Full Tang SGIAN DUBH Wanted!

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by BladeAndBBQ, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. BladeAndBBQ


    Feb 3, 2021
    please make suggestions
  2. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    What's your budget, your preferred steel, and do you have any hang ups on country of origin. Also, how traditional do you want the knife to keep to original build design/specs?

    The most cost effective one I have seen runs about $40 and is made by Boker. It would certainly work to stuff in your stocking and poke holes in things. I've nearly bought it 4 or 5 times but really have no need for it.
    jstrange likes this.
  3. jstrange


    Mar 31, 2012
    I didn't know Boker makes one. Ill have to look that up.
  4. tltt


    May 1, 2008
    The Boker one has a bad sheath, and you'll have to look through a few to get a good one, but it's a neat knife. The big problem besides the sheath, is gapping at the bolster line. It's also a bigger knife, more on the order of a full sized boot knife.

    The Sgian Dubh is such a small knife, I'd be tempted to go custom with it. I haven't seen many full tang models over the years. Even high quality onesare hard to find.

    https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/sgian-dubh-dimensions.1526943/ - post #7 shows a full tang version, made by Pablo, a maker here.

    Walter Sorrells goes through making a dress and tactical version here - .
    jstrange, herisson and unwisefool like this.
  5. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    How traditional do you want it to be ? The Sgian Dubh, originally, is not a full tang build. If you really want a full tang, there is this, by Colt, nice little knife (the burl is beautiful), well finished and pretty. Just stupidly heavy (IMO) because of the full tang and the thick stock (1/6"). But it's very affordable. So, you can treat yourself to a full tang Sgian Dubh and see how it works out for you at minimal expense.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
    Steely_Gunz likes this.
  6. lieferung

    lieferung Basic Member Basic Member

    May 24, 2016
    There are a couple of makers here that have listed them somewhat regularly, go to the custom fixed blade section and search for sgian dubh.
  7. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Right ! My favorite is Paul Baleta (Baleta Knives). But he doesn't do them full tang. And they are in a higher price range. Worth every penny, this said. I have two and they are among my preferred EDCs. And while I'm at it, I could add that the Böker is in the middle between a Dirk and a Sgian. The shape is a Dirk. Sgians are small knives carried in the belt or the pocket. The Dirk is a full blown dagger worn on the belt or in the coat under the armpit.
  8. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Those are neat knives and I'll looked for an affordable one, without success. You can get a custom sgian dubh from a few makers in Scotland, but they are pricey; on a walking tour there a couple of years ago I saw a few junk knives (probably made in China) in souvenir stores, but none in museums. Cold Steel made a knockoff but I didn't care for it. There are lots of fake sgian dubhs available for bagpipers to tuck in their stockings when on parade -- some don't even have an edge and I'd hardly call them knives at all. There are a lot of custom knife makers here on Bladeforums who could produce what you want. Keep us informed.
  9. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    I will have to disagree here. While I wouldn't call the Cold Steel Secret Edge a "Sgian Dubh" because it lacks cultural and emotional charge (hence your "knockoff" designation), it is a very well made little necker. True to the "one edge" pattern of the Sgian Dubh, light, easy to carry and with a very efficient sheath (very good for neck carry, certified !). By the way... it is a full tang ! Another cheap way to try the thing...
  10. tatsu


    Oct 2, 1999
    Ken Brock/Brock Blades. Good dude and a badass knife-maker.
  11. evilgreg

    evilgreg Why so serious? Gold Member

    Dec 25, 2012
    I'm curious, why the full tang requirement? On a small knife like that why would a partial tang knife not be strong enough? I've done criminally stupid things with a Mora without breaking it, so I'm always puzzled when someone's requirements for a small knife include it having a full tang.
  12. Richard338

    Richard338 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 3, 2005
    I'm working on one right now with a 3" blade in 3V.
    It will not be full tang. Rather the tang will screw into the buttcap which will feature a 3 pence coin (1943 with thistle).
    The blackwood handle will be carved with a design that flows into the blackwood sheath.
    Don W, jstrange, Mecha and 2 others like this.
  13. BitingSarcasm

    BitingSarcasm Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    In the mid 90s Cold Steel had an actual Sgian Dubh that they called the Culloden. It is Carbon V and Kraton, and I haven't seen one for sale in a long time. Mine is a little stained and the hilt is a bit worn, but it's still miles ahead of the Secret Edge.
    Alberta Ed likes this.
  14. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    I have the mini version that came about 20ish years ago. I think mine is AUS8. Really well made little dagger designed to ride as a neck knife. Long out of production, but it is a sgian-dubh of modern making.
  15. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    A sgian-dubh is a pretty specific knife, now mostly ceremonial but still it has to hit a few particular points.

    If someone came by insisting that a Bowie with a tanto blade was fine there would be some pushback.

    A better call would be looking for a small dagger about 3-4" with a full tang.

    Otherwise people will soon be adding skull crusher pommels to katanas and saying "this is fine".
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
    Mecha likes this.
  16. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Depends on your definition of "full tang". A traditional Sgian dubh has a handle which fully encloses the tang. So the tang won't be exposed, but it need not be a stick tang, either.

    If you really want one, you will likely need to have one made for you. I've seen several makers who make knives worthy of the heritage.
  17. gdwtvb


    Jan 14, 2006
    I have been wanting one too, in fact I recently suggested on the Spyderco forums that Spyderco produce a Sgian Dubh as an addition to their Ethnic series of knives. I believe I will soon be trying my hand at knifemaking and make my own. (I have done a couple handles, and made numerous titanium charms.) I like the idea of full tang as well. I rescaled my Guardian 3.5 which is full tang and I don't find it too heavy at all. (I will use a thinner stock than the Guardian, and I can always skeltonize the tang...I can't remember if the Guardian has a skeletonized tang or not.) Polished dark micarta scales should look great.

    As a note I think Emerson makes one too, but it comes without scales.

    Alberta Ed likes this.
  18. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    This one, dated 1914, is full tang. Compared to some other recent purchases I didn't feel it was expensive.

    Alberta Ed likes this.
  19. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Pretty nice, but this would be a full hiden tang (like screwed or peened into the pommel). Some would call that a rat stick tang... No problem, actually. Swords were built like this over centuries and they worked very well.
  20. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    The OP specified full tang, that's one that runs the distance from the bolster to the pommel. I have never seen an authentic Skean with an exposed tang.

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