light saber or steel?

Oct 3, 1998
Silly, yes, but let's consider this for a moment. If light sabers were on the market, most of us would probably get one. And even if small versions were available, would you give up a mundane solid blade?

Yes, small, powerful, and lasting batteries are required and may not even be possible. So this question may be the realm of fantasy science.

Cutting with energy would certainly have its place {cutting rope for nigh unto forever
}, but fine shaving of fragile objects (paper, fingernails, most food, and such) just seems to cry out for a physical manipulable blade. Just look at the Klingons!

A physical blade is not going to "burn out" or run out of power.

What future do you see for energy and solid blades and why?

I doubt that the pocket light saber will ever replace the pocket knife. Can you imagine trying to cut a T-bone or trying to open a can of soup with a light saber? Of course, in theory, you could cook your food with one.

But doom'd and devoted by vassal and lord.
MacGregor has still both his heart and his sword!
-MacGregor's Gathering, Sir Walter Scott

No question. No debate.

A light saber can cut through anything. A regular sword also can not deflect incoming fire...

If power is a concern, carry a spare battery pac!


I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some
moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

Ah... umm..., how do we hammer things with light sabers? Prying? I know, I know..., you're not supposed to pry with knives. What about cleaning under the nails? Oops, there goes another finger...

Yes, I would buy a pocket light saber, but it's no substitute for steel knives. One question though: when the battery is low, will the light saber dull

Take care,

Physics is kinda hobby of mine. A light saber is actualy pretty easy. I was checking on it. The only thing holding it back right now is the powersuply. I wouldn't go with batteries. Even the best would be too heavy for the amounts of power you'd need. Maybe slow-discharge capacitors. They're a ways away though. A better route would be an actual powerplant. We could build a suitable fission reactor right now. Expensive, but the technology is available now. I'd rather go with a diminutive fusion reactor, because they don't have meltdowns. Fusion is probably a century away, conservatively, though.

The blade itself is easy. Plasma in a magnetic field. We can do that right now too. You could even parry another lightsaber. Oh, and you could make precision cuts. You'd probably have a nob to adjust the blade type you wanted. You metalworkers/weldors out there can attest to the precision of plasma cutters.

The technolgy itself is simple. It's just a matter of money. They'd probably cost in the millions right now, mostly because of the nuclear reactor. If you didn't mind an extension cord, I coul build you one that plugs into the wall for a hundred grand, tops. Bear in mind, that's including developement too.

I don't know why people want to pound and pry with knives. That's not what knives are for. I cannot come up with a plausable scenario where a more appropriate tool would not be available/improvisable. That said, you could hammer with the handle, just like with your knife now. But screw hammering and prying! You can get an even better multi-functionality out of a lightsaber that you'd never get out of a steel blade. Firestarting!

I'm all for lightsabers. There's nothing fantasy about it. If I ever get the money, I'm gonna have one. Hell! I'll open a factory. These things are so easy that if everbody in cutlery circles chipped in, would could be mass-producing them now. Like I said, it's just a matter of money.

That said, I'd still see them mostly as a weapon with certain utility aplications. I wouldn't give up my steel blades. The only thing that could get me to give up steel is ceramet. And only ceramet. This ceramic stuff sucks. Ceramet is a developed and workable material we have now, Why people are messing around with ceramic is beyond me.
I'll stick with my steel bladed pocket model, but would opt for a stormtrooper's rifle or a blaster. They probably wouldn't even allow you to carry a mini-saber in your checked luggage for fear it may activate and down the plane.


[This message has been edited by Professor (edited 18 June 1999).]
The big-blade/little-blade proponents have been around for quite a while now. Witness the khukuri with its small accessory knives, or Joe T. with his TTKK and machete. Why give up the tradition? My lightsabre will have a little compartment to hold a SAK.

Or maybe a Leatherman, or a Delica, or a karda? My ancestors would smile on a sgain dubh
Just ask your self this...
Can I gut an AT-AT with a regular sword?

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some
moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

Pocket lightsabers hmm, watch out for those accidental "openings" in your pocket. Ouch!
If your going to carry a 'black knife'(sgain dhu) you should realy carry it concealed on your person. Just remember to remove it before you enter the home of a friend. It is considered bad form to enter the home of a friend with any weapons concealed. The traditional place to put it is in the boot or sock.
For more information check out

But doom'd and devoted by vassal and lord.
MacGregor has still both his heart and his sword!
-MacGregor's Gathering, Sir Walter Scott
Thank you Feneris. That looks like a great site. I'll check it out.

My black knife these days is usually a Delica. You can pick them up quite cheaply.
My ancestors would have loved them.

The home of a friend stuff, well, my friends don't seem to mind. But you're right, I'd better carry the black knife on my person, in case Darth Maul grabs my lightsabre, and then, deciding I'm helpless, trys to toy with me before finishing me off.