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Okay, first of all if you want the short version of my take on the BladesUSA Hk-1473A German Hunting Dagger (They call it a "Historical Short Sword) read the paragraph above the image!
This 21.5 inch over all hunting dagger cost around $24 and it makes an excellent wall hanger. If you want a real German Hunting Dagger, its going to cost you around $200-$800. Hubertus, of Germany is one company making a current version. Older vintage Solingen made hunting daggers will cost you $200+. The real deal is on my bucket list but at that price, I'll be taking my time investigating. In the mean time, this one looks pretty cool acting as a place holder!
The review below the pictures is my review at Amazon
Go to the item on amazon
First of all, the knife is made in China. If you were thinking it was going to be made in America simply because the company is named BladesUSA, you'll be sadly mistaken. If you're a refuse to buy products made in China, you can read no further and give this knife the "Zero Stars" you think it deserves.
The knife is pretty much what I was expecting, especially for the $24 asking price. It is a reasonable facsimile of a German Hunting Dagger. The description was fairly accurate. The blade is some type of Stainless Steel. At this price, I suspect it is probably 420. A magnet will stick to the knife and using a magnet I determined the hidden tang goes a little more than 4 inches into the handle. (It extends to just beyond the brass crossed rifles embedded in the fake ivory) It is a stretch to say the guard is "mirror polished" It actually seems to have a satin finish. The Faux (fake) Ivory and Faux (fake) Leather are okay.
I'll start with the faux leather, that is the sheath and the frog.
The fake leather on the sheath looks pretty good out of the box with a nice grain pattern. I doubt it will stand up to any rough use or extended carrying. But it does fit the knife well and the steel throat and tip seem to be securely attached. For the price you're paying it, it is probably worth it.
The frog is fairly cheaply made with the rivet holding the securing strap passing completely through the belt loop, making the belt loop much smaller. The loop can probably fit a 1.5 inch belt simply because of this rivet. Had the rivet not passed through both sided of the loop, it could probably fit a 3 inch wide belt. Considering the quality of the fake leather, however, it is probably best that the rivet passed all the way through. The frog is made of incredibly then fake leather-like material. It is not going to stand up to any kind of real use.
As for the knife, the blade has a nice satin finish and looks quite good. There are no noticeable blemishes or nicks. It is also straight. It has a single sharpened edge which is sharper than the butter knife but nowhere near razor sharp. The flat ground blade is a little less than an a 1/8 inch thick at the spine.It is thicker at the crossbar and tapers as it reaches the the tip. The spear point is nicely tapered and comes very close to needle like point. The blade is also quite flexible, almost as flexible as a boning or filet knife when you get near the tip. For this reason alone, I wouldn't consider poking anything extremely solid (wood) with it. I suspect that if someone were to vigorously thrust this 15 inch long blade into heavily padded wool clothing, thick leather or any other item that would prove difficult to penetrate it could snap. Soft tissue (such as a deer or pig's throat) would probably be okay but is the animal were to struggle or move quickly the blade could probably easily snap. I really doubt it could take any quick twisting or sideward pressure. Stabbing through a cardboard box, probably. Trying to stab through three or four cardboard boxes nested inside each other - probably not a good idea. You may break or bend the blade and possible hurt yourself. If someone tries it and succeeds, let me know in the comment section. I didn't buy this knife to test its strength.
Would I try to dispatch a wild boar with this knife? Seriously doubt it. I've got several knives that would be safer to use and hence more humane to the animal. Sure you might be able to use this knife to dispatch a pig but more likely, all you will do is wind up with a broken blade and an angry pig. The knife is a historical replica and meant as a collector's item not for actual hunting!
The faux ivory handle is just so-so. It is basically a piece of brown swirly plastic. It looks okay but it is nothing inspiring. The acorn cross-guard and the shell blade catcher look pretty good however. I do like them. The pommel also looks quite good and feels very solid!
Overall the build of the knife feel very solid and it fits the hand quite well. Nothing is loose or wobbly. The satin finish on the the metal parts is also quite nice and evenly applied. It really is an elegant looking product. I wished the blade would have been a tad thicker and little stiffer so it would have been a little more useful. But as I never intended using this knife as anything more than a wall hanger, I'm satisfied with it, even with the wispy blade. and oh Yeah, it is one long, nasty looking blade that looks down right deadly! If someone were pointing it at me, I'd think twice about messing with the person!
So why the four star? Well first of all because of the price this knife was sold at. I knew I was buying a "Faux German Hunting Dagger" and not the real deal. Like I said at the beginning, this a reasonable facsimile of a German Hunting Dagger. To get a real one you are go to probably pay 10 times as much. Real ones currently being produced in Solingen, Germany start at $200 and that is for the cheap ones! More expensive museum quality replicas start at around $60 and really aren't much better than this one. To get an antique one sold on the open market, you will probably pay at least $150 for one in poor shape and much more than as the quality improves. If you're looking for a role playing dagger or just something to hang on the wall, then this knife is the best bang for your buck. But you need to realize that it is sharp, it is pointy, and it could be dangerous or even lethal. The blade can easily penetrate soft tissue and could deliver a fatal blow. In short, it is not a toy!
I gave it four stars because it is a decent wall hanger at a low price. I knocked off one star because of the blade thickness and poor quality of the frog. But if I were actually hunting in the Black Forest and needed a knife to dispatch a wild boar, this is the last knife I'd try to use!
Following is a brief explanation of how these knives were used.
The first method
Throughout Europe from early times until the early 20th century, Nobleman would partake in "The Chase." This was a type of hunting where a servant would track down wild game using a Lyme ( a scent dog) Once the animal was located, usually a stag or wild boar, the servant would signal the nobleman. The nobleman on horseback would then come to where the animal was with a pack of dogs known as Raches. The rache was also a type of scent dog but normally smaller than the lyme and it was bread for one purpose, to scare and chase prey until the animal collapsed from exhaustion. After the Raches chased the animal until it collapsed the nobleman would dismount from his horse, and stab the animal through the heart or jugular, thus killing the animal with a single triumphant stroke.
As you can suspect, many people even early on, felt that the chase was not truly a very sporting way to hunt animals. Running it down until it fell exhausted and then stabbing it. In fact the legend of St. Hubertus, patron Saint of Hunting condemned it as cruel. According to Hubertus: the hunter ought to only shoot when a humane, clean and quick kill is assured. He ought shoot only old stags past their prime breeding years and to relinquish a much anticipated shot on a trophy to instead euthanize a sick or injured animal that might appear on the scene. Further, one ought never shoot a female with young in tow to assure the young deer have a mother to guide them to food during the winter.
Strangely, Hermann Goering, outlawed chasing animals with packs of dogs and hunting on horseback and gave Germany some of the strictest hunting laws in all of Europe, He insisted on hunting according to the legend of Hubertus. And these laws were never overturned in Germany after the fall of Nazism.
When hunting as outlined by St. Hubertus the German Hunting dagger was used, to dispatch an animal that was not cleanly shot or was found in distress for some other reason. In this case the blade was driven into the jugular or heart as a quick mercy killing or coup de grâce.
The knives are stilled carried by some hunters and versions of the daggers were also made for Nazi officers in WWII. The Luftwaffe Dress Dagger, in particular is a German Hunting Dagger.
Hopefully, this review will help you make an informed decision on purchasing this Chinese made copy of German Hunting Dagger. You'll be paying a lot more if you want something more than a wall hanger!
That was a 5 Star review if ever I had read one! ✯✯✯✯✯
Great review, thanks for the info on how they were used!