Sword thickness, what's it do?
QUESTION: I've been pondering what the optimal thickness of a katana should be. All things being equal (blade geometry, sharpness/polishing, weight, steel, differential tempering etc...) Would the blade thickness determine a katana's cutting ability (light or heavy duty cutting)? Some manufacturers boast about their blade being 1/4 an inch thick, wheras many other do not. Are manufacturers that fail to state blade thickness merely omitting this bit of information because they don't believe it is important? or because theirs is thinner than those that boast about a 1/4 inch thickness? Just how important is thickness and what is the ideal thickness?
ANSWER: Hi Darian,
That's quite a tricky one - mostly because it can't really be taken in isolation... In other words, the thickness will effect the weight, the kind of bevel it should have (and thus the sharpness), etc...
Generally speaking, the thicker the blade, the more durable it is. But even this is a generalization, because that depends on the steel used and the tempering...
No easy answer to this one I am afraid, and there isn't an ideal thickness as personal preferences definitley come into play...
As such, the only way to see how it all comes together is by examining each sword on a case by case basis.