What is Blade Geometry?

by John

QUESTION: All this talk about blade geometry and I have no idea what it really means. What is the blade geometry?

ANSWER: That is no quick question to answer John! :-)

Blade geometry consists of the shape of the blade, the cross section shape, the way the edge is formed, and whether or not it tapers as it travels down towards the tip as well as other factors such as harmonics, nodes within the blade that absorb impact, etc.

Suffice it to say, it is more than I can cover in these Q&A, however a detailed article will be forthcoming soon. Bear with me...! ;-)


- Paul

Comments for What is Blade Geometry?

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What is Blade Geometry?
by: Adam Pendragon

This is probably going to p-off some of the good folks a SBG, but I'm going to say it anyway.

In regards to "blade geometry" Webster's defines geometry as "the physical shape and dimensions of an object." that's it. The shape and dimensions of a sword.

Thanks to the internet, sword makers today want us all to believe there is something highly scientific, if not magical, about "blade geometry" in hopes of convincing us that their swords are better than everyone elses, in hopes of besting the competition. Once something like this gets out there it spreads like wild-fire--mainly do to the fact that most of us really just don't know that much about swords, and how the're supossed to be correctly used, etc. So, instead of hunkering-down and doing the research, we just keep passing on these mystical expressions to eachother in hopes of sounding like experts ourselves.

The truth is, all swords have geometry (shape and dimention. Sure, some swords are shaped better than others, some not. It really comes down to what the sword was intended to be used for, and personal taste.

Furthermore, these "experts" keep telling us how important "center of percussion" and "sword harmonics" are, but the're not really as important as they would have us believe. Again, they do his to intice us to buy THERE swords instead of someone elses.

According to Wikipedia (I know they're not the final word on the subject, but I agree with them 100%--so did Oakshott, by the way): "The center of percussion of a sword is the point on the blade where cutting produces the least hand shock. The significance of the vibrations about this mode have been contested as having little relevance to sword physics."

And, "So-called “blade harmonics” are a commonly misunderstood concept, especially by sword enthusiasts and their internet communities. The common belief is that a sword must be “harmonically balanced” in order to cut properly, because the vibrations would otherwise interrupt the line and power of the cut. This proposition is false: the vibrations caused by a sword cut are almost unnoticeable except as a mild stinging to the hands even in blades that lack this quality. It has also been demonstrated that the object the sword cuts through serves to further reduce the intensity of any vibration, making it even less noticeable. Many experts speculate that harmonic balance is merely a byproduct of proper construction and balancing, rather than an intentional quality added to weapons. Unfortunately, some sword vendors advertise "secret techniques" of harmonic balancing in an attempt to "prove" the superiority of their products. This only serves to amplify the false impressions of the value of harmonic balance by seeming to lend them legitimacy."

So there you have it. But don't take my word for it--look it up.

My sincere apology if I have offended Paul or anyone else at Sword Buyers Guide. My intentions are always only to spread the truth.

by: Anonymous

Thank you for that bit of information. But please, next time you are going to put out information, run spell check because misspelled words really detract from the quality of the article.

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