This 10.83-inch black combat dagger from Puma IP — the international production branch begun in Spain in 2003 — sports a double-edged 6″ blade of 440C alloy high carbon stainless steel. Coated with black Teflon to prevent glare and increase corrosion resistance, the dagger is a no-nonsense concept for the military market. The full-length tang and simple stainless steel blade guard match the efficient look of the textured Zytel handle slabs. Nearly a pound heavy, this full-sized fighting knife follows the Fairbairn-Applegate pattern developed for the Office of Strategic Services in WWII. The balanced build works for piercing and slashing, but falls a bit short for the chopping tasks a bush knife faces.
For added security, the dagger’s Cordura sheath includes a velcro strap to keep the blade in place, locking down across the blade guard instead of wrapping around the handle. The sheath itself ties down — always a good idea if running is part of your work. Gear that bounces tends to get lost or make noise.
Though manufactured in Spain, Puma IP knives meet the standards of the Solingen, Germany, facilities. Using modern methods to keep quality high and reduce costs, the IP line brings Puma designs to a wider portion of the marketplace. Fewer of Puma’s hand processes went into the manufacture of this blade, but there appears to be no drop in practical quality. There’s nothing here but the essentials, the way Applegate would have wanted it. Corrosion resistance and the secure features of the sheath make this a good choice for sailors and adventurous fishermen.