Anyone willing to buy a good kukri in Nepal must take into consideration the purpose for which the knife will be used. Following factors are to be considered while purchasing an effective Kukri knife:
The blade material is the most important factor that must be considered while buying a kukri knife. A stainless steel knife is cheaper and resistant to rust. However, it is less durable and loses its sharpness quickly. Carbon steel enables a higher degree of sharpness but rusts quickly if not maintained properly. Moreover, a kukri made out of carbon steel is more expensive. Your purchase decision must always be made based on the purpose of use. For example, a saltwater angler must use a stainless steel kukri because it will not be affected by rust-prone environment. On the other hand, people indulging in activities like camping and bushcraft must opt for a kukri made of carbon steel. It is important to note that carbon steel comes in different grades which need to be considered while buying the knife.
Once again, the functionality has to be kept in mind while deciding on the blade shape. A kukri comes in various shapes and every blade shape has a specific purpose. Other than combat, a kukri can be either used for either fine cutting or rough cutting. Some other people may want to use the knife for chopping, slicing and skinning. Gardening enthusiasts may even perceive the knife as a terrific tool for digging. There are a variety of blade shapes namely, drop points, spear points, dagger points, tanto, sheep’s foot, clip point, recurred kukri-style. A drop point or a clip point kukri is appropriate for hunting while a machete-shaped blade is good for bushcraft and chopping.
Kukri knife is mostly used for heavy-duty work and hence it is advisable to select a full tang knife. Full-tang knives are usually expensive but they are durable. Tangs of a half-tang kukri tend to break when they are repeatedly used to cut or chop thick objects.
A kukri can be used effectively if it has a good grip which depends on the material of the handle and the comfort level offered. Traditional kukri knives have handles that are made of horn, wood, and rubber while more modern models use materials like G10 and Micarta. Buyers need to check whether the knife is slippery and whether he fits well in the hand. Using the knife in rains tends to make it slippery, as well if it is covered in blood.
It is not feasible to carry the kukri knife in your hand the entire time and hence you need a sturdy sheath that will not only hold the knife but that can help you secure the blade when not in use. The length of the sheath must depend on your height. This will allow for easy maneuvering. Most importantly, the sheath must hold the blade securely and tightly so that you can safely carry your Kukri!!