Dagger Vs Knife What Is The Difference And Which Is Better?

I have been using bladed tools for as long as I can remember.

Daggers and knives are my tools of choice, particularly when it comes to outdoor camping and general survival.

While most survivalists choose to use the terms ‘dagger’ and ‘knife’ interchangeably, I have found that the two are quite different.

If you are unsure of where to start, worry not, as I will take you through each bladed tool and give you an overview of the differences between the two.

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Definitions of Dagger vs Knife

Many upcoming survivalists have the misconceived idea that these bladed tools are the same thing. But I choose to differ!

A Knife

I like to think of a knife as more of a tool or an object I can use when cutting twigs, ropes, or when setting up camp.

A Dagger

The dagger, on the other hand, is intended for combat or self-defense.

It’s my preferred bladed object when handling something tactical-related.

The Main Differences Between a Dagger and a Knife

Overall Design

If you like being prepared for any eventuality as I do, you will slowly come to realize that these two-bladed tools each have their unique uses.

They may not be obvious, but they are there!


Daggers are manufactured with combat in mind. I like them because the metal used to make them is thin, and both edges are quite sharp.

It makes it easy to thrust forward towards a target.

Its grip allows for firm handling using a single hand, ensuring you don’t get to drop it when defending yourself.


While they share a similar shape and sometimes size with the dagger, knives are manufactured with safety in mind.

As you know by now, a knife only has one sharp side

Its other side is blunt, allowing you better leverage when cutting.

A knife also happens to be thicker, making it challenging for you to make a small cut.


Both bladed tools come with several variations, making it easier for an amateur survivalist to confuse the two.

I have come across daggers that look like knives and vice versa.


They come in varying shapes and sizes, and the intended use determines their appearance, shape, and weight.

Its origin may also be a factor.

For example:

  • If I were to choose a weapon for self-defense purposes, I would automatically reach for the Italian ‘Cinquedea.’
  • I like the Scottish Dirk for situations where I have to thrust instead of cutting. It is much thinner than other daggers.


Knives are manufactured with different uses in mind. There are general utility knives, cooking knives, and hunting knives.

Come to think of it; there are knives for almost all outdoor tasks I can imagine.

Interestingly, the shape and size of the knife will differ, even when their uses are similar.

For example,

  • A butter knife is small, blunt, and smooth.
  • A bread knife is long and saw-like.

Knives tend to have a blunt edge and a sharp edge.

However, the blunt edge may be serrated at times.

An excellent example of this is the hunting knives and fishing knives.

Dagger vs Knife

While the dagger and the knife are similar, their differences are hard to ignore.

I always recommend ensuring you have at least one of each with you when camping.

It’s hard to choose which is better.

But if I were to choose between the dagger and the knife, I would go for the dagger.

I can use it for everyday tasks and as a tactical tool when the situation calls for it.