Kukri Question

Joined
Apr 23, 2020
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Greetings bladesmiths,

While I have grown up around field use of knives all my life, sadly I have a lot to learn about the underlying quality components. Therefore I'm hoping a few of you will be willing to share your wisdom.

I would like to buy a nice thank you gift for someone who really appreciates and knows knives. Right now his go-to is a cheap Kukri that he carries in the woods pretty much every time we go out. I was looking at the MK Ultra Kukri (not the folding one) made by Fox Knives as a collaboration between Doug Marcaida and Jason Knight. Two huge names I know, but how much of that is marketing? The knife is made of D2 steel, not 5160, and there are some differences between it and the traditional Nepal Kukri.

Here is a link to the knife: https://dougmarcaida.com/mk-ultra-kukuri/

I realize there are all different levels of knives, but even when I try to find a true, Nepal made Kukri, they seem to be much more inexpensive than the MK. Don't get me wrong. I'm not about saving a buck at the expense of quality. I truly don't mind paying for something if I'm getting something in return for my money. Maybe I'm just not looking at the right sites.

This gentleman stepped in and saved an entire weekend for a group of kids who didn't have much more to look forward to, and I'd really like to do something nice for him. Any input you're willing to share would be greatly appreciated.

If you any links, or sellers I should consider, please share.

Thanks in advance.
 

Korean Hog

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Mar 12, 2017
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1,242
Agreed.
Himalayan imports is probably the most authentic and a good price too.

Personally, I love my CS Kukri machete and it's not authentic at all. Plastic handle, made in South Africa. I also have a Busse HUCK Kukri but the CS gets used more because a machete is so much easier to swing over long periods of time. One's like $500 one's $30. They're both amazing in their own right but I guess what I'm saying is that a well made Kukri is hard to beat no matter the cost because the shape itself is so darn useful.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2013
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104
I'll throw in another vote for Himalayan Imports. I have 2 and they are pretty much bomb proof knives. If your friend knows knives, then they would probably appreciate the khukuri being an authentic piece that was made by hand. It helps add to the thoughtfulness of the gift, I think. Plus, everyone at H.I. and their forum here are lovely to deal with.

As an all-arounder I like the British Army Service model, not too big and heavy, but still large enough to get done almost anything a hatchet can.
 

Ben Dover

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Aug 2, 2006
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By all means get a traditional Royal Army "issue" Kukri.

The :"real thing" may not always be the best quality, or best steel, but
it's "The Real Thing."
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
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super high carbon steels are not a good choice for real use/heavy use choppers imho

d2 is 1.5%, a2 is 1% (better than d2 for chopping)... but 5160 is 0.6% is much better & so would be 1075 or 80crv2

now I realize you could probably make a fat d2 convex & make it be very tough, but at the cost of geometry... I'm not sure it's worth it

(get him the skrama in 80crv2 ; ) perhaps?
 

fishface5

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Feb 3, 2001
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7,162
In thinking about it, I wanted to add that the checkered kraton CS uses on their handles is really not the best for a chopper because you want the handle to slide a bit in the hand, and those handles can be pretty rough after a dozen chops. It does cushion impact though, maybe sanding it would help. Also remember that any high carbon steel will stain. Another consideration is weight, how heavy is his current kuk? Does he want something heavy to chop big stuff, or something lighter for brush clearing?
 
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Wow. I’ve been on a lot of forums over the years, been a moderator on a few, and even an administrator on a couple, but seldom have I ever seen an outpouring of information and desire to help like this. Please forgive the long post, but out of appreciation I want to acknowledge a few of the posts.

Expensive does not mean better.....
On that point I totally agree. As I mentioned, I certainly don't mind paying for quality, but I want something in return for that. Far too often we see a high price tag on inferior quality.

Yeah, I'd go real Kukri also (Himalayan imports). I have one it's definitely quality, and I like that it's the real deal, made in Nepal, 5160, horn/wood handle, leather sheath, handmade everything.
There is something that just feels right about going with the real thing. Not only the history and tradition, but the fact that no one has made them longer. The 5160 steel, which may have been drawn from a Rover leaf spring, but that's fine too. I'm looking into Himalayan Imports. Thank you for that referral. I think Google was likely just sending me to all the junk out there.

Personally, I love my CS Kukri machete and it's not authentic at all. Plastic handle, made in South Africa. I also have a Busse HUCK Kukri but the CS gets used more because a machete is so much easier to swing over long periods of time.
I pulled up both of those. I can truly see the advantage of having one of those Cold Steel versions around a camp site. There were two models on Amazon (97KMS & 97KMIGS) and I’m thinking I might order one of those just to keep around here. The Busse is very impressive. I think I would enjoy one of those, though Arizona Knives seems to be out of all of them.

I had some challenges with their site. Especially getting the images to load, but what I did find was impressive. There is part of me that really appreciated that traditional Historical Service Issue https://kailashblades.com/product/historical-service-issue/ but that Scourge is NICE! https://kailashblades.com/product/scourge/ I do wonder about the comfort of the grip. I’d need to learn a bit about the woods available as well as the finishes and edges offered. I can already see I’m going to be ordering two of whatever I buy. :p

If your friend knows knives, then they would probably appreciate the khukuri being an authentic piece that was made by hand. It helps add to the thoughtfulness of the gift, I think. Plus, everyone at H.I. and their forum here are lovely to deal with.

As an all-arounder I like the British Army Service model, not too big and heavy, but still large enough to get done almost anything a hatchet can.
It’s funny you mention the British Army model. That was one that I kept pulled up on the short list. It probably is more functional, though the WWII model seems like a good fit as well. I guess it’s a guy thing. I keep looking at the bigger blades, but hey for anything short of killing Zombies you’re right. That 15” would be easier to carry and use.

Traditional versions from HI are good quality but come with traditional sheath, would he appreciate that or want something more modern/less bulky?
Cold Steel makes a 12" blade kuk in A2 for under $200

Another consideration is weight, how heavy is his current kuk? Does he want something heavy to chop big stuff, or something lighter for brush clearing?

fishface5 fishface5 & anthonycastorena2014 anthonycastorena2014 : I’m so glad you brought that up about the sheath. I love the tradition and the other two knives that historically come along with the Kukri, I the sheaths have been a concern. He normally wears his across his chest, and I feel a sleek high quality leather would be more comfortable and functional. That one seems to be out of stock everywhere I’m looking. Perhaps I’m not looking in the right places though as all these seem to be higher in price. They do make it look highly impressive in the video: https://www.coldsteel.com/gurkha-kukri-a2.html

To answer your other question, he’s just always carried one. He doesn’t necessarily go out to chop or cut, but if it’s needed he does. I’ve watched him skin deer and squirrel, field dress a hog, clean fish, and decades back in my law enforcement days when he was my supervisor he even carried (and used one) working undercover. You could get away with a lot more back in the 80s and before me in the 70s. LOL Kidding aside, due to the years he worked undercover and the enemies he made, I think that’s still a big part of why he still carries one all the time, but that’s another story for discussion over a nice scotch.

HI. Welcome to BF.
Thank you for the welcome. I have a crazily diverse background and have always had a love for knives, but must admit that understanding of tempering and metallurgy have always been my weak spot.

Another suggestion for a non-traditional, but great tree-beater - Becker BK 21
That one looks very similar to the CS A2. Another nice suggestion with a newer style sheath. Thank you.

d2 is 1.5%, a2 is 1% (better than d2 for chopping)... but 5160 is 0.6% is much better & so would be 1075 or 80crv2...

...(get him the skrama in 80crv2 ; ) perhaps?

Okay, your post very much intrigues me. Again, as diverse as my background is somehow I have avoided metallurgy. That explains much of why the traditionals are such workhorses. I was kind of looking for a Kukri style though. When I google that I’m finding something different. Am I missing something?

Thanks again to everyone that has been so kind in trying to help. This is an amazing board.
 

Korean Hog

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Mar 12, 2017
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1,242
Love both, pound both,
both have my proprietary LBS Convex Grind (Lazy But Sharp)
that is....the edge is a little uneven and kind of lazy, but I pound em into roots, trees, occasional rock, palm trees so whatever they're sharp, cut well, and don't seem to
wanna break no matter how hard I chop.
604c062cb49682a4ec8e994bba6041fb1913934a.jpg
 

fishface5

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Joined
Feb 3, 2001
Messages
7,162
Glad to help FWIW. I must say though that the handle on the recent kuk looks more comfortable for use than that of the scourge, and you can get it with a leather sheath.

Also Google Ka-Bar BK21 Becker/Reinhardt Kukri
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Messages
18
Love both, pound both,
Sweet. I would dearly love to learn how to forge someday. For now welding in my shop is about as close as I get. Maybe someday. Thanks for sharing.

I must say though that the handle on the recent kuk looks more comfortable for use than that of the scourge, and you can get it with a leather sheath.
Sorry if I'm missing something right in front of my face. That happens more and more with age. When you say the handle on the recent kuk, which one are you referencing? That my fear on the Scourge too, but it sure is pretty. :p

Ka-Bar BK21 Becker/Reinhardt Kukri
That one looks very utilitarian and has great reviews. I do wish a few more of them would put the notch at the end for bloodletting purposes, but that's not a huge concern when hunting.

I'm surprised more don't put the D rings on the sheaths for chest carrying.
 
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