Steel and Wood Rondel Dagger
|Overall Length:||17.75 inches|
|Blade Length:||12.75 inches|
|Rondel Diameter (upper):||2.25 inches|
|Rondel Diameter (lower):||1.75 inches|
|Blade width at cross:||0.75 inches|
|Blade width 2 inches from tip:||0.325 inches|
|Handle Length:||5 inches|
Performance Review: The extreme thickness of the blade spine, measuring .45" at the base and tapering to .25" two inches from the tip, combined with its heavily reinforced point make a very stiff blade capable of being forced through gaps in plate armour that are covered only by secondary defenses such as mail. The rondels provide adequate protection for the hands and combine with the turned wooden "risers" of the grip to provide a very steady grip.
Appearance: This Tod's Stuff dagger is a steel and wood version with a bronze or brass rosette where the tang is peened through the upper rondel. The thick blade has a strong spine and what is commonly called an "appleseed" or "Moran" edge grind. This has the dual effect of making the dagger very stiff while heavily reinforcing both the edge and the point. The blade is very nicely executed. Its grinds are clean with no notable wobbles, unevenness, or tool marks. The distal taper, although clearly evident, is carefully blended along the entire length of the blade. The rondels are symmetrical, though of course the upper rondel is (by design) somewhat larger than the lower rondel. Both rondels exhibit pierce work along their perimeters giving the dagger an extra aesthetic appeal. The juncture between blade and rondel is extremely tight on this model with no gaps. The grip appears to be made of oak and has three turned risers in the center. The wood is completely smooth and appears to have been treated with some oil or another form of wood finish. The entire assembly is peened together with a noticeable but clean peen at the center of the upper rondel. Centered on this peened point is a brass or bronze four-lobed rosette. The rosette is perhaps not completely symmetrical but still rather attractive. Also included is a heavy leather sheath of 8-9 oz leather that has been tooled in a geometric pattern which undoubtedly took no small amount of effort in its own right. The back of the sheath is hand-stitched. Overall, the sheath is a very nice piece of craftsmanship.
Conclusion: I believe that if this dagger were somehow transported back in time and worn at the hip no one would give it a second glance unless they happened to be admiring the workmanship. Dealing with Tod's Stuff was completely free of hassle. I made the initial inquiries and Tod sent me some nice digital pictures. From there, I sent the money and within a week I had my new dagger in hand. This dagger was not inexpensive due to the exchange rate between the US dollar and the British pound. However, with the dearth of quality rondel daggers available in the US market, I feel that it is well worthwhile to check with Tod for the "something a little better" dagger to complete a kit or to add to any collection.