The fighting knife has evolved much in the course of human warfare. Modern knife fighting techniques garnered from fighting styles around the world have further refined stabbing implements. There are several designs that are well-tested and have proven themselves in the field as of late. The Special Operations Combatives Program Dagger otherwise known as the SOCP dagger (designed by Greg Thompson) is one. The SOCP dagger excels in its ability to puncture easily through clothing and skin. It is however, lacking in its ability to slice and cut. Sentinel Gear has released the Sköll, a vicious knife designed for the well-informed individual in need of a knife that can do both.

Sentinel Gear Sköll: A vicious close quarters knife

The Sköll features  a 1095 hi carbon steel blade which measures in at 5/32″ thick. The knife measures 7.12″ overall and features a contoured handle which grips your skin even when wet. The blade itself features a trailing point tip inspired heavily by the Persian fighting knives of old. Just forward of the grip on the spine of the knife you have approx 1/2″ of aggressive thumb groves which helps when stabbing. Speaking of stabbing, my particular knife features a single sharpened edge otherwise known as a “chisel grind” although. The chisel grind allows for ease of sharpening. The chisel grind also has a tendency to cut or veer to one side, making for some effective cuts. Due to the slight upturn of the knife’s blade, on retracting the knife after puncturing flesh, it has a tendency to make a much wider cut than you’d think given the height of the blade.

Sentinel Gear Sköll: A vicious close quarters knife

The Sköll also features a triangular shape to the overall geometry of the blade, which makes for a particular effective wound. In my time testing this knife out I found that the knife was easy to retract from flesh despite my concerns with the upturned blade. Finally the upward curve gives the knife a great length for slicing. The cuts made aren’t on the level of a karambit. The karambit does not stab near as well as the Sköll, but it certainly outdoes the SOCP dagger. The small bevel on the Sköll held up extremely well and even when hitting bone I found that the bevel did not chip.

The handle of the blade is contoured with sharp rises and falls which bites into you hand. I found that even when my hands were slick with sweat or blood that the combination of aggressive contours and thumb groves allowed the knife to stay in place even after aggressive shanking. It should also be noted that the Sköll features a full tang blade which makes for a very strong knife overall.

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Sentinel Gear Sköll: A vicious close quarters knife

The sheath is good. Very good, I carried this knife inside the waistband and found it to be comfortable and stable throughout the day. Due to the thickness it was much more difficult to find a place on my kit for the Sköll. I ended up carrying it IWB at the 1 o’clock position with my kit.  One thing I do wish that the Sköll had was a thumb ring similar to the SOCP dagger. I find them to be extremely helpful based on a lot of the training that I’ve had up to this point. However it isn’t the end. The knife performs extremely well without it.

Sentinel Gear Sköll: A vicious close quarters knife

Sentinel Gear Sköll: A vicious close quarters knife
From top to bottom: Benchmade SOCP dagger, Sentinel Gear Sköll, and Gerber GhostStrike

Notwithstanding the Sköll is not just a good fighting knife, but an excellent one that has exceeded my expectations. The Sköll outperforms the SOCP dagger in many facets, and while it’s sheath isn’t as good I find that the features and performance of the knife more than makes up for this. If you’re in the market for an excellent fighting knife and don’t mind spending the time to train with it, I couldn’t recommend the Sköll more. It sells for a cool 225 from Sentinel Gear.