Sgian Dubh (Sgian Dhu) Knives

The sgian dubh is a Scottish knife that is worn on the calf of the leg (tucked into your sock) in highland wear; "sgian dubh" is Gaelic for "black knife" and is pronounced "skin doo." The commonest spelling is sgian dubh, but sgian dhu and other spelling variations are also allowable. Although worn largely by the Scots, it's also worn by the Irish with their kilt outfits.

Some people distinguish between "horn" and "antler" and some do not. We use the two terms interchangeably.
 

Some Notes About Our Sgian Dubh Blades

Our sgians dubh have a high-quality, stainless steel sharp blade (except the Damascus model, which does not have a stainless blade). The current style in Britain is sale of sgians dubh with dull blades, apparently for "safety" reasons (!). One of our suppliers claims that all the other sellers are happy with the dull blades, and so we know that there are dull blades being sold out there somewhere. We suggest that you always check about the blade when buying a sgian dubh if sharpness matters to you.

We sell these sgians dubh solely as a traditional Scottish costume item to be worn in your sock. We offer no warranty on what they will cut, and we do not sell these as self-defense weapons.

Note to knife collectors: In Scottish circles, the edges of the handle and blade will often, but not always, match in  a straight line, as many collectors of other knives expect. Horn-handled sgians dubh especially do not necessarily have this match. We do not exchange knives that do not have a handle/blade straight-line match.

The blades on these knives are just under 3 3/4" long.

 

Dress Sgian Dubh Knives with Thistle or Celtic Knot Motif

au501021.jpg (35086 bytes)SD1A. Dress sgian dubh has handle made of high-density polymer in an old traditional design, polished pewter thistle-design mountings, molded hard sheath with thistle tip, sharpened stainless blade. Boxed, with maker's tag. Made in Scotland. Although not shown in photo, blade now has "Sgian Dhu Co. Made in Scotland" engraved on the blade. $43

We also have a buckle (buckles page), kilt pin (kilt pins page), and set of cufflinks (Scottish jewelry page) that match this thistle design.

au501031.jpg (32649 bytes)SD1B. Dress sgian dubh has handle made of high-density polymer in an old traditional design, polished pewter Celtic knot-design mountings, molded hard sheath with Celtic knot tip, sharpened stainless blade. Boxed, with maker's tag. Made in Scotland. Although not shown in photo, blade now has "Sgian Dhu Co. Made in Scotland" engraved on the blade. $43

The SD1A and SD1B come in a box like the one shown at left, with the tag shown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horn-Handled Sgian Dubh Knife with Thistle Motif and Ebony Wood Trim

SD3A. Real horn handle, pewter thistle on ebony wood mount on end of handle (the thistle is shown at left below), black leather sheath with raised interlace Celtic design. There is also piece of ebony backing of the horn (that would be worn next to the leg, as shown in the side view below). Sharpened stainless blade. Made in Scotland. Boxed, with maker's tag. $59

The horn varies and can be quite light. Please tell us if you have a preference in horn color. Also, some horn has a rougher surface and some is smoother.

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The SD3A comes in a box like the one shown at left, with the tag shown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horn-handled Sgian Dubh Knife with Leather Trim

SD3B. Real horn handle, brown leather sheath with raised interlace Celtic design.  There is a brown wood piece above and below the horn, as shown, and also a wood piece along the back (see side view in the photo below). Sharpened stainless blade. Made in Scotland. Boxed, with tag. $57.

We show a typical horn handle; however it varies, and some comes in quite light as shown at left, and some is darker as in the SD3A above. Please tell us if you have a preference in horn color. Also, some horn has a rougher surface and some is smoother.

 

The SD3B comes in a box like the one shown at left, with the tag shown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sgian Dubh Knife with Carved Thistle Blackwood Handle

SD5. Real carved blackwood handle with thistle-shaped  top, small sterling silver thistle on front of handle. Black leather sheath with raised Celtic knot design. Knife is about 7 1/2" overall. Sharpened stainless blade. Made in Scotland. Boxed, tag included. $39.

The SD5 comes in a box like the one shown at left, with the tag shown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sgian Dubh Knife with Half-Crown Horn Handle

SD6 (left). Hunting sgian dubh has real half tri horn handle (full crown horn is cut in half and back of handle is flat), with Celtic embossed cowhide sheath, choice of black or brown color (a black sheath will be sent if no color is specified). Because the handle is real horn, no two will be alike. The sgian dubh itself is about 7 1/2" long, and comes with a warning tag that the stainless steel blade is sharp. Made in Scotland. $36.

The handle on this sgian dubh is made of real horn, collected in Scotland, and is horn that is naturally shed by the deer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sgian Dubh Knife with Plain Horn Handle

SD7A (far left). Hunting sgian dubh has real plain horn handle, with Celtic embossed cowhide sheath, choice of black or brown (a black sheath will be sent if no color is specified). Because the handle is real horn, no two will be alike. The blade is silver-colored - it only looks black in the photo because of reflections from the surroundings. Sgian dubh is about 7 1/2" long and comes with a warning that the stainless steel blade is sharp. Leather sheath is included in price. Made in Britain. $32.

Sale! SD7B (immediate left).  Same as the SD7A above, but has thicker horn handle. Was $32, now $26.

SD7C. Medium-width handle. This is the same SD as in 7A & B above, but the horn handle width falls between the thick and thin ones shown. $32.


The handles on these sgian dubh are made of real horn, collected in Scotland, and is horn that is naturally shed by the deer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sgian Dubh Knife with Full Crown Horn Handle

SD8. Horn-handled sgain dubh has full round horn end, the most expensive part of the antlers. (This is the same knife as the SD11 below, except for the blade.) Celtic embossed cowhide sheath, choice of black or brown color (a black sheath will be sent if no sheath is specified), sharpened stainless steel blade. $50

The handle on this sgian dubh is made of real horn, collected in Scotland, and is horn that is naturally shed by the deer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leather Sgian Dubh Knife Sheaths

SD9 (shown at left). Leather sgian dubh sheath available separately. Please specify black or brown. Size: 4 1/2" long overall; however, because of the stitching around the edge, it will only take a blade that is maximum 4 1/4". $8. Note: if this item is ordered alone, with no other goods, there will be a handling fee of $2 in addition to a postage fee of $5.

 

 

 

 

 

Sgian Dubh Knife with Damascus Blade and Full Crown Horn Handle

SD11. Horn-handled sgian dubh with sharpened Damascus steel blade. The distinctive characteristic of a Damascus blade is the swirled pattern, produced by the unique method of manufacture. Historically, Damascus is a hot-forged steel used in Middle Eastern sword-making from about 11001700 AD, although its origins may have been much earlier. The historic methods of making Damascus steel have been lost. However, according to Wikipedia, "Modern Damascus is a lamination of folded steels selected with cosmetic qualities, with grinding and polishing specifically to expose the layers. True Damascus patterns are formed when carbon trace elements form visible swirls in the steel mix. These elements change properties when the steel is work hardened (forged), creating the patterns."  The handle on this sgian dubh is made of real horn, collected in Scotland, and is horn that is naturally shed by the deer. The horn has a full round end, called the crown, the expensive part of the antlers. The new ones now in also have a black piece of material between the handle and the blade.  Choice of black or brown leather sheath with Celtic design; however we think the black sheath looks best with these (black will be sent if color is not specified). This knife is symmetrical, in that it can be worn equally well with the blade turned for the right hand or the left. Clearly, this is a real knife collector's item. Made in a town that lies on the Scottish/English border. Boxed. $99

 

At left we show some of the variety of horn handles in our current shipment of the SD11 with Damascus blade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SD11A. We have one SD11 shown at left that has an interesting horn handle. One side of the Damascus blade has a very good design. The other side has a flaw in the Damascus design (see enlarged closeup of this blade). Regular $99, selling for $89. Boxed. Includes sheath.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horn-Tip Sgian Dubh Knives
For horn and knife collectors

SD13. This horn-tip sgian dubh is called the "quirky" style by the maker. And quirky they are. Every one is distinctly different, as you can see by the two photos. Most are quite speckled. They also vary in size, color, and number of tips. At left, we show some with three tips, and below are the ones with two. Length of horn handle (excluding the stainless steel blade) varies from about 6" to 8 1/2" long. Tell us whether you want this SD  longer or shorter, and we'll pick you out a nice one. These are a real addition to any knife collection! With choice of black or brown leather sheath with embossed Celtic design (black will be sent if color is not specified). Sharp stainless steel blade. $53

The handle on this sgian dubh is made of real horn, collected in Scotland, and is horn that is naturally shed by the deer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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