Uses of dagger blades? Share your dagger pics (fixed, OTFs, historical, etc.)

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by DangerZone98, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    Do you find these knives practical for everyday use? Say for house chores, at work, or while camping. I’m a single-edged kind of guy, so I’m curious what the gentlemen here think of daggers. I can see that the exotic ones would make fine additions to one’s collection and would make great heirlooms.

    One potential disadvantage I see is having no dull spine to press against when carving or making feather sticks.
  2. E.D.C.

    E.D.C. Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 7, 2016
    Daggers are designed and used for piercing clothing and skin in offensive/defensive situations, usually in a Military or law enforcement context.

    So I feel like it's safe to say that most people will find little use for one in daily life.

    That said, I own many and love them dearly.
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  3. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    :) Daggers are purpose built SD / fighting knives .

    They can still be used somewhat to cut stuff for regular utility use , but the steep angle double edge is not at all convenient for this . :(

    Furthermore , most daggers are not very good at slicing . Although great for just stabbing .

    Some broader blade models , like the Cold Steel Taipan are the exception in that they can slash fairly well . :cool::thumbsup::thumbsup:
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  4. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    Daggers can offer the advantage of a second edge. You can dull one side, then flip it over and use the fresh edge on the other side.

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  5. Michael D'Auben

    Michael D'Auben

    Oct 16, 2020
    I've got a number of double edge daggers in my collection, but I don't find them particularly useful for most every day tasks.
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  6. Currawong

    Currawong Platinum Member Platinum Member

    May 19, 2012
    Pig stickers are basically daggers, so hunting is a use
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  7. tltt


    May 1, 2008
    Width is the key I think.

    Back in the 20's and 30's, a few of the high end sporting goods companies tried to get people interested in daggers for outdoors work. The main thing was that they were heavy, broad knives (1 3/4"+ in width, 9"+ blades). The selling point was the ability to double work time because of two edges as N2S mentions, and also the ability to grind one for splitting and heavy work, and one for keen if need be.

    Also some folks have taken modern smatchets and trade dags afield, and been surprised at how well they work for many things.
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  8. BitingSarcasm


    Feb 25, 2014
    The only blade that I would like to try out instead of carrying a BK 9 or HI kukri into the woods would be a Smatchet. Because..... Smatchet.
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  9. The Aflac Duck

    The Aflac Duck Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2014
    An actual dagger, as in fixed blade, I’ve never owned so cannot speak on those. However, I often carry a double edge OTF and while it’s not the most versatile type of knife, it’s a workable blade.

    I find that opening certain packages with a double edge is useful since there is no discrimination in the direction you cut in, just slice away at the tape. They can be fully ambidextrous so also can work well for an off-hand knife. I’ve been on a ladder and used my left hand to retrieve the knife, open it, and use either side to cut something. No need to try and maneuver a right handed liner/frame lock with the opposite hand.

    Generally, they are terrible slicers though. Forceful cutting is awkward at times since you can’t choke your thumb up because the spine is an edge:D

    They work well for some things but are terrible at most other things. I like them because I like knives, so that’s why I carry them. No right or wrong way to enjoy this hobby;)

  10. Planterz

    Planterz Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2004
    Depends a lot on the particular knife in question, but for the most part I'd avoid daggers for utility. For one thing you can't choke up and put your finger or thumb on the spine for control or power. The other large detriment is the obtuse angle of the bevel. It'll do fine for a lot of things like cutting packaging tape, loose threads, etc, but if you need a proper "working" knife, like for breaking down boxes, cutting an apple, or camp stuff like making feather sticks and whatnot, the extra obtuseness of the bevel makes it less useful and effective than a single edge knife with a full bevel. Even if the alternative is a sabre or scandi grind, you're losing the extra strength from the thickness.

    The only time I've considered getting a knife with a dagger grind to actually use was a Microtech auto with one side fully serrated and one side plain. Gives you the versatility of 2 different knives in one knife. Never got one though. I hate Microtech's serrations.
  11. jideta

    jideta Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 8, 2020
    I think of daggers as the gateway knife.
    The one that got me into knives; gotta get that dagger!
    Then you realize that you can't really use it for anything and double edges are illegal to carry.
    Maybe you could clean fish with one. I used a Kershaw Amphibian for exactly that; it was a bait knife.
    Gotta have at least a boot dagger...I always wanted a Gerber Mk1 or that small one designed by Lovelace.
    Okay great. Now I NEED a dagger.
  12. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    Thought the same thing about medieval swords! It can be nice to have a backup edge. Though it can be a bit of a bummer to not rest the thumb on the blade spine.
  13. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    There is a charm in having a splitting and heavy work capability in one knife. Saves weight and space as opposed to having two blades. It's probably not for me though.
  14. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    Indeed. While it's good to have a set of preferences, it can be fun to pick up a blade you never cared for before and just have fun. Hopefully without hurting yourself, hehe.
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  15. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999

    Replica of WWI Welch trench sword.

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  16. Shorttime


    Oct 16, 2011
    I have one to use as a toothpick.


    Okay, seriously. Jideta already said what I would have said. You don't think about how you move your hand up and down a knife during use, until you have the extra sharpened bit that a dagger includes. Suddenly, you have to re-learn a lot of basic movements, and it feels awkward to use. So it goes back in storage.

    If I wanted to carry one as a general-use knife, I would look at something like the Randall Gambler,


    Which seems to offer a compromise between tickling ribs and opening envelopes.
  17. MayHemAndHaw


    May 5, 2020
    What's that exquisite beauty on the left? I have really large hands,would I be comfortable handling that handle handily with my large hands?
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  18. Hal


    Feb 26, 1999
    Not too many things - other than a vintage Raquel Welch poster look better hanging on a wall.... ;)
    I want a vintage two edge to mount on a Cherry wood plaque...
  19. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    This one does very well at being an EDC... for my uses. It's great at stabbing then slicing all kind of paper, plastic or textile bags, breaking down thin carboard packaging, opening mail boxes, etc. It's thin, light, with a deep double hollow grind. It's sharp as a razor, so, yes, it's a very good cutter. The factor here being : it is very thin. Not a slicer, for sure, but it will cut all I need to randomly cut on a daily base.

    Other daggers are not so versatile. This one has surprised me.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
  20. killgar


    Sep 24, 2002
    It depends on what task you want to perform, and the design of the individual knife. Wood carving and splitting fire kindling with a dagger, no. Opening packages and cutting twine, sure.

    Do a quick Google search for "duct knife", it's a double-edged knife designed for, well, duct work. It's very similar in design to the full-size SOG Pentagon fixed-blade (one plain edge, one serrated edge). In fact, if they were pictured side by side on this forum people would probably think the duct knife was an attempted copy, or at the very least that it was a weapon.

    Many years ago I worked at a shipping dock where knives were essential tools. There was an "old timer" there who carried an old Ek commando dagger (from his service in Vietnam). He kept one edge like a razor for some tasks, and the opposite edge with a rougher edge, sort of micro-serrated for other tasks. He never had any difficulty using that knife for utility purposes.

    The closest I come to using a dagger for utility is my daily carry Cold Steel Tilite 4. It came with a shaving-sharp edge (which I maintain) and it serves me well for simple tasks like opening packages, cutting cord, and trimming the occasional hangnail, among other things.

    "Daggers" come in a wide variety of designs, some better than others for utility purposes. Some have wide grinds with very fine, sharp edges that make them excellent slicers. And some have very wide, rounded 'bellies" which can increase their cutting versatility.

    I wouldn't choose a dagger for a trip out into the bush, or for skinning a deer, but I'm sure that in a pinch a dagger with the right edge geometry could be used effectively for several tasks related to such activities (even skinning and dressing a dear).

    In my life I've seen survival experts effectively skin game with a piece of broken bottle and the lid from a tin can. In the end, the average dagger is a sharpened piece of steel with a handle attached. And as the saying goes, it's not so much the tool, but the skill of the man who uses it.

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