One of the neat aspects about the Toyota 4Runner is its all-terrain capability. To me, it is awesome being able to drive to a business meeting in a suit one day and have clients riding with you and then the very next day go kayak fishing or mountain biking in a remote location that requires a serious vehicle to get you there – the 4Runner does just this.
There are some people that use their 4Runner for strictly on-road purposes and never even see a gravel road. There are other people that turn the 4Runner into hardcore off-road machines that have significant lifts, larger tires, bumpers, and many other off-road overlanding accessories.
Then there are people like me who want a car that can take them everywhere – business and for fun. There is absolutely no problem doing this with a 4Runner; however, I personally like my 4Runner to be super clean when I am not off-roading. This said, I do not like getting my vehicle scratched up.
How can I go off road and not get scratches though? The answer to this is that I do sometimes get some scratches, but there is a piece of equipment that really helps me out to prevent scratches and lets me go further down a trail than I would typically go.
How to Avoid Scratches
The Kabar Kukri is an excellent piece of equipment to store in your 4Runner. It can help the hardcore off-roaders get through even more hard-core locations, and it can help the not so hardcore off-roaders keep their vehicle looking pristine on the outside while still being able to go on an adventure.
The Kabar Kukri is best described as the ultimate brush tool in my opinion. It is kind of like a cross between a machete and a hatchet. A machete is best for cutting whereas a hatchet is best for chopping.
The Kabar Kukri essentially combines all these characteristics into one blade called a Kukri. The Kabar Kukri can be used for slicing through some vegetation, but also has a thick blade that allows you to chop through some big limbs if needed.
Below are some of the specifications of the Kabar Kukri:
Weight: 1.30 pounds
Blade Material: 1085 Carbon
Blade Type: Fixed Blade
Blade Length: 11.5”
Overall Length: 17”
Edge Angle: 22 degrees
Blade Handle: TPR
Blade Thickness: 0.165”
Why I Use a Kabar Kukri
The Kabar Kukri can be used for a variety of reasons, but most commonly I use it for clearing “brush”. I consider brush to be any sort of vegetation that is under one inch in diameter. This can be some small tree limbs, small trees, some thick grass, and cat tails to name a few. It doesn’t take much to put a fine scratch on a car, so when I go off road I try to pick a path of least resistance, and if I can’t find one – I make one.
The Kukri is a very valuable tool for an off-roader in my opinion, as it is one piece of equipment that can cut through grass and such while also being stout enough to cut through small trees…pretty quickly too.
So why do I use the Kabar Kukri over a machete, a hatchet, maybe a machete and a hatchet, or even a chainsaw?
To me, a machete is great if you are only going through grass and small diameter vegetation. Yes, you can cut through some stuff that is pretty thick with a machete; however, a machete is much better suited for small diameter brush and grass.
A hatchet on the other hand really can’t cut through grass but can quickly cut down some thicker limbs and small trees. In consideration of this, I wanted to be able to cut down grass and small tress if needed, so the Kukri was a perfect combination that allowed me to have one piece of equipment versus two.
Now what about a chainsaw? If I were doing hardcore expeditions in my 4Runner, I think a chainsaw would be a must. However, I can’t really haul around a chainsaw with my current setup, nor do I want to. I also do not plan on going in areas with my daily driver that requires a chainsaw to get through it.
How to Use the Kukri
The Kukri can be used for cutting and chopping as previously mentioned. One of the most important aspects to utilizing the Kukri is to cut at an angle. You might think that cutting a branch directly perpendicular is best…this is not the way to cut and chop with the Kukri. The best way to slice through branches is by cutting at a 45-degree angle. By doing so, you are going more with the grain of the wood.
Cutting branches at the point where it stems from a larger branch or trunk is also a great place to cut and chop because you will not have as much flexion in the branch at these locations.
The Kukri is very effective to use; however, you do need to use with extreme caution and awareness. You always need to be aware of where your blade will go when you are swinging. Sometimes you will slice through a branch much easier than expected, which can quickly result in slicing into your own body on accident. You need to be extremely cautious, especially of where your legs are positioned. Try to always cut and chop away from your body as best as possible.
Why I Consider the Kabar Kukri Essential for Off-Roading
I believe the Kukri is essential for off-roading adventures as it can literally clear the path ahead of you. I might use it a little more than most people might so that I don’t get scratches on my car from brush, but sometimes there are some small trees or branches in the way that need to be cut down before you can go any further.
The Kukri does an excellent job at clearing a path, and it does so reliably and at a low price.
As with any blade, sharpening is a required maintenance every so often. The good news is that the Kabar Kukri blade material allows you to sharpen it extremely easy. I use a cheap sharpener I got at a local hardware store years ago and it works great. In a matter of seconds, my Kukri can become much sharper.
You do need to try and keep the blade clean, as it will rust. This is the price you pay for such a durable and easy to sharpen blade; however, rust can easily be prevented by applying a light dose of mineral oil every so often and always trying to wipe your Kukri clean after using it.
Whether you are a hardcore off-roader or someone that likes to have a clear trail to drive through, the Kabar Kukri is an excellent piece of equipment to clear the path ahead for your 5th Gen 4Runner.
You don’t need gas, and you can keep it in the back of your car. All you need is the desire for some adventure that leads you to the path less traveled.