Slashing Performance of a Falchion Compared to Common One-Handed Swords

Apr 2017
1,666
U.S.A.
To cut with a violent sweeping stroke or by striking violently and at random, as with a knife or sword.
Or to put simply, to swing the sword with the intention of cutting into your foe with the sharp edge, as part of an attempt to kill them.
Chopping is defined as to cut or sever in a quick series of blows, which isn't necessarily a description of what would happen when you kill something with a falchion.
No one says I will chop my enemy, which is why I said slash.
I suppose I should have said cutting or slicing instead or phrased it something like "Does a falchion (Conyers version) inflict more grievous wounds against unarmored human targets than one-handed straight swords?".
By grievous I mean a deeper cut/wound that is more life threatening.
 
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aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
To cut with a violent sweeping stroke or by striking violently and at random, as with a knife or sword.
Or to put simply, to swing the sword with the intention of cutting into your foe with the sharp edge, as part of an attempt to kill them.
Chopping is defined as to cut or sever in a quick series of blows, which isn't necessarily a description of what would happen when you kill something with a falchion.
No one says I will chop my enemy, which is why I said slash.
I suppose I should have said cutting or slicing instead or phrased it something like "Does a falchion (Conyers version) inflict more grievous wounds against unarmored human targets than one-handed straight swords?".
By grievous I mean a deeper cut/wound that is more life threatening.
If everything is done right with a slash by a trained swordsman against exact same flesh like targets replicating a part of the body best targeted by a slash, then based on its blade geometry, point of balance, weight, the falchion cutting sword is going to do better than the cut and thrust arming sword.
 
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janusdviveidis

Ad Honorem
Mar 2014
2,006
Lithuania
Actually larger difference might be achieved if untrained person tried both falchion and straight sword. Curved sword naturally introduced slicing into simple cut, with straight sword swordsmen can perform push or pull cut in same motion, but that requires more skill.
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,951
Australia
From a practical point of view it doesn't matter. No one-handed sword can cut through armour and it is ridiculously easy to cut flesh no matter what sword you are using. The differences matter more in the way they handle, such as which is easier to manoeuver from horseback, or which is less likely to maim your neighbour when fighting in close order, or which is more forgiving with poor technique, or which is less likely to get stuck in bone.
 
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Apr 2017
1,666
U.S.A.
From a practical point of view it doesn't matter. No one-handed sword can cut through armour and it is ridiculously easy to cut flesh no matter what sword you are using. The differences matter more in the way they handle, such as which is easier to manoeuver from horseback, or which is less likely to maim your neighbour when fighting in close order, or which is more forgiving with poor technique, or which is less likely to get stuck in bone.
Then why was the Conyers falchion shaped the way it was?
 

janusdviveidis

Ad Honorem
Mar 2014
2,006
Lithuania
I didn't want to start whole thing with different shapes of falchions, but that example is basically machete with cross guard. This is very wide spread shape of blade used even today. More for chopping power, than for slashing. Knives of similar shape in variety of sizes were found in Lithuanian burial sites, they are much earlier than falchion. Largest examples of those knifes are not very long swords.

http://www.atl.lt/2017/166-169.pdf

Text is in Lithuanian, but in pictures you can see blades of similar shape. Why such shape? Good choppers, still used around the World today.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,263
Sydney
if a smith doesn't have access to good steel , a robust blade is better than a thin one