Difference Between Knife and Dagger [Which One to Choose]

Are you tensed about which one to choose and use between a knife and a dagger? Not anymore, as you will get the full comparison and difference between knife and dagger, along with the suggestion of which one to use for which work. Before making the differences, you should know in detail about both the knives and the daggers.

You can’t use a knife for all of your works, and a dagger will never cover up all your jobs. You will need both of them to do different work in different circumstances and conditions. That is the reason you should acquire the basic details about both of these, and also the difference between a dagger and a knife.

What is a Knife?

A knife is a cutting tool or weapon with a cutting edge and a single blade on one side, most of the time attached with a handlebar. It is one of the oldest tools used by humanity for doing various works starting from household to self-defense. Nowadays, knives are mainly used as household or kitchen tools.

Knives have a long history with mankind, from hunting and food preparation to use for offensive works. There are many different knives like the bushcraft knife, kitchen knife, chef knife, and many more. The top features of the knives are:

  • The single-sided blade
  • Approximately 2.5 million years old
  • The cutting-edge finishes with a pointy top
  • Mainly used for utility purposes
  • The blade length is not more than 12 inches

What is a Dagger?

A dagger is mainly a weapon with two sharp edges on either side of the body with a pointy tip in the middle. It is a stabbing weapon that comes with a history of using it mainly in wars and for stabbing. 

Sometimes, it has been used as a household tool, but it has always been a self-defense weapon for close combats. Not that long as the knives, but this symbolic and iconic weapon also has a long-term history with mankind. There are many types of daggers like medieval daggers, assassin’s dagger, Skyrim bound-dagger, and even stone dagger.

  • Blade in either side
  • First introduced in 5th to the 3rd century BC
  • The main usage in self-defense and close combats
  • The dagger handle is a bit long 
  • The dagger’s blade can be longer than 12 inches

Comparison Chart – Dagger vs Knife

The comparison chart of daggers vs knife is given below:

First Discovered2.5 million years ago5th to the 3rd century BC
Main UsageFor utility and household purposesSelf-defense, close combats, and stabbing
Blade TypeSingle-sided bladeBlade in either side
Blade ShapeThinner sharp side with other side being widerBoth sides are sharp with a wider middle part
Blade LengthLess than 12 inches6 to 18 inches
Blade WidthMostly WideMostly Narrow
HandleSimple wooden, metal, or rubber handleWell-designed wooden handle with symbols
VariationMany variations for different purposes with different sizesComparatively less variations with a large variation in design

Knife and dagger – What are the Differences?

In the sections below, I will point out the key differences between knife and dagger in detail. Read thoroughly to learn about more differences in details. 

Main Usage

Knife mainly focuses on the user’s safety, and some are even harmless for the human body. The principal purpose is to make human life easier by helping different sectors from the kitchen to the jungle.

A knife is mainly used to cut or chop foods, open up packages, or even in cutting papers like crafting. It is a daily essential tool used for so many purposes. 

In this era, there is hardly any use of daggers without self-defense purposes and army-use. Many people want to keep the ancient daggers as the showpieces and the symbols of their ancients.  The cold steel push daggers come with a fatter body with two-sided sharp blades. Its sole purpose is to stabbing into the body silently.  You can also have one for your self-defense or showcase with a proper license and certification. 

Many games of this era as the shadow of the tomb raider, deadly obsession, hollow night, etc. contain daggers as the weapon. 

Blade Type

a knife comes with a single-sided blade, on the other side, a dagger has sharp-edges on both sides. The un-sharp edge of the knife blade is made in a manner that it won’t cut even if it is pressed against. This is because while using a knife, it is so common practice to touch or sometimes hold that edge with fingers for better grip and pressure. 

On the opposite side, the double sharp edges on a dagger are just designed to be nimble and be gripped with only the handle. 

Blade Shape

The un-sharp area of the knife comes with a thick area that becomes narrow while meeting the pointy part. On the other hand, the dagger’s blade is thick in the middle part with the sharp two sides. 

The blade shape adds to the overall balance of both these types. For a knife, the shape is important for several reasons like different types of cut, or for cutting different things at absolute perfection. 

On the other hand, the blade shape of the dagger is based on the type – and the types are based on the fighting style. Different shapes of blades are suitable for different users. The usual sharp sides with a thicker middle part give daggers the ability to pierce through the opponent’s skin at an instant. Dagger provides instant cut and also the central wideness helps in making the cut bigger. 

Blade Length

When the question arrives about how long is a dagger blade, the answer is 6 to 18 inches. But the length of a knife has to remain under 12 inches. 

The length provides important flexibility while cutting with a knife. Some cuts require a fine longer knife, while some methods require smaller blades. 

On daggers, the length of the blades differs in the types. Different lengths of blades suit different types of fighting styles and fighting scenarios. 

Blade Width 

A knife is mostly narrow to provide a longer and deeper cutting area. The wider surface of the knife helps with the balance while cutting. It also gives a good deep range to cover further cut on a single stroke. 

On the other hand, the narrow width of a dagger makes it agile, and flexible. The narrowness of the dagger helps in cutting both ways if the opponent is pierced. 


Knife handles are usually made with normal materials like plastic, rubber, and wood. Sometimes some specific knife handles like survival knives or small knives are made of metals. Knife handles are made to grip the knife while cutting and give the user comfort for using it for a long time. 

Daggers come with a rich option of designs both in the blade and in the handle. Dagger handles are mostly hand-made and with great care and perfection. The ancient dagger used to contain the symbols and signs of different clans or countries. It was also the identity of its bearer.

The dagger handle has a large variety of designs from the ancient era. Ornate dagger is one of these which comes with a highly decorative body, along with a higher efficiency rate in the combat fields. The ancient peoples even used the bone dagger.


A knife is designed for daily use, and it is used regularly for everyday cooking and other things. So, no matter how well it is built, it gets worn down and eventually will need to replace. 

A dagger is an expensive and exclusive thing designed for fighting or protecting someone from attacks. Its usage is close to none, and the quality and the less usage guarantees it to last very long. 


Most of the time, a knife is made in factories in mass amounts. The material used in knives is not always inexpensive, but for general cases they are affordable and the knives are sold at an inexpensive price. 

On the other hand, the dagger has a relatively smaller market and also costs more to produce. Dagger is a passion and a tool for fighting, and it is considered expensive when compared to knives or other similar things.

FAQ‘s: Knife and Dagger

Is a dagger more expensive than a knife?

Answer: Yes, in most cases, a dagger is more expensive than a knife. While there are some really expensive knives in the world designed for specific purposes, they are exceptional than mass-produced knives. 

Are daggers illegal?

Answer: While carrying a knife is legal in the US, there are some restrictions and rules about certain types and sizes of knives and daggers.

Dagger VS Knife – Which One to Choose?

You have to choose between knife and dagger based on your work or the necessary. If you want a knife that will help you in the cooking times, you can use a chef knife. You can have a bushcraft knife if you want a weapon that will be your companion into the wild. 

Cutting ropes to cutting vegetables, you will find different knives for each of these works. On the other hand, if you want a self-defense weapon, you can buy a dagger with a necessary license. You can have one of these to increase the beauty of your showcase as well. For the memory of your ancients, you can keep a dagger as well.

  • For regular cutting works with comfort, use a knife.
  • For self-defense and for using as a showpiece, get a dagger.

Both the daggers and knives have been the companion for humans for ages. But, in this modern era, you should know the difference between knife and dagger. It will help you to find a decision of which one to use for which kind of work. At the end of the day, both of these are important for humans based on the event and the necessity.

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Hi, this is Robert Chou. Welcome to my Kitchen blog. I am an experienced chef and has been working for a long time with many famous restaurants. I love to make sausages using the latest grinder machines most of the time. Love to cook new recipes using new tools regularly. Only for my passion, I want to spread my creativity with you. Here I think to share new recipes and introduce them with the brand grinder and kitchen devices. I hope, you will find my experience helpful. Thanks!

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