You may have to go back a few centuries to find a dirk as practical as this knife from Cold Steel — the Scottish Dirk with Rosewood Handle and Leather Scabbard. In other times, the dirk was built for mayhem and was a common sidearm on naval ships. Many different types were created around the basic concept of a long double-edged dagger light enough for fast work and strong enough to parry a sword.
Dirks also evolved in other directions — towards ceremonial use and decoration. Dirks acquired ornate hilts adorned with jewels called cairngorn and scabbards with pockets for a matching knife and fork. The pommels of these dress dirks were even canted out of line so the ornamental cairngorn would be more visible.
Cold Steel’s dirk doesn’t precisely match any regimental or clan pattern but does come close to the old fighting designs in handle style and blade. The rosewood handle is turned, carved, and studded in a familiar way, but the knife lacks the decoration common in Scottish dirks today. Construction is sensible, with solid steel fittings and a blade of tempered 1055 high carbon spring steel. This dirk holds an edge better and takes abuse better than any modern stainless steel version made for display.
The blued steel blade guard falls a little short in looks and isn’t large enough to catch another blade reliably, but otherwise this is a good-looking practical dirk with a strongly built scabbard to match. Cold Steel’s dirk is an interesting blend of the old Scottish pattern augmented with practical features that would be equally at home on a Ka-Bar bayonet.
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