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What Is A Dirk Knife? Find Out Here

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “Dirk knife” before, you probably have one in mind. Many people are familiar with the weapon; it’s a popular accessory for pirates and swashbucklers. Dirk blades were so named because they had a curved blade that curved over the hand, like a dirk.

Only the blades with a rounded tip were used during combat, while the straight blades were used to cut the rope.

The curved blades also allowed the wielder to stab enemies without having to get too close, while the straight blades were better for cutting through thick ropes. This is one of the reasons that most daggers today are straight blades.

Dirk Knife

Originally, the Scottish highlanders used the dirk knife, so it is also known as the Scottish dirk. It has been quite common in the navy.

But then, things have changed with time. They are usually easy to recognize when compared to other knives. They tend to be quite thin, but also pointed. They were mostly used in close combats, so they are excellent for stabbing.

The thin design makes the dirk easy to go through skin and flesh. It sounds a bit unusual for today’s world, but this was the primary purpose of the knife in the 17th century. Other than that, a Scottish dirk knife has one sharp edge.

Most of them do not come with handguards, hence the thin profile. As for the length, they tend to be a bit longer than everyday random knives.

What Are The Uses Of Dirk Knives?

Dirk knives were created for close combat. Hence they are not so popular anymore. Their primary role is for self-defense. Sure, they can cut, and they are sharp. They are not extremely practical, though.

At this point, you probably ask yourself – why are they still around? While they can be handy in many situations (such as camping or hunting trips), they also make excellent collectibles.

Many dirk knives are unique, as they are handmade. Therefore, you should not miss out on acquiring them if you are into collecting knives.

Apart from their collectible profile, dirks are also beautiful. They look good, and they will always stand out in the crowd.

They have good-looking handles, and the thin build makes them attractive. Furthermore, they have a long history. They did not just show up out of nowhere, as they had a purpose. Today, most knife collectors see them as ceremonial weapons.

Difference Between Dirk Knives and Daggers

When it comes to dirk knives, lots of people prefer them like daggers. The two terms are used interchangeably.

They are quite similar. But then, if you are into collecting knives, you want to know the difference and find out what makes the dirk knife a unique collectible.

A dirk knife has a single edge – just one sharp edge. The other one is quite thick and dull. Other than that, many dirks do not have a handle. Sometimes, the handle is a continuous profile of the edge – just slightly thicker for better maneuverability.

Sometimes, the handle can be handmade and good-looking, but you will also find dirk knives difficult to hold because they have no handle.

As an exception, the dirk knives used in the navy used to have two edges, but they also came with handles. They were quite similar to daggers. A dagger usually has two edges. Other than that, there is no difference between a dirk knife and a dagger.

Apart from daggers, dirk knives are often confused with stilettos. Stiletto knives are also used for stabbing. However, they are not that good at cutting because their blades are dull.

They do not have any sharp edges. They do have a sharp tip, which will easily go through. Then, most of the cutting depends on the pressure applied.

You can, for example, hold and use a stiletto knife by the blade, and it will not cut you. Things are different with dirk knives.

What to look for when buying a dirk knife?

Now that you know what makes it unique, it is time to consider what to look for when buying one.

If you want a dirk knife for your hunting trips, you need good and long-lasting materials. There are better and safer knives for it. However, using a dirk knife gives you an old-fashioned feeling. You may feel like going back to the old times. Make sure you get a bit of training regarding the handling part, as there are some risks involved.

If you are after a collectible item, a handmade item will do the trick. Older is better, as it probably has a bit of history behind too.

You should not care too much about how sharp it is or how well it cuts, as chances are it will be there for display only. You are less likely to use it hunting or for self-defense.

Other considerations apply to the more practical purpose of a dirk knife – hunting or perhaps camping. Opt for solid materials that will last for ages. Consider the blade length as well.

Even if you get the biggest dirk knife you can get, it should be smaller than a sword, yet longer than an everyday knife.

The handle is not to be overlooked either, not to mention sticking to a reputable brand with lots of choices.

3 Different Types Of Dirk Knife

New Scottish Dirk Knife – Cheap Dirk Knife

Practical uses

This classic dirk knife represents a slight upgrade from the classic tools from hundreds of years ago. It is a bit more practical. The sharp edge is serrated closer to the handle, so it makes a good tool for camping trips and everyday uses.

Durable blade and handle

The blade measures 4.5 inches in length. It is made of stainless steel and sharp on one edge only. The handle is designed in an old-fashioned way and features a gem at the end. The gem could be blue, green, or purple – you can choose when you buy it.

Comes with a sheath

The dirk comes with a hard sheath as well, which makes storage and transportation safe.


  • Old school design
  • Practical with serrations by the handle
  • Comes with a hard sheath
  • Durable materials


  • The plastic gem on the handle makes it look a bit cheap.

Poshland REG-212 Handmade custom Dirk Knife

This dirk knife from Poshland makes a beautiful collectible – fully functional as well. Not only does it look amazing, but you can also use it on your everyday tasks – more appropriate for hunting, rather than cutting twigs and branches.

Solid blade

The dirk knife is handmade, which adds to its value. You are less likely to find another identical unit. It is made of Damascus steel, which looks good and lasts for ages. The blade is 12 inches in length and comes with a stunning firestorm pattern.

Durable handle

The handle is made of dark rosewood and ensures a perfect grip.


  • Great as a collectible, but also functional
  • Beautiful pattern on the blade
  • Durable materials
  • Comes with a sheath


  • The steel is not hardened.

Wild Turkey Handmade Dirk Knife

The knife brings back the feeling of the 17th century. It has a textured blade, as well as a wooden handle with visible stripes. A few metallic accents on the handle add to its profile, not to mention the stitched leather sheath.


You can purchase this knife in a few different varieties. You can opt for a different handle design, as well as different blades. The blade measures 7.25 inches, while the handle is five inches in length.

Durable materials

The blade is made of Damascus steel. It is handmade. It has one sharp edge, as well as an extremely sharp tip, so be careful as you take it out of the box. The handle is just as durable, not to mention the leather sheath.


  • Comes with durable materials
  • Beautiful texture on the blade and handle
  • Premium leather sheath
  • Practical for a dirk knife


  • Damascus style pattern is gone on the sharp edge.

Knife Law

If you plan on buying a dirk knife, make sure to be informed about the rules and regulations about owning and using them.

Since it is considered to be more of a weapon, there are some places (like shopping malls or schools) that you will not be allowed to enter if you are carrying with one.

Some dirk knives have a shape and characteristic that can also be considered as a concealed weapon.

Even if it is only in your bag or hidden in the boots, you can be punished with imprisonment.

A dirk knife, because of its particulars, is considered as a stabbing weapon that can cause permanent disability or death to the person who will be attacked with it.

To gain more knowledge on proper handling and owning of it, try contacting an enthusiasts group in your local area or through non-profit organizations that represent the knife industry or knife owners.

Where to buy one?

The fact that this is considered a weapon, it will not be easy to buy this everywhere except on tactical knife shops or dedicated knife sellers.

You should also be reminded that in buying one, you are already carrying a weapon where the law applies.

Remind yourself to be careful whenever buying it for personal use.

It will be easier to buy it online, where you can choose from a wide variety of designs and coming from different countries.

You might be overwhelmed by the great selection that is available on the internet.

Take note of the shipping process, your state or the country may not allow sharp objects to be brought inside the country through couriers.

You may also clarify that through a verified online seller or store’s customer service support.


Dirk knife is a classic stabbing weapon that killed so many people hundreds of years ago. It has lost its popularity and practicality overtime, but it is still a good collectible item.

Many collectibles are fully usable and a bit practical as well, so you can also use your dirk knife for various purposes – mostly hunting or all kinds of emergencies while camping.

Carl Slay

Carl Slay

I have a fascination with the blade. Ma being a Chef and Pa owning a steel plant, it was inevitable some would say. From Chef knifes to Butterfly knives, to machete's - I know my blade! TheKnifeGuide was started as a means to serve enthusiasts like me in learning vital information. Whether it is for survival when indulging in the great outdoors or for your culinary needs, you've come to the right place!

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