Kukri or Khukuri: A History of Gurkha made Indian subcontinent Knife

Kukri originated in an Indian subcontinent even though the documentation says the origin is from Indian subcontinent the researchers trackback the data to a much longer period to a domestic blade sickle and the Prehistoric bent stick which was used for hand to hand combat.

Kukri was mainly used both as a weapon as well as the tool such as for rituals. British Museum has one of the largest Kukri and one of the oldest kukri documented is present in the National Museum of Nepal in Kathmandu, which belongs to Drabya Shah of 1559.

It was also used by western World after the East India Company came to existence. Gurkhas are issued with two knives, one is for the ceremonial purpose and another is for an exercise. Even now Brigade of Gurkhas receives training related to the Kukri knife techniques. Kukri has pride of its contribution to world War 1 to World War 2 along with two of its sons which are called Chakmak and Karda.

Where did Kukri originate?

Kukri is originally from the Indian subcontinent, It is basically related to a Nepali people called Gurkhas. These are mainly manufactured by Gurkhas and also used by Gurkhas, Kukri as the pride of being a part of multiple wars like Gurkha War, Anglo-Afghan War, Battle of Nalapani, Second World War and so on. Kukri was part of different regiments of different Army. Even though the origin of the kukri is from the Indian subcontinent, Now it’s been used all over the world and also been praised for its extensive design and capability of precise cut

What is a kukri used for?

Kukri was mainly designed as a weapon also as a basic tool, It serves as a traditional symbol for Gurkha, It also served as a remarkable weapon in the Nepalese Army, The Royal Gurkha rifle regiment of the British army, In the Assam regiment also as a Gurkha regiment of Indian Army. It was not just Limited as a weapon for India and British, It also served as a weapon for Gurkha all over the world. Britishers refer this Knife as a Gurkha blade or a Gurkha knife, This weapon is in coined with different spellings kukkri, khukri and kukri these spellings are from Indian origin and Nepal spells it as khukuri.

Kukri is an effective chopping weapon due to its weight and slashing capabilities, because of its curved edges, it gives added advantage for effective cutting. The curved edge as an added mass on top of the blade gives a precise balance and cut. This is one of the Remarkable design of history. Kukri is still been used by millions of people all over the world.

How long is a Kukri? Is it a Sword?

The dimension of Kukri varies from region to region and the blacksmith who is producing it, Kukri would be between a quite straight blades to a fully curved blade with an angled sharpness, It is primarily designed for Chopping. There is a General dimensional guide documented for Kukri knives.

These dimensions are basically for the Chopping knives:

  • The spine of a Kukri varies from 5 to 10 mm having a taper up to 2 mm and the Blade length stands up to 26 to 38 cm.

This Basic dimension for general-purpose Kukri knife:

  • The overall length of kukri will be between 40 to 45 cm with approximate weight up to 450 to 900 grams.

These dimensions would rarely exceed the length as its a general purpose kukri dimension. Large Kukri would not be useful for the everyday use, There are large dimension kukri knives produced but in a very limited number which serves as a ceremonial weapon, weight of a Kukri knife completely depends on the material of the Blade used in the knife.

Kukri is a knife, not a Sword. To define Kukri as a knife I need to describe the characteristics of a sword.

  • Swords have a convex edge whereas knife as a very razor-sharp edges
  • Swords are basically used for combat purpose wherein a knife is mainly used for cutting, carving etc.
  • The main factor is a length, Knife is basically 6 inches or fewer, whereas swords are very large in size compared to a knife.
  • The handle of both knife and swords are different because of the shape and size of the tools, the major difference in the handle is a tang of a sword is hidden whereas the tang of the knife is visible around the edges

What are the two small knives that come with a kukri for?

You probably might have come across the two small knives that will always be packed with the Kukri, Those are

  1. Karda
  2. Chakmak

Karda and Chakmak are like the sons of kukri and they have their special purpose along with there Mother. Both knives have different design aspects and the role to be played.

Karda: Karda is a single small knife, it is mainly used for the much smaller task which requires precise control and effort, such as skinning of animals or carving etc. Karda is not capable of doing all the task as that of the kukri, but it has its place along the Kukri to do a much smaller task with prepositions. It is one of the small knives which fits perfectly along the kukri to be carried along. It is considered to be the size of a foldable pocket knife but it has a fixed plate.

Chakmak: Chakmak does not have an edge like that of the Karda, To be specific Chakmak is not even a knife, it is basically a sharpening tool considered to keep the Kukri sharp and shining. Basic functionality of checkmark is to polish and maintain Kukri

Is a kukri a machete?

Schrade SCHKM1 19.7in Kukri
Schrade SCHKM1 19.7in Kukri

kukri is not a Machete, To say Kukri is not a Machete we need to know the difference between them both.

kukri and Machete are two different knives and also it’s designed for different purposes. These both knives were designed and used in different regions. Both as its own advantages and disadvantages along with the purpose it was created for.

kukri is basically Nepali knife and it’s been used in Nepal, and it’s still being used also it has its own history

Machete was basically created in Central America, It design is that it gets much bigger towards its top of the knife unlike the kukri

What are the different types of Kukri’s available?

Some of the different types of Kukri’s are:

  • WW I Kukri
  • MK II Force Kukri
  • Afghan Kukri
  • Bahadur Kukri
  • Cherokee Kukri
  • Dragon Kukri
  • Gurkha Badge Kukri
  • Gurkha Vengeance Kukri
  • Iraqi Operation Kukri
  • WW II Siri Kukri

What are some kukri knife fighting techniques?

There are 2 main techniques involved:

  • Body Box Technique
  • Conventional Gurkha Warfare

Body box technique uses the following methods:

Body Box Technique mainly cares about the self-defence to defend yourself from the opponent,

Many speculate that body box techniques were mainly designed for newbies. It is also very easy to get skilled with, which uses speedy lesson techniques and Kukri defence technique.

  1. The Defensive Body
  2. Backhand Block
  3. Offensive Strikes
  4. Block Into Attack Move
  5. Standard Slashes

Conventional Gurkha Warfare uses the following methods:

Conventional Gurkha Warfare technique mainly focuses on knife drawing and offensive skills. This includes how quickly to draw the Kukri in the stressful conditions, This technique is mainly designed for advanced skills and situations ie, A person under constant threat which he needs to defend himself at the same time with a quick response and also uses a fast offensive techniques.

  1. Combat Techniques
  2. Surprise Backhand Stroke
  3. Surprise Thrust
  4. Slashes And Cuts From Guard

Which is the best kukri available in the market?

We have listed 3 best well know Kukri in the Online market:

  1. KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri
  2. Condor Tools & Knives 60217 Heavy Duty Kukri
  3. EGKH.Genuine Gurkha Aeof Kukri

#1 KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri

KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri
KA-BAR 2-1249-9 Kukri
  • Ka-Bar kukri blade is made up of the Carbon steel, which is known for its hardness and precise cut
  • The handle is made up of the Kraton G Thermoplastic along with the finger grip, which gives you a comfortable grip on hand.
  • It as a Cordura combination leather Sheath which also has the room for other small knives.
  • Its design is very much ideal for chopping, clearing, cutting and so on.
  • As it is made up of Carbon steel, it is razor-sharp and it has a very high edge retention capacity.
  • Carbon steel attracts corrosion if not maintained properly
  • Cordura is not a pure leather its a combination of the materials, it would lag with durability.

#2 Condor Tools & Knives 60217 Heavy Duty Kukri

Condor Tools & Knives 60217 Heavy Duty Kukri
Condor Tools & Knives 60217 Heavy Duty Kukri
  • It has a high end blasted Steel with blade finish
  • The handle is made up of the Kraton G Thermoplastic along with the finger grip, which gives you a comfortable grip on hand.
  • It as a hardwood handle with a fishtail design for a grip.
  • Knife uses of 1075 High Carbon Steel material for the blade which is known for its precise cut and hardness.
  • The knife comes with a leather black sheet .
  • As the knife blade is made up of Carbon Stee, it acquires corrosion if not maintained properly.
  • The handle does not have a finger grip scout on the wood, This would slip if the moisture is present in the handle.

#3 EGKH.Genuine Gurkha Aeof Kukri

EGKH.Genuine Gurkha Aeof Kukri
EGKH.Genuine Gurkha Aeof Kukri
  • This kukri is completely handmade, It is made by Vishwakarma who is known as a Born khukuri Makers.
  • This is made up of high Carbon Steel Blade which is Semi polished.
  • The sheath is made of pure leather, hence it stays for a long time without any damage.
  • chakmak and karda the two Knights which comes along with the kukri, which are known as the siblings of Kukri.
  • As previously defined carbon steel attracts corrosion, This is the only disadvantage this knife as.

Conclusion on Gurkha made Indian subcontinent Knife: Kukri or Khukuri

Kukri is one of my favourite knives available in the market, the extraordinary design has given its permanent benchmark on the knife industry. Even though this was design decades ago, it still beats the best knives created in the modern age. Why not give a try to the leader of knives which served both world war 1 and world war 2 and still exist as the best. I have one and YOU?

Thanks for reading, ♥ towards Pocket knife

Reference: kukriblades.com, wikipedia.org, nepalesekhukuri.com, armablade.com,

Recent Post

Leave a Reply