Daggers! They are lean and mean, simple-minded and single-purpose. While daggers can make efficient rescue knives (you don´t have to think for a micro-second which side of the blade the sharp one might be … ask the SAS trooper who got hung up in his ropes during the 1980 embassy raid and nearly became barbecued), my three here have more of a weapon character to them. Kyzliar KO-1 from Russia, Böker Applegate from Germany, Gerber Guardian II from America.
The sadly discontinued Guardian II was designed by Bob Loveless (he passed away only recently…) and has always been the unloved child next to the famous Mark II, but i find it to have superior ergonomics. I actually consider the Mk2 to have a very ineffective handle, except for the “cat paw” models. It is beyond my understanding why everyone seemed to rate the Mk2 as one of the “ultimate” fighting knives. I collect knives to some extent, but if i consider a design to be stupid, those knives are leaving me. That´s why i sold my MK2s.
My Guardian II is the camouflage model that had the cheap original black laquer finish removed from the blade and the surfaces were given a brush finish, making it somewhat unique.
The Kyzliar weighs 263 grams, the Böker is 247 grams and the Guardian is 228 grams.
The respective blade thicknesses are 3.5mm, 4.5mm and 6mm.
The Böker has the shortest blade at exactly six inches, the others are about even at 17cm.
The Kyzliar tang extends through the pommel and sticks out a bit, the Böker has nearly a full tang and the Guardian is a dubious rat-tail affair, just like its famous Mk2 comrade.
Overall, i would have to rate the Kyzliar as my favorite of the pack. Besides the very mediocre sheath, it is most agile in my paws and the superior polishing of the blade should gives it some psychological “edge”. Daggers seem to have fallen out of vogue for many people, even some military circles consider them “menacing” for their public image (an incredibly stupid thought if you drive around in tanks), but i consider two edges better than one in a fight for your life.