I have had one of the the Indian made kukri's for almost twenty years. This one was made for Gurhka troops employed with the British army. It has done everything from cutting down trees, building deer blinds and even splitting cedar logs into shingles. It is tough beyound belief and makes short work of any task. I think twenty years of personal experience
count for a lot. You can get this type of kukri through Atlanta Cutlery.
I bought a Cold Steel kukri machete about a year ago and have to say that I really like it. This is the machete
line, not the Kukri line. The machetes are thinner and not as heavily made but are still very, very tough. I would love to get my hands on one of the thicker Kukris they make and give it a good work out. But the price...
I also have had a lot of experience with machetes, though not as much as with kukris. Only two brands have ever proven their worth to me: Tramontina and Cold Steel. I use my Tramontina to cut down limbs out of a large willow tree in my back yard. This has to be done a few time a year. The Tramontina's are carbon steel and will rust. The Cold Steel ones are coated to prevent rust.
I just picked up one of Cold Steel's Two Hand machetes and have to say I am deeply impressed. I am using it in place of an axe, since it is lighter and does the job just as well. Ask agentjew about it. I used it to cut a 4x4 piece of wood in half at our camping trip, then used it to split one half into kindling. I am thinking about buying another. They are under $20 and are truly incredible!
I also just picked up a Becker Knife and Tool machete. It is also very impressive. It was cleaving through 3/4" willow branches with no effort on my part. They are also expesive but I got mine very cheap through a friend of mine who is a part time knife dealer.
It would be hard for me to choose. Kukri's seem to do more work for the energy then is put into the job. The mechanical advantage due to greater leverage makes this possible. Machete's are light in wieght but suffer from thin blades which can bend easily. Unless you are experienced with one, it is hard to use a machete to your advantage. Most jungle based people use them for everything. If you can watch films of how these people use them, you will see what I mean.
It would be a hard choice. Both work for what they were intended. It just goes to what you are comfortable with.