Do you find yourself hunting in an area where there is a lot of underbrush that you sometimes have to navigate through? That is when a good kukri knife will really come in handy. That is why it is the knife of choice for so many hunters when they are out in the field looking for game. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best kukri knife models available in the outdoors marketplace and tell you what the key features are to look for when shopping for one of these incredible hunting tools.
Summary: Top 5 Kukri Knives
Editor’s Rating (out of 5.0)
Kukri Knife Buying Guide
Here are the characteristics of a Kukri knife you should focus on when shopping for a new one:
- Blade material
Your kukri is going to be exposed to some tough environmental conditions if you are using it for hunting. That means you better have a blade that can hold up to those conditions and not corrode easily. Carbon steel and other hardened steel blades will resist corrosion and stay sharp longer than most other blade materials.
There are basically two types of tang that a knife can be made using. Tang refers to how much width the blade has at the handle. Here are the two types briefly explained:
- Full tang
This is when the blade handle runs the entire width of the handle. It is easy to spot because you will see two pins on each side of the handle holding the grip on. Full tang blades make for stronger knives than half tang blades. Since kukri knives are often used for chopping you really need the durability of a full tang kukri.
- Half tang
As the name implies this is where the blade portion of a knife only spans half the width of the blade. Kukri knives made like this are weaker than those with a full tang blade. The only real advantage to having a kukri with a half tang blade is that it will lighten the knife a little in the handle area.
- Handle material
Your handle needs to be tough and durable yet allow you to grip the kukri well when you are using it too. This is not always easy to find. Micarta, rubber, wood and synthetic handles all have their good and bad points.
Kukri knives come with all different style sheaths. Make sure your new knife comes with a sheath that fits it right and that rubbing the knife against it occasionally won’t ruin it easily. Kydex and leather are the recommended sheath material.
Make sure your Kukri is not overly heavy either. If it is it will tire you out very fast when using it. A kukri knife in the 1 – 1 ½ pound range should give you a good combination of weight and durability.
Kukri Knife Reviews
This is not only a kukri knife that works great but it’s extremely sharp looking too. It looks so good you may want to put it up on your mantle instead of taking it out into the field with you.
It’s a kukri knife that features durable full tang construction with an attached Micarta composite handle. The blade on it is made of fine carbon steel which can easily handle any cutting or chopping chores you have out in the field and still retain its sharp edge.
This kukri knife model is a generous 13 inches in length so it can handle many different tasks while you are out hunting. The handle on it has a hole through it that you can easily attach a lanyard too and the knife itself is nicely forward balanced to help when you are using it to chop brush.
- Full tang construction
- Carbon steel blade
- Micarta handle material
- 13” overall length
- Lanyard attachment hole
- Forward heavy for easy chopping
- Sheath could use improvement
- Micarta handles can be slippery when moist
Condor Tools & Knives has made a kukri knife that is very basic and easy to handle. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking because of that it’s not a high-quality knife. It has many features that make it durable and able to hold up to the tough elements you will face as you are out in the field hunting.
It has a stay sharp and corrosion resistant hardened steel blade. This knife is actually constructed as an extended full tang model because its blade portion is longer than normal. The hardwood handle it has complimented the rest of the design nicely and gave this kukri knife some style to it also.
The blade also has a distinguished satin sheen to its finished looks. There is also a convenient black leather sheath that comes right in the package with this knife.
- Easy to handle 10” blade
- Includes black leather sheath
- High carbon steel blade
- Hardwood handle
- Extended Full tang
- Blasted satin blade finish
- No serrated edge on the top of the blade
- Arrives unsharpened
Here is a very well-built and nicely designed kukri knife from the manufacturer Cold Steel. It is a kukri knife with a larger than normal 17” overall length which makes it useful not only as a knife but also as a wood chopping and brush clearing tool.
It features a high carbon steel blade that will stay sharp and not corrode in any environment you take this kukri knife. The only drawback with this kukri knife is that it only has a half tang handle area but its bigger thickness 5/16” will help compensate for that.
The handle has a lanyard hole in it for easy molle style carrying and a hard polymer plastic sheath is included in the package with this knife.
- Thicker 5/16” blade
- Lighter half tang style handle
- High carbon steel blade
- Hard polymer sheath
- 17” overall length
- Includes lanyard hole
- Half tang blades are lighter but are not as durable as full tang blades
- Slightly heavy at 1.5 lbs.
Here is a kukri knife that is made by the reputable knife manufacturer Ontario Knife Company. This kukri knife has a definitely tactical flare to it with features such as its black finish coated blade that takes away any sheen it might have had.
This knife is only a half tang version so you have to be careful to avoid super heavy chopping with it. That does however help keep this 17-inch beauty of a hunting knife a lightweight 1.1 pounds.
It also has a durable handle with attached lanyard. Ontario Knife has included a wearable nylon sheath in the package that can be easily worn on your belt too.
- Lightweight 1.1 pounds
- Includes attached lanyard
- Rubber grip with ribs for fingers
- Non-reflective black finish on the blade
- Includes a belt wearable nylon sheath
- 17 inch overall length
- Only a half tang blade handle design
- Nylon is not the best sheath material
If you want a kukri knife that is made in a more traditional way then this is a model you should be very interested in. It is very close in design to the original kukri knives that have been used in Nepal for centuries.
The list of great features on this model kukri knife is long. It has such ideal characteristics as a hand forged carbon steel blade and durable full tang construction. The handle grip is made of natural rosewood too.
Like traditional kukri knives it comes with a small knife for skinning (karda) and a second small knife (chakmak) that is used to keep the kukri’s blade sharp. All three knives can be carried together in the supplied authentic buffalo skin sheath.
- Rugged full tang construction
- Includes smaller skinning and sharpening knives too
- Authentic buffalo hide sheath
- Hand forged hardened steel blade
- Easy handling 10-inch main blade length
- Rosewood grip
- No instructions on how to best use the smaller knives
- Wood handles can get slippery when moist
Which kukri knife in our countdown of the best ones do I like best? It must be said that they are all quality kukri knives that you cannot go wrong purchasing. I will also say I am a sucker for tradition so I would choose the Genuine Gurkha Hand Forged Kukri.
Not only does it have a great hardened steel blade but it’s a very durable knife thanks to its full tang construction and hard rosewood handle. That is the way traditional kukri knives have always been made. When you factor in its two included smaller knives and the fact it comes with an authentic buffalo hide sheath it really puts this kukri knife in a class of its own.
When you look at its affordable price point and how well it’s made, it really is a kukri knife model you should highly consider before making a final purchasing decision.