Best Knives, Swords & Daggers for Collectors
Specialty knives and swords are sought after by collectors and can make stunning displays in the home. The Knife Buzz team has collated our favorite pieces including Damascus Swords and Katanas, Khyber Knives, Kukri Knives, Obsidian Knives, Scottish Dirks, and Kris Daggers.
Our Top Specialty Knife and Sword Picks
Damascus steel is used to make swords, knives, and other blades that are strong, sharp, and durable. The forging process also creates beautiful pattern which makes Damascus Swords and Katanas are an elegant addition to any home. This guide will help you choose the perfect blade and advise you how to care for it.
Best Scottish Dirk Knife Selections
The Scottish Dirk is a long thrusting dagger with a rich military history. The Dirk was originally used by naval officers in hand-to-hand combat during the Age of Sail. The Dirk knife was later adopted by the Scottish Highland Regiments and then serious knife collectors as a treasured decorative knife.
Best Kris Daggers for Your Collection
The Kris or Keris Dagger was originally used as a spiritual item and as a weapon. No two blades look the same, but they share a distinct asymmetrical appearance with a curved blade. Each wave in the blade was thought to inflict more damage to victims. These days, Kris Daggers are in high demand by collectors.
Best Obsidian Knife Review
Obsidian is one of the oldest cutting materials and was used in the Stone Age for arrowheads and other handheld tools. Obsidian knives are so sharp they are still used in surgical procedures today. These knives are beautiful, sleek tools with an impressive sharpness difficult to find elsewhere.
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The Kukri machete is a traditional weapon of Nepal. This blade is a great investment for any knife collection and is the essential outdoorsman’s blade. The Kukri features a striking design and distinct curved blade. Its sheer power as an all-purpose cutting tool is perfect for trekking, hunting and survival.
The Kyber Knife originated in ancient Persia as a thrusting weapon to pierce mail armor. This blade is now known as an Afghani-based sword and is used as a personal weapon and a sign of adulthood for tribes living near the Khyber Pass. The Khyber is also must have for avid knife collectors and makes an excellent display piece.
Railroad Spike Knives are relatively simple designs with a deep history. They are usually hand-crafted from old railroad spikes. Due to their design, spike knives are heavy, they aren't great at holding an edge, and they are not suitable for precise cutting. However, these knives are perfect gifts and display pieces.
Damascus Steel Sword & Katana Buying Guide
The purchase of a sword or katana is different from buying a Damascus Chef Knife, Damascus Folding Knife, or a Damascus Hunting Knife. The following factors should be taken into consideration during your search for the perfect sword or katana to suit your needs and preferences:
Consider the Best Blade Length for Your Needs
Consider how you will be using the sword. For example, if you are using your Damascus Sword for Tameshigiri practice, will you need a shorter or longer sword for this activity? And what length would best suit your build and arm length?
Use a Saya or Leather Sheath to Protect Your Blade
Do you prefer a more traditional wooden Saya (Japanese Katana Scabbard), a leather sheath, or another blade that is easier to maintain?
Consider Material Wrappings to Protect Your Blade
Cloth and silk wraps for the Katana handle are beautiful, but will they suit your needs? And will they be difficult to maintain?
How to Care for Your Damascus Sword
Damascus steel swords and katanas are sturdy and durable, but they still require a certain level of care. Without proper care, these special blades will rust and sustain damage, shortening their lifespan. You may then find yourself looking for a replacement before you know it.
In order to properly care for your new Damascus steel sword or katana, follow these tips:
- Keep your sword dry at all times
- Store your sword properly. This means storing it in a dry place that doesn’t experience extreme temperatures
- Katanas should remain inside the Saya and should be stored horizontally. The edge should face upwards and the curve should face the ground
- Sharpen your sword every so often. A Japanese water stone can be used for sharpening your sword or katana
- Keep the blade oiled to prevent rusting
READ MORE in the Damascus Steel Sword and Katana buyers guide.
How to Hold a Sword Like a Pro
Swords can seem large and unwieldy for new owners. And they can become dangerous and cause damage if not used properly. Using a sword effectively starts with learning to hold it properly.
These tips will help you hold a sword the right way:
- Hold the handle with your dominant hand below the guard. Your other hand should grip the pommel, which is the bottom of the sword
- If the sword is a Japanese Katana, grip the handle with the bottom three fingers of your dominant hand, keeping your thumb and forefinger free. Katanas should be held about an inch below the guard
- Your grip should be light and relaxed, but firm
- Position the sword with the pommel level right above your belly button
- Don’t rest the sword on your stomach
- Angle the sword so that the tip is positioned between the sternum and throat
Holding a sword properly will increase your safety and eliminate accidental cuts and injuries. It will also reduce damage to the blade. The better you take care of the sword, the longer it will last.
READ MORE about holding knives and other blades.
Is an Obsidian Knife Right for You?
Obsidian knives are certainly unique, but will they be a good fit for you and your home? This buyer guide provides you with handy buyer tips.
Benefits of Buying an Obsidian Knife
- Obsidian is similar to glass and is considerably sharper than other traditional materials
- Obsidian knives have a black appearance and can have a natural or highly polished blade finish
- Obsidian knives are sturdy despite their fine edges
Downsides of Buying an Obsidian Knife
- Unlike traditional knives, Obsidian blades not as efficient at chopping
- The handmade production of Obsidian knives often creates small imperfections in the blades
- It is difficult to dye obsidian, making color options limited to the classic jet-black look
Obsidian Knife Care Tips
- Obsidian blades can be easily scratched. Keep your knife in a soft, plush case or sheath when it is not being used
- To clean your obsidian knife, use a cloth with mild soap and water. These knives are delicate, so it is best to dilute the soap
- Never put your Obsidian knife in the dishwasher. Dishwashers use abrasive detergents that can damage finely-tuned knives
- When sharpening an obsidian knife, only use a handheld sharpening stone. This will ensure that you have more control. This is important when you’re dealing with a delicate blade
- Be careful! These knives are designed to be sharp. Handle your obsidian knife with cut-resistant gloves whenever in use.
READ MORE in the Obsidian Knife buyers guide.
Scottish Dirk Knives Buyer Guide
What Does a Dirk Knife Look Like?
The style of Dirk Knives varies widely. Most have a long straight blade that is attached to a somewhat rounded hilt. Some Dirks are easy to mistake as short swords while others may be almost as small as a dagger.
Many modern-day dirks are decorated or have etchings to give them a much more personal feel.
How Is a Dirk Worn?
Today, most people who wear a Dirk follow the style of the Scottish Highlanders. The dirk hangs by a leather strap from a Dirk belt. This wide leather belt typically has an ornate buckle that is worn at waist height with a kilt.
What is The Difference Between a Dirk and a Dagger?
Both blades are straight-edged, double-sided weapons that are almost always used as sidearms. The difference, however, is that a dagger is a general term that can easily fit a wide variety of knives.
The Dirk – specifically the Scottish Dirk – has features that easily distinguishes it from similar looking knives. It is extremely common for a Dirk to be covered in etchings and decorations. Likewise, the handle will commonly have a more rounded shape
READ MORE in the Dirk Knife buyers guide.
Knife Care and Maintenance Tips
When you purchase a new knife, whether it’s a pocket knife, kitchen knife, or even a decorative sword, you put a lot of time and energy into finding the perfect one. You make a list of your needs, do your research, shop around, and finally land on “the one”.
But if you don’t maintain the knife once it’s yours, all that time and energy is wasted, and you have to begin the process all over again to find a new knife. The key to maintaining your knife is keeping it clean and in good condition.
Knives and Swords Should Be Kept Clean for Optimal Performance
Different types of knives have different care needs:
- Pocket knives need their hinges and locking mechanisms cleaned out and oiled
- Brushes should be used to clean the points and gullets of serrated knives
- Ceramic knives should be cleaned carefully without any aggressive scrubbing
- Swords should be wiped down, oiled, and polished
- Straight razors only need the blade cleaned, and should be oiled before storing
Keeping your blades clean will help them perform better and last longer. And these special requirements will keep your knife or sword performing at its best.
READ MORE on the best knife care tips.