How To Sharpen Your Kukri

sharpen a kukri

Kukris usually come with two small knives on its back – the first, a sharp-edged Karda which is a small utility knife used for tasks the kukri can’t perform. The second is the larger, double side, dull and unsharpened Chakmak used to sharpen both blades.  


The kukri is best sharpened against a smooth leveled surface with its edge facing sideward. Apply little force to drag the Chakmak from the kukri tip to the notch a few times on one side and then flip and repeat on the second side. 


Always maintain a rhythm while sharpening the kukri, and work from the tip to the notch. As sharpening with a chakmak takes time and is tiring, sharpening stones or any other sharpening hardware is often used for faster and better sharpening.

Before you start really putting your new kukri to work, It’s good practice to do some hard chopping around the yard.  Manufacturers may not mention it, but sometimes due to the polishing process, you could be left with some soft metal near the edge of the blade that may roll on you when you first use it. Don’t freak out or get upset as this is normal. However, it is a bit of a pain to deal with when you are out in the field or camping. Best to get these things out of the way when you are at home.


How To Use This Guide

The purpose of this guide is to provide some tips on how to hone the blade and do minor touchups while you are out on your next trip.

Ideally, you would have sharpened your kukri before you go out into the field. A good quality blade will remain sharp for a while. If you’re planning to stay out there for a long period of time then it might be worth bringing along the following items to keep a good edge on your blade.

As you won’t have the convenience of a vice or really want to carry large sharpening tools with you when you are out and about.

Tools You Will Need To Sharpen Your Kukri

2000 grit sandpaperA rectangular rubber eraser.Chakmak (or a butchers sharpening knife).
how to sharpen a kukrihow to keep a good edge on a kukrichakmak


The Sharpening Process

  1. Facing the edge of the knife headed to you
  2. Grasp the knife firmly and slightly up at an angle
  3. With the Chakmak, start at the tip of the blade and work it back to the notch.
  4. Then flip the kukri, rinse and repeat.
  5. Wrap the sandpaper around the eraser and use it for quick touch-ups after you have aligned the edge with the Chakmak.
  6. When you are happy with the sharpness accomplished. You are done.

Just a note of caution. You don’t want to the edge to be razor sharp as this will increase the risk of turning it on very hard wood.