Khukuri of the Month
Making Of Khukuri
- Making Of Khukuri
How we make a Khukuri / Kukri Knife?
In the majestic valley of Nepal where the mighty Himalayas rules lives a community of artisans who practice an art passed down to them from generations of their forefathers. Using simple hand tools, these masters transform surplus leaf spring into knives that know no equal. The men are called Bishwakarmas or Kamis (which in Nepali means world markers) and from their forge come the legendary "Khukuri or Kukri"; the world’s most famous and feared knife. The objective of this page is to show these masters at work; how they turn a piece of steel into a masterpiece, and also to make all viewers aware of the special skill, hardship and endurance the maker has to go through to achieve his goal.
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A khukuri like any other knives has three primary sections; Blade, Handle and Sheath. The assembly and fixing of these 3 departments make a kukri complete. This historic blade has always been made out of high carbon steel traditionally. First it was called the “Himalayan Steel” from the iron-ore extracted from rugged hills then came the railway track steel popularly known as "Leak Steel" and now presently the "Leaf Spring" or suspension steel of the vehicles. Similarly the partial water quenching to harden the edge has always been a common but skillful practice from the classic days till now. Kukris are never tempered also right from the old eras. Most kukri knives have convex edge for durability and strength since the blade is objected for hacking.
Speaking of handle, it used to be walnut now rosewood is more common and water buffalo horn for the army types. Likewise RTT (rat tail tang or Parowal) has always been the preferred handle type.
Similarly leather sheath also evolved over the years and has been heavily affected by the ever changing time. Treated leather that is achieved from the painstaking homely process is now replaced by modern leather supplied by industries that go thru its own leather treatment facility. Sheaths of today are much simpler and less grand than it used to be.
The two accompanying knives, Karda and Chakmak, have almost extinct these days. People hardly value it.
Various Kukri Making methods at KHHI nepal in its factory in Patan Industrial Estate, Lagankhel, Lalitpur
1. TRADITIONAL method >>
Man works in co-ordination with conventional machines. Forging, hammering, grinding are the key steps
2. PRIMITIVE method >>
Dedicated man, great skill, hard labor and max. sweat all the way. Method used centuries ago
3. ADVANCE method >>
cnc machines are used to execute perfection and precision in the outcome. Mostly for custom-design and ultra modern works
Making of Khukuri Scabbard/ Sheath (DAP)
Watch the video of making kukri sheath by hand at KHHI , by our Dap maker.
Below are major steps in khukuri making process >>
Forging the knife by hand power ( beating and hammering )
Water Quenching Kukri Knife
Do visit our Youtube channel and Facebook to see the making process in our facilities. If you are in Nepal, you are most welcome to come and witness the live making and also feel free to try out your skill along with the masters.
You can also see the pictures of making khukuris blade, handle and sheath back in the 90's it was more traditional-painstaking and more lively.