Canada makes good swords

Discussion in 'Sword Arts Talk' started by PhotonGuy, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    I just got a sword from a Canadian company. I must say, Canada makes good swords, or at least the company I got the sword from does.
     
  2. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Well... what qualifies you to determine if the sword is any good or not?
     
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  3. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    First of all, the material its made out of. Some people who don't know much about swords erroneously believe that stainless steel is a good material when in fact its very poor. Stainless steel is way to brittle to make good swords and a sword made of it doesn't serve much purpose other than being a wall decoration. Carbon steel such as AISI 10XX or AISI 5160 are good materials. Also, its much better to have a hand forged sword than a sword that's entirely factory produced. A good sword will be sharp and will cut well and have good hardness but will also be flexible and will have a blade that can easily bend. I would also want a sword that looks nice although for me that is a secondary concern. There are tests to determine if a sword is good, one of which is to try the sword on rolled up tatami mats.
     
  4. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    A factory made sword of stainless steel is going to be miles better than anything I can hand forge!
     
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  5. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Arguments over steels aside, that's not what you were asked… you were asked what qualified you, personally, to be able to assess what a good sword is… not list off properties. I mean, we don't know what sword you're talking about at all… Canadian? What does that mean to us? What is your experience in assessing and appraising swords? What types of sword? Why do you think it's "much better to have a hand forged sword than a sword that's entirely factory produced"? How can you tell the difference?
     
  6. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I read stuff about 'good' swords on the internet, I still know nothing other than that. I think most martial artists interested in weapons even if not training them have heard about swords cutting tatami mats.
     
  7. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    I have a "forged, non-factory" shinken (live sword)… it's realistically a relatively inexpensive cutter for my guys to use (easily) when we do tameshigiri… one of my guys mentioned how good the sword was… so I pointed out that it really wasn't that good at all, but it does suit the purpose.

    The point is that what makes a sword "good" or not is a lot more than anything mentioned at any point in this thread… and the experience to tell what exactly is involved is very, very involved.
     
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  8. Cirdan

    Cirdan Senior Master

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    I sincerely hope PG posts some videos of backyard sword swinging to impress us all.
     
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  9. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    What I consider a good sword is a sword that is "battle ready" another words, a sword that is functional, is good at cutting, and makes a good weapon. Not something that just looks good on the wall. When I buy a sword from a company I research the company and see if its got good reviews and I see if the company hand forges the swords or mass produces them in a factory. The Canadian company that I am talking about in this case is Darksword Armory.
     
  10. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    The steel type is very important, but equally or more important is the heat treat. One of my friends who is a professional knife and sword maker (as in makes his living doing so) says that 80% of the performance of the blade is in the heat treat. Now, what qualifies you to judge your sword? Did you torture test it? Did you bend it and it not take a set? How did you check its edge holding capability? Oh, also, what company? Those of us who are into all things sharp and pointy like to know about good companies.
     
  11. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Not necessarily true. "Stainless" includes a lot of different compounds (as does other designations) and some of them can, in fact, make excellent blades. It depends in large part on the temping and annealing process used. A well made "stainless" blade can outperform a poorly made "carbon" steel.

    Again... not necessarily true. What do you mean by "factory produced"? Honestly, it sounds more like you're parroting something you've read rather than something you actually understand.

    There are, but it doesn't sound like you actually understand them. For one thing, you'd need to know how to use the sword correctly while cutting the tatami; a katana is not swung like a baseball bat for example.
    I could quickly pound a piece of junk steel into a sword shape, make it tip heavy, and put an edge on it. You could swing it baseball bat-style, and it'll cut tatami just great. It'll still be a junk sword.
     
  12. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I think we'd all like to see some video of you using this blade....
     
  13. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    I usually don't test the sword myself although sometimes I try it out and cut stuff and I do check the flexibility of the blade. Mostly I watch videos where the same kind of sword is being tested and that way I know how well it performs. This sword in particular is a limited edition Excalibur sword produced by Darksword Armory and here are videos of it being used.


     
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  14. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Stainless Steel can be great for making knives, but when you get a blade as large as a sword there can be problems with brittleness. There are certain types of stainless steels that can make decent sword blades but usually they will be very expensive due to the process of making them and they will never be as good in performance as a carbon steel blade that is made just as well. With a stainless steel blade, this can happen.


    Some companies will use computer guided torches to cut out sword blades from sheet metal and then do little more than to touch them up and put handles on them. I will not buy such swords.

    I do know how to use a sword correctly for cutting. And yes a katana is not swung like a baseball bat, its more like casting a fishing rod. However, usually I will watch cutting demonstrations done by people who have lots of experience cutting with swords.
     
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  15. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    So cutting a tatami is a "good test" according to you, but you don't actually do the test. Or, from what you said, any testing or cutting at all. So basically, you're looking for a wall hanger. I'm sure this blade, with it's high polish, will make you completely happy, then.

    In the first video, you can see that the blade has ripples. That's not a sign of good forging. And if you step through the video, it's seems that the sword isn't "cut in half", but simply breaks. Several inches from where your magic sword actually makes contact. Pretty worthless test.
    In the second video, we cut... jugs. Impressive, but also not useful. Those jugs can be cut with any crappy piece of steel with a decent edge. And a decent edge can be put on pretty much anything. At least for a while...
    And the third test... using a longsword as an axe. I think that pretty much tells us all we need to know.
     
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  16. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    I have a Dao that would fit that description rather well... it is not sharp, but it could be and it can cut brass pipe brackets and take chunks out of concrete floors..... but I do not think I would ever call it a good sword.... functional yes....but good...no.....
     
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  17. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    The same problems are present when in shorter blades. If they're not heat treated properly. Regardless of the steel type.
    I don't care for stainless steel sword blades either. Because they're not period correct.

    Good. Admitting you're wrong is good. Remember how you did that, for future reference.

    That happens with carbon steel blades too.

    Why not? From what you've said, you're just buying wall hangers anyway.

    So, again, you don't actually use the swords. That's fine. But there's really no point in talking about the quality of a sword that you don't use. And how do you know what sort of training and experience the people you're watching have?
     
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  18. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Cutting tatami mats is a test but its not the only test.
     
  19. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    No Im not.

    I do use the swords I buy but I also watch them being used in demonstrations. And as how I know what training and experience the people Im watching have, in most cases I don't. There are times when I will buy a sword from a renowned sword maker and I will see him in person do sword demonstrations, but lots of the time I watch videos where I don't know how good the person is doing the demonstration, so that's why I test the sword myself.
     
  20. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

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    I don't think swinging a fishing pole is something I'd compare to swinging a sword
     
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