BlackJack Vorpal

Mar 19, 1999

I have a chance to buy one of these swords. I vaguely remember reading about them years ago. Does anyone know anything about them..quality, steel, value, etc. Thanks.
The Blackjack "Vorpal Sword"
was based on a Tom Maringer design.
It was 1095 steel, black micarta grips, and a sheath of two different designs.

There were high polished and matte versions.
The matte rusts easily b/c it is straight carbon steel.

I would recommend the polished.
The were hand ground and convexed to sharp and very wicked items.

They were originally $249 retail.
I have seen nicely finished polished ones bring more than that.

Around 1000 were made.
The Vorpal is quite honestly the only edged item I have ever been afraid of while holding it. The are the most wicked production blades to ever stalk the land. If you have ever played with a Blackjack, you know that they were the sharpest knives out-of-the-box, bar none. Imagine a foot and a half of that. A friend of mine had a pair of polished Vorpals and we'd play around with them... carefully. I found they could easily slice through a 1-liter soda bottle vertically (including the cap and thick neck) with only the force of their weight drawing your arm down.

I had thought they were 0170-6, but Mr. Lombardo is THE authority on these matters. At any rate, the exposed tang (they're of slab construction) did tend to rust quite badly when handled and not cleaned. On the polished models, I recall reading an apologetic letter Blackjack sent to their distributors explaining how they were discontinuing the mirror-polish after several accidents and lost fingers with their polishing staff

I will say I don't much care for the grip on the Vorpal - it's too long and the subhilt-like protrusion is too thick. But they are beautiful and terrifying things, and if you have the chance, I recommend you get one and lock it safely away where none may come under its power.


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
The were supposed to be 0170-6, but like most latter produced BJ's that were marketed as 0170-6, they were actually 1095.

The head QC guy at BJ, Lee, lost 3 fingers polishing a Vorpal because there was no way for them to make an adequate jig to hold the blade and do their convex magic.

A very wicked knife. I concur on the handle.
Can anyone post a pic of this wicked blade or provide directions to a pic?
Glad you brought up Lee Anthony. Lee ended up in the outlet which is where I met him. Very nice guy. Anyway they actually finnished the sword and had a plaque made for it then presented it to Lee. It is the on knife I was always scared of to Drew. After meeting Lee and hearing what happend to him I decided not to buy one. Of course I did try to buy the one Lee ended up with. That would have contradicted myself but I figured that would be an interesting one to have since it had the story attached to it. I would really like to have one now though. The polished blade is the way to go IMHO.


Tom Carey

Check out the knives of Clayton Morris and Steven Burrows at CGA online.

I've got a matte finish one that I picked up from a knife shop. Its never been "used" but it was the store display and was handled quite a bit. The sheath has definitely suffered from unfamiliar people drawing and replacing the sword. The rust problem mentioned is evident on mine but mostly on the exposed areas of the tang. When I got it home I try to clean it up a little with Flitz and than wiped it with a sentry cloth.
Any suggestions on how to gently remove the rust so as not to damage the micarta slabs or decrease the value of the sword in any other way.


who dares, wins

A very gentle way to remove rust is to scrape it off with the edge of a copper coin such as a pre-1982 US cent. In the middle of 1982 the US started minting cents of copper-plated zinc, which doesn't work as well.

It won't remove pitting, just scrapes off the active red rust and leaves an antique blade in as close to unrestored condition as possible. It's a bit time-consuming ... I guess whether that matters depends on your attitude -- is it a tedious chore, or an excuse for fondling a fine old blade?

-Cougar Allen :{)