The research of the European, or Western, knife is at this time enjoying a renaissance. There are numerous resources accessible on the internet and in publish that can assist friend in your study.

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general Study

myArmoury.com -- a relatively new but excellent site specialized to the research of the sword, both historic and modern reproductions. The middle ages Sword resource Site -- a an excellent overview that the west Sword, with a great deal of details on Viking swords.

The ARMA -- currently the biggest of a growing variety of organizations committed to the examine of west Martial arts (WMA), concentrating on the rediscovery that the techniques explained in historic swordsmanship manuals. The Mid-Atlantic society for historic Swordsmanship (MASHS) -- A Maryland based group of knife practitioners and enthusiasts committed to the study, recreation, and preservation of historical European knife arts. Weapon systems encompass Medieval sword and also shield, middle ages longsword, Renaissance cut and also thrust, rapier, and classical smallsword dueling. St. Martin"s Academy -- The St. Martins Academy of medieval Arms studies medieval European self-defense as collection down in instructional treatises by middle ages Masters of Arms. Situated in Madison, Wisconsin. Bjorn"s Sword website -- many informative write-ups in both English and Swedish. knife Typologies there are number of "typologies," or attempts at the category of Medieval, Viking, Migration and other sword types. One must keep in mind, however, that while this typologies are advantageous for a contemporary understanding of the evolution of blades and hilt designs, this classifications are modern-day constructs and also not terminologies provided in the initial period. below are some resource links (where avaiable) on the various sword typologies: Oakeshott"s Typology the the medieval Sword -- currently the definitive work-related on the classification and breakthrough of the medieval sword (from so late Viking to late Medieval.) Geibig"s Typology the the Viking Sword -- A classification of Viking blade types (which some think about sub-types that Oakeshott"s kind X blade.) january Petersen"s Typology the the Viking Sword -- A group study that Norwegian Viking swords published in 1919, focusing primarily on hilt types. Wheeler Viking knife Typology -- A group study of Viking swords, concentrating primarily on hilt varieties and the blades generally associated with them. Behmer Migration knife Typology -- Typology categorizing swords the Anglo-Saxon origin. The components of a sword

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Backsword -- A sword blade, which has actually a cut edge only on one side. Most commonly found on curved blades, such together sabers, falchion, and also cutlass.

Basket -- An arrangement of steel bars, and panels that type a basket-like cage around the fixed (and the wielder"s hand). These are most generally found ~ above Scottish basket-hilted swords, and European rapiers.

Behmer typology -- Typology categorizing swords that Anglo-Saxon origin.

Blade -- The ar of the sword, i beg your pardon is not part of the hilt.

Chappe -- A flap of animal leather attached come a sword"s crossguard, which offer to protect the mouth that the scabbard and also prevent water native entering. Also called a Rain Guard.

Cruciform -- A generic term for any type of sword which as soon as inverted suggest downward will kind the shape of a crucifix. This was, come a degree, a spiritual symbol come the knights that the crusading era.

Edge -- The cutting part of the sword"s blade.

Ferrule -- A metal band at either finish of the grip offered to certain the animal leather or wire wraps. Likewise used together a decoration.

Finger guard -- A tiny crescent shape bar which extends from the sword"s guard, and rises parallel come the sword"s ricasso, which permits a user to loop your finger over the safety (which increases point control, however decreases cutting power), without fear of being injured by an opponent"s blade sliding down their own.

Fuller -- A groove under the center of a blade, provided to both lighten a sword, and also conserve knife steel (making a more comprehensive blade possible with much less material). Regularly mistakenly referred to as a "Blood Groove."

Full tang -- A sword tang that overcome the whole length the the grip, and is attached straight to the sword"s pommel.

Grip -- The part of the hilt held by the user (the handle).

Guard -- The section of the sword hilt whose function is to safeguard the wielder"s hand. It may take that the shape of a straightforward bar, a stole basket, a flat disc, or several other forms.

Hamon -- The "line" or visual characteristic typical of Japanese blades caused by the usage of differential hardening (see below).

Hilt -- all of a sword, other than for the blade proper. The crossguard, grip, and also pommel.

Knuckle guard -- A bent bar i beg your pardon extends indigenous the guard come pommel, designed to avoid the user"s hand native being cut by a sliding punch from one opponent"s weapon.

Oakeshott typology -- A typology developed by Ewart Oakeshott together a way of classifying historic swords (antiques) into codified groups and subgroups, based on the sword"s shape, size, and also physical features.

Pas d"An -- part of a rapier"s guard, which surrounding the basic of the knife blade.

Point -- The guideline of the sword"s blade.

Pommel -- A counter-weight at the end of a sword"s hilt, provided to balance the sword. Likewise may be supplied as a striking implement.

Quillon(s) -- Renaissance term because that the crossguard. Used practically exclusively when referring to rapiers.

Quillon block -- section of the rapier"s hilt where the guard"s arms (both bars, and also rings) space attached. The tang of the knife blade also passes v this point, with the ricasso on one side, and the sword"s fixed on the other.

Rat-tail tang -- A more modern method of manufacture entailing a small diameter rod gift welded ~ above a regular tang. This method has proven faulty in countless low-end swords in that they often break early to negative welds.

Ricasso -- any kind of narrowing or thickening of a sword"s blade, which continues to be unsharpened, just over the guard. Boosts the user"s capability to loop a finger end the guard, to increase manage of the point.

Scent stopper -- Pommel form which each other the stopper in an antique perfume jar.

Tang -- The ar of the knife blade that the hilt is enclosed to. This component of the knife is no visible as soon as the tongue is completely mounted.

Welded tang -- A tang where the steel of the blade has had another piece of steel (very regularly low carbon steel) welded on to it as an extension.

Wheel -- A pommel that is in the shape of a flat disc. It might have added features, such together beveled edges, or raised facility sections.

Wire-wrap -- Spun and also twisted metal wire (may be iron, brass, bronze, copper, etc.), i beg your pardon is then wrapped about the sword grip. Regularly used to boost the ability to grip a sword"s handle. Also a authorize of wealth, together these grips often tended to be much more expensive to manufacture.

The functionality of a Sword

Just due to the fact that a sword has actually most that the i can identify parts listed above does not mean that that is a truly functional sword. Many factors walk into producing a sword that excels in that primary role -- cutting.

It is extremely vital that the sword have an excellent balance (which differs according to the to plan use and also resulting design of the sword) and good "harmonic balance," or exactly how the sword architecture carries the vibration result from the cut action. In addition, the is important, (again based on the sword"s plan use), the the tongue be appropriately hardened and also tempered. Below are interpretations of some crucial terms relating to a sword"s performance characteristics:

BL: Blade length

Blade geometry: The shaping the a sword"s blade, both in the profile, and also distal views. It is mostly responsible because that the blade"s details use, and potential together a weapon.

"CoB": The center of Balance (also well-known as the "CoG"- facility of Gravity, or "PoB" - point of Balance) is the allude along the blade whereby the sword has actually equal fixed on one of two people side.

How to identify "CoB": to test your sword, location a ruler or yardstick on edge and move the blade up and also down native hilt to allude until the balances. Then measure from the hilt to the point.

"CoP": The center of Percussion is the point along the length of the blade whereby there is small or no vibration once the tongue is win on one object. When this section of the tongue is supplied in striking, that transmits the the very least amount of shock and also vibration to the user"s hand, and likewise will provide the deepest penetration in a target. How to discover the "CoP": A straightforward test to develop the "CoP" is to host the knife vertically (with the point up) and also lightly tap the next of the pommel. The point in the blade the doesn"t vibrate is "CoP." Pivot Point: once holding a knife at the peak of the tight (where the grip meets the guard), point downward, in between thunb and also forefinger, relocate the sword ago and forth through gentle motions of the hand. The sword will normally pivot between your fingers and also there have to be a clues either follow me the tongue or in ~ the allude where the blade appears to continue to be stationary. This is referred to as the pivot allude -- the appropriate location the the pivot suggest will vary depending on the purpose of the sword -- a thrusting sword should have actually a pivot suggest located at the really tip of the tongue point, a cutting knife may have actually a pivot allude close to or corresponding to the CoP. Distal Taper: Distal taper describes the change in thickness from the base of the blade to the tip. The circulation of this fixed in the blade renders a profound distinction in the handling characteristics and also performance that the blade.

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profile Taper: profile taper describes the changes in the overview of the tongue or edge, native the base of the blade to the tip. (Imagine lied a sword level on a item of document and tracing the outline.) Oakeshott"s Typology the the middle ages sword refers to variations in this profile/outline taper. Some chisels have outlines that room parallel until very close to the allude (like an Oakeshott kind X, with little or no file taper), part have very prounounced profile taper (such together an Oakeshott form XV.)

Forging: heating the stock item of steel in a build (or other heat source) and also hammering into shape on one anvil. The is much more conservative that steel, however can additionally be much more time consuming. Nevertheless of just how close to shape a item is forged, a little bit of grinding is still necessary to end up the piece. Neither technique (forging or stock-removal) is better than the other; they are just various methods to achieve the same results.

Hardening (Quenching): as soon as the forging or share removal procedure is completed, a blade is boil to critical temperature (point wherein the stole is non-magnetic, approx. 1400 degrees depending top top the steel) and also then cooled conveniently in a form of quench medium. This process hardens the blade, so the it might retain a modern without put on quickly. Quench mediums have the right to vary relying on the kind of stole being used. They incorporate water, brine (salt water), oil (natural and also synthetic), and modern quenching polymers.

OL: overall Length

Stock-Removal: using a grinder to fully shape a stock piece of steel right into a sword. This an approach may be contempt faster, but additionally is more wasteful the steel, as instead of changing the form (as in forging), the is grinding it away. Neither an approach (forging or stock-removal) is much better than the other; they space just various methods to accomplish the very same results.

"Sweet spot": The sweet clues on a sword frequently correlates to the "CoP" (Center of Percussion- watch above), and also is the location on a sword"s blade which will supply the strongest blow, there is no loosing power due to vibration.

Tempering: once a tongue is hardened, the is very brittle as it comes the end of the quench, and also if stuck on a hard object can actually shatter. Tempering is a heat heat-treatment whereby the tongue is heated come a temperature listed below that which the blade to be hardened in ~ (usually between 350-500 degrees), and also is hosted at this temperature because that a predetermined length of time. This reduce the hardness very slightly, yet greatly to reduce the brittleness and also the amount of anxiety in the blade.

Differential Tempering: In this procedure a blade is v hardened (see below) come a high degree, and also then warmth is used to the spine the the blade to make it softer and an ext flexible. This leaves the edges hard, but the body soft sufficient to withstand shocks and also impacts. This deserve to be accomplished in a variety of ways. Tempering tongs are an easy tools that consist the a standard collection of tongs that have actually a bar welded to every of the jaws. The tongs are heated and applied to the spine the the blade. This softens the blade, however leaves the edge hardness intact. Another method that requires a an ext delicate touch is to use a propane torch. Gently play it across the spine the the blade until the preferred hardness is reached. The second an approach is more difficult to master and also has a bigger margin that error.

Through Hardening: Quenching a tongue so the a constant hardness exists throughout the blade"s thickness. With through hardening, there needs to it is in a compromise in between having an sheet hard sufficient to retain its sharpness, and also having a softer, much more flexible body that won"t break once it is used.

Differential Hardening: Quenching a tongue so that the edges are harder 보다 the spine or human body of the blade. The Japanese sword is the most common example that this kind of quenching. The spine the the blade is coated with a clay mixture, climate heated and quenched. The special clay coating ~ above the spine acts prefer an insulator and causes the coated portion of the blade to cool more slowly (the slow the cooling, the softer the steel). This layout of heat-treating is what is responsible because that the curvature in a Japanese blade, due to the fact that only one edge is hardened (hardened steel has actually a larger grain dimension than softer steel). There space a number of smiths today that use this technique on double-edged sword blades. The hardening top top both edges reasons the tongue to remain straight. The use of clay is additionally responsible because that the visual results (hamon) in the steel.

Harmonic Balancing: Adjusting the load of the pommel, and length the the hilt, in relation to the load of the blade, in bespeak to establish a "Harmonic Node" (see below) in ~ the grip wherein the user"s hand grasps the hilt.

How to recognize the "harmonic balance" the a sword: The harmonic balance of a sword may be established through a similar process as that used to find the "CoP." In this instance, reverse the sword"s direction (so the the blade is point down), and grasp the grip just over the guard. Again, tenderness tap the pommel through the heel of her hand. If you feel vibration in her fingertips, relocate them contempt up or down the grip and also repeat. When you situate the section of the grip the doesn"t vibrate, you"ll be able to determine the "harmonic balance" the the sword. Different swords will have actually this second node of non-vibration in various locations. Advertise swords will require it to it is in nearer (and occasionally within) the guard, while cut swords will require it placed approximately the position of the index, middle, and also ring finger of the user"s hand.

Harmonic Node: A allude in the sword whereby vibration is one of two people minimal or non-existent. Over there are typically at the very least two of this "Nodes" within the length of a sword, one in the tongue (also recognized as CoP) and one in the grip.

Rockwell hardness: A contemporary steel hardness scale, v a range of 20-80 point out (on the Rockwell C scale). The greater the number, the more difficult and more brittle the stole is.

knife Steel

Following are some explanations the the different types of steel offered in sword making.

Simple Alloy Steel: This series of steel has actually a little amount that alloying aspects in it and also is made up mostly that carbon and also iron. The stole is often designated with a four-digit number (Ex. 10XX). The last 2 digits vary, describe the percent of carbon in the steel. The higher the carbon content, the more difficult and more brittle the steel. Carbon contents over 1% become incredibly hard, and also can be difficult to use in knife lengths, return there room some tradition smiths that are very successful v these steels.

Stainless Steel: these are modern steels the contain a chromium contents of 8-12% or higher. The chromium gives the stole its stainless characteristics, but is additionally weakens the grain boundaries in the steel. This causes the stole to be brittle, and, when supplied in sword-length blades, can cause the blades to fracture very easily as soon as put to use in cut or also hard swinging. That is a good steel for low-maintenance knives, yet it is great to store in mind that this does NOT mean that it will not rust, just that that is corrosion-resistant.

Chromium Content: Chromium in huge amounts is detrimental to knife steel (as discussed above), however in smaller amounts (less than approx. 5%) it help in refining the stole grain, and also creates a more durable blade. This may seem prefer the opposite of what the does in stainless steel, however it is a case of "too lot of a good thing" can be harmful.

Chrome-Vanadium Steel: This is the preferred steel of Del tin of Italy. Del tin manufactures historically based european swords, and is taken into consideration the benchmark for manufacturing manufacturing. The steel provides both Vanadium and little amounts that Chromium to filter the steel"s grain and also increase toughness. Del Tin chisels have been provided in together movies as Braveheart, The three Musketeers (Sutherland, Sheen, and also O"Donnell), and also Robin Hood: Prince that Thieves.

Damascus: Damascus correctly refers come Indian "Wootz" steel. A kind of steel well-known for its exceptional sword characteristics, Damascus knives display an unusual pattern in the steel as result of different aspects present during the smelting process. This is a bit of an wrong term for Pattern-Welded steel (see below), which displays comparable visual characteristics.

Pattern-Welded Steel: This is the process of taking 2 steels with dissimilar properties and also forge-welding lock together right into a single bar. The bar can then it is in manipulated through twisting, folding, and other various techniques to offer a visible pattern in the steel"s surface. When the bar is forged and also rough polished, it is given an etching the brings out the pattern and creates topography in the steel.

Mild Steel: A generic term for any kind of steel the is not hardenable. This is often modern steel that has a carbon content ranging from .08-.18 % carbon (AISI 1008 or 1018 steel). That is ductile sufficient from a tiny amount that cold-working, but stiffer and also stronger 보다 pure iron. For this reason, that is regularly used for the hilt fittings for contemporary swords, both production and custom.