What is the best all around khukuri for camping/backpacking?


Mar 9, 2000
This will be my first khukuri. My inclination is to go with either the WWII in 18" or 16.5". Perhaps also the Ang Kola in 15". I really want the blade to be a good all around utily blade, but I also believe a blade should have good combat applications. Thus, I lean toward the 18" WWII. But will this be too big for backpacking? I will not be doing any unusually heavy chopping with the blade; I just want something to tote around when I'm out and about, so to speak. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
I have a 15" BAS that has performed well in exactly the role you are talking about. My new HIKK may replace it however. I don't have any WWII's yet to do a comparison.
If weight is a consideration you may want to opt for a lighter model. Even the light ones do a decent job.

You need to find your own compromise between weight and power. That will depend on your physique, the tasks you are likely to encounter, the terrain you hike through, your preferred method of carry, and your tolerance for packing weight.

I hike in the mountainous terrain of the Cascades, and I'm a wimp. I prefer the lighter blades if I have to carry them. Of the blades you listed the 15" AK is the only one I would be likely to take backpacking. Even then, it is a bit heavy for me. A BAS would give a similar profile to the 15" AK with a little less weight.

I prefer one of my 14" villagers (similar to this one)


The shortness of this blade makes it easier to carry in a daypack than most khukuris.

Another knife I carry sometimes is my 16" udhaipur.


Of the standard models I would be tempted to choose a 15" sirupati.
Truthfully, in many years of hiking, backpacking and technical climbing I've never felt at a loss for lack of a large chopper, whether a khukuri, hatchet or ax. They just aren't needed all that often. Still, in a survival situation they can be very helpful.

I'm heading up to the Smokies in NC soon for some backwoods hiking and I'm inclined to bring a 12" Sirupati along for the ride.

The one I have is a massive piece by Sher measuring 1/2" across the spine and weighing (according to Uncle) about a pound.

It is stout enough for hard work, will do what most knives can't and can be packed in a much smaller space than the larger khukuris.

I plan on removing the chape first if I do take it along in my pack.

Anyway, food for thought.

Should be receiving my tax rebate today, and thus will be able to buy my 2nd HI khukri:D I was about to post the same question, what would be a better backpacking and hiking blade. I'm a pretty big guy but I'm out of shape from a desk job, so 1.5 would be about it for weight. Can't decide between a BAS, a 15in AK, an 18in Sirupati, or a 16.5in WWII.

It tends to work like this: First you buy one and really like it. Then you come back to the forum and see a special and just have to have it. THen Uncle asks to have some testing of some sort done and after all the really good help you got from the other members and Uncle you feel inclined to help with that testing. After posting your results so the rest of us you stop "buy" from time to time and then you have to see if you can beat someone to a bid.... In short welcome. Khurkis are habit forming, not as bad as my shooting sports(yet) but close.
Let me know which one you like best in 3 months :)
Take care,
Proud owner of a 25" Sirupati, 25" Kobra, 30" Katana and with a Saber on the way (see what I mean)
Wow. Thank you for all the responses. Regarding my physique, I'm 5'9", a lean 190, and am fairly strong. I've pretty much settled on either a 15" AK, a 16.5" WWII, or even an 18" WWII. I think any of these three may suit my purpose, but if anyone out there thinks otherwise, please let me know. This will be my first khukuri, and I've asked to be put on a waiting list for one made by Bura; he seems to garner the highest praise around here. I honestly cannot believe the deals available through HI. Also, I am very impressed by Mr. Bill Martino's prompt replies to my e-mails to him; he's very professional. I can't wait to get my hands on one of these babies.

Depends on how important weight, size, and if you plan to do other work with the khukuri. The 18" WWII weights between 1.5-2 LB, the BAS around 1 LB, and a 16.5" WWII beween 1-1.5 LB. All of these khukuri are comfortable when attached to my belt. I just need to remember to move them out of the way when I sit down. All 3 khukuri's will fit into most backpacks and daypacks as well. If weight is a real concern I would look at a 15" or 18" Sirupati as well. The extra length is comforting if you come face to face with a hostile dog.

The 18" WWII is a great all round khukuri. In my hands it is capable of out performing my 18" Ang Khola. Also, in my hands it 18" WWII will outperform the BAS and 16.5" WWII but a considerable margin with regard to chopping. I use it for yard work and chopping down 5" diameter trees (soft wood) with ease. It would be unlikely a backpacking knife will be required to perform this much chopping. Of course being fairly strong you might not notice the weight disadvantage.

A quick note, My first HI Kuk was a 18" WWII. I really love it but for back packing I think the 16" WWII would be ideal. Enough weight but not excessive considering the tasks it would have to do. I really prefer the shape/angle of the WWII over the AK's. It all comes down to personal preference. Hard to make a call not having a HI kuk to work from but one thing for sure which ever one you choose you can't lose.:D :D
It all depends. Sorry about that, but it's true!

My work knuk is a Village Chainpuri, 17" and 20 ozs. ( edit - See Khukuri respect and safety thread - the fat one hanging out of the wood scabbard. Skinny is above and is 17" and 14 ozs. )

I had a 16.5" WWII that should have been perfect but didn't talk to me. My Hanuman Special ( 18" WWII blade ) felt wonderful but too pretty. The BAS doesn't do anything for me. I gave away both 15" AK's to the same guy. You might want to consider a 12" AK. The 15" Sirupati is too light.

And then came the 16.5" Bura WWII that had just a bit of extra weight or depth. It was special from the start. I'm satisfied, for now.

I used to take the other WWII when I didn't know what I'd have to do with it, reluctantly, because it was the best all around everything. But it didn't sing or talk, or make me feel comforted that it is with me...

So how do you know which is IT! ? Buy a dozen and one or more will be special. Really special. Good luck.
"What is the best all around khukuri for camping/backpacking?"

...BAS, ideal size and weight for all around. I have a 14" villager very similar to the one in Howard Wallace's photo and it is very comfortable and task oriented without getting in the way. If you really feel the need for a bigger Khukuri then get the 16" WWII. My 18" WWII is too long for a comfortable all-day belt carry (middle of the back, Ghorka style) or even a concealed carry.

And of course... Welcome to the Cantina Ad :)

You never did say where you were planning to be backpacking. Whatever you take for equipment, whether knives or anything else, really ought to be determined by what you're going to be doing with it.

Most of the backpacking that I have ever done falls under the category of "low impact." In most places and circumstances, I strongly agree with the philosphy of "leave nothing but (a few!) footprints and take nothing but pictures." Under those conditions, a khukuri is strictly emergency equipment. It's true that emergency equipment must be able to do the job when needed, but in general, you don't need and shouldn't expect to carry the "perfect" tool for each possible emergency task. As long as you can accomplish what you can reasonably expect to need, your emergency tools should be selected for carryability rather than the satisfaction of having a stout knife in your hand. If your chopping efficiency is reduced because you don't have a super chopping khukuri, that is not normally going to be a problem. You shouldn't be chopping anyway unless it's an emergency and then you won't be chopping much.

IOW, I'd recommend carrying a moderate sized knife on a backpacking trip and leaving the khukuri home where you'll be doing your chopping.

If you're going someplace where you will be camping in "primitive" conditions and there is no concern for leaving the place as you found it, then have at it, but I don't see that there are very many such places. National parks, national forests, designated wilderness areas and such are almost certainly not such places. The folks who trek in there following you will not thank you for hacking up the vegetation unless you are the designated trail-maintenance crew.


After an agonizingly long sleepless night of evaluation, examination, and reexamination, I can in good conscience only recommend the standard UBE.

As to the "leave it at home, it's too heavy, you probably won't use it" concept - reality says: "you do not know unequivocally that a situation will not arise wherein you will wish to kick yourself in the butt for not having it with you" - said situation allowing time for contemplation, and preservation of limbs and butt for kicking.