Fixed-blade, non-folding knives are available for a variety of applications. Their innate strength and durability make them an excellent choice for self-defense as well as utilities, such as hunting and camping. Thousands of fixed-blade knives exist, but among them one style really stands out from the rest. The tri-dagger knife is as alluring as it is useful — perfect for collectors or styled self-defense. Few knives are designed as distinctively as the tri-dagger. Easily recognizable by its three sharp, twisted edges, it's sometimes referred to as a tri-edge fixed blade, spiraling dagger, cyclone fixed blade or triblade. Regardless of what you call it, one thing is for sure: Using it will inflict serious damage.
The blade of a tri-edged knife is constructed of a solid piece of metal, usually stainless steel or aluminum, with deep smooth grooves separating each of the three edges. Curved together in a spiral like an elongated corkscrew, the edges intersect at the end to form a sharp pointed tip. Several small holes are drilled through the blade just above the handle.
Both Microtech and United Cutlery produce a tri-dagger knife, though Microtech's version, the JagdKommando, is the most popular. JagdKommando (pronounced yah-come-ondo) is the brainchild of Microtech's founder, Anthony Marfione, and named for the Austrian Armed Forces' Special Operations group of the same name. Translated from German, JagdKommando means hunting force. Indeed, when we take a closer look at the individual characteristics of Microtech's JagdKommando, it becomes quickly evident that this knife is a force to be reckoned with. Here are its specifications, at a glance:
- Blade length: 7.4 inches
- Total length: 13-1/4 inches
- Weight: 1.285 pounds (just shy of a pound and a half)
The twisted design delivers maximum internal damage that couldn't be produced by any other puncturing weapon. But Microtech equips its Jagdkommando Tri-dagger with a few other qualities: a hollow handle, glass breaker and hard tubular sheath. A hollow handle with screw-off butt cap, glass breaker and lanyard hole makes the JagdKommando a useful survival tool. The handle safely holds small essentials, such as medicines, fishing hooks or money. The screw cap is more secure than any other closing mechanism, keeping out the elements but also keeping your items from falling out.
The handle is easy to grip, in part because of its size but also because it's textured with a deep waffle pattern. That waffle pattern is instrumental in allowing the knife's user to maneuver in inclement weather or during a defense situation when your surroundings may be wet. It keeps your hands from slipping out of a comfortable grip or sliding onto the knife's blade. The glass breaker consists of a small rectangular protrusion on the end of the butt cap that provides a direct point of impact when hitting upon a surface. In addition to breaking glass, it can be used as a non-lethal defense for striking an attacker. It's also used to connect the knife to a lanyard.
The tubular sheath is hard coated and rubber sealed for complete protection of your blade whenever it’s not being used. The surface is imprinted with a waffle pattern that's stylish and functional, making the unit easy to grip and unlikely to slip from your hand. The hard sheath provides much more protection than other cases, ensuring your knife won’t get crushed or broken during transport or while in long-term storage. It doesn't take considerable time to un-sheath the knife, but it is longer than other styles. This is definitely an important aspect to consider if you’re looking to carry a tri-dagger for self-defense where every second counts. For easy access, maybe consider an OTF automatic knife. There seems to be little consensus within the tactical and knife collecting community about the usefulness and necessity of the tri-dagger knife.
Opinions are deeply divided, with people either really liking this style or not liking it at all. On one hand, the deep penetrating wound caused by a knife, like the JagdKommando tri-dagger knife, is sure to disable any attacker. But its detractors are quick to point out that there are few legitimate reasons for someone to use its other major attribute, the glass breaker. Also, they note that its spiral edges detract from the knife's usefulness in a survival situation because it would be useless for traditional cutting for things like rope or brush. They also question its effectiveness for real-life self-defense because it’s difficult to carry unless hidden away in its sheath. Compounding the defense issue is the legality of spiral daggers; they're simply not permitted in some areas. If you’re unsure about the legality of your knife, make sure to check if it’s legal to carry a knife where you live and regularly travel. And with a blade of seven inches, most places would require you to have a permit in order to carry it.
Microtech does make a mini version that's about half the size of the original JagdKommando. The total overall length is about seven inches, so it's easily worn around your neck and hidden under clothes. Both versions of Microtech's JagdKommando are available in several colors including solid black, green or tan, as well as variations of camo and polished metal.