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Christopher Krueger





Joined: 28 Feb 2006

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri 10 Mar, 2006 3:08 am    Post subject: Hexagonal vs. Diamond - Cross-section Performance Question         Reply with quote

When it comes to most of Oakeshott's Typologies, I am able to look at the design (width, thickness, tapers, geometries, etc..) look at the swords, and figure out how the form fulfills the function. BTW, this is no small part due to all of the in-depth Handling Characteristic sections of the incredible reviews on this site. In addition, I can see why a particular form may have been created and/or chosen for use over another form.

Where I run into trouble is the hexagonal cross-section blades such as the Type XIX. A cut-and-thrust weapon I know. I also know that like a lot of blade types you can find them on everything from rapiers to two-handers. What I can't figure out is how a blade of this type would compare against a Type XVIII blade of similar function(ie. early rapier vs. early rapier or longsword vs. longsword).

I realize there is great deal of overlap, but based on Peter Johnsson's description in the third post of this thread I'm trying to find the specific function of the hexagonal cross-section that falls as he put it "outside this overlap".

It seems like all other considerations being equal, a swordsman might choose a hexagonal cross-sectioned blade vs. a diamond because...

1.) Better cutting performance against hard targets then the XVIII at the sacrifice of some wieldiness (ie. it's "unforgiving in the cut") against softer targets?

2.) Cutting performance similar to a lenticular blade and thrusting performance of an XVIII at the sacrifice of increased weight?

3.) XIX is the "true" cut-and-thrust sword while XVIII is really more of a thrust-and-cut?

I'm hoping the Albion Type XIX's will shed some light on this after they've been put through their paces.

Any thoughts?
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Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
Joined: 26 Aug 2003

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Posts: 870

PostPosted: Fri 10 Mar, 2006 4:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Hexagonal vs. Diamond - Cross-section Performance Questi         Reply with quote

Christopher Krueger wrote:
When it comes to most of Oakeshott's Typologies, I am able to look at the design (width, thickness, tapers, geometries, etc..) look at the swords, and figure out how the form fulfills the function. BTW, this is no small part due to all of the in-depth Handling Characteristic sections of the incredible reviews on this site. In addition, I can see why a particular form may have been created and/or chosen for use over another form.

Where I run into trouble is the hexagonal cross-section blades such as the Type XIX. A cut-and-thrust weapon I know. I also know that like a lot of blade types you can find them on everything from rapiers to two-handers. What I can't figure out is how a blade of this type would compare against a Type XVIII blade of similar function(ie. early rapier vs. early rapier or longsword vs. longsword).

I realize there is great deal of overlap, but based on Peter Johnsson's description in the third post of this thread I'm trying to find the specific function of the hexagonal cross-section that falls as he put it "outside this overlap".

It seems like all other considerations being equal, a swordsman might choose a hexagonal cross-sectioned blade vs. a diamond because...

1.) Better cutting performance against hard targets then the XVIII at the sacrifice of some wieldiness (ie. it's "unforgiving in the cut") against softer targets?

2.) Cutting performance similar to a lenticular blade and thrusting performance of an XVIII at the sacrifice of increased weight?

3.) XIX is the "true" cut-and-thrust sword while XVIII is really more of a thrust-and-cut?

I'm hoping the Albion Type XIX's will shed some light on this after they've been put through their paces.

Any thoughts?


Hi Christopher

In general, there really is no performance gain by having a hex crossection vs diamond. If we use the the hex as the base, say, for discussion purposes, in a given width and thickness, the hex would be more rigid. But that's because it has more material there, thus more weight.

Or another way of looking at it, for a given mass, the diamond could be either wider, or thicker, or both, than the hex, thus gaining on the rigidity of the hex.

An XVIIIish blade can be more thrust than cut, but it also can be more cut than thrust. It depends on all kinds of things, like thickness/ width ratio, what the edge geometry looks like, how acute the point goes........

etc......

I would really hesitate to say that the XIX has any real performance advantages over an XVIII in such a general way. A given XIX might be a better cutter than a given XVIII, but vice versa on the next comparison. Same with thrusting..... And handling has the advantage/ disadvantage of being not just a mechanical/ sword thing, its also a very human interpretation thing, each person winds up liking and responding to different swords and their handling characteristics in different fashions.......

swords are fun
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