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What's The Difference Between A Dagger And A Knife? - Perkin

The term ‘dagger’ and ‘knife’ are often used interchangeably but perhaps the only common thing about them is that they are both used to cut different things. There are quite a lot of variations between the two, and a lot of people are not aware of these differences. We have written down all you must know about knives and daggers, and the major differences between the two.


  • A dagger has more strategic uses and is intended for use in self-protection or during combat.
  • Both the edges of a dagger are razor-sharp and the metal used is thin, which lets the user use force precisely on the object.
  • The hold of daggers is specially designed, which can be held confidently and easily in any hand.
  • The dagger is always light in weight than knives.
  • Just like knives, daggers also come in various sizes, shapes, lengths and weights.
  • In ancient times, daggers were used by soldiers or warriors, which were crafted out of bone, ivory and other Stone Age materials.
  • A knife is majorly used in the kitchen or used for cutting ropes, etc. It is considered more of a tool.
  • The knives are safer to use in comparison to the dagger, as one side of the knife is blunt.
  • Knives are thicker and heavier than daggers.
  • There is a knife made for every task, for example – hunting knives, kitchen knives, utility knives, Bushcraft knives, chef’s knives, etc.
  • Knives are designed to provide a secure grip on the hands of the person holding the knife.

Can you buy a dagger in the UK?

It is illegal to hold, trade, rent, lend or give someone a forbidden knife. Dagger falls into the list of banned knives. Thus, you cannot buy a dagger in the UK. Exceptions are if you are carrying the knife you use at work, displaying it in an exhibition in a gallery or a museum or using it in theatre, film, television, or for historical reenactment on the stage.

Is a dagger good for self-defence?

Traditionally, dagger knives have always been admired as incredibly powerful weapons.  A dagger is a great weapon for self-protection. It is small, lightweight, and is easy to use, and is effective as a weapon for counter-attacking. This will allow you to gain an upper hand whenever in a fight. But daggers are shot blade knives, thus you will have to learn to fight in close fighting. Mostly, you block punches, kicks and incoming attacks altogether to counterattack with a dagger. 

What makes a knife a dagger?

When both the edges of the blade are sharpened, it becomes a dagger; however, a knife has only one side sharpened. At first look, both dagger and a knife look similar but when checked properly, you will see one side of the knife is blunt and is unable to cut you. If you sharpen the blunt side of the knife, it will become a dagger. Knives were used to fulfil the role of daggers whenever necessary. 
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