpened

Cons

  • Heavy

The Tops Bushcrafter Kukuri is a close second place for best kukri we could find, right behind the first model. This knife is excellent for a wide range of different tasks, including chopping, carving, and batoning. 

The coating on its blade is extremely resistant to wear, so you may be able to expect that this knife will actually outlast you!

And no matter how much you use it, do not worry about your hand cramping up: the knife’s handle has subtle finger grooves to give you the best grip possible, and the bottom of the handle is hooked so you can get a more solid hold while still keeping your fingers looser when chopping.

Its sheath is well made and can be attached to your belt. It even comes with an extra pocket for holding other tools in the front!

Bottom Line

The Tops Bushcrafter Kukuri is a fantastic blade and our runner-up choice for best option on this list, mostly because of its many intentionally designed qualities. It is more on the heavy side as compared to some of the other kukris reviewed here, though.

Best For The Money: 
Cold Steel Kukri w/ Sheath

Pros

  • Well made
  • Great heft and balance
  • Knife handle has a lanyard hole
  • Comes with an included sheath
  • Good for both chopping and batoning

Cons

  • Not particularly aesthetically pleasing
  • Blade may need sharpening upon arrival

If you want an option that can still solidly chop through anything and get the job done for you, but will not completely destroy your budget, you have got to go with the Cold Steel Kukri w/ Sheath. Do not let the lower price point on this bad boy fool you – this is still one tough kukri! 

It is intentionally designed so that the weight of the blade is more forward, making for an easier chop. The weight of the blade and its curved structure will really do all of the work for you, and the handle on this one will absorb the majority of most shocks, so you do not have to worry about a lot of hand vibration. 

Because the blade is on the thinner side, it is really great for working with twisted and knotted wood, as this blade will flex where other blades could not and would ultimately end up cutting against the grain and being more laborious. It is lightweight and excellent for backpacking or throwing in a survival pack.

Bottom Line

The Cold Steel Kukri w/ Sheath is a great kukri that will not break the bank for you. Just know you may have to take some time on sharpening it when it first arrives.

Best Survival Kukri:
 Schrade 19.7in Kukri Machete

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Heavy duty
  • Can chop quickly
  • Arrives sharp right out of the box
  • Well made of high quality material

Cons

  • Included sheath is of poor quality – users report that in some instances, the blade actually cuts right through it

If you have ever thought to yourself, “If there ever comes a time when I am stranded in the woods in a survival situation, what blade would be most helpful for me?” then wonder no more – the Schrade 19.7in Kukri Machete is it. It comes with a shoulder strap and two thigh straps, so you can attach it literally anywhere on your body that would be most convenient for you to draw it quickly.

Its ergonomically designed handle is intended to work well with all hand sizes, so you will not cramp up when using this blade for extended periods of time. It is versatile enough to be used to clear the path and as a combat weapon if necessary. It comes with a pouch containing a diamond stone sharpener and a ferro rod. Its thicker spine will make it more durable than most other kukris, and the blade’s tough powder coating can stand up even to constant use.

Bottom Line

The Schrade 19.7in Kukri Machete is the blade for you if you want to ensure you survive in an intense situation. Go ahead and get another sheath for it, though.

Pros

  • Easy to sharpen
  • Sturdy construction
  • Made of stainless steel
  • Well made of high quality material

Cons

  • Does not come with an included sheath
  • The trigger opening mechanism can be a little on the slow side

If you are in the market for a tough knife that can fold up and fit inside the smallest pocket in your backpack or bug out bag, you will finally find what you are looking for in the Timber Wolf Tactical Beast Kukri Pocket Knife. Do not think for a second that just because you are choosing a folding kukri that the blade power is in any way impacted. 

On the contrary – this model has one of the longest blades you will be able to find out of any kukri product, and its hefty handle makes for some serious chopping capability!

Its inner line locking mechanism is super reliable, so you will not have to stress about your blade randomly popping open at the most inopportune time (for example, when you are showing it off to your friends). 

And speaking of showing off, the blade’s satin finish makes for one of the coolest aesthetics we have seen.

Bottom Line

The Timber Wolf Tactical Beast Kukri Pocket Knife is a fantastic folding kukri that will get the job done for you. But, do keep in mind that it does not come with its own sheath.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Made of high quality material
  • Can easily chop through branches over two inches thick

Cons

  • On the heavier side

The Condor Heavy Duty Kukri Knife is the option for you if you are looking for a knife that will get the job done no matter what, but will still work for users with smaller hands and those looking to conveniently and safely store it in a pack when carrying it along. And when we say job done no matter what, we mean it! 

This is also incredibly versatile. Its blade is effective both at chopping down wood, and then even at carving and shaping it later. It comes with a beautifully crafted wooden handle, so keep this knife on hand whenever you are trying to impress (its sheath is gorgeous as well). 

And its blade size strikes an excellent balance between its available power and its ease of management – if you are nervous about using a bigger knife, you have got to go with the Condor Heavy Duty Kukri Knife.

Bottom Line

The Condor Heavy Duty Kukri Knife is a great option that can accomplish a wide range of different tasks, such as clearing brush and carving wood. It is a little heavy for its size, though.

Best Kukri Sword:
Cold Steel Magnum Kukri

Pros

  • Well made
  • Has a thick, durable coating
  • Does not produce a large amount of hand shock
  • Can cut cleanly through branches with just one stroke
  • Strong enough to cut down trees, so effective you will not need an ax

Cons

  • Will need to be sharpened upon arrival
  • Comes with a large Cold Steel sticker that will need to be removed

The Cold Steel Magnum Kukri is the kukri for you if you are looking for a sword that will intimidate the life out of anyone who tries to cross you!

This is the longest blade you will be able to find on this list, and users report that it is an extremely effective weapon (one user had a story about being able to scare off burglars in a house robbery situation just by showing this blade). 

It is light enough to be wielded with just one hand and its blade will stay sharp even after extensive use. When we say “extensive use,” we are of course no longer referring to it as just a weapon, because this is also excellent for cutting through branches and trees. It is so powerful that it requires less of an arm swing than many others, so it can be used in smaller, tighter areas.

Bottom Line

The Cold Steel Magnum Kukri is an intimidating kukri that will stand up to whatever you ask of it. Just know you will need to sharpen it more once it arrives.

Pros

  • Well made
  • Heavy duty
  • Well balanced
  • Durable, will last a lifetime
  • Belt loop configuration makes it so that the knife sits high on the hip and is not very noticeable

Cons

  • Sheath is not as secure as other models

The Ontario 6420 OKC Kukri Knife is the prime choice for knives out of all of the other products on this list. It comes razor sharp right out of the box and will not dull easily; however, when it does eventually dull, it is simple and easy to sharpen up again. 

And this knife is super effective – users report that it can easily chop through branches over seven inches thick (yes, you read that right, seven whole inches!) with just a couple of swings. Say goodbye to sore arms and hours of work when you are wielding this bad boy. Its handle has an excellent surface grip, as well as hook in the front and in the rear of the handle to ensure your hand is supported and stays in place easily.

Bottom Line

The Ontario 6420 OKC Kukri Knife is a fantastic knife that will save you hours of energy and effort with its effectiveness at chopping. Keep in mind that its sheath is not super secure, though.

Conclusion

Investing in a high quality kukri may well be the best outdoors/backpacking/survival choice you have ever made. Why carry around multiple tools when one tool will be able to do the job just as well? Make sure you find yourself a kukri that will fit your specific needs, taking into account its durability, its versatility, and even down to the level of handle comfort and sheath quality and accessibility. Then go off into the wild with your new blade – we guarantee you will not regret your purchase.        

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