Hack and slash

Discussion in 'General Weapons Discussion' started by Finlay, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. Finlay

    Finlay Green Belt

    Jan 7, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

    Looking for a little bit of clirfication or at least some opinions.

    What would you say are the main defining characteristics between a hacking blade for example a machete and a slashing or cutting blade for example a katana.

    Some thoughts

    Blade weight
    Blade length
    Blade shape
    Just the way you use it

    Interested to hear opinions on this
  2. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

    • Advisor
    Feb 3, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Huber Heights, OH
    Weapon balance, blade shape, and edge geometry.

    Blades made for slashing often have a weight rearward, mobile balance. They usually have a curve which maximizes the length of the edge for draw cutting and slashing, and the edge geometry should be optimized for sharpness.

    "Hacking" and "chopping" blades often have a more point forward balance which makes them "feel" heavier, will often have a less cured edge, and will often have an edge geometry and blade profile which offers more support in the chop to minimize damage to the edge and the over all structural integrity of the blade.

    While there are few hard and fast rules, it is the difference between a sickle and a wood ax.

    Peace favor your sword,
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Feb 8, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    As I understand the terms (and I am not an expert in any way), a 'hacking' motion is one that relies on the weight of the blade and the momentum to basically batter through a target; the sharpness of the blade is important, but it's a bashing motion. A 'slashing' motion may look similar, but it's less dependent upon the weight of the blade and more dependent upon the sharpness of the blade to achieve the cut.

    I have also considered that a 'hack' does not necessarily contain a drawing motion; a slash does. Just some random thoughts; again, I'm far from an expert on this.
  4. Hyoho

    Hyoho Black Belt

    Oct 6, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I have spent most of my life in Japanese sword arts and own a few blades. I now live and spend most of my time in the jungle in South East Asia. I/We also own various weapons used for cutting. This is from a two meter high banana plant with the girth of a man. 5" diameter bamboo. Cutting coconuts and general jungle work. With my ingrained skills with sword I still use the same technique regardless. But the shape of the handle dictates a bit of a difference.

    I have taken and used shinken (Japanese real blades) in the jungle to experiment. Not much use at all. A kukri shaped blade is my choice. A rough polish is always the best. A shiny blade slips too much. The slightly rough edge bites into what you cut. The same can be said of Japanese blades used in tameshigiri that are half polished.

    Weight wise? Depends what you are cutting. If we cut thicker stronger things we need a meaty blade.

    I dont "hack" anything. I slice with precision. Even if its a banana stem as thick as a mans neck I still to cut around 30 degrees and examine my work. The difference in the dojo is I stop short with pair work.
    • Like Like x 3
    • Informative Informative x 2

Share This Page