Kukri vs Machete: Similarities and Difference
Whether you are trekking, camping, or just exploring the outdoors, a knife is a vital component of your survival tool kit. The knives come in different shapes and sizes. The features of the knife dictate how you can use the knife. You might be able to carry different types of small knives with you, but with a large knife, you usually get to carry only one.
The choice of carrying the right type of large knife depends on several factors. You would want to choose the tool that is most beneficial for your self-sufficiency.
Large knives, such as a machete or a kukri offer power, versatility, and precision. Machetes are relatively better known than kukris. You might not have heard of a kukri, but you have probably seen one.
A kukri is a type of machete. Both these knives might look similar in appearance, there are some key differences. If you have to choose between these two knives, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of each type. This article explores the shape, blade, weight, power, handling, and ease of use of the machete vs. the kukri.
The design of the kukri has a double curve on the cutting edge and a slight curve on the spine. The blade is narrow towards the handle and wider towards the tip. The extra width towards the tip provides the kukri with excellent chopping and swinging power.
The design of the machete features straighter lines. Different versions of the machete have slight variation in shape, but most machetes feature a straight spine and slight taper to the cutting edge. A machete is also wider towards the tip with a curved section near the tip-side. This helps in keeping the cutting edge even and provides better weight distribution.
The type of blade of any knife is a critical factor in its utility and purpose. The kukri has better chopping power due to its curved cutting edge. The dual blades of the kukri offer more versatility. The curved edge of the kukri requires more space to use but it can also be used for tasks that require precision such as carving tinder.
The blade of the machete is designed with serrated teeth, similar to that of a saw. That allows the machete to cut through items with a hard exterior such as certain types of food. The teeth can be used to grip and rip through the exterior. The serrated teeth also allow the machete to saw thick branches of trees.
Whether you own a machete or kukri, it is important to care for the blade to keep it sharp. The Smith's 50185 Jiffy-Pro Handheld Sharpener on Amazon is an ideal tool to sharpen the blade of your knives.
To keep your investment in top condition, you might also want to have a rust eraser such as the DALSTRONG Premium Rust Eraser – Knife Maintenance and Care – For Knives, Scissors, Steel Pots and Pans, Whetstones, and more – Calcium Carbonate.
The weight of the kukri or machete can vary widely on the model you choose. On Amazon, you can find large machetes such as the Fiskars 29-inch Machete weighing 2.5 pounds or the Gerber Compact Clearpath that weighs only 1 pound.
Generally, a machete is lighter than a kukri of the same size. The steel used for the blade of the kukri is thicker, giving it extra weight. The extra weight helps in the chopping power of the kukri.
The weight of kukri can take some time to get used to. The weight distribution of kukri is biased towards the tip, away from the handle, making it feel heavier to handle than a machete.
The heavy and thick steel of the kukri makes it offer more power than a machete of the same size. The serrated edge of the machete gives it an edge of the kukri when it comes to striking thicker targets. The serrated edge of the machete is also useful for a hacking maneuver.
When comparing sawing power of these two knives, the straighter lines and serrated of the machete make it a more powerful tool for sawing. Learning how to handle a powerful kukri is take more time and effort compared to using the simpler machete.
Tang and Handle
A full tang extends to the full length of the handle. If the knife is to strike against a hard or heavy material, a full tang will provide better durability. Most types of kukri have a full tang, offering more durability compared to machetes, which typically don’t have full tangs. While a full tang handle design can offer more durability, it does have to compromise on weight.
The ergonomics of the blade of a machete vs kukri are going to depend on the specific model. It will also come to personal preferences. The handle of a kukri is broader around its heel. This feature helps prevent the knife from slipping. It also provides a better grip for a more powerful swing.
Ease of Use
Depending on the model of the machete, most new users would find it easier to handle a machete compared to a kukri. Also, the accuracy of a machete will be easier to master. However, if you get used to a kukri, it can yield great results. The curved blades of the kukri offer more versatility compared to a machete.
The straighter shape of the machete makes it easier and safer to pack for trekking or camping trips. The heavier weight of a kukri reduces its portability compared to a machete. Also, sharpening the curved blades of the machete can be slightly more difficult.
Choosing the Right Knife for You
There is no perfect knife. It all depends on your requirements and preferences. If you are wondering which is better to have between a kukri vs machete, try to spend some time getting used to them before taking one with you. A kukri is ideal for someone looking for a multifunctional tool and is ready to invest time and effort in learning how to master using one. Machetes are ideal for someone looking for simpler tools that are easy to maintain, can be used from a close distance, and have serrated edges for sawing-like applications.
If you are buying the knives online, you should carefully check the dimensions and weight of the knives as photos can be deceiving when it comes to the actual size of the tool. Amazon offers product dimensions for most of the items sold on their website. You can also search for the manufacturers’ websites to check the dimensions and weight.