Some Edge-on-Edge Cutting Experiments

In Magnolia, Texas on the weekend of the 7th & 8th of February, 2004, ARMA Houston had another opportunity to do some test-cutting and blade-testing. One of the tests performed was an opportune experiment in the obvious but often unappreciated effects of direct edge-to-edge blows.

On this occasion an older custom-hilted Del Tin arming sword (the same blade as their fine 5144 model) was used along with an Angel Sword's Bright Knight short sword. Both blades were sharp.

We placed the short sword in a cutting stand where it was conveniently held tightly in place by some wooden 2x4 beams. Taking the longsword full-arm cuts were then made directly on the edge of the shorter blade at a variety of angles.

Each sword was terribly gouged on its edge as a result of the edge-on-edge strikes. Some of these nicks were as deep as a quarter of an inch and more than an eighth of an inch wide. Others literally sheared off or twisted out portions from each edge. The damage was comparable no matter where along their length either weapon had been struck.

Of note is that in this case the shorter specimen was determined to have had a decidedly harder edge to it than that of the longer piece piece. Yet, the damage to each blade, both the particularly sharper one and the less sharp one, was such that we considered further edge against edge testing of these two blades superfluous.

It should also be pointed out that the fact that one of these blades in this experiment was stationary and only the other in motion, would actually lessen the impact forces involved, whereas in combat we might more reasonably expect both weapons would be moving, thereby increasing edge damage potential. 

Edge to Edge Experiment 1

2004_0207testcut0018.jpg (131254 bytes)
2004_0207testcut0027.jpg (112840 bytes)
2004_0207testcut0019.jpg (99101 bytes)
2004_0207testcut0023.jpg (98633 bytes)
The broken blade set up for edge striking
The results: severe edge trauma
Any structural damage will not be visible
Here part was scooped out
2004_0207testcut0020.jpg (94612 bytes)
2004_0207testcut0024.jpg (115384 bytes)
2004_0207testcut0025.jpg (110206 bytes)
An edged heavily gouged and one nicked
Deep nicks cut into the blade will cause it to break
Would fighters have done this on purpose???

There is no question what happens when strong cuts from sharp blades forcibly hit one another edge upon edge.

See also:

The Physical Reality of Impacts and Edges

The Physical Reality of Impacts and Edges - Historical Examples

On Damaged Edge



Note: The word "ARMA" and its associated arms emblem is a federally registered trademark under U.S. Reg. No. 3831037. In addition, the content on this website is federally registered with the United States Copyright Office, © 2001-2022. All rights are reserved. No use of the ARMA name and emblem, or website content, is permitted without authorization. Reproduction of material from this site without written permission of The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts and its respective authors is strictly prohibited. Additional material may also appear from "HACA" The Historical Armed Combat Association copyright © 1999-2001 by John Clements. All rights are reserved to that material as well.