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I’m a sucker for things on the Interwebs that are either interestingly made or good for making other things. I’m really jazzed about my new Nepalese kukri which qualifies mighty well on both counts.

A kukri is the incredibly large and heavy knife carried by Gurkha soldiers. Real kukri knives are handmade by knife smiths in primitive village forges in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal. I ordered mine from a knife maker in Kathmandu. Even with shipping, for a handmade item such as this, the cost was surprisingly reasonable (well under $100). It’s made from recycled materials as well.


“Now THAT’S a knife!” – Michael J “Crocodile” Dundee

From the website nepalkhukurihouse.com:

“The kukri typically comes in either a dew rated wooden scabbard or leather wrapped scabbard. The scabbard usually houses a karda (knife) as well as chak mak (flint striker). It is claimed that a kukri has never been broken in battle. This is not as surprising as it sounds. Modern kukri is most often made from leaf spring collected from recycled trucks suspension. It is a full quarter inch in thickness and is hard hammered to shape over a forge and carefully hardened along the edge. The high carbon content of the spring steel when selectively hardened, produces a quality of hardness in the steel , where by the blade can be flexed without breaking, yet it will take and hold and edge. Making a kukri is a task that takes four men an entire day. There is no machinery used and no two kukri are alike.”

There’s a lot of tradition among Gurkha soldiers (Gurkhas are Nepalese mercenaries famous for their toughness under fire) concerning care and feeding of the kukri. The most well-known is that once removed from its sheath, it may not be replaced until it’s been “blooded.” Once it’s out, the fight is on, so to speak. If the enemy runs away, the Gurkha will lightly cut himself before putting it back.


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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Nice! Where did you order your Kukri from? (website?)

      1. “take and hold an edge” Please dont cut me!

  2. Chris Heinzmann says:

    How odd, I was just shopping for one of these. Where can you get a handmade one?

  3. Himalayan Imports is owned & operated by a Nepalese lady named Yangdu Martino, who currently resides in Nevada.  Yangdu’s husband, Bill, who passed away a few years ago, started the company by commissioning local tribesmen to make the knives and then he marketed them here in the states.  The company is a huge asset to the local economy where they are based. This is a very good, reputable company, and the quality of their knives is above-par.  We have owned more than one in our house and these blades have been put through their paces!  Here are some links for Himalayan Imports:
    http://www.himalayan-imports.com/
    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php/739-Himalayan-Imports
    The forums (above) is where you will find the “deal of the day” postings… well worth the look if you are interested in these knives.
    http://www.himalayan-imports.com/kami.html  This link gives you some info about the Kamis (knife-maker) who forge the blades for Himalayan Imports.

  4. Hope it was okay that I put the company info on here… sorry if that was in error. :-)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Re: once removed from its sheath, it may not be replaced until it’s been “blooded.”

    I have a friend who’s an edged weapon collector. He has all sorts of amazing knives and has gifted me several. He has a saying: “A good knife WANTS to cut you.” I always thought that was silliness until he sent me one (can’t remember which one now) as a gift. A demonically sharp little devil. Moments after taking it from the sheath, I was bleeding (and I thought I was being careful). So, now I take that adage a bit more seriously.

    1. mark wilson says:

      every new (to you) knife wants blood, it’s not safe until you’ve slaked it’s thirst.  I’ve owned dozens of knives, and any that I used with any regularity have had to be satisfied

  6. Zac Cheong says:

    The “blooded” thing is a complete myth.
    For its entire life, the kukri has been a household tool just as much as it has been a weapon of war.
    Nepalese people use them so often they would have been covered head to toe in cuts.

  7. Andrew Naylor says:

    Unable to get the required rifle elevation from the prone position, Bhanbhagta stood up and shot the sniper dead. After that the section advanced until, 20 yards from the objective, it was held up again. Without waiting for orders and shouting for the rest of the section to follow, Bhanbhagta charged towards the top of the hill. He threw two grenades into an enemy fox hole directly above him, killing the two occupants before rushing to the next enemy trench which he cleared with the bayonet.Savage hand-to-hand fighting then ensued with no quarter given. Bhanbhagta cleared two more foxholes single-handed. For a fifth time he went forward alone and leapt on the roof of a bunker to throw two phosphorous grenades into the slit. Two burning and partially blinded Japanese ran out and he killed them both with his kukri.Crawling into it, he crushed the surviving machine gunner’s head with a rock, as there was insufficient room to swing his kukri. He then organised a Bren light machinegun to fire from the bunker, and his leadership of this small party was largely responsible for repelling the subsequent enemy counter-attack.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article3477202.ece

    In a subsequent action when a fellow rifleman was badly wounded, Bhanbhagta demonstrated his physical as well as moral strength by carrying him on his back for three miles over difficult jungle tracks to the company base.

  8. Andrew Naylor says:

    Gurkha who single-handedly fought off up to 30 Taliban awarded Gallantry Cross

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1369743/Gurkha-fought-Taliban-awarded-Gallantry-Cross.html#ixzz1QjI6GC3K

  9. Andrew Naylor says:

    Lone Nepali Gorkha who subdued 40 train robbers:

    http://floppingaces.net/2011/01/27/never-bring-a-kukri-to-a-gunfight/

  10. Adam Ödlund says:

    as has been mentioned the “blooded” part is a complete myth indeed, quite literally. The idea of a blade that needs to draw blood once its been drawn, and the user cutting himself to quench its thirst, is a classic imagery from ancient mythology..

  11. Adam Ödlund says:

    as has been mentioned the “blooded” part is a complete myth indeed, quite literally. The idea of a blade that needs to draw blood once its been drawn, and the user cutting himself to quench its thirst, is a classic imagery from ancient mythology..

  12. Adam Ödlund says:

    as has been mentioned the “blooded” part is a complete myth indeed, quite literally. The idea of a blade that needs to draw blood once its been drawn, and the user cutting himself to quench its thirst, is a classic imagery from ancient mythology..

  13. Adam Ödlund says:

    as has been mentioned the “blooded” part is a complete myth indeed, quite literally. The idea of a blade that needs to draw blood once its been drawn, and the user cutting himself to quench its thirst, is a classic imagery from ancient mythology..

  14. Adam Ödlund says:

    as has been mentioned the “blooded” part is a complete myth indeed, quite literally. The idea of a blade that needs to draw blood once its been drawn, and the user cutting himself to quench its thirst, is a classic imagery from ancient mythology..

  15. Make love not war.

  16. Make love not war.

  17. Make love not war.

  18. MAKE love not war.

  19. MAKE love not war.

  20. sean says:

    the Kukri can not be returned to her scabbard until it has tasted blood as it is a solmen oath that when it is drawn in anger then blood is her payment that is the solmen oath of the Gurkhas told to me by a Havildar.

  21. G# says:

    I’m glad that modern gun carriers aren’t required to lightly shoot themselves if the muggers run away.

  22. Desert Madness says:

    I would have to agree that the business of the Kukri blade having to taste blood before returning to the sheath is a romantic but untrue myth. The climate and sanitary conditions where the Ghurka fighters frequent are not conducive to frequent and unnecessary open wounds. If they had to cut themselves (or someone else) every time they drew their blade to put mayonnaise on their tuna sandwich, the Ghurka would have been long ago extinct from septicemia and staph infections. Fortunately, they still live on and kick ass like they did in times past!

  23. Its no myth, if you look above his hand in the picture at the base of the blade it looks like there is a notch in the blade. The blade is specifically cut there for a sharp little tooth of a blade, almost like a finger pricker they use at a doctors office to get a small amount of blood (think blood glucose test). When they pull the blade out without a blood fight they use this little spike to draw a small amount of blood. These fighters are no joke, even the US Marines I met while in Korea had the utmost respect for these guys. Not everyone who uses these blades is expected to follow this rule, but the true Gurkha take it very seriously.

  24. Nice! I just started a site about kukri knives. I studied in Nepal in college and brought home a few for friends. Pretty cool history and a wild blade to hold.

  25. VK Kunwor says:

    Nice post mate! The kukri is a fantastic wepaon with a rich history!
    there is alot of myth associated with the kukri aswell, for example the blood tasting part…as the kukri is traditionally a tool that is used for a variety of things, not only a weapon formiddable of war!
    the cho/kaudi (notch in the bottom of the blade) has a variety of meanins;
    for most hindus it is associated with Shiva, his trident and also the cresent moon on his head. its also a mark of the holy cow feet, as to never kill a cow with it (afterall Gorkha and the british misspelling Gurkha mean protector of the cows in sanskrit).
    for many buddhists its associated with the tantric aspects as to invoke female & male power, while for the followers of shamanism/animism it has to do with purity and the cosmic realm.
    as a blood dripper it sucks…try cutting a piece of meat otherwise with the kukri, and then hold it up…most of the blood will come to your hand.

  26. bikash says:

    https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQI2QlXo_V8A_PgNAALYvZzo3kXuSq_iQZKhloVBjb5VxAVU7rgJA

    Please check what your favourite weapon has done in Nepal just check that link… misplaced liking. HUH