Justin King

Custom Rondel

Overall Length: 19.5 inches
Blade Length: 14.25 inches
Point of Balance: 0.75 inches from cross
Center of Percussion: xx inches from cross
Weight: 0.9 lbs
Rondel Diameter: 2 inches
Blade width at rondel: 1.25 inches
Blade width 2 inches from tip: 0.25 inches

Performance Review: For obvious reasons the performance of a dagger is substantially different then that of a sword, after all they are two entirely different tools. The rondel dagger is an even more specialized form of the dagger. The rondel is made for basically one thing, stabbing people, and heavily armored people in particular. Historically this specialization was approached in one of two ways with rondel daggers. Either the dagger would combine an acute point with an extremely thick spine and a single sharpened edge, or alternately the dagger could be double edged with an extremely thick midrib and acute pint. The thickness in the spine was necessary to keep the dagger from bending when encountering mail defenses. That is not to say that the rondel dagger is an all purpose armor piercing weapon, it is not... but it is more nearly so then many other dagger types. The rondel dagger that Justin made for me is a built using the single edged / thick spined principles noted above. This dagger combines an extremely acute point with an extremely thick spine (around 3/8ths of an inch). I don't own any mail to drive this dagger into (nor would I probably if I did) however I can say that this dagger balances extremely well in the hand, that the grip is comfortable, and that the rondels do a good job of locking a gloved hand into place. The dagger also did extremely well stabbing light targets.

Appearance: This is a gorgeous dagger. Justin really did a fantastic job with the fit and finish on this piece. Up to this point I own a couple of rondels from Tod's Stuff and the Rondel that Arms and Armor produces. All of them are very nice in the fit and finish department. Justin's effort surpasses all of them. The rondels themselves are carefully and exactingly executed with a pleasing filework pattern on the edges. The handle is turned ebony and completely smooth. The blade is absolutely perfect with nothing marring it's finish and is absolutely straith as well. The tolerances at the junctures of blade and grip are some of the tightest I've seen on either production or custom pieces. Overall a truly impressive package.

Conclusion: Justin is a fantastic talent in the area of making rondel daggers. The dagger that he created for me falls well within historical patterns in form and construction and is some of the nicest cleanest work I've seen coming from a relatively unknown maker in quite some time. I fully expect that Justin will eventually find himself snowed under with orders because not only is his work outstanding but his prices are bluntly put far to low for what he is producing. I was so impressed that I commissioned another rondel dagger from him immediately. I have every expectation that I will be equally pleased with the next project.