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Expert Shopper Camping & Outdoors

The best kukri knife

Which kukri knife is best?

Whether you are looking for a knife to get you through some underbrush or dig a hole on a backpacking trip, the kukri knife will serve you well. This historied and versatile knife is perfect for campers, survival enthusiasts and hunters. 

There are many versions of this knife on the market, and choosing the best kukri knife out of the plethora of options can be difficult. Considering factors like handle and blade material can help you narrow the field. For a high-quality, durable kukri knife, the BestReviews top pick is the Condor Tools Heavy Duty Kukri Knife

What to know before you buy a kukri knife

What is a kukri knife?

The kukri knife is traditionally associated with the Gurkas of Nepal and India. They used it as both a utility knife and a highly effective military weapon. The kukri knife has a lot of fame surrounding its use throughout history. One of its more popular cultural appearances is its use as the weapon to kill Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s famous novel. 

Kukri knife design

The kukri knife features a medium-sized, recurve blade. The blade shape makes the kukri knife perfect for survival, warfare and common outdoor chores. A notch is usually present at the base of the blade. This notch, while also thought to have a symbolic significance, allows liquid to drip onto the ground rather than the handle and prevents the handle from becoming slippery. The handle on the kukri knife often has a flared bottom for easier chopping.  

Kukri knife uses 

While kukri knives have a famous military history, today they are mainly used as versatile utility knives. Perfect for a number of outdoor activities, you can use a kukri knife for clearing brush, cutting meat, skinning animals, digging holes and chopping wood. Their study handles also function as hammers.

What to look for in a quality kukri knife


Different types of steel have various strengths and weaknesses. When choosing what type of steel is best for your kukri blade, consider toughness, corrosion resistance and edge retention. Kukri blades are often used for heavy chopping and cutting. This makes the toughness of the steel a top consideration. If you’ll be using your knife in an environment with high humidity, you’ll also want a blade that will be resistant to corrosion. To ensure your blade retains its edge, it is best to go with a higher quality steel. 

Many kukri knife blades are made from some kind of spring steel. Spring steel can withstand intense bending and twisting without becoming distorted. This makes it a great choice for a kukri blade, because it can withstand a large amount of battering. 


Kukri knife handles come in a variety of materials. Many traditional-looking knives have handles made from different types of wood or bone. Some of the most common woods are walnut and oak. While wood is fairly durable when cared for properly, it is not waterproof. Bone is also a durable knife handle material but it can become brittle over time. Materials like G10 or carbon fiber often make up the more modern handles. These handles often offer a better grip and resistance to water exposure. 


Kukri knives usually come with some degree of accessories. At the bare minimum, there will be a sheath included with your purchase. Sheaths vary widely in quality and material, from leather to polyester. Most also come with some kind of strap, so that you can easily attach your knife to your shoulder, leg or belt. Other common accessories are small utility knives. 

How much you can expect to spend on a kukri knife

A typical kukri knife built for utility will cost between $30-$80. If you want an authentic or decorative kukri knife, prices can meet or exceed $100. 

Kukri Knife FAQ

How do I legally carry my kukri knife?

A. Knife laws vary from state to state. It is important to learn what the laws are for carrying a knife in your area. States often limit the size and manner in which you can carry. 

How do I maintain my kukri knife?

A. You can wash your knife with warm, soapy water. Never leave your knife soaking or run it through the dishwasher. Make sure to dry it completely before storing. To keep your blade sharp, learn proper honing and sharpening techniques. To learn more about knife care, check out the buying guide from BestReviews on knife sharpeners

What’s the best kukri knife?

Top kukri knife

Condor Tools Heavy Duty Kukri Knife

What you should know: This is a durable and versatile knife suited to many different tasks. 

What you’ll love: This kukri knife has a substantial, high carbon steel blade with a blasted satin finish. It also features a hardwood handle, 10-inch blade, and comes with a black leather sheath. 

What you should consider: Some customers noted that the blade did not arrive as sharp as they would have liked. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top kukri knife for the money

Magnum Pocket Kukri Knife 

What you should know: This is a foldable knife that fits in your pocket without sacrificing size. 

What you’ll love: This knife is perfect for light chopping, carving and outdoor tasks. The 4 ⅝-inch blade is made from 440 stainless steel. The G-10 handle provides excellent grip for easy, one-handed use. This knife comes with a lifetime warranty and a lanyard hole. 

What you should consider: Some customers have complained that the blade is wobbly when opened. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out 

Schrade SCHKM1 Kukri Machete

What you need to know: This is a dependable kukri blade that will give you confidence.

What you’ll love: Made from 3Cr13 powder-coated stainless steel, this blade is durable and reliable with a front quillion to ensure that the blade won’t slip. This knife comes with a sheath that has a removable shoulder pouch, shoulder strap, leg strap and belt loop. It also has a ferro rod with striker plate. 

What you should consider: Some customers are disappointed with the quality of the sheath.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Morgan Freeman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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