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Kabar Kukri Machete 1249 Review

The Handle: The Kukri has a black handle made of Kraton G, although I’m not sure how this differs from regular Kraton. It’s got that grippy feel without being sticky, and I like that. It’s 5-1/2″ long and has a half guard-like protrusion in the butt to keep the knife in your hand when you’re swinging it, and this is a great feature. There are also grooves in the handle to keep traction; very reminiscent of the Ontario SP series’ handles. There’s a lined lanyard hole, although it’s a bit on the small side. I had to fight to get some non-gutted 550 cord in there. The handle overall is great; it gives you 4-1/4″ of gripping area on the inside and is a nice 1-1/4″ wide. It’s just a comfortable handle to use. I’m not sure how far the tang goes into the handle, as its full width ends in the first 3/16″ of the handle. The knife is definitely blade-heavy, which is where you’d like a kukri to be.

The Blade: The Kabar kukri has a nice blade shape, varying a bit from the traditional Gurkha Kukrhis. It’s 11-1/2″ long with a 10-1/4″ edge, and is hollow ground. The blade steel is 1085 carbon steel (says Kabar’s website) although every other site says it’s 1095. It’s heat treated to 52-54, which is a great hardness for a chopper such as this. The Kabar website also gives the edge angle as 20 degrees. The blade is powder coated in black, although this will wear off with use. The left side tang has KA-BAR lasered on, while the right side has TAIWAN over 1249 lasered on. The knife came out of the box razor sharp, just the way I like it. The back has an unsharpened swedge that runs 6-1/4″. This makes batoning a bit hard as the swedge, even when unsharpened, will tear up your baton. I know, I know; this is a chopper. While I haven’t put it to any tests yet, I’m quite confident that the Kukri Machete will perform as well as the other kukris that I own.

The Sheath: The kukri comes with a Cordura sheath with a leather backing, and it’s all-black. It’s stitched and riveted, and closes with two snaps; one at the blade / handle junction and one right before the swedge. There’s a plastic D-ring for use as a leg tie-down, but I’ll probably never use it. The plastic ones have a habit of breaking off in the great outdoors. The sheath will attach to your belt (up to 2-1/4″ wide) via leather loop, which is riveted to the rest of the sheath via metal D-ring. So it’s a dangler-style sheath. Again, it’s very reminiscent of the Ontario SP series, in both construction and execution.

For a $50 outdoor knife, the Kabar Kukri Machete is a real winner. I intend to use this for cutting of zombie heads and agricultural purposes.

Do you also own this Machete? Or another one? Maybe you just feel you have something to say? We would love to get a discussion going on here in the comments section or at the forums! So feel free to respond, comment and discuss!

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