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Chris Artman




Location: USA
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PostPosted: Sat 24 May, 2008 12:06 pm    Post subject: Single vs double edged swords         Reply with quote

I was wondering what the advantages vs disadvantages were with a single vs double edged sword? Maybe perhaps the blade of a single edge sword can be stiffer? Why did everything go the way of the cavalry sword and not a double edged sword? Anybody that would rather fight with a cavalry sword instead of a double edged sword?

What are the advantages of a falchion over a double edged sword?

That being said, would you rather have an Albion Knecht, Albion Vassal, or something else? (The Knecht looks like a giant curved kitchen knife to me?)

I would think a Katana would be one of the best single edged weapons out there... it looks like the tang of a katana is almost as thick as the blade itself, which must make katanas one of the best designed single edged weapons...

Also, what is the largest and/or longest war sword, falchion, or single edged weapon on the market?


Last edited by Chris Artman on Sat 24 May, 2008 5:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
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PostPosted: Sat 24 May, 2008 1:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Single vs double edged swords         Reply with quote

Chris Artman wrote:
I was wondering what the advantages vs disadvantages were with a single vs double edged sword? Maybe perhaps the blade of a single edge sword can be stiffer? Why did everything go the way of the cavalry sword and not a double edged sword? Anybody that would rather fight with a cavalry sword instead of a double edged sword?


I'm not so sure there's any real advantage either way. I do know that many schools using double edged swords have techniques for the opposite edge. Though, the same can be said about backswords with false edges on the back near the tip. In the end I suppose to comes down to tradition, preference and how the sword was supposed to be used. I wouldn't say one is inherently better then the other, though.

As for the second part of your query, you seem to have a few misconceptions about the term "cavalry sword." From what I can tell this just means a long sword made to be used from horseback. They could be both single edged and double edged, and indeed, most of them actually were double edged.

Quote:
What are the advantages of a falchion over a double edged sword?


Well, a falchion is a specific kind of sword, where as "double edge sword" can mean anything from a roman spatha to a baskethilt broadsword. So one can't really make an accurate comparisson.

And even if we could, it's still more a matter of what the sword in question is supposed to be used rather then the actual properties.

Quote:
That being said, would you rather have an Albion Knecht, Albion Vassal, or something else? (The Knecht looks like a giant curved kitchen knife to me?)


That's actually not so inaccurate given that the Knecht is a kriegsmesser. ("Messer" being German for knife.)

As for my preferences, I've always been a fan of the two-handed swiss saber, myself.

Quote:
I would think a Katana would be one of the best single edged weapons out there... it lookls like the tang of a katana is almost as thick as the blade itself, which must make katanas one of the best designed single edged weapons...


Eh, don't buy into the hype too much. I think the katana is a nice enough weapon, but it does have its quirks and shortcomings. And blade construction issues aside, it's really just a short, out of the way and easy-to-carry two-handed saber when you get down to it; a dedicated cutter but that's about it. Given how specilized it is, it's probably one of the more limited types of swords.

I don't really see were you're going with the tang; I've never heard of it having that much impact.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Chris Artman




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PostPosted: Sat 24 May, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Do you mean you'd prefer something like this over an Albion Knecht or Vassal?


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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Sat 24 May, 2008 5:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd take a sword with two edges over a sword with one almost every time. My technique allows for the use of both sides, and works better with two.

To be more specific, I'd take a two edged sword of around a metre's (perhaps a couple cm longer...) length, with around 3 to 3.5cm of blade width at the hilt, a POB between 10 to 10.7cm down the blade made of good steel, with a barely discernible distal taper... over almost any one edged sword in existence, save perhaps a member of the recurve family. That includes Katana, with which I trained for years, even traditionally made Pre-Meiji ones.

Just a preference... It's the kind of thing I know I could just pick up and efficiently wreak havoc straight away with is all. I possibly wouldn't need a lot of technique adjustment to use it.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 24 May, 2008 7:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Artman wrote:
Do you mean you'd prefer something like this over an Albion Knecht or Vassal?


That saber, and the Vassal and Knecht represent different time periods. So it's not really an apples to apples comparison. I prefer the Vassal, only because I like falchions better than messers and because it fits my preferences better in terms of era, etc. In fact, I want one pretty badly. Anyone want to give one to me? Happy

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G Ezell
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PostPosted: Sun 25 May, 2008 7:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Apples and oranges, but, on a blade of say 1 1/4" wide, it may be possible to get a better cutting geometry with only one edge. However, almost every single-edged sword has a sabre grind or something similar that does not allow the primary bevel to go to the back of the blade anyway. So once the blade gets over a certain width, it seems to mean less, geometry wise.

A curved sword does have some advantages over a straight sword in cutting, but not as much as one would think. The straight blade will likely be a better thruster than a curved blade. Most single-edged blades are dedicated cutters to some extent, and therefore usually curved to some degree.

I've always admired the width of nihon-to tangs, but wished they were longer in relation to the handle size.
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Anders Backlund




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PostPosted: Sun 25 May, 2008 8:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Artman wrote:
Do you mean you'd prefer something like this over an Albion Knecht or Vassal?


Pretty much, yeah, It's one of my favorite types of sword, so If given a choice, I probably wouldn't even hesitate.

The blade profile of the Knecht has a kind of brutal charm, I think, but I've never really a fan of the messer hilt look. As for the Vassal, I'm not really interested in falchions at all.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sun 25 May, 2008 11:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris, I think your misreading why a katana has such a thick tang. They NEEDED it to not break because of the poor iron ores in japan.

Anyways, other then that, single vs double edge is mostly a preference issue, but as to why everything went to the calvery blade, well there is a SLIGHT advantage of the curved single blade in draw cuts and once armor was out of the way, this was the ideal cut from a calvery stand point (since footmen pretty much gave up on swords at this point) and since in battle, every little bit help,s they chose that design. When you see heavy armor on the battlefield, you'll notice that the calvery that is use to fighting against that specifically did not use sabre styles swords for the most part. The double edges type XIV onward cut and thust swords were designed to take care of that. So what is better? Well it depends on what your fighting and what your body likes to do. I personally like long cut and thrust swords currently. I started with katanas so I use to like cutters, but I've changed and I like cut and thrust better now.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Fri 30 May, 2008 12:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G Ezell wrote:
A curved sword does have some advantages over a straight sword in cutting, but not as much as one would think.


Because it doesn't really have an advantage in "cutting" in general--its only significant and universal advantage is in the realm of slicing, which involves dragging the edge across the surface of the target material rather than chopping into it in the manner of an axe.


Quote:
The straight blade will likely be a better thruster than a curved blade.


Not sure about this either. The natural thrusting motion of the human arm is curved, and it takes a lot of training to do a straight thrust by compensating for the shoulder rotation with an opposite rotation at the wrist. Without such training a slightly curved sword might actually be a better thruster than a straight one (everything else being equal), although the difference between the two would be marginal at best.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 30 May, 2008 3:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The false edge defined as the " top " edge ( gets reversed if one reverses the sword. Wink ) is useful to cut with some techniques although it's more difficult to get power in a chop and in some cases it's the fastest and least awkward way to hit the target from the left for a right handed person.

Second the top edge on a symmetrical sword is also a spare edge if the bottom one gets dull.

In a thrust one can rip out the sword in either direction to cause more damage.
( Talk about twisting the blade. Eek! Evil Laughing Out Loud )

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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