Good Chopper: Livesay, Busse, Kukri...?


Gold Member
Mar 26, 2000
I was wondering what popular opinion was on this subject.

What do you all think is a good chopping blade for use on small trees, fire wood etc. Knives I am particularly interested in hearing about are a Livesay Recon Combat Machete, a Cold Steel Light Kukri, a Bussee or something similar. What are your thoughts about these knives, and others in terms of their chopping abilities?


If you'r looking for a khukuri try an authentic nepalese khukuri. They are heavier than the cold steel ones. I have a Gurkha House 18 inch panawal and it chops incredibly. It's a little over 2 pounds, balanced well and really digs into wood. Himalayan imports has excellent khukuris, a little more expensive but more attention to detail. The Cold Steel khuks from what I understand are lighter and work more for green growth and light brush.

At least visit Gurkha House and Himalayan Imports forums.
A khukuri better for chopping in my experience than a large bowie. I had always thought that weight and edge profile defined how well a knife chopped until I tried an AK bowie from Himalayan Imports. It did not perform as well as a slightly lighter khukuri with a similar edge profile and vibrated more. The traditional khukuri is well designed for chopping, the tapered tang dampers vibration and improves the weight distribution, the forward rake is optimized for chopping. Thinner and flat ground blades such as the CS will bind up in softwoods and often in hardwood. I have not tried the RCM or Busse (my Busse #5 does not count) so I really don't know much about them.

A khukuri with a weight between 1.5 to 2.5 lb is ideal. I prefer the 17.5” WWII (nominally 18”) model with Himalayan Imports, for me it seems to best comprise in chopping efficiency, ease of carrying, and cutting ability. The heavier khukuri’s are even better but can be a pain to carry.

HI Khukuris- pick your style and size. As mentioned, the big ones, and they get BIG, are heavy.