Steel weapons

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
Currently, ceramic (zirconium dioxide) is the new material for knives and it holds its edge even better than stainless steel.
Don't be fooled by "never sharpening"; even ceramic knives get dull, and they need very, very special tools to sharpen.
I have a santoku knife that is super light, and I sharpen it with this once in a while:







These little tools will be too small for swords anyway.
If a sword is built like a santoku knife, will it work?
ceramic would be too brittle for a sword. From what i read, ceramic knives are not recommended for cutting meat where you can run into hard bone.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,160
Sydney
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"There is no zinc in bronze. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. Copper and zinc make an alloy called "brass""

And I knew it , confused my metal , I plead advancing Alzheimer , someone has it in the family but I forgot whom

the development of steel weapons was dominated by its outstanding mechanical characteristics
but the first swords were mere copies of the Bronze style ,
there wasn't really much quality difference , the critical point was that Iron was widely available and didn't require access to the extensive trading networks to get it
it was home made
true steel swords appeared slowly , first in china then in classical times in the West
large states had better smiths and got away from mere artisans to something close to specialized mass production .
as could be expected , during the dark ages good steel was less available
using axes is the default weapon if one doesn't have good blades
all possible shapes and forms were developed around the two major style , slashing and piercing
the golden age of steel swords was the Japanese katana and the 17th century European rapier

the latest fighting type was developed in the interwar period by two British policemen serving in Shangai
at the time this city was one of the foremost location for getting one throat cut

The Fairbairn-skykes knife became famous as the weapon of the British commandos
it is a thin dagger with two sharpened sides developed for stabbing trough the clothing and the ribcage
it was granted the ultimate honor of becoming an heraldic motif

the Marines K-bar had some people dismissing it ( unfairly ) as just good for opening canned tins
its steel is outstanding

The soviets scouts used the NR-40 , like the K-bar it has a single edge
 
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Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,882
Australia
If a sword is built like a santoku knife, will it work?
Yep. Right up until the first time you try to hit something with it. You'll have to tell the bad guy to stand still while you carefully place the edge against his skin and slice nice and slowly.
 
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VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,667
Florania
Yep. Right up until the first time you try to hit something with it. You'll have to tell the bad guy to stand still while you carefully place the edge against his skin and slice nice and slowly.
I have watched in a scene of a TV series, a santoku knife is used for fighting; it may not cut off body parts and still cause pretty bad injuries.
The nature of a santoku knife is: light (it was designed for women initially), sharp, and the ability to slice things better than a chef's knife.
Do knives with titanium nitride plating stay sharp longer? The golden plating looks appealing and luxurious for sure.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,667
Florania
Stainless steel holds an edge very well. Chefs all over the world use stainless steel knives. Surgeons all over the world use stainless steel scalpels. Stainless steel doesn't make good swords because it is too brittle. With knives, you can get away with it because they are a lot shorter - there is less mechanical stress when they are banged around.

There is no zinc in bronze. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. Copper and zinc make an alloy called "brass" and the Romans were probably the first to use it (a thousand years after the Bronze Age was over).

Iron was found all over the place - even in Germany (Solingen steel has been well regarded for two thousand years); that's why it replaced bronze. Iron was cheaper and more plentiful. Bronze weapons and armour were just as good or even better than ferrous ones until they learned the intricacies of the relationship between carbon content and quench hardening. Any text by Tylecote will give you plenty of data about the mechanical properties of ancient ferrous blades compared to bronze ones.

Titanium is no better than stainless steel for sword making. It is a little better for armour, but properly quench-hardened steel is still the best material for making swords and armour. Every type of steel has its own recipe for tempering and quench-hardening it. To get the best performance from the steel you have to use the precise temperatures and timing recommended for that alloy. It is very hard to do without modern technology. With more primitive technology it requires a lifetime of experience for a smith to do it well.
Some believe that battle-worthy swords are quite dated, and lots of SLO (sword like objects) are made with stainless steel or even ceramic.
Fencing is still a good exercise; I have interests about Chinese fencing and don't quite get it.
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,882
Australia
I have watched in a scene of a TV series, a santoku knife is used for fighting; it may not cut off body parts and still cause pretty bad injuries.
They don't use real knives on TV. Even if they did, you wouldn't see the out-takes with all the broken blades.