Story by Joshua Swanagon, Photos by Caleb Royer
We’ve come a long way baby.
Dating back to Neolithic times, the earliest daggers found were made of materials such as flint, ivory, bone or antler. There have been daggers of this type of construction found all over the world. Eventually these daggers gave way to more modern construction in the bronze age, being man made out of copper.
Daggers have not only been an implement of war, but throughout history it was also seen as a ceremonial object, becoming ever more ornate – depending on the carrier – with royalty typically having daggers adorned with gold and jewels; some even being made completely out of gold.
Due to its stealth, in carry and application, the dagger made an optimal secondary weapon and has seen use among combatants from early to modern times – even seeing use in symbolism for elite military units to this day.
As time progressed, so did the materials and processes being used to construct the dagger – as is witnessed in the beautiful custom daggers below. The daggers of today would have made any King of old proud to carry them.
Model: The Ming DaggerBlade Material: 1084/15N20 Mosaic 9 wayBlade Length: 11.75 inchesOverall Length: 17.125 inches Guard Material: See notes below for guard infoHandle Material: Fluted, twisted gold wire & Mammoth tusk coreNotes: French Grey bluing 14kt gold wrapped/nickel pins. Mosaic lathe turned cross guard & pommel. Hollow ground on a 3″ wheel with flat grind on the tip. Replaceable Grip. French Grey bluing on the steel including the sheath throat & tip.Website: BruceBumpKnives.comFacebook: Facebook.com/bruce.bump
Model: Practical Carry DaggerBlade Material: 1095 high carbonBlade Length: 3.125 inchesOverall Length: 7.25 inchesGuard Material: NoneHandle Material: African Blackwood, stainless hardwareWebsite: NewberryKnives.comFacebook: Facebook.com/newberryknives
Model: DaggerBlade Material: Del Ealy ladder pattern DamascusBlade Length: 9 inchesOverall Length: 14 inchesGuard Material: Ladder pattern DamascusHandle Material: African BlackwoodWebsite: VanderkolffKnives.comFacebook: Facebook.com/steve.vanderkolff
Model: Dog Bone Art Dagger Take Down StyleBlade Material: 01/L6 high carbon Fine Lace Pattern DamascusBlade Length: 9.5 inchesOverall Length: 14.25 inchesGuard Material: Fine Lace Pattern Damascus – guard spacers are star twist pattern Damascus with file work and edge border cut sandwiched between German silver spacersHandle Material: Exhibition grade ancient fossil walrus ivory tuskNotes: Handle spacers are German silver coined and filed with vine and thorn pattern.Handle rivets are German sheet silver domed and silver soldered together.Extrusion plates are fine lace pattern with pins silver soldered for attachment.It took 52 hand made parts to put this project together.Website: MikeTyreCustomKnives.comInstagram: @MikeTyreKnives
Model: DaggerBlade Material: Laddered Random hot-blued DamascusBlade Length: 10.625 inchesOverall Length: 16 inchesGuard Material: 1903 wrought ironHandle Material: Fluted, stabilized Bubinga with twisted silver wire accents Notes: Sheath by Paul LongWebsite: AndersenForge.com
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Joshua Swanagon has studied survival in both urban and wilderness environments in Colorado and Michigan for most of his life, while also adding experience in harsher terrains abroad. He utilizes his experience and years of diverse martial arts and combatives training and real world application as a self-defense/combatives instructor, published freelance writer and Field Editor for various magazines in the fields of knives, survival, self-defense and tactical subject matters. Joshua also brings with him his years of experience as Editor of, and Subject Matter Expert for, Knives Illustrated Magazine.
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