The best dirk knife

Gear

The original dirk was a long-bladed dagger used in combat. Over the centuries, however, the knife blade has been shortened to more closely resemble a hunting knife.

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Which dirk knife is best?

If you enjoy cosplay or you are a collector, chances are, you’ll want to add a dirk knife to your ensemble or your collection. Often, these knives have an ornate design that makes them aesthetically pleasing items that you’ll be proud to show off.

The best dirk knife will fit your needs. If you are just looking for an attention-getting letter opener, you will want a different dirk knife than the one you would take on a camping trip. The SZCO Supplies Scottish Dirk Knife, for example, is a 12.5-inch long knife that has a striking design but is also sharp enough for outdoor activities.

What to know before you buy a dirk knife

What is a dirk knife?

A dirk knife is a pointed knife that, at first glance, may appear to have a double-sided blade. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that only one edge is sharp. This single-edge design means the blade can be thicker, heavier and more durable. Often, but not always, there will be a pattern or design on the blade that allows it to stand out from other types of knives.

What is a dirk knife used for?

Originally, a dirk knife was for close combat. Since that is not a popular purpose anymore, these unique knives may come in handy on a camping or hunting trip. A smaller model may serve as a letter opener. Ultimately, these knives are not the most practical for everyday use, but they look great, so collectors or cosplayers often purchase dirk knives.

What to look for in a quality dirk knife

If you are planning on using a dirk knife when camping, you will want a model with slightly different features than a model meant for display.

Camping and hunting

If you purchase a dirk knife for camping or hunting purposes, you will want a larger, heavier model that is sharp along one edge. The handle will feature a solid, ergonomic and possibly textured grip, making it easier to hold. It will have a rugged build and a sheath, so it is easy and safe to carry.

Collecting

The essential features for the individual looking for a dirk knife to display are aesthetics and an authentic look. A sharp edge will not be a priority and a rugged build is not a necessity, but you will want a well-crafted knife that features a design worthy of putting on display. A collector will also be interested in handmade knives and the name or history of the crafter.

Knife terminology

Since any kind of knife is considered a weapon, there are three terms you may want to familiarize yourself with before purchasing one.

Ownership

As it sounds, this is a term that means you own a knife. It does not have to be on you. It just means you have purchased one for whatever reason, whether you intend on using it or not. There are certain states where the mere act of owning a specific type of knife is illegal.

Open carry

Open carry means whenever you are carrying a knife in public, it must be visible. The definition of what defines visible varies, so make sure you fully understand all of your state and local laws, even if you are just using your dirk knife for cosplay.

Concealed carry

If you are in a public place with your knife hidden from view, this is called a concealed carry. Again, some nuances vary from place to place, so make sure you understand the law to avoid accidentally getting in trouble.

How much you can expect to spend on a dirk knife

The average cost of a dirk knife ranges from roughly $10-$70.

Dirk knife FAQ

Is a dirk knife the same thing as a dagger

A. While there are many similarities between a dirk knife and a dagger, the difference is that a dirk knife has a single sharp edge, whereas a dagger has two.

Is a dirk knife the same thing as a stiletto?

A. No. While a dirk knife has one sharp edge, a stiletto typically has two dull blades and a sharp tip. The cutting of a stiletto is achieved by pushing the tip forward rather than slicing with the blade’s edge.

Is a dirk knife legal?

A. There are numerous laws regarding knives in the U.S. A little more than half of the states mention a dirk by name. If you intend to purchase a dirk knife, whether it is for camping or just collecting, make sure you thoroughly understand your state’s laws before purchasing to ensure you are not violating any of them.

What’s the best dirk knife to buy?

Top dirk knife

SZCO Supplies Scottish Dirk Knife

SZCO Supplies Scottish Dirk Knife

What you need to know: This ornate knife is 12.5 inches long and features the detailed stylings of a classic ceremonial Scottish “sgian-dubh.”

What you’ll love: The hand-forged blade uses Damascus steel and resists rust and corrosion. While the detailed design makes it suitable for cosplay or medieval reenactment, you may also use it for cutting, carving and other outdoor activities.

What you should consider: A few users have noted that the snap on the sheath is not as durable as they would have liked.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top dirk knife for the money

P.S Scottish Dirk Knife

P.S Scottish Dirk Knife

What you need to know: If you are looking for an eye-catching model that is certain to be a conversation starter, this is the knife that you’ll want to consider.

What you’ll love: This striking model is made with stainless steel and features a decorative plastic gem affixed to the butt of the knife. The unit’s overall length is 9 inches with a 4.5-inch handle and a 4.5-inch blade and it is very reasonably priced.

What you should consider: The purple gem decoration is why many purchased this item, but some are not fans of the look.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

SZCO Supplies Small Scottish Dirk Knife

SZCO Supplies Small Scottish Dirk Knife

What you need to know: For individuals looking for a small yet impressive option, this 7-inch model is a solid choice.

What you’ll love: The hourglass design of the handle gives this knife a comfortable grip. It features a decorative scabbard that seamlessly unites the blade to create an attractive addition to a reenactment wardrobe or a cosplay outfit. The knife is not very sharp, making it suitable for individuals who are uncomfortable with sharp display items.

What you should consider: Most find this small, budget offering best for decoration or using as a letter opener.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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