History of the Italian Stiletto Knife

Posted by sharpimport on 9/26/2019

One of the most desired and sought-after knives today is the stiletto knife. It is sometimes known as Italian stiletto due to its Italian origin. This spectacular knife is known for its strength, brutality and needle like blade. It is extremely popular among the users because it serves both as a thrusting and a self defense knife

In this article, we will take an insight on the history of stiletto knife. However, it is also important to describe the knife to the beginners who are not pretty familiar with this knife. There are certain significant facts associated with the history of the knife. Let’s uncover those facts. But, we begin with a short explanation of the knife. 


Stiletto Knife Explained

Stiletto knife is one of the most frequently used knives these days. It is a slightly longer knife because the blade of this knife has greater length compared to other knives. There is a long slender blade with a tip or a needle-like point. This is generally a stabbing and thrusting knife. 

Stiletto has a powerful blade that can tear someone apart. The point at the bottom of the blade allows it to penetrate deeply into the body and cause severe injuries. It is the design of the knife that actually drives the user crazy. It is believed to be one of the finest stabbing weapons ever constructed. 

The appearance of the stiletto is a bit like a dagger. The blade is longer and thinner and ends up as a point at the bottom. Hence, many people confuse it with a dagger. However, it is quite different from a dagger. There are often no edges on the blade. 

At times, the blades do come with edges, but those stilettos are intended to be used for utility purposes. Generally, it is a fighting weapon due to its stabbing and thrusting abilities. However, the edges on the blade minimize the thrusting and stabbing abilities. 

Hence, such a knife becomes just another utility knife. Hence, a stiletto needs to be a fighting knife and hence must not have edges on the blade. 

What we are talking about is a traditional and real stiletto knife. However, in modern days, we have a stiletto switchblade. 


Stiletto Knife Origin

Stiletto knife is popularly believed to be originated in Italy. Historians suggest that the first ever stiletto was established during the 15th century. It was earlier considered as an advanced version of a dagger called rondel. Stiletto looked pretty similar to that particular daggers. One can say that it was inspired from that dagger. 

The rondel dagger also had a very narrow blade and featured a needle like point as well. Furthermore, it was also a weapon for stabbing and thrusting actions. Unlike stiletto, it features cutting edges. Therefore, the recognition of this knife has to be a tip rather than edges that make it a utility knife. But, stiletto isn’t a knife for getting utility tasks done.

The first ever stiletto was made using metal. The handle was particularly made of handle turned on a lathe. On the other hand, blade was hammer forged and edges were never there. It was actually forged into a pretty dense rod with narrow and triangular cross-sections. The cross-sections though were sometimes diamond, bearing square and round very often.

The history of this knife suggests that it was a weapon inspired from a writing instrument used by the Romans. They used it for engraving clay tablets. There was a quite thin point featured on that instrument. However, during the Middle Ages, the popularity of this knife peaked. 

The medieval knights adopted this knife as their secondary fighting weapon. It was used as an offensive weapon to finish off the wounded and fallen enemies. During wars, the needle like point on the blade proved to be extremely advantageous. 

The blade had the ability to penetrate deeply into the bodies of the enemies and almost killed them. One reason to use this thinner blade was that knights had put on armor and helmets. But, this thin blade could pass through the eye slits on the helmets and cause injuries. Hence, this fighting knife had immense strength to knock down the opponents. 


Earliest Uses of Italian Stiletto Knife

Amid the medieval times, stiletto knife was recognized as a thrusting and stabbing weapon in Italy. The Italian assassins used this knife for silent killing. Thieves also carried this lethal knife because it had a point at the blade which allowed it to penetrate through extremely thick fabrics at times. 

Because these knives were small, the assassins of Italy could easily conceal them in their jackets and launch silent attacks on them. At times, the wounds caused by this knife were highly severe and led to death of the person pretty quickly. 

Several historians agree that these knives caused severe and long term injuries. Knowing the brutal and lethal nature of these knives, the authorities determined that they were illegal to carry in Italy. 

In 1563, Stiletto emerged as a capable fighting weapon. But, it was never adopted as a main weapon. Dagger served as a primary fighting weapon while stiletto was used as a secondary knife. Soldiers tended to carry these knives to deal with their enemies. In case they lost their daggers during a close quarters combat, stiletto was there to assist them. 

Stiletto was not less lethal than a dagger by any means. Hence, it quickly replaced dagger as a primary fighting weapon in Italy. The earliest knife resembled a French poignant which was also a thrusting weapon. However, even today, people believe that one of the greatest thrusting and stabbing weapons is a stiletto knife. 


Popularity As a Fighting Weapon

The popularity of stiletto knife as a powerful fighting weapon continued to rise. During the First World War, it served the soldiers to a great extent. In fact, it allowed users to easily overpower their opponents and pick up the victory. The First World War did not include the use of nuclear weapons. Rather, hand to hand combat took place. 

In a hand to hand combat, a weapon like dagger was needed. During such combat, almost a brawl took place and losing the weapon was quite likely. Hence, realizing the needs of the soldiers, stiletto knives were used. The soldiers fought their opponents with these knives and ended up knocking them down. 

A need for stabbing and thrusting weapon arose during World War I. Hence, manufacturers designed and handed these knives to the fighters. This was the primary fighting weapon used by the soldiers during that war. 

The First World War also includes battles in the trenches. During these trenches wars, stiletto knife served as a primary fighting weapon. Since it was a stabbing and thrusting knife, it proved to be extremely handy. This was the period where it became popular around the world as a real fighting and self defense knife. 

Stiletto was also used in the Second World War but not as a primary fighting weapon. Rather, it was used as a secondary weapon. Anyways, it was still a combat knife and every commando was equipped with it. 

It became helpful for the commando raiding forces in silent killing. Amid the 1940s, an F-S fighting knife was established which happened to be an advancement a stiletto knife. 

This knife was more close to a dagger. There was a thin blade with a narrow point used for thrusting actions. But, it features some edges but extremely sharp edges which made it effective for slashing strokes as well. But, it only remained popular as a fighting weapon. 


Stiletto Switchblade - The Advanced Stiletto Knife

The advancement in the stiletto knife continued and ultimately led to our first stiletto switchblade. A switchblade is generally a folding knife that features a push button for opening and closing the blade. A switchblade was designed in the 1950s to fulfill the needs of the modern users. 

The modern users required knives that are easy to carry and comfortable. Switchblades were imported to the US during the 1950s in large numbers. These feature folding blades and were very easy to carry. There was no need of a sheath for carrying them. 

A stiletto switchblade is a pocket knife designed to be carried in the pocket. A folding mechanism allows the blade to fold inside the handle when not in use. A safety lock makes sure that the blade does not open or fold unless you want. 

Today, stiletto knife is usually available as a switchblade. People use a switchblade because it fulfills their needs. They carry it as self defense weapon against the attackers. Since it has a powerful blade, they can easily injure the attacker and escape to save their lives. So, today, it is just a pocket-carry knife for self defense.

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