In my opinion there are few blades more useful and more interesting than a classic hand forged medieval handmade dagger! Two edges for greater cutting versatility, a perfect point for puncturing, well balanced and with a functional guard. My most recent dagger is the one pictured here. I’m calling it the Warder. Warder means to protect or protector and it seems to me quite appropriate in this case.
The hand forged D2 blade is 8.2 inches long, 1.25 inches wide, 0.187 inches thick at the guard with a slight distal taper, and a 0.25″ wide fuller that runs to just within 1.5 inches of the tip. The overall length is 13.5 inches, the grip is 4 inches long and crafted from nicely figured ash with an oil finish. The guard is 3.5 inches wide and made of brass. The pommel is a brass wheel that is 1.25 inches in diameter and 7/8 of an inch thick. The scabbard is designed to be strapped to your calf and is made from 9 ounce vegetable tanned leather dyed black with handmade copper buckles and a snap for safety. The dagger weighs 13 ounces.
As with most of my blades, this one has been honed to what we refer to around the shop as “Ben Sharp”, that is to say, extremely razor sharp. The edge has been stropped to a super clean and super fine sharpness. I find that this medieval dagger sits well in my hand and I have already started using it on everything I can think of. Paper, cardboard, hard plastic, jute and sisal rope, various seasoned hardwoods, thick leather, aluminum sheet. I’ve chopped a tamarack 2×6 in half across the width and then it still slices (not tears) 20 layers of wet newspaper. I found out that it slices skin quite well too (nothing serious thankfully, but I was cut before I even realized it). This is one of my first fullered dagger blades and I must say, I like it!
Daggers are an intriguing item of cutlery. It seems that they have been carried throughout history, often in a military capacity but not always, and there are numerous surviving historical examples. Years ago before I started making swords, daggers and knives I bought alot of daggers from various sources. From cheapo junk to well made pieces by reputable makers and companies. None of them ever satisfied what I wanted in a dagger. Most had edge bevels that were too thick. Often they were poorly balanced. The overall dimensions often made them a bit clunky or unsuitable for more utilitarian applications. Those that were small enough had way too obtuse bevels and wouldn’t cut and slice worth a darn.
So now I make my own and I make them with an eye towards utility as well as combat properties. Top quality steel, hand forged, proper bevels, well balanced with comfortable hilts and razor sharp. I’ve always been fascinated by the medieval period so it follows that most of my daggers are styled in that manner.