The sgian dubh, which is Gaelic for “black knife”, is carried in the top of the modern Highlander’s kilt hose. There are many stories told about why they are carried that way, most of them probably false. In fact, sgians were primarily utility knives, not weapons. The great kilt, which was worn by the Highlander of old, had many folds or pockets, where these small knives could be carried but the modern kilt does not. The sgian is a little too large to carry in the sporran so the logical thing to do is tuck it in the top of the kilt hose. The term “black knife” refers to the way these knives were hidden in the folds of the great kilt in the old days, not the color of the handle. We are a bit short of sgian dubh suppliers at the moment and can only offer four styles on a regular basis.
THE REGIMENTAL SGIAN DUBH
This sgian dubh (left), from Windlass Steelcrafts, is a good example of the sgians carried by the soldiers of the Highland regiments during the 19th c. This neat little knife has a black wooden handle carved on one side with cross hatchings and smooth on the side which touches your leg. The metal fittings on the knife are embossed nickel silver with a thistle motif. The pommel has a crown, making it a good companion piece for either the Dirk for Dress or Daywear or the Bonny Dirk. This knife is very light at only two ounces and is only 6.5 inches long. The blade measures 3.75 inches and is jimped and sports a short fuller. The sheath is covered in leather and also sports nickel silver fittings. Does not come sharpened but it can be.
This traditional knife is only $44 postpaid.
When we first began to carry the sgian on the right, we had no name for it. Then we came up with the perfect name - “The No Worry Sgian Dubh”. What that means is that if you lose this sgian, and they do sometimes slip out of the tops of kilt hose, you are not going to worry about it. It only costs $14 postpaid. Patterned after a fairly common style of sgian made by a number of Scottish cutlers, instead of turned ebony, bull horn and fancy hardwood, this sgian is plastic. It has a good quality stainless steel blade of the correct pattern, jimped back and fuller. The blade is sharp which can some times create a problem for the sheath which is laced and somewhat vulnerable to being cut when the very sharp blade is inserted. But, that is not a big deal considering the low price. We could not get these for awhile but they are available from a new supplier. The knife is 7 inches overall with a 3.5 inch blade. Buy one and keep it as a spare
THE NO WORRY SGIAN DUBH
COMRIE CRAFTS SGIAN DUBHS
As we have done in years past, we are placing our inventory of the high-quality Comrie Crafts Sgians on the web site. We will not restock until spring. All knives subject to prior sale. We think these are the finest Sgians produced in Scotland. All natural materials such as red deer antler and exotic hardwood for the handles, high quality stainless steel blades with jimped backs and handmade sheaths make these knives heirloom quality, worthy of being handed down to later generations. Great Christmas gifts. Pricing and descriptions can be found under the photos. Each knife comes with a sturdy gift box. Descriptions are listed below the photo.
Packing and post are only $5 per knife.
From left to right we have three red deer antler coronets. The first is plain, with a bog oak back and trim, we have two - $105. Next is a coronet with a pewter Celtic knot inset into the crown. It has a bog oak back and ebony trim - $110. Then comes a coronet with a pewter thistle inlay. It has a blackwood back and bog oak trim - $110. In the middle we have an African blackwood handle with bog oak trim and a pewter thistle inlay and bullhorn cap (all wood handled sgians have a bullhorn cap) - SOLD. Next up is an enhanced arctic birch handle (dyed) with African blackwood trim - $105. To the right is a thuya burr handled sgian with African blackwood trim - $100. Last on the right is an anjan sgian with bullhorn cap and pewter thistle inlay - $105. Finally, below is a spalted beech handled sgian with African blackwod trim - SOLD. All blades are standard sgian dubh blades made of high quality stainless steel with traditional “jimping” on the back. All come with a high quality leather sheath and sturdy gift box. We realize the photo above is lacking in some detail. If you have questions, please send us an e-mail and we will be glad to forward a better photo of the knife. Packing and post on all these sgians is $5 each.
Here are some Comrie Craft Sgians we received early this spring. Some are already sold but we left them in the photo. From left to right they are: Plain Stag Beam, bog oak trim, bull horn cap, blackwood back - $95; Natural Arctic Birch, blackwood trim, bull horn cap. The back is smoothed and polished - $105: Coco Bolo with thistle inlay, bull horn cap, bog oak back and trim - $110; Plain Bull Horn with contrasting bull horn cap, blackwood back and ebony trim - $95; Arctic Birch with Celtic knot inlay - SOLD; Stag Beam with stag head decoration, bull horn cap, antique Scottish bog oak trim and back - $105; Bull Horn with Celtic knot inlay - SOLD; Stage Coronet with nickel button, ebony back and bullhorn trim - $105; Spalted Beech - SOLD. We will order more, depending on our supply on hand, this summer.
SHEFFIELD SGIAN DUBH
We recently spotted the Sheffield Sgian Dubh in a supplier’s catalog and instantly recognized it as the near twin of the first sgian we ever owned, back in the late 70s. This one is made by the firm of Jno Will & Sons of Sheffield, England. The blade is stainless, the handle appears to be paduk, a tropical hardwood. The back of the handle is “dished” so it fits the curvature of your leg quite well. Heavy leather sheath.
This light weight and authentic sgian is yours for a mere $52 postpaid. Currently out of stock.
THE TWISTED STEEL SGIAN DUBH
Here is a new sgian dubh which we think looks very nice. It is not Scottish made but does resemble some sgians from Scotland which sell for much higher prices. It is all metal with a blue “stone” in the pommel. The blade is a typical stainless steel sgian blade, very sharp and with jimping on the back. The sheath is plastic. Overall length is 7.5 inches, knife in sheath and blade is 3.5 inches. It is light and comfortable enough to wear in the kilt hose. We call it the Twisted Steel Sgian and it is....yours for just $24 postpaid