Try this.

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Anything harder and yet more relilant, or as resilant as the edge of a katana? Fine, put an insert of that with some what, titaneum, chrome moly- something light and strong. I just think if we can go into space we can make a sword better than a katana- but I'm all wet.


munk
 

Ankerson

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Originally posted by Josh Feltman
So, Ankerson, if you wouldn't mind taking the time, can you outline some of the basics for cutting with a katana? Can similar techniques be applied to cutting with khukuris? Enquiring minds want to know;)
--Josh


I can try and explain the best way I can, photos would be easier to understand. I will use terms that everyone can understand.

First is the grip, the Katana is a 3 Handed sword, the right hand (For right handed people) goes just behind the Guard about one inch, the left hand about one inch from the end of the handle. The hands are centered on the handle, edge facing down.

Cutting with a Katana is not like swinging a bat, the right arm is straight and you swing through the target, doing it that way you body and arm motions create the cutting motion that draws the blade through the target. Your left hand pulls the sword through. It's not going to feel natural to you at first, but you will get used to it.

When you have a good cutting stroke you will hear the blade sing as it slices through the air.

Always cut in about a 45 degree angle, if you hit the target square the sword could bounce off instead of cutting.
 
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Ah, makes sense. Pictures, of course, would be better, but I think I can pretty much visualize what you are talking about. Have you tried a similar technique with any of the longer more sword-like khukuris?

Just one question:

Originally posted by Ankerson

First is the grip, the Katana is a 3 Handed sword, the right hand (For right handed people) goes just behind the Guard about one inch, the left hand about one inch from the end of the handle.

Where do you put the third hand? :D (sorry, couldn't resist)
--Josh
 

Ankerson

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Have you tried a similar technique with any of the longer more sword-like khukuris?

Yeah I have but they seem too heavy to me to get any real speed and they are one handed.

The Wakizashi is one handed, kind of like a short Katana with a 20" or so blade. But they are light enough for their lenght. I guess It is what you are used to. But we are talking about a short sword about 26" long weighing about 1 lb.

I really can't swing anything over a 20" Khuk (Siru or GS) with enough speed and snap.
 
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So, in comparing a katana to a khukuri, would you say that most of the cutting power with a katana comes from blade acceleration whereas most of the cutting power with a khukuri comes from blade mass? I guess they are both part of the same equation.
--Josh
 
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That's a good question, and also brings to mind why the kami's make short handles. Are Nepalese hands small enough to grip two handed a 20 AK? In bullets I know the energy can be similar, but there are physical realties and different ways of measuring 'force' that favor heavy slower bullets over high velocity lighter rounds, and I don't just mean Hatcher or Keith!

Makes me wonder if the Katana's work so well because they lack the mass to shatter at speed.

I oughta get me a damn Light/laser sword....take care of the legend of the Katana.


munk
 

Ankerson

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Originally posted by Josh Feltman
So, in comparing a katana to a khukuri, would you say that most of the cutting power with a katana comes from blade acceleration whereas most of the cutting power with a khukuri comes from blade mass? I guess they are both part of the same equation.
--Josh


That is a good question and I really don't know the answer.

The cutting power of a Katana comes from the skill of the swordsmen and blade speed combined with the curved blade. A deadly combination.

The Khukuri on the other hand was a tool first then a weapon like most Asian weapons were at one time. The power comes from blade mass and the recurve of the blade.

I don't really beleive you can compare a Katana to a Khuk. But I can say that I can cut better, faster and straigher with my Katanas than I can with my Khuks. That's why Khuks are tools to me, for cutting wood.
 

Ankerson

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Originally posted by munk

I oughta get me a damn Light/laser sword....take care of the legend of the Katana.


munk


That would be interesting Munk.:D

But I don't see the legend of the Katana dieing anytime soon.
 
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I too view khukuris primarily as tools, though I would not want to be on the receiving end of one. I haven't tried it yet with khukuris, but I enjoy slicing two-liter soda bottles in half with some of my other large knives, and I've noticed that it takes just the right combination of speed and angle to slice through cleanly instead of having the bottle fly off with a dent in the side. I've never played around with a katana, but now I am really curious. This has been a very interesting thread.
--Josh
 
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I have a 45/70 that could take care of the legend of the Katana, as long as the owner wasn't too damn close. For that matter..some nice .308 armor piercing oughta take care of the blade itself...

N2Sharp showed up with some pretty decent wisdom- about individual sword skill and how this discussion is a classic debate. Ankerson, what is compared to a Katana in the classic debate?


munk
 
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For those with swords try this. Free hanging paper cut 3 times, first cut it in half then take the corners off.
Darn, only sword I have is a Marine NCO sword not going to cut much with it.
Still I want to play, with an 18" siru the cuts on the corners were no problem, backhand or forehand. Cutting it in half straight across was not so sucessful as you can see: first attempt.
Now cutting it on the diagonally was much more rewarding: second attempt.
Thanks for another opportunity to prove to the girl friend how crazy I've become:D
Regards,
Greg
 

Ankerson

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Originally posted by munk
Ankerson, what is compared to a Katana in the classic debate?


munk

Broad Swords, Tai Chi swords, Sabres, War Swords, Indian Talwars and just about anything anyone can think of. ;)

And of course they all throw in all the stuff about the Japanese cutting off the heads of POW's.
 

Ankerson

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Originally posted by Ripper
Darn, only sword I have is a Marine NCO sword not going to cut much with it.
Still I want to play, with an 18" siru the cuts on the corners were no problem, backhand or forehand. Cutting it in half straight across was not so sucessful as you can see: first attempt.
Now cutting it on the diagonally was much more rewarding: second attempt.
Thanks for another opportunity to prove to the girl friend how crazy I've become:D
Regards,
Greg


LOL :D

Not bad at all for a Khuk :D But it looks like it ripped alittle there, not clean, but it's a knife not a sword.

But you have to cut strait across first then cut the corners.:)
 
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Ankerson, Pick Pick; a Sirupati is still a pretty thick blade, that makes a difference, doesn't it?


munk
 

Ankerson

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Originally posted by munk
Ankerson, Pick Pick; a Sirupati is still a pretty thick blade, that makes a difference, doesn't it?


munk


Yes that makes a big difference, but it's really not the blade thickness that makes the cut different.

Blade thickness adds weight and friction that slows down the blade so you don't get a really clean cut.

Blade speed and angle (technique) mean everything.

It was great performance with a Khuk though. :)
 

Ankerson

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Katanas have the advange here over other swords because of the curved blade.;)

The curve in the blade keeps the cutting edge on the target longer at the proper angle while it moves through it. :)

This is a real cutting test that improves cutting technique because paper is very hard to cut cleanly without tearing.

If you notice in my first photo the cuts are very clean.
 
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"Ankerson. what about metalurgy? I mean, a modern Mercedes Benz truck spring has got to have qualities in it, that once expertly forged and differentially hardened, a 500 year old thousand times folded Katana does not? Where's firkin?"


Cripes, munk---You think I know everythin'????

Yes the qualities will differ, but will it be better and how to tell?

I can provide a few things that I've read or occur to me that maybe bear thinking about.

Somewhere, on the shop forum Ed Fowler described a knife he'd forged out of ,I think, 52100 steel, which as I understand it, is similar to 5160. He's spent a huge amount of time experimenting to see the effects of forging temperatures, repeated heat treatments, and the like. Lots of destructive testing. He produced a knife, that when held in a vice with rounded jaws could be bent 90 degrees, then 180 to the other side, MULTIPLE TIMES with no apparent damage. I think it was eleven times before he decided that was enough and not worth testing this knife to destruction. The edge didn't crack. It passed the rest of his tests.

The knife's properties were not due to the steel employed, but due to how this bladesmith changed the properties of the steel, which he obvously understands very well. Some steels are better for making swords and big knives than others, and some are clearly not suited. But what a smith or heat-treater does to the steel makes a difference, sometimes an immense difference.

It's pretty hard to interpret comparisons between old and new blades. Some things that confuse the issue:

1) Are any modern steels produced to be optimized for forging into a sword blade?? I'm in no position to know but I doubt it. Some steel is produced by hand in Japan, by traditional means, but that is an attempt to replicate the old ways. Most smiths choose from a collection of modern steels usually intended for other purposes or optimized for modern manufacturing techniques. Who knows what would happen if an effort was put into finding new steels for bladesmithing was comparable to that put into finding new steels for modern machining production?

2)Much of the old "recipes" for steels and the forging techniques that applied to them are lost, as they were trade secrets. Some claim that wootz has been "rediscovered", but how to know? Nobody's going to beat up priceless antiques and then cut off chunks for analysis. How representative are the remaining old blades of the time from which the came? Hard to say, but some of the best-preserved are likely to be exceptional examples of their time.

Once, swords were an important weapon, and a large portion of military spending or equivalent was spent on them and their production. Especially by those for whom one was a status symbol. Now things like aircraft carriers are what the money is spent on. Put the cost of a couple aircraft carriers towards producing the best sword possible today and I don't doubt that something amazing could come out. But it might have a totally different emphasis than the old swords. Like modern military rifles have a different emphasis.
 

Ankerson

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But what a smith or heat-treater does to the steel makes a difference, sometimes an immense difference.

firkin,


Well said. :)
 
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BTW, ankerson, and yeah, I'm being a little gadfly- no offense, one of your cuts was less 'perfect' than the other two; notice the jagged edge of paper?

I like Firkin's idea of what would happen if we were interested in developing swords today.

Yes Firkin, I expect you to know enough of 'everything' to get me started...

munk
 
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But you have to cut strait across first then cut the corners.
Darn a tough crowd here:D still...
Okay primary picture server is down right now, so I'll post'em
on another.
Feel like a little kid, had to use two hands to get the horizontal
cut:
20033102138378425168853.jpg

20033105022176729697655.jpg

Who's cleaning up the backyard? I'm going for a brew!
I'm enjoying the katana vs the world dicussion.
Regards,
Greg
 
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