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Good for chopping.

A little of the ol' chop-chop!
The Sniper, Team Fortress 2

A Kukri is a heavy Nepalese knife used both as a tool and as a weapon. The most distinctive feature of this weapon is that the blade has a deflected angle with a thick spine and a single sharp cutting edge; this causes the end section of the blade to strike square on, greatly increasing chopping effectiveness. It is most famously known as a part of the regimental weaponry and heraldry of Gurkha fighters. Forming part of the survival equipment carried by airmen during the early 1940s conflict in Burma, the Kukri is an essential item equally effective at hacking through jungles as it is through limbs.

For a relatively obscure weapon from Nepal, they feature quite frequently in the media, easily spotted because of their distinctive (and threatening) shape. As an interesting aside, note that it wasn't actually invented in Nepal, but in Greece of all places. The current consensus is that kukri is a (somewhat shrunken) descendant of a Greek cavalry saber, machaira. Machaira itself was a modification of a previous infantry sword called kopis (literally, "chopper"), just one of the large family of recurved sabers used throughout the Mediterranean. The troops of Alexander the Great brought it to India during his expedition there, and the locals loved the design.

As with katana, there is a persistent myth that the blade must 'taste blood' before it is sheathed. This is untrue, as a Kukri is useful for far more than just violence. However there have been instances of Gurkhas slicing their fingers with it as a practical joke to impress outsiders with their ferocity. It's also been theorized that the "must taste blood" was something that annoyed Gurkhas started telling tourists, to make them stop asking to see the kukris.

See also Machete Mayhem and Knife Nut. Also National Weapon.

Examples of Kukris Are Kool include:

Anime & Manga

  • Shenhua from Black Lagoon fights with a much more practical version of a Whip Sword: twin whip kukri. She's good enough to behead people with them from 30 feet away.
  • The One Piece character Helmeppo fights with two kukris.
  • Mamungi from The Breaker uses one huge kukri.
  • In Ghost in the Shell: 2nd Gig, in the episode where Pazu's ex decides to become exactly like him (down to the DNA of his cybernetic body). The real and fake Pazus then duel with folding, forward swept kukris.
  • Two appear in Full Metal Panic The Second Raid albeit as upscaled monomolecular cutters shaped to look like kukris; one is the standard melee weapon for Belfaghn's M9D Falke, the other is a massive one used by Gates for his Codarl I in the last episode, which he promptly uses to kill Yui Lan by slicing her Codarl's limbs off and then impaling her through the Codarl's torso.
    • Sosuke also brings one out in an episode of Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu, where he tries to show a young man (who is armed with a nail-bat) what a real weapon looks like.

Comic Books



  • Jonathan Harker wielded a kukri in Dracula. And attacked with enough ferocity to force Dracula to retreat.
    • Abraham Van Helsing also wields one in Francis Ford Coppola's movie adaption, which he uses to slay Dracula's brides. Because Sir Anthony Hopkins as a slightly-demented vampire hunter is just simply not Crazy Awesome enough on its own, apparently...
  • White Court Vampire Thomas Raith in The Dresden Files uses a kukri in battle in one book. In that book, Harry refers to it in narration as "some kind of curved knife" for most of the book, before finally just calling it a kukri, and pausing his narration to add that he knew he'd remember the name eventually.
  • The Drow Ranger Valas Hune dual wields them in War of the Spider Queen.
  • In Sten, the Gurkha mercenaries who guard the Emperor carry these. In later books, Sten carries one as a memento from his time as their commander.

Live Action TV

  • In Heroes, Edgar wields two kukri blades.
  • In Angel, Wesley is killed with one of these.
  • For a while Spike had one on Buffy. If memory serves, he kept it tucked into the back of his pants under the Badass Longcoat.
  • In Kindred: The Embraced Julian Luna, the Venture Prince of San Franscisco uses a kukri in battle. Seeing a vampire+kukri theme?
  • Auggie had a Kukri in his bag in Covert Affairs.

Tabletop Games

  • In the Kingdom Of Champions supplement for the Champions roleplaying game, one of the members of the United Kingdom's national superhero team 'The New Knights' is called Gurkha and wields kukris.
  • In Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition and 3.5, Kukris are martial melee weapons; although they don't do much damage, they're one of the few non-exotic weapons to threaten a critical hit on a roll of 18. However, this becomes less impressive when you remember that many monster types are immune to criticals.
    • Of course, many more aren't immune to criticals. As a melee weapon, the kukri is strictly better than a dagger and is a good choice for an off-hand weapon.
      • A number of special abilities also trigger any time a weapon "threatens" a critical hit whether or not it actually lands, and so work very well with the kukri.
        • Made even nastier by the fact that the Improved Criticals feat or the Keen special weapon property doubles the threat range. A character that has applied this to a kukri threatens on a 15-20.
          • And if you have Improved Critical and gain 7th level of Weapon Master prestige class (weapon of choice being kukri), you get +2 to threat range getting it to 13-20.
    • In 4th Edition, they're one of a small selection of weapons with the "Brutal 1" trait, meaning that they always do at least two points of damage on a hit.
    • Everything that applies to D&D 3.5 applies to Pathfinder...except a lot of monsters are no longer immune to crits, making the kukri just as awesome and a lot more practical.
  • GURPS: Fantasy Tech has the "ethnic cool" version of a kukri. It does damage on par with a broadsword.
    • Martial Arts has the realistic version. It's still a very effective knife. It is also possible to have a sword-size kukri.

Video Games

  • In Rage, several melee focused enemies, especially Ghosts, use kukri. Just before the self-revival tutorial, you get a very close look at one.
  • Warrant Officer Emile-A239, one of the SPARTAN-III teammates in Halo: Reach, is often seen sharpening the kukri he keeps sheathed on his shoulder. He finally gets to use it on the Elite Zealot that just impaled him on an energy sword.
    • A player of sufficiently high rank can purchase Emile's right shoulder piece, which carries a kukri, for his/her custom Noble Six. The player can't use it, though, sticking to the combat knife mounted on his/her chest armor.
  • The melee weapon of the Sniper class in Team Fortress 2.
    • He recently received the Tribalman's Shiv, which is an even nastier looking kukri made entirely out of wood.
    • He also now has The Bushwhacka, a longer and more detailed blade with a ornate handle that, for all intents and purposes, is basically a giant bowie knife.
  • An exotic melee weapon in Neverwinter Nights, based on the rules of Dungeons and Dragons.
    • The kukri is the main melee weapon of Tomi Undergallows, the rogue hireling in the main campaign.
  • The 'Boa Kukri' is one of the melee weapons players in Alliance of Valiant Arms can purchase from the in-game store.
  • Kukris are available for your use in Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard, although they are quickly outclassed. One NPC in the same game has one attached to the end of her staff.
  • Seen in Soul Nomad and The World Eaters.
  • In Resident Evil 5, Sheva uses a Kukri.
  • Kukris are used by Ellia and Dr. Lindsey from Eternal Darkness.
  • In Uncharted 2, the character Tenzin carries a kukri.
  • A melee weapon in Combat Arms.
  • The Wretcher's Blade in Fable 2 is a very large version of a kukri.
  • In Mortal Kombat 4, Kai uses the "Gurkha Knife" or kukri as his weapon of choice.
  • In Jumper: Griffin's Story, Griffin can use a kukri.
  • In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, there's an enemy called Gurkha, who wields what is supposed to be a very stylized giant kukri.
    • Gurkha Masters also appear in Order of Ecclesia.
  • In the official art of Warcraft III, trolls shadow hunters use kukris. In the game, they seem to be using a Double Weapon version.
  • In The Last Remnant, Kukris are wielded by Qsiti (small frog-rabbit people) warriors as swords.

Web Original

Real Life

  • Famously used by the Gurkha soldiers of Nepal, who traditionally serve in the British Army. See Nepali With Nasty Knives. And yes, they are "Kool".
    • Also still used by the SAS.
  • George Macdonald Fraser, the noted author, carried one through the Burma campaign. He said he preferred it to a machete.
  • The kukri is in fact the only surviving member of an entire sword family: the recurve sabres, single-edged hacking weapons that curve away from the wielder. The concept has been around since the ancient Egyptians, whose khopesh was essentially a militarised farming sickle. The Greek kopis or machaira (the first name meaning "chopper") was a common sidearm for Greek infantry and a standard weapon for Persian cavalry. It was used across the entire Mediterranean and became a bane of the Roman legions when wielded by Iberian infantry, and it's big, two handed, brother, the falx, made them upgrade their Armour when wielded by the Dacians. The Medieval Turkish yatagan is a late example of a recurve sabre. All of the examples mentioned here are significantly bigger than the kukri.
  • Most, if not all, Traditional Filipino Weapons with a blade have a forward curve with the blade on the inside of the curve. This also applies to neighbouring Indonesian Swords and some Malaysian. The Ginunting is the official bladed sidearm of the Filipino Marine Corp.
  • The traditional favorite Kukri stroke is delivered with a concentration of the whole body mass at the point of impact, making many of the stories of what a Kukri does to it's victim Truth in Television.
  • Modern Kukris are made rather shorter then old time ones because folk in The Government are less enthusiastic about the idea of decapitation and limb-lopping then their predecessors. For some reason this is supposed to make war more pleasant.