Cold Steel Gurkha Kukri Review (SK-5 Steel, Kraton Handle)

Posted in: Kukri Reviews by Michael on October 15, 2013
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Review of the Cold Steel Kukri with SK-5 high carbon steel and Kraton handleThe Gurkha and their famed Kukri knives have been among the most famous warriors for ages. While you may not be able to fight quite like them, there is nothing to stop you from at least getting armed like in their style thanks to Cold Steel’s SK-5 Gurkha Kukri knife.

It has a wickedly curved blade that packs all the power and slashing ability of a sword with the chopping performance of a hatchet with this massive 17 inch knife. But this doesn’t mean that the blade should solely be purchased for use as a weapon. This kukri knife is the ideal workhorse for the home or campsite; perfect for clearing brush, trimming limbs, processing firewood and land clearing in general.

SK-5 High Carbon Steel

The Cold Steel Gurkha Kukri with the Kraton Handle is made of high carbon steel. The SK-5 steel used is similar to that used in cutting tools like wood carving knives and chisels. Unlike other knives in its class that use low carbon steel to complement and protect a high carbon middle and razor sharp cutting edge, Cold Steel used 100 percent SK-5 high carbon steel throughout the length of the Gurkha Kukri Kraton Handle. This makes the Gurkha Kukri SK-5 one of the few knives on the market to have achieved the perfect balance between durability and sharpness.

17-Inch SK-5 High Carbon Steel Blade

The knife is 6/15 inches wide at the spine (this tapers after the curve down to a sharp point) with a V-shaped edge grind and a wedge-shaped blade. The blade is quite thick and heavy allowing you to make devastating cuts with a simple flick of the wrist. A very formidable chopping tool only surpassed in effectiveness by a full sized ax.

Handle, Looks and Aesthetics

The Cold Steel Gurkha Kukri Kraton Handle is 17 inches from tail to tip but the blade alone measures 12 inches. Kukris are known to be elegant blades and this Cold Steel Gurkha Kukri comes with a handle to match its infamous blade shape. It features a rich, polished and textured kraton handle that can either be described as soft plastic of hard rubber, but it is durable and provides firm, comfortable grip when wet. The Gurkha’s, who invented this blade are a diminutive people and the blade is about an inch wider at the tip than the handle, which shifts the tool’s balance point forward to allow even the smallest people to strike substantial blows with minimal effort.

When in the wilderness, every drop of sweat, every calorie, and every drop of blood counts. Even though it is a little heavy to carry, having some extra weight on the blade will save you lots of effort in the long run as you wont have to swing too hard when using it.

About the Sheath

The Cold Steel Gurkha Kukri comes with a decent carry sheath made of two pieces of molded Kydex style plastic and vertically suspended on a polyester loop. The two halves are tightly riveted together and the tip of the sheath features a small hole for draining away fluids. Moreover, Cold Steel provided multiple options for attaching leg lashing to keep the knife in place when on the go. You can either wear it on a hip belt or a padded backpack belt. Overall a very good, but not great sheath for this price range.

Sheath for Cold Steel Kukri

Drawbacks of this Cold Steel Kukri

To keep this knife in its razor sharp state and to prevent rust you need to keep its edge well oiled (most people use animal tallow for this) which may be a small inconvenience for some. This knife is also quite big, which would make skinning and gutting small animals a chore. Although you can still complete such tasks with care, it would be best to bring a smaller knife along with you in your excursion through the wilderness. The price will probably be off-putting to the average user, buy knife enthusiasts know with a blade like this you get what you pay for. Even then the price has lowered a bit since release and this blade can know be had for as little as $160. Still no bargain, but a fair price with the high quality of materials and craftsmanship of Cold Steel.

Final Conclusion On the SK-5 Gurkha Kukri

The knife’s SK-5 blade is capable of out chopping most hand and factory made knives. This is basically a hatchet in knife form that retains all the benefits of a large knife. As a tool, the Cold Steel Gurkha Kukri cleaves through almost anything in its path whether it is wood, rope, sheet metal or even flesh. As a weapon, no other knife can match its class and quality. The angled, weight forward design means that it will always bite deep and the Kraton handle was specifically contoured to fit the hand like a glove, which provides the ideal grip for thrusting, cutting ad chopping.

High toughness and durability makes it very useful as a utility tool. The Cold Steel Gurkha Kukri knife may be a bit on the pricey side compared to the average Kukri (which usually have lower quality steel, wooden handles and inexpensive leather or nylon sheaths), but you will certainly get what you pay for with a blade that features top notch build quality, high end steel and superior build materials and construction.

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yeah, i had this break on me in 5 days, the O-1 steel version, brittle as **** broke 2″ from the handle