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Purpose of the sharpened swedge?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by DangerZone98, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    Particularly for clip points and bowies, what advantages do sharpened swedges afford? I think they look awesome, and it’s definitely nice to have the extra cutting edge, but I don’t think they’re super necessary. What do you guys think about ‘em?
  2. Houlahound

    Houlahound Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    If it's sharpened it's no longer a swedge, it's just an edge??
    000Robert likes this.
  3. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    A sharpened clip can open up another range of attacks; however, unless you plan to do a whole lot of knife dueling, what difference does it make?

    duramax, 000Robert, Ben Dover and 2 others like this.
  4. Wurger190

    Wurger190 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 5, 2014
    They provide a useful edge for some utility as a double edge (think slashing and piercing). Unsharpened, they still provide utility in lightening the front end of the knife and providing a reduced area for piercing.
    I personally like my unsharpened clip on my KaBar as I use it for a utility knife - so I can place my thumb on the unsharpened swedge and use it to guide the blade for smaller more precise tasks.
    But I like the fact the Randall 1-7 i have ordered has a sharpened swedge.
    DangerZone98 likes this.
  5. tltt


    May 1, 2008
    A lot of it goes back to fencing on Bowies, and specifically the back-cut technique. I'm not sure how much of a role it played in mid 1800's knife fighting, but it has been a huge thing in modern Bowie knives for the last 30 - 40 years or so. Here's a great video of its use in fencing -

    scdub, studio, fonedork and 2 others like this.
  6. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    True. Even a sharp strike with an unsharpened spine can still hurt even if it won’t cut.
  7. Weiss


    Jan 3, 2007
    I think this is probably the video you want, in which Maestro Selberg discusses the back cut (rather than the evolution of swords as in the first linked video).

    DangerZone98 and fonedork like this.
  8. gazz98

    gazz98 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    I know my friends who hunt use the sharpened swedge to do short upward cuts when skinning/processing game. It saves them time from pulling the blade out and turning it around. I know because I'm the designated knife sharpener on the street and I sharpen a few swedges every year.
    duramax and DangerZone98 like this.
  9. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    The backcut is a nasty little move that requires a small shift in momentum to be effective. A feigned over strike can actually be a difficult to counter offensive surgical attack by bringing the blade back toward the relatively unprotected neck area.

    I can see a sharpened swedge making it even more effective. However, a dull one will still cause a pretty deep puncture.
    DangerZone98 and W. Anderson like this.
  10. Smaug

    Smaug Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    The video embedding was disabled by the video poster, but there's a link at the top where it says that that will take you to YouTube to watch the video. It's wordy, but interesting. I don't know why the user disabled that, as there are no ads. Maybe they want to encourage us to give it 'Likes'.
    DangerZone98 likes this.
  11. rje58

    rje58 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 21, 2013
    Remember that is some places a sharpened swedge makes a knife illegal.
    DangerZone98 likes this.
  12. W. Anderson

    W. Anderson Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 22, 2016
    Google "back cut." Edit: oops- should have read the whole thread before posting. But still- Google 'back cut.'
    DangerZone98 likes this.
  13. W. Anderson

    W. Anderson Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 22, 2016
    False edge? Partial edge? The terminology gets confusing to me.
  14. CWL


    Sep 15, 2002
    Here's the back cut technique(s) as demonstrated by Bill Bagwell with a bowie knife. This is more applicable than with a sabre.

    Actual demo starts at 4:15

    000Robert, studio, Smaug and 3 others like this.
  15. Houlahound

    Houlahound Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    I think the difference is the word sharpened, implying sharp. If it's sharp it's not partial or false.
    W. Anderson likes this.
  16. tltt


    May 1, 2008
    False in that it isn't the true / main working edge of the knife, it is a secondary edge. Most folks won't use the back of the blade for much cutting.

    Swedge is the ground top part of a blade, done to improve penetration. It can vary from dull to sharpened.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  17. W. Anderson

    W. Anderson Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 22, 2016
    E.D.C. and GIRLYmann like this.
  18. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    It makes life.easier when in the immortal words of John Snow you " Stick em with the pointy end"!!!
    DangerZone98 likes this.
  19. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    The Indiana Jones method takes even less effort. :D
    neo71665 and jfk1110 like this.
  20. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    So almost like an improvised guthook blade?

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