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Nathan A.




Location: Near Seattle, WA
Joined: 11 Feb 2017

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed 13 Nov, 2019 7:09 pm    Post subject: Quillon dagger grip         Reply with quote

I just finished building my first quillon dagger (two actually) and I have been thinking a lot about grip shape. Basically, it doesn't feel secure in my hand. I think most of the problem comes from the fact that my thumb and forefinger end up in the very narrow part between the grip and pommel. I think I would feel better with more material in that area, and maybe less down by the guard, if that makes sense.

The handle is 125mm including the pommel, and the grip is 88mm.

I know these were practical, functional weapons in their time, so that makes me think I am getting something wrong. Any ideas on how to improve the grip, or did I just make it too short? Are there some good historical examples that have the grip core still intact?



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Arne G.





Joined: 31 Jul 2014

Posts: 75

PostPosted: Thu 14 Nov, 2019 8:01 am    Post subject: Re: Quillon dagger grip         Reply with quote

Nathan A. wrote:
I just finished building my first quillon dagger (two actually) and I have been thinking a lot about grip shape. Basically, it doesn't feel secure in my hand. I think most of the problem comes from the fact that my thumb and forefinger end up in the very narrow part between the grip and pommel. I think I would feel better with more material in that area, and maybe less down by the guard, if that makes sense.

The handle is 125mm including the pommel, and the grip is 88mm.

I know these were practical, functional weapons in their time, so that makes me think I am getting something wrong. Any ideas on how to improve the grip, or did I just make it too short? Are there some good historical examples that have the grip core still intact?


I think the grip length is just fine - it seems in accord with what we see on surviving examples. The only two possibilities are (1) your hand is just very hard to build a satisfactory grip for (which I doubt) or, (2) you perhaps made the grip swell too much in the middle. That is the only feature that seems "off" to me. It is both "wide" and "thick" in the center, which may be fine for a sword, but perhaps not so satisfactory for a dagger.

I've attached a picture of a couple of A&A daggers I've rehilted over the years. Note the relatively narrow grip.



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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
Joined: 20 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Nov, 2019 9:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Your grip length doesn't look short at all.

Surviving daggers have grip lengths which seem too short for the modern eye but seemed to have worked just fine for those who used them.

I think it is pretty common for the rear of the hand to grasp part of the pommel on accurate dagger representations.

I would agree that maybe the "bulge" in the middle of your grip may be a bit too exaggerated- but that's just my eye.

Nice looking dagger BTW.


Last edited by Jeremy V. Krause on Thu 14 Nov, 2019 11:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Nathan A.




Location: Near Seattle, WA
Joined: 11 Feb 2017

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu 14 Nov, 2019 10:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestions. It didn't occur to me to go thinner in the middle, but it makes sense. I am using 3D printed grip cores, so is actually pretty easy to iterate, other than the cord wrapping.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 1,028

PostPosted: Thu 14 Nov, 2019 2:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with the others, it looks like the main problem is the too large swell in the middle. The pommel end looks perfectly good to me, but the guard (along with the forward end of the grip) could also be made quite a bit thinner, as in not much (if at all) thicker than the pommel; in particular, those sharply raised corners in the middle of the guard seem like they could be quite painful, pressing against your hand.

Also, heck, if anything it looks to me like you could make the grip a little shorter still. You really want the pommel and the guard to hug your hand from both sides - your pinkie should be snuggling right up to the guard even as your index finger squeezes against the pommel (or vice versa, depending on which way you're holding it).

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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