The largest collection of swords, weapons and more from the Bronze Age to World War II
Iron Tiger Forge Logo

Iron Tiger Forge Ornamented Dadao

SKU: BC0508 Categories: , , Tag: Brand:
(3 customer reviews)


In stock

Additional information

Originally an agricultural tool, the long-hilted Dadao with its powerful chopping blade was a favorite weapon of peasant militias. It found widespread acceptance by the military, and by the 20th century was the common sidearm and symbol of the Chinese army and police. Even a nationalist marching song, the Dadao March was composed to commemorate anti-Japanese resistance in Second Sino-Japanese War. Unlike most historical examples, this Dadao is heavily ornamented, prominently featuring the dragon.

This Dadao was made in Longquan, a region central to sword production in the Song Dynasty. The blade is folded high-carbon steel of 1045 and 1065 containing 3,800 layers. Folded steel was a common blademaking technique in China as it minimized impurities and melded hard and flexible steels together for a compromise containing both qualities. The hilt, guard and fittings are of zinc alloy and the scabbard is wood-core covered with soft black leather. The sword comes in a wooden, ornamented gift box with a boxed cleaning kit and a sword stand.

Overall Length32''
Blade Length18 1/4''
Weight3 lb 1.5 oz
EdgeVery Sharp
Width29.5 mm
Thickness5 mm - 4.4 mm
Grip Length13''
Blade [1045 & 1065 Folded High Carbon Steel]
ClassBattle Ready
ManufacturerIron Tiger Forge
Country of OriginChina

3 reviews for Iron Tiger Forge Ornamented Dadao

  1. Archimedes One

    Looks great, but poorly balanced For $170 this blade is exceptional value per dollar. From the flawless hilt ornamentation to the decorative case that all Iron Tiger Forge blades come with, it’s hard to believe all this at such an affordable price, but it does come with one drawback–The balance.

    Maneuvering this blade is just bizarre. The point of balance sits right in the center of the forehand, which makes it feel as if all of the weight is concentrated in that one hand, while both the blade itself and the back hand feel as if they are totally weightless. As far as I can tell, this a result of the construction of the handle. The upper two-thirds of the handle appear to be a solid steel rod, while the bottom third is a hollow tube. This is a real shame because Iron Tiger Forge probably could have removed up to a full pound of weight if the handle had been a fully hollow steel tube with the tang being perhaps being encased in wood, or something else to secure it to the decorative metal handle.

    With that aside, what you do get with this blade is a beautiful blade of folded high-carbon steel with no secondary edge bevel and a very sharp edge. A nicely-stitched scabard with metal ornamentations and decent quality leather. And a decorative case which includes within it a blade cleaning and care kit, and a table stand for the blade.

    So while this blade falls short for test cutting, it is a great piece of art.

  2. Daniel Flynn

    Beautiful sword that is putting on airs When translated, da-dao literally means “big knife.” This just about sums up what this sword actually is: a big knife. It’s a sword that is no nonsense. The dadao also has a frightening history. This is the weapon that was appropriated by Chinese nationalists and communists during the early twentieth century. This weapon was used by police officers to publicly execute political dissidents. One historian describes this period in Chinese history as the “democratization of violence.” There are absolutely terrifying visuals I wish I could include in this review, but take my word for it that the mere sight of this weapon by a Chinese peasant in the early twentieth century must have caused them to involuntarily soil themselves. The weapon was also given to Chinese militiamen and paramilitary during the Sino-Japanese Wars due to the scarcity of firearms and munitions. One paramilitary group famously led a charge on the Japanese line with only their swords to defend themselves. Due to the heroism of this fighting unit and the weapon’s frightening past, the dadao became a symbol of Chinese resistance to imperial Japan and a major symbol of Chinese nationalism. Why then has a peasant weapon, something so basic and rudimentary, been replicated in such a splendid version such as this? I am not sure. Though while this sword is certainly no replica, given that no dadao in history was ever this ornamental, it is quite beautiful. It is also a real bargain for the price. I initially thought this weapon would be terribly unwieldy due to its weight and point of balance. When two hands are used at opposite ends of the handle, it feels well balanced enough for my liking. My sword is definitely not “very sharp” as KoA claims. The polish is beautiful and the blade shows no problems with the lamination. I still feel as though the sword is too heavy. If I were KoA, I would modify this model to make the blade broader, and craft the handle out of wood with metal accents. Even though the sword is putting on airs, I am sure it could still execute a political dissident.

  3. Archimedes One

    Update on previous review In my first review, I speculated about how the handle of this piece was constructed, but that needs to be corrected. At first, I was unable to remove the handle because it was so tightly fitted, but eventually I was able to get the pieces apart and this blade does NOT have a solid piece of metal for the upper half of the handle. The handle comes in two sections and both are hollow, however the top has a wood core. The reason for the exceptional weight, is completely due to the thickness of the metal used on the handle.

    I’m currently in the process of re-handling this blade, and can honestly say that, if you view this listing as a blade blank, rather than a completed sword. the $229 price tag is still a pretty good deal.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop