Learn About Kukri Machetes
Among the tools that have attained worldwide acclaim include a kukri machete (recommended tool – gardeningleave.org). They are short versatile swords common among the Nepali Gurkhas. The kukris are ideal alternatives to swords, axes, and shovels since they are lighter and sharper.
Campers and hunters find it functional as they can use it to chop, skin and cut. You can use the kukri to split wood and protect yourself from an animal attack while out in the wild.
A Little History of the Kukri
Kukri is the national weapon for Nepalese soldiers who are trained to use it as if it were a part of their body. The history of this short sword can be traced back to 17th century where it was utilized to for cutting meat, vegetables and digging holes among others.
The 1627 Gurkha king, Drabya Shah was known to carry a kukri at all times. However, it was the Gurkha king, Prithvi Narayan Shah, who would become famous for successfully taking the Nepal throne in 1768 with a small army wielding kukris.
From then onwards, the short sword would become a national military weapon. It is the pride of Gurkha soldiers and is one of the oldest knives in history.
Some historians believe that the shape may have come from the 2500-year old Greek sword. The soldiers of Alexander the Great are said to have carried machira, a cavalry sword resembling a kukri when they invaded India. This was in 4th century BC.
The local blacksmiths then copied it, and the kukri was born. However, the crafting method has been found to be much similar to that of the ancient Japanese sword.
Material and the Shape
Kukris are mainly made of stainless steel or carbon steel. Stainless steel is cheaper and rust resistant. Regardless, the material is not very durable. Carbon steel kukris are more durable, rugged and maintain a high level of sharpness. However, the material needs regular maintenance to keep it from rusting.
The machete comes in various shapes for different purposes. The most common forms include the dagger point, the spear point, the drop point, clip point, the sheep’s foot, tanto and recurred.
The ideal shape for camping and hunting is the drop point or the clip point.
The Parts of a Kukri Machete
Most conventional kukri handles are wooden or rubber. Contemporary handle materials include G10 and Micarta which are more comfortable.
A sheath is a vital kukri accessory that ensures your safety. It also makes it easy and comfortable to carry from one place to the other.
How to maintain a kukri
Carbon steel kukri is preferable but demands a higher level of maintenance. Basically, use gun oil or machine oil to clean the blade at least once per month. If you notice any rust, clean it off with sandpaper and gasoline.
Use shoe polish to clean the leather sheath. There are polishes for the silver and brass fittings such as salvo.
Store the machete in a dry place and avoid extended exposure to the leather sheath as can easily shrink. Avoid hitting metallic and stone surfaces. The kukri may be versatile, but it has its limits.