My last couple of articles have detailed the construction of a Titanium Kukri. If you have not read them, I encourage you to do so to shed some background illumination on this final article.

In this final article, I will briefly discuss the comparative testing that I carried out between my Titanium Kukri and my traditional Steel Kukri. I was very surprised by the results of the testing. In particular, the comparative cutting test. I honestly and sincerely believed that the Steel Kukri would at least marginally outperform the Titanium version in this test. As it turned out, the results were different to what I expected.
As seen in the previous article, the Titanium and Steel Kukris are nearly identical except for a few minor cosmetic differences. The only major differences being the material of construction and the method of handle construction.

For the purposes of these tests, I did not apply the Tungsten Carbide edge treatment to the Titanium Kukri. The Tungsten Carbide treatment creates micro-serrations along the edge which affect the way the blade can be used. Draw-cuts become more effective due to the micro-serrations whereas push-cuts become more difficult since the blade is no longer capable of holding a razor-edge. I have decided to apply this only after the tests because it will affect how the blade performs as opposed to the traditional smooth edge on the Steel Kukri.

The Dimensions

As can be seen in the photo at the header of this article, the Steel Kukri is almost identical in dimensions and overall shape to the Titanium Kukri. No small wonder since I essentially copied the design. If anything, the Titanium Kukri blade is slightly thicker at the spine than the Steel Kukri representing a larger overall blade volume.

Both Kukris have the following overall dimensions:

Length: 41.5cm

Width of blade at widest point: 5.2cm

Handle Length: 15cm – Titanium Kukri, 14cm – Steel Kukri

Maximum Blade Thickness: 7.3mm – Titanium Kukri, 7mm – Steel Kukri

​The Weigh-in

Steel Kukri on left – 443g, Titanium Kukri on right – 433g.
When I set out to build the Titanium Kukri, I was expecting to produce a Kukri that was literally half the weight of my Steel Kukri. This was not to be, however, due to my decision regarding the handle construction and due to the thickness of the Titanium sheet that I cut the blade from. I opted for a full-width exposed tang and handle scales instead of the pin-type concealed full tang of a traditional Steel Kukri. This certainly increases the overall structural integrity of the knife but there is far more metal in the handle which increases weight considerably. I minimized weight as far as possible by drilling out a lot of material but I was still left with a Kukri that was really only marginally lighter than my Steel one (by about 10 grams).

This happy accident meant that more of the weight of the Ti Kukri was behind the blade when compared with the Steel version. This drastically altered the point of balance of the Ti Kukri. I believe that the altered point of balance had the greatest effect on the performance of the Ti Kukri over the Steel.

The Point of Balance

Balance Point – Titanium on top, Steel on Bottom
​I believe that this represents the most drastic difference between the Steel and Titanium Kukris. The Steel Kukri has the traditional weight-forward point of balance. This makes it a very effective cleaver if you rely on the weight of the blade to assist with the cuts. The Titanium Kukri has a point of balance which is at the Kukri notch. This is close enough to the handle to be nigh identical to the point of balance for a rapier. The rapier is a very nimble, light sword used in western fencing systems. The point of balance of rapiers is close to the handle in order to facilitate rapid movement and changes in direction. To most users, a point of balance close to the handle of a Kukri would render it less useful as a cutting tool.

The Cutting Tests

As mentioned earlier, in order to do a good comparison between the cutting capacity of both Kukris, I did not apply the Tungsten Carbide edge treatment to the Titanium Kukri. The Titanium Kukri thus has a softer edge when compared with the Steel. In the cutting tests, both Kukris were sharpened between tests.

The first test was a comparison of cutting capacity when cutting paper. There is no real science to this apart from demonstrating that both Kukris were approximately the same level of sharpness. The Steel Kukri was possibly marginally sharper.