Kukri knife

Kukri has been the traditional edged weapon of the Nepalese Gurkha tribe since the 19th century. This knife is forged with a single integral design along with the handle, and its blade is bent downwards, unlike a saber or scimitar. It is believed that this form of the blade helps to increase the force of striking several tens of times. In this case, the center of gravity of the weapon is shifted closer to the handle, which is two to three times shorter than the blade.

Despite the limitations of the invention of kukri, this crooked knife has not gone down in history: today it is armed with the Nepalese army and police. The production of these knives has reached the industrial level, but with the preservation of the historical traditions of manufacturing. In Russian reality, a do-it-yourself kukri knife made according to all canons can lead to problems with the law, since the line of this home-made weapon between cold and not requiring permission is very thin.

Kukri knife: photo

DIY kukri knife

Thanks to its design, the Nepali Kukri knife is multifunctional: you can chop, chop, cut, skin, and even throw. Features that distinguish this knife from others are:

  • Curved by 20 - 40 degrees, the blade is tilted to the handle, which is sharpened on the inside with a variable angle of sharpening.
  • The presence of a groove in the butt, which allows to increase the depreciation properties and stiffness of the blade during cutting and blows with the butt.
  • The presence of rings on the handle, ensuring reliable fixation of the weapon in the hand, even if it is wet.
  • The recess at the handle, which can be of various shapes. The practical significance of the recess is that it prevents the formation of cracks, leading to the occurrence of chips of the blade at the handle.
  • The presence of a metal hat at the end of the handle, covering the shank from the end, and allowing the use of kukri as a hammer.

The dimensions of the blade are usually 25-30 cm, its width can vary from 30 to 100 mm, depending on the type of kukri. It is made of carbon steel, a zone hardening of the blade is used to combine high strength and excellent cutting characteristics.

Nepali Kukri knife: traditional manufacture

Nepali Kukri Knife

In order to make a quality knife with your own hands, you need to have an idea of ​​what the traditional process of its manufacture is.

Before making a kukri knife, the material for making the blade is selected. Carbon steel is carefully selected by inspection for cracks and defects, then weighed. The weight of the finished kukri is usually from 500 to 1200 grams, but the weight of steel for its manufacture should always be more, because during the processing it loses weight and decreases in area. After that, on a standard scale, the required length of the blade is measured with an allowance for compression of steel (usually about 2 cm), and cut off from a common piece. Then the steel is red-hot, and beaten with a three-kilogram hammer using a sharp metal cutter. The beating process to break the steel is usually done by two people within half an hour.

After this comes the important moment of hammering synchronously with two hammers with turning the steel on both sides alternately. At this stage, the red-hot steel is given the necessary rough form, bending, and a shank is formed.

To form the final design of the blade, a 1.5-pound hammer is used, the work of which requires great skill and experience to give the knife the correct bend and thickness.

After the form has been worked out, a groove is made on the abdomen of the blade. For its formation, a special rod is used, which is pressed against the edge of the blade and carefully beat off with a hammer. The blade heats up again, takes a soft shape, and the bar cuts off part of the metal from the groove, leaving the desired recess.

Further, depending on the type of kukri, a pattern is applied over the groove with the help of a kilogram hammer and a special tip.

The next step is zone hardening: additional strength is given to the edge of the knife by carefully pouring cold water on this part of the kukri. It is important that the water reaches only the tip.

After that, the blade is sharpened with a small file, making the tip thin on both sides. A wooden handle is mounted on the shank with glue.

The traditional method is used for sharpening kukri: seven are made from river white sand, glue and ordinary sand, kneaded and left to solidify. After this, the hardened mixture is applied to a round iron frame, mounted on a wheel, with which the blade is sharpened.

The knife is polished with a strip of leather (usually buffalo skin).

Kukri, do-it-yourself knife: step-by-step manufacturing instructions

DIY kukri knife, drawings

Based on the traditional technique of making kukri, as well as following the step-by-step instructions, you can make this knife with your own hands. Compared to other knives, kukri is not so easy to make, which is largely due to its unusual shape.


One of the options for making a kukri knife is from a metal sheet of a tractor or automobile spring, but you can take an ordinary metal sheet 5 mm thick. Often, homemade kukri is made from a bearing race.

A grinder cuts off a piece of material corresponding to the size of the future blade with small allowances at the edges. It is heated on an open fire or furnace, and after that forging begins, trying to give the knife the desired shape. In this case, both the blade and the hilt are formed.

Then grinding and grinding are performed, which can also be done with a grinder at an angle of about 20 degrees, and the final grinding of the blade is done with fine-grained emery paper. We must not forget that during the manufacturing process the knife must be lowered into a container with cold water, which leads to hardening of the blade.

The handle is made of a wooden bar (it is better to use oak), inside which a hole for the shank is drilled and put on it with glue. After that, he is given the necessary, convenient form with a grinder and a file. The final grinding is carried out with sandpaper with fine grain and a piece of leather. If desired, you can make a sheath for kukri from genuine leather: for this you need skin soaked in water, which is fixed around the perimeter of the knife until it dries. After that, it takes the desired shape, hardening. Both parts are fastened with rivets, the excess is cut off.

Watch the video: 6 Kukris Compared: The Zombie Tools Vakra, BudK, Ka-Bar, Cold Steel, & Himalayan Imports (April 2020).