In this review of the BudK Genuine Gurkha Kukri Knife we will be considering that you would think about buying a traditional kukri meant for use as a weapon for three main reasons: 1. To have as a display/collector’s item. 2. As a means of protecting yourself and loved ones (not likely, far better options for that). 3. They are great for most chopping tasks and make a good multi-purpose hatchet replacement.
With these reasons for buying a weapon/kukri in mind, this BudK Genuine Gurkha Kukri Knife review examines the features of the product first, as a novelty display or collector’s item; secondly, as a weapon of self-defense and last a inexpensive, utilitarian chopping blade.
Collectibility of the BudK Genuine Gurkha Kukri Knife
For any item to be considered a collector’s item, it must have some sort of monetary or cultural value. In the case of the Budk Gurkha Kukri Knife, its value derives from a culture rooted in the history of the people to which the knife is associated (the Gurkhas) and the historical significance of how the knife has been used.
Gurkhas and Their Use of the Kukri
An indigenous people that hail from the eastern and mid-western portions of Nepal, as well as eastern India, the Gurkhas derive their name from Guru Gorkhnath, an 8th century Hindu warrior-saint. And the Gurkhas seem to match the the basis for their name as these people are most famous for being part of military units in the British, Nepalese and Indian armies enlisted in Nepal.
The Gurkhas were actually such effective and fierce warriors that the British were so impressed by them in the war between the East India Company and the Ghorkha Kingdom in Nepal that they insisted that the peace treaty signed after the war state the Gurkha warriors would be recruited as part of the army of the Easy India Company.
In fact, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, then Indian Army Chief of Staff, said that if a man claims that he isn’t afraid of death, it’s either the man is lying or is a Gurkha.
Whenever Gurkhas are featured in works of art, they are usually portrayed as holding a Kukri, a Nepalese knife that is easily recognizable because of the unusual way it curves forward. While the Kukri is almost always portrayed as being used in battle, the truth is that this knife was also widely used as a tool for chopping wood and meat. In fact, the Kukri is still the Nepalese people’s basic utility knife.
Furthermore, it is common to include images of the Kukri in Nepalese armor and to use it as part of the ceremonies of various traditional Gurkhan rituals such as weddings in the community and rites of passage for males.
However, the Kukri is still most widely known as a weapon, the knife gaining its fame during the Gurkha War. In fact, in a battle in North Africa, a unit’s situational report read, “Enemy losses: 10 killed, ours 0. Ammunition expenditure 0.”
Because the Kukri was used so effectively by a people so well-known for ferocity in battle, any fair BudK Genuine Gurkha Kukri Knife review has to acknowledge that the product is packed with so much cultural significance that it is definitely a valuable collector’s item.
Weapon of Self-Defense
For a knife to be considered a good option for self-defense it must be sharp and durable with a tip capable of thrust and pierce cuts. I would say the BudK Kukri definitely meets both criteria. It may be slow, but the shear size and weight behind the swing makes up for that. Kukri knives are also fixed blades and usually have very sturdy handles, such with this Kurki, which is also favorable as a folding knife could close onto your own fingers in the middle of a violent attack, which would only worsen the situation. They are also big and have a menacing look, so that along could be a deterrent to any intruders into your home.
The 12-inch blade of the BudK Genuine Gurkha Kukri Knife is made of quarter-of-an-inch thick carbon steel, which is much stronger than most stainless steels and allows the blade of this knife to be sharpened both on its edge and on its point, thus giving the user two available means of using the it as a weapon: slashing with its edge and stabbing with its point.
The carbon steel extends all the way into the end handle (exposed full tang), thus ensuring that the blade won’t detach from the durable haldina cordifolia handle even with the most powerful hacking on the hardest of surfaces. The BudK Kukri knife would make for a very scary and effective weapon should the need to use it for self-defense ever arise (as unlikely as that may be).
Other Information About The BudK Kukri
The BudK Kukri is already a very high value knife by itself considering the price (under $25), but to make the offer even sweeter (or so I thought, more on that in the conclusion) BudK has included an artificial leather sheath to carry the Kukri in when not in use, as well as two identical smaller knives called the chakmak and karda. The chakmak is actually used to keep the blade sharp (it’s basically a honing steel) and the karda is a small utility blade (typically around the size of a folding pocket knife) designed for more precise cutting tasks that the kukri is simply to big to accomplish. Also keep in mind, some BudK Kukri knives come without an edge so you may have to do some initial grinding and sharpening when you first receive the blade.
Final Conclusion On The BudK Kukri
With such profound cultural value and reliable and effective functionality, it’s not surprising that a genuine Gurkha Kukri is considered to be the king among all edged weapons. For these reasons, I will definitely have to recommend this product for anyone looking for a knife to use as a display piece/novelty for collectors who respect it’s rich cultural value. That being said, as an actual useful tool the BudK Kukri comes up a little short in comparison to other higher priced models from brands such as Cold Steel, Ka-bar and Ontario.
The build quality of the knife itself is ok, especially for this price point (around $20), and it makes a great starter Kukri for anyone wanting to test the waters with these large and intimidating fixed blade knives. However, I found the sheath to be frustratingly bad (the belt loop actually broke under moderate use) and the two small accessory knives mentioned above are made from very cheap, soft steel. The Chakmak can’t even be reliably used for its intended purpose as a hunk of sharpening steel.
Still, what other kukri can you get in this price range that is better or even equal to the BudK? Maybe the Cold Steel Kukri Machete, but even it seems to be plagued with complaints (e.g., soft steel, quality control problems, uncomfortable grip) and since it’s a kukri/machete hybrid (thinner blade), the performance during heavy chopping isn’t up to par. If for some reason you can’t spend more than $25 just go ahead and give the BudK Kukri a try. At worst, it will make an excellent beater kukri to play around with and for you modders out there a great base to create your own custom kukri on the cheap.