Types of Daggers

Written by

Ah, the dagger, one of the world's most longstanding weapons.  Whether you're stabbing Caesar 23 times or slicing off the ear of a Roman soldier attempting to arrest Jesus, it's a great blade to have.

The dagger evolved from prehistoric tools made of flint, ivory or bone, and its function was as a backup weapon to maces, axes and javelins.

After guns popped onto the war scene, daggers continued to be used for hand-to-hand combat and stealth killings.

During WWII, the Nazi regime was a big fan of daggers, which they decorated ornately and wore on their uniforms to show prestige.

So what's up with daggers today?  Well, they are rarely used for murdering people, but they have become quite popular with collectors.  Here are few of our favorites:

The bagh Nakh

bagh Nakh dagger

The bagh Nakh is a very intimidating dagger to face off against in man-to-man combat.  This South Asian weapon fits over the knuckle and can also be concealed under the palm.  It has between four or five curved bars attached to a crossbar or glove and is designed to rip through skin and muscle.

The Bollock Dagger

Bollock dagger

Possibly the manliest of daggers, the bollock dagger has two oval swellings at the tip of its shaft resembling the male genitalia.  This dagger was popular in England and Scotland between the 13th and 18th centuries and was commonly carried by outlaws and raiders.

In the Victorian period, historians called the dagger the kidney dagger, because of the two lobes at the guard and in order to avoid sexual connotations.  The bollock dagger is also the origin of the expression 'bollocking,' which means to give or receive chastisement.

The Cinquedea

Cinquedea dagger

The cinqueda is a long dagger that was developed in Northern Italy and enjoyed a period of popularity during the Renaissance. Cinqueda means "five fingers," which refers to the width of the blade adjacent to the guard.  The cinqueda was mostly used as a thrusting weapon and was carried horizontally next to the buttocks so that it could be drawn laterally from the back.

Scottish Dirks

Scottish Dirks dagger

A Scottish dirk is a longish dagger worn as part of full Highland dress for formal occasions. The blades of Scottish dirks measure 12 inches and are lavishly decorated with silver mounts, pommels and cairngornstones. Unlike most daggers, Scottish dirks are single-edged and often have decorative art work on the unsharpened edge of the blade.


Jambiyas dagger

Jambiya is an Arabic term for short daggers that are usually worn on a belt.  The jambiya is mostly associated with Yemen, where men over 14 often wear a jambiya as a clothing accessory.  The hilt (handle) of the jambiya is what often determines the price, and certain jilts, like the safani hilt made of rhinoceros horns, can cost up to $1,500 per kilogram.

The Kalis

Kalis dagger

The Kalis is a double-edge Filipino sword.  The Kalis originated in the 13th century in the island of Java in Indonesia.  From there, it migrated to the Philippines.

The Kalis is good for cutting and thrusting and has a wavy portion that is said to be meant to facilitate easier slashing in battle, because it doesn't get stuck in an opponent's bones and is easier to pull out of bodies.

Trench Knife

Trench Knife dagger

Trench knives were primarily used in World War I by the British Army, the U.S. and other allied forces. The knives were often used during trench-raiding expeditions and close combat.  The German version of the trench knife was often referred to as a boot knife, because ot had sheaths with clips that could be affixed to boots or clothing.

Interested in purchasing a dagger? Check out our dagger knife inventory, which offers a full-selection of historical replicas and modern daggers.  And remember, every dagger we sell is backed by a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee, so you can buy with confidence.