Dagger Sharpening.

Nov 5


Brian J White

Brian J White

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

I have a very strong appreciation for commando knives.


The iconic Fairbairn Sykes British Commando knife,Dagger Sharpening. Articles is a dagger made popular during WWII. It was especially made iconic because of it’s use during the d-day Normandy invasion. Having said that, sharpening a dagger is different than sharpening a knife because the shape of a dagger blade is not standard. Also the angle at which a dagger blade would be sharpened at, is also different because a dagger is a true puncture, stabbing tool, much more than a normal bladed knife. Single edge knives usually have an angle of sharpening between 20 degrees, and 35 degrees, based on country of origin. A dagger would use a more blunt angle.

Daggers do not dull the way other knives dull because they are generally not used for chopping anything, or slicing much. It’s a stabbing tool, generally thrust forward. Secondly, let’s be clear. A dagger is a weapon. This may shock you, buy stabbing weapons are not to be made razor sharp. The truth is the intent of a dagger is to injure, and cause blood loss. Yes it’s ugly to be honest, but the less sharp the edges of a dagger, the more damage the puncture wound does because of a blend of cut, and tear. So it has been concluded that an angle of 40 degrees is best for daggers because you then accomplish a level of puncture wound sharpness, while at the same time retain enough edge bluntness to do some tearing upon entry to cause a wound that does not clot so easily.

So use a free movement sharpening tool. A butcher steel would be great. Hold the dagger at a 40 to 45 degree angle, And be patient as to hone one edge at a time. If your dagger is very dull, start with a stone on a good surface. Again a 40 to 45 degree angle, and true up the edges by pushing in one direction. After the stone, hone the edges further with the butcher steel. I always say watch a you tube video, and i always suggest reading another person’s post for different input. Do not be so aggressive when sharpening a dagger. These days daggers are mostly collectors items, and do not need to be razor sharp for any reason. For your own handling safety, stick the 40 degree advice. That angle was established by military experts during times of war, and that level of sharpness is authentic and traditional.


Article "tagged" as: