Gurkha Kukri 11″ Survival Knife Review
Not often would one imagine a brutish weapon fashioned for slaughter to also be able to serve as a Genuine Gurkha AEOF Kukri – 11” by Khukuri House in Nepal is all about. The first Kukri knives were the weapon of choice for the loyal and battle-hardened fighting force of Nepal, the Gurkhas – renowned for their ruthless ferocity & combat skills – who have been in alliance with the British Monarchy since the 1800s. The Gurkha AEOF Kukri is hand-forged by the Kamis, Nepali blacksmiths, in the villages of Nepal and distributed for sale by the Nepal-based Khukuri House.
Made In A Hut, Forged In Combat
BLADE MATERIAL: 5160 High Grade Carbon Steel
BLADE LENGTH: 11 inches
WEIGHT: 28.2 ounces
REVIEW STARS: 4.6/5
The Groovy Blade
Once taken out of its scabbard, the Afghan Kukri AEOF presents itself with two unmistakably distinguishing attributes – the uniquely angled blade with an outlandishly strong spine and two fullers running along the length of the blade from the base of the spine to the curved tip. The 11” long unpolished blade is made out of 5160 high grade carbon steel, which comes from jeep & car leaf spring and makes for one of the most heavy-duty steel.
What sets this blade apart from most other survival and combat knives is it is hand-forged with differential heat treatment – about 55 Rockwell on the edge and a relatively softer spine – which provides a shock proofing of sorts to the blade enabling it to take relentless pounding out in the wild without ever breaking thereby making it practically indestructible.
This unique strength reinforcement technique is accentuated by the blade being a full tang running all the way through the handle, which most outdoorsmen would agree is the best method to lend long-lasting durability to the knife while putting it through multitudes of outdoor chores. The spine is about 10 millimeters thick that extends almost all the way to the tip and adds enough heft to it to call out for you to get chopping wood right away with it. The beastly spine translates to a sturdy tip with a powerful drop point and forceful thrust that makes the Kukri apt for piercing, stabbing and drilling. The notch at the end of the spine’s cutting edge, known as kaura or kaudi, acts as a conduit for any blood on the blade’s surface to trickle down without soiling one’s hand or the hilt.
The blade is immaculately angled at the spine – angled just enough on the recurve to harness the tip’s strength thereby making it one of the best thrusting knives, an attribute the Gurkhas put to use in close quarter combats. Furthermore, the angled blade distributes the weight of the blade in such a way that it allows the Afghan Kukri AEOF to have the chopping ability of a hatchet or a cleaver. The middle groove on the blade’s surface can be cleverly used as a thumb rest to give leverage for peeling off fruit skin. The angled edge itself is razor sharp and can be used for a range of tasks – slicing fruits, carving and skinning game and field clearing amongst others – while the edge on the spine is ideal for splitting kindling and batoning wood.
It is worth noting that the blade is susceptible to rust since it is not made of stainless steel. This can, however, be circumvented by applying a thin coat of mineral oil on the blade’s surface.
The Premium Handle And Accessorized Sheath
The handle, which is about 5” long, is fashioned out of Rosewood and the two slabs are held in place around the tang using three bolstered nuts and Laha (traditional Nepali glue). It has nice ergonomic curves which make for a firm and balanced grip that provides perfect traction and leverage. The scabbard feels tough to the touch and expectedly so considering its exterior surface is made from refined buffalo leather and its interior surface is made out of Rosewood to hold the blade nicely into place.
On the back of the sheath are two small pockets – one housing a small blunt steel, known as chakmak, for whetting the Afghan Kukri AEOF’s blade or for lighting sparks from flint and another housing a miniature knife, known as karda, which can be used to skin small animals like rabbits.
A Final Word
The Afghan Kukri, despite being rather bulky at about 2.35 pounds, is a favorite in the fraternity of outdoorsmen, adventurers and survivalists because of its seamless efficiency and premium feel. Not to forget that to this day, the Afghan Kukri remains a revered weapon in the field of combat for its sheer build strength and effortless hacking abilities, thus rendering it a regular staple in several military units across the world.