Khukuris have been used in warfare for since the beginning of their existence, whether in disputes between the old kingdoms of nepal or when defending Nepal from the British in the Ghurka war of 1814-16. However these knives weren’t a specific model but rather a hodgepodge collection of villager’s tools, family heirlooms and one offs for individuals or units of soldiers as the need arose. The first khukuri to be produced on a large scale and made standard military issue was the MK1, beginning manufacture in 1903 until 1915 by the Colonial Indian armed forces.. And what a khukuri it is.
These large, powerful knives required a strong hand to swing effectively, but if they made contact with an enemy combatant they were sure to inflict a lethal wound. Some standout features of this blade are the gently curving, almost crescent shaped Hanshee style spine and the large, broad belly which allows for easy placement of strikes. The knife is less intensely recurved than other khukuris, perhaps due to the british influence in its manufacture, which gives it a swift, but powerful feel in hand that is distinctly mk1. It always features a single groove that follows along the spine from the handle towards the centre of the blade and sturdy rat tail tang which was either tightened againt the handle with a recessed nut or peened in place. Another thing which sets the mk1 apart from other khukuris is its lack of ornamentation. With no engraving, a subtle front bolster and the complete absence of a metal rear butt cap, this is a highly functonal blade.
Blade Lengths and Weights are as follows:
11″: 8mm thick at bolster, 600g
13″: 8mm thick at bolster, 700g
15″ : 6.5mm thick at bolster, 725g
All blade lenths come with a 5.5″ handle.
It was designed to be dependable and get the job done and that it did, with the MK1 finding use in various border conflicts in Nepal but most notably in world war 1, in Turkey at Gallipoli, all along the Western Front at the Somme, the Hindenburg line and in Northern Africa. The knives were used to slit enemies throats in their sleep and proved deadly when storming enemy machine gun nests. Simple, strong and functional, the MK1 was a hard knife designed for hard men. If you’re looking for a piece of history to add to your collection or a heavy use khukuri that has a field proven pedigree, then look no further than the mk1.
Before Purchase, please read through our section on Warranty and Factory Seconds for information on the different grind types, tang options and how they affect the level of warranty we offer.