Author Topic: Choosing machete/kukri for camping  (Read 2927 times)

Offline nocturnal

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Choosing machete/kukri for camping
« on: November 06, 2019, 04:09:56 AM »
Was looking for a small hatchet at first, but then it has occurred to me that a machete (as I was pretty impressed by my father's machete) or kukri (they were recommended as "great multipurpose blades") might come in handy.
I know that it might a controversial topic, as I've been looking through some reviews and videos, and it seems to me that there's no ultimate solution.
But which one - from your experience - might be more versatile when it comes to camping? I need a solid knife that will cut tall grass and 2" woody brush and branches with a good swing. No hardwood near me, and that's why I'm considering knives in the first place.
Unfortunately I've never worked with the kukri blades, so I was wanting someone here to offer some input on the pros and cons of the kukri vs. cutlass type.

I am debating on the Cold Steel Kukri, the Ka-bar Kukri and a Ka-bar Cutlass. And I'm looking for personal experience of any of these that will push me towards final decision.

So, any ideas?

Offline Fyrediver

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Re: Choosing machete/kukri for camping
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2019, 01:23:14 PM »
I think machetes are better for lighter vegetation and Kukris are better against insurgents.

Offline rustyknife

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Re: Choosing machete/kukri for camping
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2019, 03:09:11 PM »
I think machetes are better for lighter vegetation and Kukris are better against insurgents.
     I agree. Machetes can be sharpened to a razor edge but flex too much on thicker stuff. I also think they are easier to carry and deploy if needed. Kukris can take some time to get used to handling.  I do not like the gaiter teeth on the back of my Gerber and stopped carrying it for that reason.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Choosing machete/kukri for camping
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2019, 06:00:55 PM »
Cold Steel makes inexpensive kukri machetes, if you want to try the concept out without dropping a bunch of money.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Choosing machete/kukri for camping
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 09:13:32 AM »
The iron law of these tools is to buy cheap and replace often. If you really care about a machete, kukri, sickle, or engineering hammer you're probably using it wrong. Same reason I love Moras. It's $12. Beat the crap out of it. Also bear in mind these are normally tools for hot coastal climates so it's just common knowledge it will pit and rust out and need replacement.

Machete vs. kikri? Ford and Chevy. They both work so it's just a preference thing.

Another option is a Japanese gardening knife. I have one that's equal parts knife, saw, and spade. It became my go-to this year for yardwork.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Choosing machete/kukri for camping
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2019, 04:39:07 AM »
Look at the Cold Steel Trailmaster, too. It’s a modern Bowie that’s cheaper and easier to sharpen than a Kukri and chops well.

In my opinion, about 75% of Cold Steel’s designs are marketing BS but they do have some winners and their steel is very good.

Offline Greekman

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Re: Choosing machete/kukri for camping
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2019, 11:27:05 AM »
Machete vs. kikri? Ford and Chevy. They both work so it's just a preference thing.

not exactly according to someone that was making lots of jungle living, etc.
Machetes are good for long skinny branches that flex nad move. Parangs (closer to kukris) are for thicker stuff.

My segestion is to try something like these.. it is formidable on small trees, cos it combines weight with a gradually thinning to an edge profile
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Fiskars-Chopping-Brush-Axe-78606935J/202681658
https://www.amazon.com/Eastern-Cloud-Professional-Billhook-Balanced/dp/B003DIL8J8
https://www.woodmanspal.com/
« Last Edit: November 10, 2019, 11:32:08 AM by Greekman »

Offline kid_couteau

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Re: Choosing machete/kukri for camping
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2019, 05:56:04 PM »
Try looking at Parangs

Heavier blade and not as "weapony" as a kukri

Offline nocturnal

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Re: Choosing machete/kukri for camping
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2019, 08:53:18 PM »
Thanks for your opinions and expertise, gents!

I was eyeballing CS Gurkha as it has some good reviews and feedback, but some of them got my attention. One wrote "blade is loose in the handle, it rattles inside", others told about issues with humidity and the default sheath. Some guys even mentioned that after some chopping "Kukri took so many rolls on the blade", but I'm just wondering - how much real abuse it took to do that? Also the price. I decided it might be an overkill (as I'm just planning to try a whole new concept for me), even though I liked the shape of the blade. Not this time, I believe.
As I've mentioned already, the other option was Ka-Bar Blade, but it's just smaller (and lighter) than I thought - gave it a try when I was at my friend's home and decided that I still want a heavier blade.

Instead of being compulsive, I ended up ordering Cold Steel kuk'chete - the one FreeLancer mentioned above - it seems to be more practical, so now I can't wait to test it. It's still lighter than I wanted it to be, but it's closer to the kukri than the knife I have now and there's always a room for an upgrade. Certainly, it might take a while to get used to it, but it's worth a try.   

Plan to post some updates as soon as I could take it with me in the woods.

Offline imasurviver

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Re: Choosing machete/kukri for camping
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2020, 11:20:04 AM »
Cold Steel makes inexpensive kukri machetes, if you want to try the concept out without dropping a bunch of money.
That's a good idea. But if you know what you want spend a little bit more for something that will last years. There are some cheap camping knives out there that'll work as well.


MODERATOR EDIT: Spam link removed (and the spammer too!)
« Last Edit: April 18, 2020, 08:33:17 PM by Mr. Bill »

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Choosing machete/kukri for camping
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2020, 06:33:38 PM »
That's a good idea. But if you know what you want spend a little bit more for something that will last years. There are some cheap camping knives out there that'll work as well.
None of the knives on your blog are anywhere near the quality of the knives already on the list.  I hate to make a blanket statement, but anything with Bear Grylls in the name is usually a crappy product.


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« Last Edit: April 18, 2020, 08:34:17 PM by Mr. Bill »

Offline Knecht

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Re: Choosing machete/kukri for camping
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2020, 08:08:23 PM »
As much as I like some of the other Cold Steel items, I'm not a fan of their kukris. Had the kukri machete first, hated it. The blade of a machete blade is way too thin to actually put the kukri shape into effective use. Had the Gurkha kukri then. Blade was thick and heavy enough to chop, but the overall shape wasn't really working for me. Unlike some original kukris I handled, CS model curves way too much forward very close to the hilt. I never got use to it and ended up selling the kukri. Also, I had the SK-5 steel version and the material was rather bad, didn't really hold good edge.

Offline Plainsman

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Re: Choosing machete/kukri for camping
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2020, 08:03:34 PM »
If you want a kukri, Id recommend looking at Himalayan Imports for a true Nepalese kukri.
Next would be Becker knives, BK21 or an discontinued BK4 Machax. Many other Beckers may do what you want as well! Once you buy one Becker, you start buying all of them.
Condor Knives had one Alan Kay helped redesign after he won Alone using their kukri, the K-Tact Kukri.
TOPS also has the Bushcrafter Kukri.

Beckers I own: BK 1,4,7,9,10,11,13,14,16,18; see its an addiction, be forewarned!
BTW, I want a 2,20,21!

Offline Bradbn4

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Re: Choosing machete/kukri for camping
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2020, 10:19:35 AM »
If you are looking for a real Kukri - go real.  Khukuri houses has a few good blades that might fit your requirements.
Once you compare a real version against the fake versions you can see the difference.   My generic recommendation would be to find a official Kukri that is for the their Army.   There are at least 3 major players in the Nepal region for quality knifes. 

Now the Kukri might not be the design for you and you might want something more machete like.   It depends on what role you will be using the blade for.   If I needed to limb a tree branches off wood, I would like the Kukri.

I have the Cold Steel version of that knife style, and as a Kukri true knife it sucks.  However; it is cheap, the handle is fine and it might be a nice blend of machete / kukri knife that will work for you.

About 12 years ago I picked up a semi-custom Kukri knife that had some design issues borrowed from a K-bar knife.  Mostly it was the hand grip and sheath that had the k-bar influences.  It did take about 6 months for the company to make and deliver it.   I ended up opting for a leather sheath versus the kydex style to speed delivery.

If I was looking for an extended out doors Kukri kinfe I would look at KHHI Marshal (Water-Proof )  version.  This kukri would be ideal for a blade that might be taken out back in wet areas for long periods of time.   Kukri knifes can be designed small to large, and specific for tasks that the official Army knife does not do as well.

There are a few importers of Nepal knifes that might have something in stock within the US of A.