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Lutel 10042 Late 15th Century Large Dagger
A hands-on review by Björn Hellqvist

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I had been interested in this Lutel dagger for a while, when a friend contacted me and asked me if I knew of some good short-sword for her Tolkien society costume. I ordered a dagger together with some other stuff. I was able to handle it before sending it to her and she was very pleased with it). As a result, I put it on my own wish list for my next order.

Lutel is a company in the Czech Republic known for relatively accurate, well-made and moderately priced medieval-style weapons. As always, ordering was easy (if you don't think money transfers pose a problem), and their on-line waiting list lets you know how long it will be before your weapon is sent. The waiting time is a fairly consistent three months from the day the payment is received. The dagger arrived together with the other goods; safely packed in a stout cardboard box with all the Styrofoam you can shake a sword at.

I haven't been able to find a historic precedent for the dagger, but unless you intend to add this weapon to a historical costume, it isn't really much of an issue. The pommel shape places it in the 15th century, and the guard is of a common medieval style, so it isn't unlikely that a dagger like this did exist.
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Measurements and Specifications:
Weight:2.315 pounds (1.05 kg)
Overall length:23.5" (59.8cm)
Blade length:17.32" (44cm)
Blade width:1.732" (44mm)
Cross width:5.236" (13.3cm)
Distal taper:0.1575" tapering to 0.1181" (4mm to 3mm)
Point of Balance (PoB):1.772" (4.5 cm) from cross

Replica created by Lutel of the Czech Republic.

Handling Characteristics
This large dagger could serve as a short sword just as well, and may be an interesting option for persons of short stature. It is very agile and fast, and very easy to handle. The length makes it a close-combat weapon, good for stabbing and slashing.

Fit and Finish
The fit and finish is very good, with no rattling, gaps or any noticeable grind marks. The blade came sharp. The brass pommel appears to have been turned, while the cross is cast in brass. The grip is spiral-bound with cord and covered with thin, brown leather, providing a secure and comfortable grip. As evident from the photos, the tang is threaded. Many people have been told that threaded tangs are a no-no, but Lutel knows how to make them right. The threaded rod is welded to a split stub tang, the weld being very well made. Considering the 10 mm diameter of the rod, it is extremely unlikely that it would break even when subjected to heavy abuse. The dimensions are identical to Lutel's swords, and they stand up very well to stage/reenactment combat. The tang is stamped with a serial number, making Lutel able to keep track on each weapon.

The dagger/shortsword is supplied with a well-made, heavy leather sheath and belt, with brass scabbard mouth and tip. As I ordered three of these daggers, I noted that the brass buckles were all different, a couple of them pretty medieval-looking.

The Lutel dagger should be a favorite with those who look for a secondary weapon, for example for an archer outfit. Given the popularity of the Lord of the Rings movies, the sword is an ideal hobbit-sized weapon (it even looks a bit like the weapons in LOTR), and should be interesting for those who want a good weapon without the vulgar excesses of the run-of-the-mill fantasy weaponry. All in all, a very nice piece, and one I don't hesitate to recommend.

About the Author
Björn Hellqvist is a Swedish optometrist with an interest in historical European swords.

Photographer: Björn Hellqvist

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