Leaf bladed swords...

Discussion in 'Functional Swords' started by Anduril, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

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    What do you all think of these? Personally, I haven't wielded many at all, but I would usually dislike the extra weight this design would give the blade. What about the rest of you?
  2. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Who says it would make the blade heavier overall? The thicket tip and "hips" of the blade could be compensated for by the slimmer "waist" of the blade. Especially if it's been given a good hollow grinding. And any competent swordsmith would make sure the whole thing balanced anyway.

    Unless you specifically wanted a hacking chopping sword, then the extra weight could be advantageous. As long as it's not so stupidly front heavy that you can't swing it more than once :)

    Visually I like them, but I like a Glamdring style leaf that is very very subtle. It's only on closer inspection that you can see the blade is a gentle leaf shape. I'm not a fan of more pronounced leaf shapes, even though they're a historical design they just seem too "busy" for me.

    But Glamdring.....oh yeah baby.....
  3. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

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    Sorry. i wasn't clear. I was saying it would tend to make the blade more tip-heavy, thus moving the balance point further down the blade.
  4. Patrick Kelly

    Patrick Kelly New Member

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    A swords balance depends on several factors and blade profile is only one of them. A leaf bladed sword can be made with a proper balance as long as the maker knows his business and distributes the weapons mass properly.

    Historically leaf-bladed swords tend to disappear from use after the bronze age. There are mild leaf shapes such as the earlier patterns of roman gladii but nothing as acute as some of the patterns found during the bronze age. The bronze artisans seem to have been going for an increased striking ability without sacrificing structural integrity. The shape can also increase the blades forward mass, thereby increasing its thrusting ability, as well as control in the thrust. Once steel replaced bronze these abilities were possible without resorting to a more complicated shape like a leaf blade.

    They're interesting and attractive designs but nothing particularly effective in relation to others.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2006
  5. stevenlink1

    stevenlink1 Knight of Hyrule

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    Yeah, swords like Glamdring may look very cool, and even be as functional and as light as you want, but the leaf-blade shape doesn't really seem to add any functionality to the design.
  6. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

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    Well, I talked to my coach about that, and he said that it does do one thing. It pushes the balance point further down the blade of a sword. Thus, you can have a short blade with a long grip, yet still have powerful cuts.
  7. John Lundemo

    John Lundemo New Member

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    I agree with most of what Patrick said, especially historically. But, in recent years they have had a come back in the custom sword world. I have made several even very large ones that are historical weight and balance and the cutting ability when done correctly is very very good. In some cases better than straight blade of same mass. The trick is the distal taper and edge geometry. I have had many customers swear thier leafs cut best. See the thickness (distal tape is such that at the blade at it's widest around center of percussion is 1/2 or so thinner than the blade is at the shoulder (riccasso) area. Course, modern steels and great heat treat and solid hilt construction are a must in any good cutter. Cutting techniques and good followthrough, like pulling the cut a little when going through targets helps to make this style blade perform at it's best.
  8. Oresai

    Oresai Old Battle Mare

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    I own a reenactment quality Celtic leaf bladed sword. Have to say I have found no problem at all with balance. :)