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Cold Steel SK-5 kukri vs. Ontario Kukri

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Snakebreaker, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. Snakebreaker


    Feb 7, 2013
    I normally post over in the tomahawk section but I'm also quite a fan of Kukris as well. If there is a better place for this post regarding kukris, please have this moved. At any rate.......I own several HI kuk's as well as a few productions brands as well. It seems there is a huge following of the Cold Steel Gurka SK-5. I do not own this model but I understand it is a very good "production" kukri. However, of all the production model kukris, it seems the Ontario Kukri would fair just as we'll if not better than the SK-5. Basically same weight, length and thickness. The SK-5 may weight an ounce or two more, but the Ontario has a more pronounced sweep in the forward blade. Ontario uses 1095, which is an incredible steel with a good heat treatment. I'm sure the SK-5 is a great performer but it seems the Ontario would cut/chop at least as well, if not better with that deep sweeping belly. I just don't seem to see too much out there about the Ontario where the SK-5 is getting all the attention.

    Do any of you have both blades and if so, which one do you feel cuts/chops the best? Thank you.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
  2. benthughes


    Mar 15, 2006

    Check this out for a comparison. I've never handled the Ontario but have contemplated it for a bit, especially at $60... Seems hard to go wrong. I really like my Cold Steel Kukris , I've got one in SK-5 and Carbon V. I like them more than any kukri I've handled to this point including a Busse KZ and some HI stuff. They're lighter, tough as nails ( not that the others weren't) and balanced well for cutting and chopping. I'd say get the Ontario and beat the living Hell out of it.
  3. Snakebreaker


    Feb 7, 2013
    Thanks benthughes. Yep, I have seen that before. For the price of the Ontario, it seems hard to go wrong opposed to the near $200 price tag of SK-5 which as I mentioned, seems like they would perform very similarly.

    Any other feed back or comparisons between the two would be great.
  4. Dirtbiker

    Dirtbiker Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 2, 2010
    I own both as well as Himalayan Imports, Tora, WW1 and WW2 kukris.

    For 60 you just can't beat the Ontario kukri. The coating was crap but I stripped mine and put a vinegar patina on it. The sheath is also poor but in this price range that's pretty much the norm.

    I picked up my SK5 kukri preowned for a touch over 100 and for that price it's a bargin. For retail they are far too much.
  5. bigghoss


    Jul 27, 2011
    I have an Ontario, but the only other thing I have to compare it to is the CS kukri machete. With the factory edge on it I was slightly disapointed in it's chopping performance. I have since reprofiled it on my worksharp but haven't tested it since. It's a lot lighter than I expected and does a pretty fair job making curls for such a large blade. I'm gonna have to play with it some more, but I wouldn't say I'm unhappy with it.

    It's not really a kukri but I hear great things about the Ka-Bar kukri machete and I hear they might be working on another kukri style blade that should be truly epic.
  6. jdk1


    Apr 21, 2010
    The CS Gurkha is a superb khukuri. I don't have an Ontario. I wouldn't quibble over 1095 vs. SK-5. It comes down to treatment and Cold Steel's shop does excellent work with steel, whether SK-5 or Carbon V. The design of the Gurkha is outstanding and the secure-ex sheath is one of the best factory sheaths I've seen on a big blade, probably second only to the Junglas. I picked my Gurkha up used and probably owuldn't have paid retail, but that's not to say it's not worth retail ($160ish at times). I guess CS is going to make it in O-1 now IIRC. Good luck.
  7. Snakebreaker


    Feb 7, 2013
    Thanks for all the replies. Dirtbiker, if you don't mind, do you feel that one out performs the other? Thanks again.
  8. Dirtbiker

    Dirtbiker Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 2, 2010
    They both work great but the edge on the CS kukri (from the factory) is superior to the Ontario.

    Overall I'd rank the CS above the Ontario (edge, sheath, handle) but if you're on a budget I wouldn't think twice about buying the Ontario.
  9. TwinStick


    Jan 21, 2011
    Lets face it, we are on this forum cause most of us a knife people. As such, we should learn & know how to sharpen. Most budget blades need sharpening or re-profiling or both. Sheaths are also budget minded, yet fully functional. I actually like the Ontario sheath. Has a drop leg swivel, which is my favorite.

    I own both the Ontario & the Kabar kukri machete. Both are friggin awesome. The Kabar chops better than you could possibly think & has a large sweet spot. It did not need sharpening out of the box. One swipe on each side of butchers steel was all that was needed after it's first chop session. It shaves paper & hair.
    Ontario needed to be sharpened & re-profiled. No biggie to me. It has a razors edge now & holds it well also. Again, one swipe on each side was all that was needed after the first chop session. It also shaves paper & hair. NOTE: I do this with all my blades after a chopping session. HATE pulling out a blade not up to my standards.

    Kabar is bigger, yet thinner & wider.

    Ontario is 1/4" thick, yet smaller.

    BOTH are a formidable tool to chop with. My Ontario has sliced open many a finger of others while playing with it.

    I think ALL Kukris are part Klingon, they all seem to want to draw blood at some point when un-sheathed. :D

    Also note: These are NOT considered real Khukri's by purests, they call them K.L.O.'s or Khukri like objects. They are even spelled different. MHO is: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    You can't go wrong with either one. :D
  10. Dirtbiker

    Dirtbiker Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 2, 2010
    I own the kabar kukri as well and I fully agree with twinstick's assessment.
  11. HwangJino

    HwangJino Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2012
    Having held one id never own a coldsteel kukri.

    I hear theyre durable but ugly as sin.

    I also looked at the CS kukri (they have great videos but low qualify finished product) and eventually did proper research and ordered a nepalese made kukri.
  12. Dirtbiker

    Dirtbiker Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 2, 2010
    Was it the machete? The Gurkha kukris are nicely finished.

    I am a huge fan of Nepalese kukris but that wasn't the OP's original question.
  13. Snakebreaker


    Feb 7, 2013
    Thanks again for all the replies. Aside from my Himalayans and a few production kuk's, I do own the Ontario and have used it pretty hard for a few years now and it really seems to perform fantastic. It doesn't bite as deep as my 20 inch AK, but honestly, it's not too far behind it either in terms of penetration. I think the exaggerated sweep on the Ontario is what allows it to cut as deep as it does. The blade is much more durable than I thought it ever would be and holds a great edge we'll. like Dirtbiker and benthughes said, it's really hard to go wrong with it.

    I like the looks of the Gurka Cold Steel but it just seems awful pricey, that's why I was wondering if any of you who had both the Ontario and sk-5 thought the sk-5 performed or cut deeper than the Ontario.

    Again, thanks for everyone's input. It's been helpful.

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