Kukri has been the traditional melee weapon of the Nepalese Gurkha since the 19th century. This knife is forged with a single solid construction together with the handle, and its blade is bent downwards, unlike the sword or scimitar. It is believed that this form of the blade contributes to an increase in the force of the strike several dozen times. In this case, the center of gravity of the weapon is shifted closer to the handle, which is two to three times shorter than the blade.
Despite the prescription of the invention of the kukri, this wry knife did not go down in history: today the Nepalese army and the police are arming them. The production of these knives has reached the industrial level, but with the preservation of historical traditions of manufacturing. In Russian reality, a kukri knife made according to all canons with its own hands can lead to problems with the law, since the edge of this improvised weapon between the cold and not requiring permission is very thin.
- Kukri knife: photo
- 2Nepalese Kukri Knife: Traditional Manufacturing
- 3Kukri, do-it-yourself knife: step-by-step instructions for making
Kukri knife: photo
Due to its design, the Nepali Kukri knife is multi-functional: you can chop, prick, cut, skin, and even throw. The features that distinguish this knife from others are:
- Curved at 20 – 40 degrees blade tilted to the handle, which is sharpened on the inside with a variable angle of sharpening.
- The presence of the butt in the groove, which allows to increase the depreciation properties and rigidity of the blade during chopping and blows with the butt.
- The presence of rings on the handle, ensuring reliable fixation of the weapon in the hand, even if it is wet.
- Notch at the handle, which can be of various shapes. The practical significance of the recess is that it prevents the formation of cracks, leading to the occurrence of chipped blades at the handle.
- The presence of a metal cap at the end of the handle, closing the shank from the end, and allowing the use of kukri as a hammer.
The size of the blade is usually 25-30 cm, its width can vary from 30 to 100mm, depending on the type of kukri. It is made of carbon steel, for a combination of high strength and excellent cutting characteristics, zone hardening of the blade is used.
Nepali Kukri Knife: Traditional Manufacturing
In order to make a high-quality knife with your own hands, you must have an idea of what the traditional process of its manufacture is.
Before you make a knife kukri, select the material for the manufacture of the blade. Carbon steel is carefully selected by inspection for cracks and defects, then weighed. The weight of the finished kukri usually ranges from 500 to 1200 grams, but the weight of steel for its manufacture should always be greater, since during the processing it loses weight and decreases in size. After that, according to the standard scale, the necessary length of the blade with allowance for compressing the steel (usually about 2 cm) is measured, and cut off from the common piece. Then the steel is heated red-hot, and beats off with a three-kilogram hammer using a sharp metal cutter. The process of beating to break the steel is usually done by two people for half an hour.
After that, there comes an important moment of hammering with a hammer synchronously with two hammers with turning the steel on both sides alternately. At this stage, the red-hot steel is given the necessary rough shape, bending, and the shank is formed.
For the formation of the final blade design, a 1.5-kilogram hammer is used, whose work requires great skill and experience to give the knife the correct bend and thickness.
After the form is worked out, a groove is produced on the blade abdomen. For its formation, a special bar is used, which presses against the edge of the blade and gently beats off with a hammer. The blade heats up again, takes on a soft shape, and the bar cuts off a portion of the metal from the groove, leaving the desired notch.
Further, depending on the type of kukri, a pattern is applied over the groove with the help of a kilogram hammer and a special tip.
The next step is zone hardening: an additional strength is given to the edge of the knife with the help of careful watering with cold water on this part of the kukri. It is important that water gets only on the edge.
After that, the blade is sharpened with a small file, making the tip thin on both sides. A wooden handle is mounted on the shank with glue.
For sharpening kukri, the traditional method is used: seven are made from river white sand, glue and ordinary sand, kneaded and left to harden. After that, the hardened mixture is applied to a round iron frame, mounted on the wheel, which is used to sharpen the blade.
The knife is polished with a strip of leather (usually buffalo skin).
Kukri, do-it-yourself knife: step-by-step instructions for making
Based on the traditional technique of making kukri, as well as following step-by-step instructions, you can make this knife with your own hands. Compared with other knives, kukri is not so simple to make, which is largely due to its unusual shape.
One of the options for making a Kukri knife is from a metal sheet of a tractor or automobile spring, but you can take an ordinary metal sheet 5mm thick. Often, homemade kukri is made from a bearing cage.
The grinder cuts a piece of material corresponding to the dimensions of the future blade with small allowances at the edges. Heats up on an open fire or stove, and then begins forging, trying to give the desired shape to the knife. In this case, both the blade itself and the handle are formed.
Then grinding and sharpening is performed, which can also be carried out by a grinder at an angle of about 20 degrees, and the final grinding of the blade is done with fine-grained emery paper. We must not forget that in the process of manufacturing the knife must be lowered into a container with cold water, which leads to hardening of the blade.
The handle is made from a wooden bar (it is better to use oak), inside of which a hole for the shank is drilled and put on it with glue. After that, it is given the desired, convenient form with the help of a sander and a file. Final grinding is carried out with sandpaper with a fine grain and a piece of leather. If desired, you can make the sheath for kukri from genuine leather: this requires a skin soaked in water, which is fixed around the perimeter of the knife until it dries. After that, it takes the desired shape, hardening. Both parts are fastened with rivets, the excess is cut off.