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The Nightstar Zoo • View topic - Knives and swords

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 Post subject: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:42 am 
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Aquarium Exhibit
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Whats the difference between a knife and a sword? Is there one? Is sword a knife?

If I am making something, what do I have to do to it to make sure it qualifies as a knife?

Disclaimer: no questionable activities going on here, this is just for a design idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:33 am 
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The distinction between a long knife and a short sword is fuzzy. A quick search doesn't show any particularly useful answers, either.

Is this a question of what to call something that you've already designed? Or are you trying to decide how long something should be?


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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:45 pm 
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There is no correct answer to this... however I do have a 'rule of thumb' I go by...

Blade lengths:
Knife*: From really short up to half distance from one's elbow to finger tips in length.
Shortsword: Between half the length from finger tips to elbow and the full length of finger tips to elbow.
Broadsword: Between the full length of elbow to finger tips and up to twice this length.
Longsword: Longer than a Broadsword, but shorter than you are.
Greatsword: From 3/4 your height to longer than you are tall. No real end point in sight, but some extreme lengths are just crazy.


* Note, Dagger and Knife are virtually interchangeable; as are Longsword, Broadsword, and Shortsword...


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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:42 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:05 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:26 pm 
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As the author you get to state it's a knife, and turn anyone who disagrees into a newt with scabies.


My personal rule is that a blade under six inches is a knife, and a blade over 18 inches is a sword . . . in between gets a little vague, though generally a knife will have significant utility as a tool.

Knife vs dagger: a dagger is a type of double-edged knife having a point especially suited for stabbing. Alternatively, it may be very slander and edgeless with only a point, though that's more usually a stiletto.

--FreeFlier


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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:47 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:08 am 
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There was, at one point, a distinction between swords and knives made that based it on the handle, leading to three foot long ten pound 'knives' created to get around these restrictions.


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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:13 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:59 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:25 pm 
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Generally anything with a blade under 5.5 inches (14 cm) in length is classified as a knife. Beyond that, I think the only real distinction between the two is the purpose of the blade. A knife is made to be a cutting tool with a variety of uses. Meanwhile, a sword is designed specifically to be used as a weapon.


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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:51 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:08 am 
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I'm not a sword expert but here is my take on swords, knives and edged tools.

Basically it is the blade that distinguishes a knife from a sword, or a cutting tool like a machete from a weapon.

Sword blades are usually thick and heavy, compared to other blades. They must be. You will be using it to cut or perforate someone who very likely will be using strong materials (ranging from boiled leather to steel plate) to prevent that and who will be hitting your sword blade in order to avoid being cut. So the blade must withstand heavy abuse and not break when parried. Sword blades are very springy, unlike cooking knives that have stiffer blades.

Average weight of a sword is between 2.5 to 5 lbs.

Daggers, which are knife-like weapons, also have thick blades due to the same function. They are expected to be able to hack and cut through strong materials.

Machetes and other cutting tools have thin blades. You are not supposed to use them to cut through armor but through some relatively tough plants. The blades if hit on the side, like in a parry, can break at the hilt. Kitchen knives also are thin and brittle if hit the wrong way.

Axes and hammers are dual purpose tools/weapons.

BY general rule a knife will have a very short blade when compared to a sword.

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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:25 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:00 am 
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OKAY it looks like I was wrong about it being a law thing, it looks like it was more of a TRADE GUILD thing.

http://petermorwood.tumblr.com/post/167 ... -but-still


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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:05 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:16 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:35 pm 
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In Japan during the Meiji Restoration in the 1870's, samurai were banned from carrying swords, which were defined as blades which used three rivets in the hilt instead of only two. To this day, knives in Japan have two rivets.

There are several reasons that a kitchen knife makes an awful sword: first, most kitchen knives (especially table knives) are so dull they barely cut butter. Two, if they are serrated edges, they are very difficult to sharpen. Three, most kitchen knives are stainless steel, which is significantly more brittle than "good" sword steel; I've seen differing opinions on the matter of what makes a "good" sword steel ranging from 1045 carbon steel, 1075 carbon steel, 1566 spring steel which has manganese in it or even just "go to a junkyard and get some car springs".

If you've ever had an old stainless knife literally break off in your hands trying to cut cold cheese (I've lost...like at least 6 knives this way. Cheese is so dangerous to knives, but it's so tasty...) you know what the problem is: if you apply a lot of torque to a brittle blade it will snap. The problem gets much worse as the length and mass of the blade increase, as the amount of torque it receives increases. One way to try to deal with this problem is to reduce the force applied at the fulcrum of the pivot, which you can do by using three rivets instead of two.

The less brittle the blade is, the more resilient to hitting things it is. Contrariwise, the more brittle the blade is, the longer it stays sharp. This is why katanas used differential forging, which produced the distinctive curve in the blade when one side contracted more than the other side during cooling; the fast-cooling area produced a more brittle sword edge, while the slow-cooling area produced a less brittle sword back which was more resilient and better able to absorb force.

So, there's a lot of factors as far as what makes a sword, but they basically boil down to this: If you can hit something with it, and it tends to cut things, and it doesn't break, it's a sword. If it breaks, it turns out, it was a knife.

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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:16 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:35 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:05 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:39 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Knives and swords
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:43 am 
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