Repair and Maintenance
How to maintain your Kukri?
- Apply machine/gun oil on the blade at least once a month or/and every time after use. Make sure not to leave any fingerprint on the blade.
- Incase rust develops on the blade, first clean the blade with some petrol/gasoline then rub the rust off with fine sandpaper; wipe it off with a clean cloth and apply oil. A wheel-shiner machine may be used to re-shine the rust infected area.
- Use shoe polish for the leather case, furniture shiner for the wood, Brasso (brass polish) for the brass fittings and Silvo (silver polish) for silver cases once in a while to keep your khukuri fit and fine.
- Scrub the carved (Dragon) blade with a hard brush (tooth brush) soaked in petrol and wipe it with a clean cloth before display.
- Both sides of the blunt chakmak can sharpen the blade. However, a sharpening stone is recommended for better and faster result.
- While on display, make sure to often clean the dirt particles, insect waste etc on the khukuri surface with a soft dry cloth and always keep away from water.
- Before khukuri is put out of action for a long period of time; oil the blade properly, wrapped it in a plastic or polythene bag and keep it out of the scabbard. Same for the two small knives.
- Always store/keep khukuri in a dry normal temp room.
- Care should be taken not to expose the khukuri scabbard into the sun for a longer period of time as heating may help it to shrink a bit, and hence making the blade difficult to insert.
- Using the blade on metallic surface and stone etc. should be avoided.
- Keep away from water and fingerprint.
- Khukuri is not a throwing knife so must never be thrown.
- It is also not a hammering tool.
- Over working on the bevel or sharp edge area while maintaining or repairing should be avoided as heat generated from it can spoil/loosen the temper of the blade.
- Guidance and supervision is essential before use and must always be kept out of reach of children.
- Always maintain your khukuri in a timely manner so that its life can be prolonged.
- Using khukuri in extreme conditions should also be avoided.
Most kukris come with two small knives at the back of the scabbard to make the set complete. The small knife with sharp edge is called "kadra" or an extra knife especially used for skinning purposes or as paper knife. Another knife accompanying kardra is the "chakmak" or the sharpener. The traditional method of sharpening a kukri is done by using the chakmak against the edge of the blade to and fro. However, a sharpening stone is recommended. Traditionally, chakmak was also used to ignite fire by generating sparks by striking against selective stones found in the hilly regions. Khukuri Knives issued to the Gurkhas during world wars did not have the two small knives however standard issue khukuris at present have both "Karda and Chakmak". Most khukuris from the ancient times also had the two knives along with an extra pocket (Khalti) to store small survival kits.
|Because of the high tension created in the blade within the carbons while tempering (extreme temperature variation) the edge may twist a little. This is natural.||Do Nothing|
|The tip of the blade is less hardened (tempered) to facilitate the making process (to avoid chipping off when fixing butt cap in a straight down position) hence it could bend/twist slightly when struck hard. This is normal and done intentionally, and can be fixed easily.||See “Bent Tip” (above)|
|The inner wooden frame of the sheath while fitting leaves a narrow gap which is later covered by leather. Thus in carefree handling the sharp blade may cut open the leather and get exposed. This happens.||Carefully glue together the open cut using some dust (iron dust recommended). Then seal the cut area by a thick leather patch and use duct tape around the sheath to fix it.|
|In most cases, the leather sheath tends to shrink a bit and may cause difficulty in drawing in and out - The frog may also come loose because of this. This is natural.||See “Too Tight or Too Loose” - Slightly lower the frog from its position then put glue all over in its original position in the sheath and pull back the frog. Let is dry. OR completely take out the frog, stick two pieces of leather patches to the inner rounded walls of the frog and let it dry. Put back the frog to its original position (forcefully if needed)|
|The kukri edge can bent (twist) occasionally if stroke on very hard surfaces. This is actually good sign as this mean the temper is well balanced (not too hard). This is fixable.||Hold the kukri firmly against a fix object facing the edge towards you and slightly up (angular). Take a flat rough file and file the bent portion until it levels to the original level of the edge. Filing is recommended in a to and fro movement and from before the area of bent and beyond it. Repeat it on the other side as well. By doing this the twisted steel will come off and the new tempered steel will expose.|
|Sometime the wood used in the handle can shrink a bit due to the natural surroundings and may expose tang (in full flat tang version). This is natural and fixable.||Take a rough flat file and file (use some force if necessary) the exposed tang until it comes to the level of the shrunken wood. Once leveled, use a smooth emery cloth (sandpaper) to scrub both the tang and wood to further level closely and get the finishing.|
|Sometime the wood used in the handle can shrink a bit due to the natural surroundings and may expose tang (in full flat tang version). This is natural and fixable|
Take a rough flat file and file (use some force if necessary) the exposed tang until it comes to the level of the shrunken wood. Once leveled, use a smooth emery cloth (sandpaper) to scrub both the tang and wood to further level closely and get the finishing.
|A Kukri is not a throwing knife so should never be thrown.||Don’t throw|