slices on raw meat 3MB
A true rapier with a thick hexagonal cross-section
blade is incapable of making any slicing wounds by draw
cut on the skin of the meat, and a few edge blows delivered
from the elbow are also of no effect. We would have liked
to have tried tip cuts at full speed but did not want
to risk it.
raw fresh pork shoulder 4MB
Even moderate force thrusts penetrate the thickest flesh
quite easily --and in fact, are easier to enter with than
to withdraw. Thrusts hitting against the large bone also
deflected away and kept going in.
Great sword on raw
fresh pork shoulder 3MB
With a two-hand longsword blade (by Zamorino), even
blows made from the elbow were devastating in effect, gruesomely
cleaving 6-8 inches deep and chipping as well as shearing
through the raw bone.
slices, and edge blows
with antique rapier 7MB
A demo of what a true rapier can and can't do. This "star"
shaped cross-section rapier is incapable of either draw
cuts or slicing wounds by placing and sliding the blade.
Slaps and whacks from the wrist or elbow have no affect
on the meat. Note also how light and stiff the blade is
and how agile it moves, totally unlike a modern flexi-simulator
Bastard sword on maile
Hank Reinhardt (65 here) shows some of the effects of cuts
on flesh even through maile & padded cloth armor. The
armor was not penetrated but the target below is traumatically
pulverized from the blow. The sword edge sustained minor
trauma as well.
Cut on maile 1.3MB
Here the maile (just butted replica style) was snapped open
and the padded gambeson slightly torn but not penetrated,
yet the results on the meat were the edge substantially
tearing the flesh below.
One-handed chop 1.4MB
While low targets on a solid base are not at all the best
way to test cut by far, it was useful for demonstration
purposes. Here the sheer mass and inertia of the cut, even
if not especially strong or quick here, cut clean through
4 inches of meat and bone with a one handed Das Gayzlen
technique from a great-sword.
Free held chop 2MB
Ah...the things we do at ARMA events...here to reflect a
more realistic target's "give", John Waller of the Historical
European Combat Guild and the Royal Armouries offers to
hold out a tube with a block of raw beef shoulder on it
while Hank R. takes a swipe at it using a sharp MRL bastard
sword. Note the simple motion Hank makes and action of the
arm and weapon as it strikes. The wound's effect is significant.
Tube Cut 1.3MB
Hank makes a quick chop at a free standing extra thick cardboard
Note his relaxed form and the flow of the cut.
Norman sword on
We spent a few hours during summer 2002 playing around
at chopping materials with two Dikon Norman test blades
for swordsmith Dan Maragni. We documented the process
and our observations. The swords were very sweet.
Norman sword on more wood
The blades were not quite as sharp near their points
as they had been due to hours of cutting bamboo and cardboard
days earlier. Still, the effects on the wood were impressive
given the simple cuts we were making, hardly the strongest
of blows. The wood often split or shattered from the impacts
halfway through the cuts.
7 - analysis of cuts
Norman slices on gambeson
One of the most interesting things once again was
how well a simple cotton padded gambeson protected against
cuts, especially drawing slices. Here a cloth-filled canvas
punching bag served as our test dummy, giving some reasonably
firm resistance and motion. Sand weighted down the bottom
Norman cloth cuts
The gambeson also has its sleeves stuffed with balls
of cloth for firmness and is partially covered with Indian-made
riveted maile armor. Here energetic draw slices were unable
to cut through the cloth. Note the 60 pound bag swinging
from the blows.
More Norman sword cutting
As always, edge-placement is key in test cutting,
as is proper body mechanics to ensure a good cutting blow.
Cuts on the maile armor itself had no effect, but
we drew no conclusions from the results. Most thrusts
however penetrated the gambeson from most every angle,
but not the maile.
Norman sword cuts on helm
A 16-gauge helm (filled with sheep skin) resisted
some fairly strong blows, but still dented, and a very
thin cut was actually visible. The blade sustained no
discernable edge trauma. (...Oh, and contrary to my
comment then, I do think now the guy would very much have
noticed the blow)
Norman on armet
An MRL armet helm is sacrificed to evaluate the Dikon
sword. The thinner metal at the crown of the helm was
actually cut to a depth of about 1 inch. The edge of the
blade had a minor nick as a result.
Norman sword cutting
on leathers 6MB
This first clip merely shows the thickness and hardness
of the two types of leathers we used. (we started wearing
masks here after a sword broke and flew back at us)
Cuts on leather
A brief sample of cuts against leather. The leather proved
tougher to pierce than we had expected, the "give" of
the bag was definitely a factor as was the angle of the
edge and location of edge impacting.
Leather cutting 10.5MB
Thrusts had no problem penetrating, even though the point
of the blade was quite round in shape. But even a two-hand
cut did not fully cut the harder leather.
Raven bastard sword cuts
The sharper tapering blade is able to easily make
cuts (mistakenly referred to as "slices" in the clip)
through the cloth, but mostly only in the direction of
the quilting and near the opening seams. Actual draw cut
slices however, even strenuous, were still ineffective
despite the sharpness of the blade.
Raven Intro 5.6MB
Raven Cuts 7.6MB
Raven Slicing I 5MB
Raven Slicing II 2.4MB
Raven sword thrusts
on riveted maile
Some very forceful thrusts here (note the bag being
moved from the impacts), but they mostly were stopped
by the armor, with only the very acute tip of the sword
entering past. Interestingly, the rings tended to twist
and "wrap" around the blade.
Cuts on Maile 7MB
Several harder blows on the sleeves of maile produced
some damage, popping rings (despite the sleeves not providing
enough resistance for the test to be more very realistic).
Blade Breaks 10MB
On one particular cut on the maile shoulder, not even
a full-arm blow, the Raven sword snapped clean at the
tang, and the blade bounced backward. It is not an unreasonable
expectation to presume a replica sword sold as supposedly
being of historical quality and capable of holding a sharp
edge to not snap upon the first significant test blow
against a fairly soft target. (This
was a real shame since it was a fine blade I got brand
new an dunused, hilted it for the first time myself, and
it cut really well earlier. And I still prize my other
Ravens which have held up remakeably.)
Stabbing at the bag
In this short clip we made some hard full-passing thrusts
with the Dikon Norman sword at the punching bag (into
the cloth filled section). The point penetrated fairly
easily through the canvas entering from 3-6 inches deep.
Note here not only the force of the thrusts (moving the
60 pound bag) but also the flex of the blade upon impact,
especially when the point did not immediately penetrate.
Warhammer blows on armet 7.8MB
After the first blow with the spike actually caused
it to be bent (!), the club end of the warhammer was used
next, and caved in the top of the helm along the weld.
It appears the metal of both items were perhaps too soft.
Hank R. smooth slice 3.6MB
Hank Reinhardt shows how easily he cuts an especially thick
cardboard tube with a sharp Raven bastard sword. One smooth
almost effortless swipe.
Casual Bamboo Test-Cutting Scenes
& Sword Break - 1998
Sharp Del Tin snaps
in order to support the weight of such a tall stalk
bamboo of this size at its base will be far thicker
internally than it will be higher up on
the trunk even at portions of the same diameter.
Further, when growing densely together bamboo will
often not receive much sunlight farther down the
stalk and therefore lower portions lacking chlorophyll
will remain yellow rather than turn bright green.
However, this is still living bamboo and
not to be confused with dead bamboo that later turns
yellow or brown and very hard throughout.
at the end of this clip please realize JC was just
being silly for the camera with the broken blade.
Don't take it seriously.)
Broken blade 2
any make or model of sword swung with
great force on a nearly solid object
on sapling with Albion's Talhoffer