Dagger Vs. Sword

Dagger Vs. Sword – Which Is Better?

A dagger is a fighting knife with a sharp pointed tip and two sharp edges. On the other hand, a sword is a weapon with a long metal blade, either straight or curved. But how is a dagger different from a sword, or what are their key differences?

These two weapons differ in many ways, including the blade design, materials they are made of, and weight. Their blade length is also different, with the dagger being shorter. In addition, a dagger differs from a sword in its uses and the way of wearing the tools.

So then, which is better between the two weapons? Read on to find out this and much more about the various dagger vs. sword differences. 

Differences Between Dagger and Sword Comparison Table

Below is a quick summary of the features that set a dagger apart from a sword. Check them out.

AppearanceTwo cutting edges and a sharp pointed blade with a fuller or central spine. Double-edged straight or curved blade, equipped with a handle or hilt.
The handle is made of aluminum and has a crossguard.The handle is metallic or wooden and covered with shark or leather skin.
Weight0.9 to 1.2 pounds2.5 to 4.5 pounds
Blade Length5 to 12 inches18 to 48 inches
UsesStabbing, thrusting, slashing, fighting, and combat.Major cutting, thrusting, hacking, stabbing, piercing, and slashing.
Materials Used Ivory, flint, bone, copper, iron. (Ancient times)Copper, bronze, and iron. (Ancient times)
High-carbon steel, ceramic, titanium, alloy, or stainless steel. (Modern times)Damascus steel and high-carbon steel. (Modern times)
Blade DesignShort, double-cutting edges with a sharply tapered tip. Curved, angled, or straight blade with a sharpened cutting edge on one or both sides.
How To WearLower back or right hip side.Left hip side, on the back, or across the waist.

Dagger Vs. Sword Differences: Side-by-Side Comparison

Here, we will compare every aspect of the dagger and sword. From there, you can decide which is the perfect choice for you based on your needs. 

See also:  Knife Vs Sword: A Comprehensive Discussion

1. Appearance

A dagger is typically double-edged. Its blade also has a sharp tip that is tapered. In addition, some have a fuller spine while others are central. As for the handle, it has a full crossguard to prevent your fingers from sliding forward and getting injured. The handle is made of anodized aluminum.


When it comes to a sword, its double-edged blade can either be straight or curved. In addition, the blade is fitted with a hilt or a handle. The handle or hilt boasts a pommel or guard and is made of metal or wood. Some handles are covered with shark skin, while others are untanned leather.

2. Weight

The average weight of a dagger with a blade length of 8 to 12 inches is approximately 0.9 to 1.2 pounds. The longer the dagger, the heavier it is.

On the other hand, a sword with a blade length of 28 inches weighs between 2.5 and 4.5 pounds on average. Therefore, a sword is heavier than a dagger, making it a more powerful self-defense weapon. 

3. Uses

A dagger is a fighting knife you can use as a stabbing, slashing, or thrusting weapon. Today, this tool is used for self-defense, combat, or fighting. However, you cannot use this weapon for cutting.


When it comes to a sword, it is intended for thrusting or manual cutting. Most swords can also hack, stab, and slash a potential attacker, giving piercing and cutting damage. Additionally, swords are used to decorate pieces over the fireplace and as ceremonial weapons given to the best recruit as a prize.

4. Length

Generally, a sword boasts a longer blade length than a dagger. A dagger’s blade length ranges between 5 to 12 inches long. On the other hand, its tang measures about 4.75 inches long.

See also:  6 Key Differences Between Dagger Vs. Short Sword- Which Is The Best Weapon?

Moving on, the average blade length of a sword is about 30 inches. However, a one-handed sword has a blade measuring between 18 and 31 inches long. Meanwhile, a regular sword has an edge varying from 24 to 48 inches in length. 

5. Blade Design

A dagger boasts a short symmetrical blade with a sharply tapered point and a fuller or central spine. In addition, it features two cutting edges that are both sharpened.

Dagger Blade

On the other hand, a sword has a longer blade attached to a hilt. The blade can be curved, straight, or angled. For instance, a slashing sword tends to have a curved blade with a sharpened cutting edge on one or both sides. Meanwhile, a thrusting sword will have a straighter blade and pointed tip.  

6. Materials Used

The earliest daggers were made from materials like ivory, flint, or bone. Others were made of copper alloy. And in Egypt, the daggers were iron-made. Today, these tools are constructed from high-carbon steel, titanium, stainless steel, ceramic, and alloy steel.

Sword Materials Used

Meanwhile, early swords were constructed from copper, bronze, and iron. Today, these weapons are made of various types of steel, including Damascus and high-carbon steel. However, practice swords are made out of wood, making them harmless. 

7. How to Wear?

Historically, a dagger was worn on the lower back and accessible for the left or right hand. You can also wear your dagger on the right hip, making it accessible for the right or left hand.

As for the sword, you can wear it on the left hip to easily reach it with your right hand. You could also wear it on your back or across the waist for the case of a short sword. 

See also:  How Sharp is a Scalpel Compared to Knives?

When Is A Dagger Better Than A Sword and Vice Versa?

A dagger is better than a sword when you are incredibly close to your enemy. Like when you are literally grappling your opponent in a fight. 

Thanks to its short blade, this tool lets you quickly get close to your opponent and deliver fatal blows swiftly. Compared to a sword, a dagger is also easier to conceal and quicker to draw. 

When Is A Dagger Better Than A Sword

On the other hand, a sword has more reach and attacking power than a dagger. This is thanks to its long blade and heavyweight. Consequently, it is a better tool than a dagger when you need a fuller combat weapon that offers more protection.


Before we conclude our comparison guide, let’s check out some commonly asked questions regarding the dagger vs. sword differences.

Any similarities between a dagger and a sword?

For starters, both are self-defense weapons used for stabbing, slashing, and thrusting. In addition, both tools have existed since ancient times and are made from different materials.

Which is more potent: a dagger or a sword?

A sword is more powerful than a dagger because of its long blade and weight. Generally, a dagger may have lower attacking power depending on the power of the user. 

Is a dagger cheaper than a sword?

Yes. Some daggers cost as low as $8, while others cost between $30 and several hundred dollars. Meanwhile, the price of a sword ranges from $16 to upwards of $2000.


While a dagger and a sword are both self-defense tools or fighting weapons, they have many differences. For example, they differ in blade design, length, and overall weight. 

A sword is, of course, heavier and with a longer blade than a dagger. The two tools also vary in terms of how to wear, their uses, and the materials used to make them.

Now, when it comes to, “which is better between a dagger and a sword,” it depends on the scenario. A dagger would be a better option for close-range combat because it is easier to conceal and quicker to draw. On the other hand, a sword is an excellent choice for full combat when concealment is not a factor. 

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