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Jean Thibodeau

Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Aug, 2007 5:29 am    Post subject: Generation 2 Crusader Dagger (review)         Reply with quote

The Crusader dagger: One issue I have with it is that the size of the grip seems very big and almost more like a sword grip with a cutdown sword blade. Again there is the use of metal bans and the transition to the pommel in a step that has been mentioned already in a myArmoury " official " review of a couple of Generation 2 swords.

The dagger was already very sharp out of the box and it took almost no work with my Spyderco sharpmaker to get a hair popping sharp edge. I haven't touched the sword yet.

( Dordogne sword review is on this Topic thread for cross-reference: )

Again I will give my opinion on this one for what it is: A dagger of modern style in construction, not historically correct but a worth while dagger as far as value for money and use of good well heat treated steel and rock solid construction.

I'm frankly a bit ambivalent about his one as a design as the huge size of the grip doesn't go well with the size of the blade but at the same time I'm warming up to it. If the grip was 10% to 15% reduced in size it would feel and look better.

The PoB is right at the guard and there is zero blade presence: I personally like just a touch of forward balance with a dagger because I can flip one balanced like this from hammer grip to ice pick grip easily. Oh, if one holds the dagger close to the pommel some presence is felt.

One thing that I would suggest to Clyde is to either shrink the grip or add some inches to the blade and make a new design that would be more like a coustille or short sword in size.

The leather grip cover has a visible line where it is glued down but is very flush with the rest of the grip cover and is well done. The leather has a pebbly surface and a dark brown that might be more attractive, but again lets keep in mind that the price is very low.

Some more statistics:

Blade length: 12 1/2"
Width at guard: 1 5/8"
Width 3 inches from tip: 1 1/2"
Width 2 inches from the tip: 1 1/4"

There is a small distal taper in the first inch of blade that goes from approximately 7/32" to 3/16" , after this to the tip there is very little distal taper: Not very important with a short 12 1/2" blade but it does give me the impression that the tang inside the handle is thicker than the blade except for that first inch of blade. The Dordogne sword has this same non-linear early distal taper that I like because I really think that having the tang at a greater thickness than the blade by a small fraction is good engineering.

The finish is close to mirror but a little scuffed and uneven but since I plan to give it a more brushed finish and a little artificial patination this is not a problem. The little sanding I have done with a well used sanding sponge has already blended out those scuff marks out.

The scabbard was a little tight and it was hard to push the blade in for the last couple of inches: This was easily fixed using a very sharp knife and cutting off some thin shavings from the first inch or two of the scabbard. The scabbard is well made, if not inspiring in looks, and it has no suspension system attached to it. An after market dagger frog could take care of this or a little home project one.

Oh, the dagger was sealed in heavy plastic and covered with what Clyde told me was Vaseline and wasn't a problem removing compared to a heavy grease like cosmeline. Since this grip is leather covered there were not issues as with the Dordogne sword's suede grip ( see link to the Dordogne review ) . Oh, sanding with a sanding sponge helped here after cleaning off most of the Vaseline off the suede.

So, this dagger is good value for the money if one buys it knowing up front that it isn't historical and does feel very much as if someone made a dagger using a cutdown sword.

Oh, some historical daggers seem to have had very long handles for their overall size and one can use the extra long handle to advantage by shifting ones grip, but it does feel a bit odd initially. ( Again, ambivalence here )

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