Katana vs Broadsword

katana-shoujo-by-hamada-youho

A short animated gif purportedly highlighting the much vaunted efficacy of the katana in comparison to a mere broadsword has surfaced, inciting a storm of controversy.

Katana vs Broadsword

Needless to say, internationally this short video has inspired much discussion of the merits of the two blades, the test itself, and of course the excessively exaggerated properties of the katana.

2ch for its part is aghast at the soul of the samurai being turned and bent asunder by rude barbarian steel:

They’re using it wrong!

This is probably just an imitation using cheap steel…

Even a katana gets bent and broken. I don’t see the point.

A Japanese blade bends!?

Looks cheap.

Ah, the way the light reflects off it is all wrong – an obvious fake.

It’s no fake. Also, cutting and striking are two different things. If you want to ‘cut’ you need the right technique.

Doesn’t this make a steel shield the ultimate defence?

People really have too many illusions about these blades. Looks cool anyway.

You shouldn’t use all your strength when swinging a blade anyway.

Foreigners really worship katana and ninja a little too much.

Steel wouldn’t bend like that! Is it aluminium?

Steel would never bend like that!

Because a broadsword is a blunt weapon.

Just proving why the spear is superior again.

Seriously? Excuse me while I go to the shop to sell Masamune…

A Japanese blade’s strength lies in its ability to dispatch an enemy in but one stroke, it doesn’t rely on sheer hardness. These foreigners like flashy things so perhaps the harder thing looks stronger to them.

The usual:

All those foreigners have are cheap Chinese copies!

Under these conditions a hammer is best!

After the sakoku [closing of the country to barbarians], the samurai were just playing at swordfighting and the Japanese sword became nothing but a mere decoration. The blades used in the west continued to be honed in real battle – it’s obvious they’d be stronger.

Just the sort of idiotic test some fool barbarian would concoct, eh?

Not a real katana. As for the foreigners leaping to defend it – I laughed!

Aren’t those foreign anime otaku just mistaking ‘the sword that cuts iron’ for reality?

Foreigners absolutely worship katana.

Why? TMNT or something?

Probably Highlander’s fault.

Ideal:

blacksmith-katana

Actuality:

Katana vs Broadsword

So this ‘katana’ is going to be recalled too?

Who would have thought 2ch harboured so many experts on metallurgy and swordcraft?

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480 Comments

  • origin of the gif part one and two:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpEC38sL3iU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hy_A9vjp_s

    for those that don’t understand german:

    The one doing the destruction test is a german blacksmith who made the sword using genuine tamahagane (special japanese sword steel) as raw material. (unfortunately they don’t state what exact blade construction he used)
    But it’s definitely folded and the hamon is real.

    his web page for further reading:
    http://www.seelenschmiede.de/frameset.htm
    (link to his japanese stuff http://www.seelenschmiede.de/japanschwerter.htm)

    Some general stuff about swords I haven’t seen mentioned (might have overlooked them though ^^;):

    That a katana bends under extreme stress is actually a sign of quality for japanese blades (being able to bend it back after a fight was preferable over the sword snapping)

    Tamahagane is not a very good steel, and the folding process is necessary to even it out. (the impurities do help the folding though, as they decrease oxidation.., so you don’t need to use as much borax or sand in the process..)

    I actually contacted hitachi metal co. some years ago, as they did a research on tamahagane properties,
    The result was that the strength of a japanese sword has nothing to do with traditional steel used but is only the result of the blade construction. tamahagane does not have any special properties. (except for being very “bad” impure steel)

    The main difference of Japanese and later european blades is the hardening process (the steel needs to be chosen accordingly). European blades are hardened to flex and turn back into the original shape, this does not allow an edge as hard and sharp as that of japanese blades, but the swords will be able to take a longer beating.
    (and, when fighting an armored late medieval knight, using the sword used more like a hanbo, short spear or hammer, as the plate was pretty much immune to cuts… so a semi blunt edge was preferred for versatility. Sharp enough to cut unarmored archers, blunt enough to wrestle a knight.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4W9B_Ybmro
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6Pnw-9A8qQ )

    Japanese blades have a harder edge (and soft back and core) making it possible to sharpen/polish them to a much greater degree. But they will usually stay bent if you bend them.
    (I won’t go into rockwell, martensite, austenite, bainite etc.. the post would get a bit long…)

    Old european weapons of late roman and viking periods actually had properties much like those of japanese swords (layered folded steel of varying carbon content (more carbon = harder) with differentially heat treated edges. Unfortunately they used to bury the swords with the owner.. so there aren’t many left that didn’t turn to rust)
    Very simplified one could say that the europeans moved to a different manufacturing process in the search for more effective weapons, whereas the japanese sticked with the older process, refining it to a point where it turned from being a craft for producing effective tools to being an art in its own right.

    (there is also pattern welded steel (moving from folding out impurities to using prefabricated refined steel of different carbon content) and stuff like bulat, wootz etc.. use wiki for further reading)

    … there are recent developments fusing the manufacturing methods (L6/bainite…) combining flexibility with a hard edge in the production of modern katana (as there is less of a market for european shapes)… but these shouldn’t be confused with traditionally made swords, and are result of “western” technicians reevaluating and dismissing traditional japanese blade construction.

    on weapon weight:

    European sword vary greatly in weight and shape, but when comparing the double handed counterparts and adjusting for size and weight differences of the owners, the european and japanese weapons had roughly the same weight and even weight distribution.
    …especially if you compare the katana with a kriegsmesser, a weapon also built for semi-soft targets.

    (it’s the same when comparing single handed swords, broad or of later thinner type and a chinese jian… the large european pommel actually puts the point of balance closer to the grip than on the chinese cousin)

    …..

    • Agree. There is no sense in comparing these weapons, as they made for different purposes. Katana was designed to fight lightly armored samurai, board swords are technically blunt weapons, used to fight heavy-armored knights.

      Katana have the edge in a fight, because it is lighter and faster, but gonna be in trouble if the opponent is armored or he manage to break it with the more sturdy broadsword.

  • “Aren’t those foreign anime otaku just mistaking ‘the sword that cuts iron’ for reality?”

    This.

    “Who would have thought 2ch harboured so many experts on metallurgy and swordcraft?”

    I lol’d at this.

  • Anonymous says:

    The stupidity and ignorance in this thread astounds me, so I’ll just throw out a few important facts:

    1 – longswords were a similar weight to katanas, they achieved the broader, longer blade by having a much thinner construction (katanas have a triangle cross-section, broadswords with fullers resemble a very narrow I-beam, giving a very good strength/weight ratio). This does produce the drawback of a highly anisotropic structure, meaning it takes far less force on the flat of the blade to break it when compared to other designs.

    2 – In the full video they also test a longsword against a longsword identical to the one the katana tried to cut (same mountings, but different sword of identical design). The longsword cut the other sword fairly cleanly, leaving a sizable nick in the blade of the cutting sword.

    3 – Partially related to point 1, longswords were not bashing weapons. They relied on their sharpened blades to cut down lightly armoured foes, and were used for thrusting against heavily armoured foes.

    4 – Japanese ore deposits are very sulphur-rich, which produces very poor steels, so while the whole folding technique does produce a stronger blade it still is full of impurities, so overall not as strong as European works. Kudos to the land of the rising sun for working around their mineral limitations, but in an intercontinental war end result is more important.

  • Anonymous says:

    They keep saying “barbarian”, like it’s a bad thing. Poor pussy-whipped and pussyfied bastards. Women tell them how to spend their own money and they are so morbidly afraid of them, that they even stopped having relationships and sex with them. I’ll take being a barbarian any day of the week.

  • Anonymous says:

    That katana could be a cheap factory job made in China for all we know. Just go to a tourist shop in Chinatown and plunk down $40.

    Anyway, cheap blade or not, the guy in the video is doing it WRONG. He obviously does not know how to use a katana.
    Katana were meant to be used to generate an arc of cutting force. This cutting arc is made with the last 3 inches of the blade. As you can see in the video, the impact is in the middle. WAY off.

    The fact that the guy in the demo can’t even hit with the right part of the katana probably also means he does not know proper cutting technique. It takes a lot of training to cut the right way. A LOT. But when you do it, you can cut through two, three or even four human bodies in one stroke. That’s how katana used to be tested in old Japan. They used condemned crimminals. The more prisoners a blade could go through, the higher grade it recieved and thus the higher price it could command at sale.

    • Anonymous says:

      1) The weight distribution of Katana does not vary that wildly depending how you swing. Either way, Katana is generally much lighter than the typical broadsword. This is called physics.

      2) You are inferring that the broadsword can’t do the same, which is untrue. Broadswords have been used to cut down everything from light armor and in most testing, it slices right through a whole pig or a block of wood, whatever.

      3) Inferring the ‘skill’ of a weapon to one another is just nonsense. Western swordsmen can have just as much if not more overall weapon skills than Japanese swordsmen. In terms of history, the West has been in on these weapon technology for eons longer than the Japanese.

      • Anonymous says:

        I inferred no such thing. You did. You jumped to conslusion of what I meant.

        What I am saying is that in the hands of someone who does not know how to use it properly, a katana’s true cutting power will be greatly diminished. I know this from first hand experience. I tried and only managed a partial cut through a dummy. Then a master did a clean cut through two dummies.

        Someone may be highly skilled with a broadsword, but that does not translate to great skill with a katana. And vice versa. The two weapons were designed differently and meant for use with different techniques. You use a whole different set of muscles when striking with a katana compared to a broadsword swing.
        Again, I know this from firsthand experience.

        It’s also not just weight disbribution. It’s, as you said yourself, physics. This also includes things like leverage and velocity. An arc of force generated halfway down a sword is not going to be as strong as a full length arc. You can see how this works for yourself. Perhaps when playing baseball.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well not that much lighter. European swords were known for good handling and balance, while Japanese swords were more known for sharpness and quickness of draw.

        But other than that, yeah.

  • Anonymous says:

    I laugh at all the ignorents thinking a katana would prevail against western armors. Western armors were made to whistand the assaults of many kind of weapons including bows (at the exception of the english long bow and the xbows) flails and 2 handed swords. To actualy pierce it you needed “can oppener weapons” and a lot of time. To actualy beat a 13th century full plate wearer you needed guns or to have downed the knight and oppen his armour or place a styleto between the plates or use a blunt weapon and mash the corners of the plate to turn the metal to pierce the knight flesh with the points made of the armor. Finaly you could hit with a spear with a HUGE strenght to pierce the plate and the chain and the garnment.

    Katana were used against unarmored opponents, it was made to cut flesh and bone. It always was about being swift and cut well. The japanese armors were made of bamboo, bone and brass witch is heavyer and more fragile than westerness steel. Basicly Katanas were never made to face a metal plate or an other blade at all actualy. The mentality in the fight for the japanese never was to bloc the direct attack with your blade, hit first basicaly was the idea or dodge because your blade could break if you were using it to bloc.

    Those who think otherwise are ill informed, I’m an armorer I made a lot of armor and weapons, I made a lot of experiments and I can assure you, katana due to their fabrication techniques will break or bend against westerness heavyer counterparts it’s a fact whatever some idiots think.

  • Anonymous says:

    As someone with smithing and and heat-treatment experience (lol internet expert, I know) I’m gonna say it looks like it’s probably legit. Japanese swords are differentially hardened, with a brittle cutting edge and a soft spine.

    In this clip, the katana’s cutting edge shattered and the spine deformed. This is exactly what you’d expect from a properly-made katana. The spine isn’t even spring-tempered, so it sets rather than bending back to its original shape. A more cheaply made sword (hardened all the way through) would have either sprung back or shattered all the way.

    • Shippoyasha says:

      Wow. Amazingly, you have the voice of logic so far in this whole conversation.

      But it is true. The ‘strength’ of the Katana does not extend to it not bineg spring tempered. The way it folds does make sense.

  • I have 2 issue’s with this is these two swords should never clash like this. That’s not a straight Katina. It’s curved. Which means it’s supposed to slice. Not chop.

    The only reason you should allow another blade to touch it would be to deflect IF you have no other choice but in no situation should you impact a head on collision with it let alone provide more force for the impact like the video.

    People have already expressed the other possible issues like these two weapons never having a reason to have met, and were designed for two different types of combat.

  • Anonymous says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hy_A9vjp_s&list=FLS4Ff2OUDLoVOLXluNs1obQ&index=35&feature=plpp_video

    This is the full video. The katana was hand forged from quality steel, and used by a trained martial artist. Don’t you dare pull the ‘Oh, a real Japanese smith would have made a sword that would have beaten that clunky European one!’. Katana are over-sized razors that were geared for a specific niche. They are not steel-cleaving weapons, no such things exist. Stop fapping to what you think is Japanese culture and pick up a history book,

  • well, europeans made high quality steel 1000 years longer than japanese did. and europe wasn’t a peaceful and tranquil place like that tiny island either.

    and it’s fairly common knowledge that japanese steel sucked, which is why they started importing it from europe since the 15th century.

    and european swords are simply not as hyped as katanas because nearly every peasant had one in his trunk. would you brag with the quality of your empty cola bottles?

  • I’ve seen a rapier cut the flat back of a cutlass in almost the exact same way and even THAT feather-weight blade didn’t bend or break like that.

    On top of that, genuine battle-ready Katana are like the Tasmania Tiger in that, for obvious reasons, no one goes to the trouble of making them anymore, with even the strongest of modern-day Katana being solely for decoration 9 times out of 10.

    There is, literally, no possible way this could be real.

  • This test uses physics against you.
    First some background:
    Katana’s are forged with relatively malleable low carbon steel as a “core”, with stiff, easily shattered high carbon steel for the edge. Knowing this, it’s not surprising that the katana warpedand broke like this at all, the Euro sword is actually stronger.

    But here’s the catch:
    The broadsword is fastened to two anchor points somewhere above a flat surface, both of which on opposite ends of the sword to prevent it from moving and botching the “experiment”.
    The katana was being swung with what could only be full force to bend steel, mv^2/2, otherwise, “kinetic energy”.
    All of the kinetic force behind the swing is channeled through the edge of the blade, the smaller the striking surface (this is how physics allows sharp things to cut), the more energy is being transferred through a smaller point, in this case, the point between the two intersecting blades. And because the broadsword is fastened, the katana has to contend with the reinforcing mass/weight of the surface(s) beneath (perhaps a table, but ultimately, the ground), and that energy goes wherever it can, and disperses that energy through the broadsword and into the solid ground beneath. In this case, isn’t it a little unfair if the broadsword effectively “weighs” more and has greater mass (added by the reinforcements) than the katana?

    Summary:
    The Katana blade chipped because such a small striking surface couldn’t withstand the energy behind it (not to mention traditionally poor metal). The rest of the inherent velocity bent the sword because the broadsword was immobile.
    In real combat, nobody can possibly hold their weapon in such a fashion with our soft little bodies to steadily resist that kind of force and shock impact to break the opponents weapon by means of themselves – taking us back to square one: one’s skill as a fighter is not determined by what weapon they wield, but rather how they wield it.

    • Anonymous says:

      … Are you suggesting that if someone strapped the Katana in and swung at it with the European blade, that the Katana would only be nicked and it’d be the other one that got deformed?

      … Even while you admit that the steel quality of the Japanese sword was intended to make the Katana softer?
      … And with the fact that the uprights were only keeping the European blade steady, and not say, bolted into the sword as “reinforcement”? (Notice that the loops are free-floating to chains, not attached to a stand.)

  • Katanas were never good weapons. Other countries were mass producing blades that were vastly superior in terms of craftsmanship and materials before and during the time of the katana. The only reason it was useful at all was because almost no one had a good set of armor to stop it. Quality steel, gotten from abroad, was so incredibly rare that the elite few who had it were pretty much invincible next to the common unarmored peasant. Katanas would break in half hitting any of these armors of the time.

    To say nothing of the fact that swords are bad weapons in the first place for warfare. In Japan, the Yari or Naginata were much better weapons in any open environment. The only place for a sword is inside a building or other close quarters, which is why they are used mostly as ceremonial weapons not only in Japan but world wide.

  • you, all got it wrong…it’s all about physics, that broad sword is standing on a table(most probably a metal one so it wouldn’t broke) so the force doesn’t stop in the sword as to bend it but goes through it into the table, so the table suffers from the impact not the sword, like when you use a shield if some1 hits the shield, your arm will take all the vibration but the shield will not bend…same in this case if that sword was standing just on 2 poles on each end it would certainly bend.
    so the material and form doesn’t really matter in any situation but style and physics.you could use a wooden sword against any and you could still bend it if you knew how to hit it…

  • butcher’s knife is stronger than those swords.

    but its look like they comparing two blades that has completely different function.

    there is western slashing sword called Naval Cutlass. ( you seen that a lot in pirate tributes too )
    it exactly same function like katana.

  • …morons…

    1)the purpose of a katana is to SLICE FLESH…not chop steel.

    2) the broad sword was reinenforced by the board it was on, unlike the katana which had to 3 focal points of stress.
    a)the weilders hands
    b)the point at which it struck the board sword
    c)the weight at the tip of a blade.

    A simple scientific way to imagine this is…imagine you karate chopping a board…do you want to hit the board that is being held on its left and right plain? or do you wanna hit one thats laying on flat on a table? the one being held right, becuz it has a breaking point to fold into unlike the one on the table.

    ex1===============<board
    ex1_______________<table=support

    ex2===============<board
    ex2___e+m+p+t+y___<table

    make sense…

  • Lightsaber vs Every “sword”thing.A definite win!!
    Yes

    Jedi Knight>Euro Knight>Samurai>Ninja
    Hell no…

    Things that can decide who will win in a fight is skill and tactic.. not weapons

  • the test is stupid
    any blade bends and breaks if it clashes with another one, thats why REAL swordfighters don’t just clash em like in a stupid hollywood movie but use techniques to disarm the enemy, or bind his blade. also the medieval techniques of japan and europe were very similiar, simply because human movements are limited. its the same with old european wrestling techniques and judo/ju-jutsu: there you will also find alot of similiarities

  • I’d like to say… in FFVII:BC… Sephiroth’s dai-katana could cut.. er.. slice through ANYTHING.. except the buster sword, a variant of a two-handed bastard sword, right? How come it didn’t break or bend!? :X

  • well we can see from size of the sword. BS more thick than katana.. and it has diffrnt use. and i think katana cause more deeply wounds than BS. and i think katana is thousand years evolution of curve blade from midle east.

  • Anonymous says:

    The swordie in the user = total newbie = major fail…. katanas are for fast swings from below and thrust from the middle section and cuts from above. CUT! not CHOP!

    And the sword is fake too….

  • This is a modern cheapish katana made properly with T10 tool steel… not tamahagane, but interesting to watch anyway
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTv_xzav1Ls
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHm_pJceN5Q
    Sadly T10 seems to be a Chinese designation with no known definition so it's a bit of a mystery meat… some say it's much like American 1095 carbon steel, which is a common alloy, water-quenchable and forgiving of beginner's mistakes in tempering, but still capable of making some nice strong blades that hold an edge well. One commenter said he was told T10 is:
    C – .9-1.0 (percentages, we can safely assume, as these are normal levels for other steel alloys.)
    Si – .35 max
    Mn – .5 max
    Ni – .25 Max
    While I have seen 1095 used to make katana "like a traditional one" the tie between the one I linked and a "real" one is by several layers of anecdote, so I'm not saying this is like a Japanese blade other than heat treatment and fittings…
    Then, the other is clearly not either. Tamahagane is fantastically wasteful to produce and would not have been sold to him in the first place as it's only sold to master swordsmiths (you know, the kind who are declared living national treasures.) Also, even with a soft core, a tamahagane blade should have snapped as its failure mode, not warped severely along two axes from one strike like a piece of annealed iron. (But… not all katana are tamahagane either, just the most respected. Note I didn't say best.) I've researched more and that IS Stefan Roth, he is a martial artist, and a swordsmith, and his swords are reasonably well respected. However, that is a ridiculous clumsy chop with the middle of the blade, and the blade is certainly not traditional itself. (But I'm not a katana apologist… within a few whacks, I think even a very nice traditional blade would have died with that treatment. It's just skillfully arranged (physically, molecularly) steel in the end.)
    I also refer to my first post where I said this was pointless anyway as it's one sword of unknown make vs one sword of unknown make, being used unnaturally, and there is no golden standard that represents all of either type of sword. It's fun to discuss though…

  • Anonymous said:
    The Katana is real, and the fact that it bends and not breaks is proof that it is a high quality weapon.
    I forget who exactly forged that particular Katana, but he is one of the best, most well respected swordsmiths on the planet.
    It is not a cheap replica, it is a very expensive, authentically crafted weapon.

    I think you have him confused with Howard Clark? It's funny how most Japanese depict a katana's failure state almost invariably as chipping or cracking in half. They are pretty hard, brittle steel for the most part. On the other hand, chrome-plated aluminum or something may blast a shower of flakes, looking like a hardened edge shattering, and then bend in a ridiculous fashion when smashed into something small. (Yes, I see the "hamon," but also have replicas myself with a false hamon etched or even engraved into the blade.)

    Their forging techniques were argueably better than in Japan. Ever heard of Damascus steel? Even with modern day technology, we do not know how to make such high quality steel as that.

    Wooooah. That's bullshit. Far greater "Damascus" is produced these days in all sorts of custom formulations that outstrip the original. What you're thinking of is what modern bladesmiths and historians refer to as "wootz" and was basically a heterogenous mix of steel with high amounts of carbides, and sometimes tungsten – basically "tool steel" as it is now known, mixed with the regular steel, which they had little control over. It was quite a bit better than common steel from 300 BC to 1800 AD, and not only would the harder parts hold an edge better, but as the soft parts wore away, it may seem to stay sharper longer by making microserrations, but it's nothing special now – merely a decorative material used in high-end handmade knives.
    I'd pick a shock-resistant tool steel like an S1, or just a tough common formulation like O1 against wootz for blade-on-blade tests any day.

  • Anonymous says:

    Guy weilding the katana is obviously white and therefore cannot really use it to its full potential. in order to use a katana to its fullest potentiual you really do need to be immersed inthe cutlrue of sweord lrore and myth. White people really can’t do that, unfortuntaely for me 🙁

    • Anonymous says:

      The guy wielding the sword is Stefan Roth, who studied Kashima-Shin-Ryu Kenjutsu in Japan. He’s an experienced martial artist.

      He’s also well respected European blacksmith, and a member of the Nippon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai.

      The sword was traditionally made from imported Tamahagane (ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpEC38sL3iU).

      The sword does NOT break but bend, BECAUSE it is of high quality. The hard edge chips, the soft back bends. A cheap blade would simply snap.

      Of course, when put to such a ridiculous test, the blade doesn’t survive the process – but this test was specifically meant to prove that it’s impossible to cut through swords (they later repeat the same test with a German Longsword which survives the process, but doesn’t manage to cut through the other blade either, it simply breaks it).

      No sword was meant to cut through other swords. You’re supposed to cut down your opponent, not his sword.

      To the people saying European swords were heavy or blunt, I’d recommend taking a look at actual historical facts: ttp://www.palus.demon.co.uk/Sword_Stats.html

      On average, European blades (I’m referring to late-medieval war swords here) were lighter than Katana blades because they were thinner. The swords themselves were a bit (not much!) heavier, because they were longer and had a heavier cross-guard section and pommel; but the differences weren’t huge.

  • Anonymous says:

    sad to see, but it makes sense as both swords are about the same weight but two totally different design philosophies. the broadsword was made to be able to withstand alot of blade on blade impact and constructed from much lower quality steel just to make it more durable. katanas on the other hand… as far as i know nitten ryu is the only school that teaches how to parry

  • Anonymous says:

    well thats kool but wouldn’t there be better results it the boadsword was standing up. I mean ya the katana would bend like that if the other swords was nicely straped downed.
    just saying

  • Anonymous says:

    You shouldn’t underestimate the martial arts of the middle ages, a lot of it is lost in history, so its hard to tell exactly how knights fought.

    I always thought one advantage the broad sword and european swords in general have, is that they are sharp on both sides and can therefor hit the enemies body from all angles.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think the swords are designed depending on the people who would use it,, the western style of swordsmanship uses brute force thats why their swords are large and thick,, unlike the asians,,

    • Anonymous says:

      Eastern and western swords weight about the same. My sabres and broadswords weight 900-1200grams and 2hand Claymore 2.2kg. Its stupid to think western sword needs to be heavy to be effective. Try to take few swings with iron shovel and you only break your wrists. Actually my 1.2kg US 1860 heavy cavalry sabre: The old wristbreaker is allmost too much for my wrists to handle

      Using chainmail makes fighter nearly immune to sword cuts. Add steel plates to that and knight is totaly safe. Thats why maces and warhammers were popular.

      Ofc swordman could smash helmet with pommel, poke face with crossguard, grab blade with gauntlet and use sword as spear. But naturally maces and spears were much beter for penetrating armor

      As noted many times before, swords were not primary weapons for war but more like handguns nowdays. Easy to carry with and usefull for defending yourself against highwaymen and angry peasants but for real fight you want weapon that makes bad things happen far form you, like spear or crossbow

      And yes. Katana isnt meant to be used like that

    • Anonymous says:

      True, true…
      Broadsword was “designed” to bash the opponent’s helmet/armor into his head/chest.
      Katana was meant to slice through enemy’s axil, neck, joint or burst through unarmored person’s stomach.

      So in the end it’s brute force vs precise technique.

      Now, how would Revy put this?
      “Guns over swords and nukes over guns.”
      or something like that…

      But then again:
      “Guns need ammo, blade lasts forever…” – Shenhua

      🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    same as above, sorry, didn’t see the full extent of posts before me. Lots of good info, lots of bad.

    My main bitching point;

    WHO TOLD YOU THE BROADSWORD WAS HEAVY? USE YOUR FUCKING BRAIN.

    War has been about sending poor people to kill other poor people with wealthier people directing them since forever. Poor does NOT equal retarded. Would YOU go into battle with a fence post with a piece of concrete on the end if you could have something better? no. you would not. broadswords were called broad because they were wider than the piercing swords like the small sword, (precursor to the fencing foil), rapier, or estock/tuck. They were probably ounces heavier than katanas, and designed for a diferent purpose.

    WHO TOLD YOU THEY WERE HEAVY OR FOR BASHING?

    Not heavy. that would be stupid as hell.

    Bashing. If you want to beat someone’s brains in, are you going to pay 1000 dollars for a sword, or 10 dollars for a claw hammer. There were many equivalents back then. war hammers were just hammer heads with spikes on the back, with a hole for a handle. modern replicas have the strips of reinforcement, but even with that, they would be extremely cheap compared to a sword in the time period.

    Please. Stop thinking of broadswords as conan the barbarian props. Please.

    • Anonymous says:

      but people also went into battle with maces, morningstars, and warhammers. youre basically saying that was done only because of the lack of swords? I guess they would be cheaper to make since they used wood handles…

      I remember I had a fencing teacher say broadswords were for bashing because that was pretty much the only thing you could do against plate armor. It just could no be cut right through because of the thickness. They called the fighting knights did more akin to wrestling, not like the poetic and elegent fencing developed later with rapiers.
      I think their fecing style was Italian? It was a long time ago.
      I also notice they never taught sabre. Epee was their favorite.

  • Anonymous says:

    Please consider the following;

    1) Japan has always suffered from a lack of resources. Japanese metallurgy didn’t develop as quickly as European metallurgy did. For the time periods, european metals were stronger than japanese metals. The reason the japanese swords were folded as many times as they were was because they had to use less of a lower quality material to produce a high quality product.

    2) Japanese swords, made by master craftsmen/swordsmiths, are excellent tools. However, they, like weapons everywhere, evolved based on the situation in their region. Most people on the japanese battlefield didn’t have armor worth a damn. Metal armor was particularly scarce(see above). That’s why japanese swords evolved to be, essentially, giant straight razors. They were made to cut meat. The idea of “one cut, one kill” is incidental, and based on the training more than the spirit of the blade design*.

    The result of this design, as noted above, is that the edge is very hard, while the spine remains softer to absorb the shock of impact. Japanese swords are not designed to take heavy abuse. The ideal in most arts is to avoid the enemy’s attack entirely, and use the sword for what it is meant for; parting flesh.

    European weapons, on the other hand, evolved in an environment where metal armor was not uncommon. This led to many things, (axes, maces and hammers to bludgeon armor and break bones; tucks/estocs to pierce armor; fighting styles targeting joints or uncovered areas to attack where the armor was not.), but most importantly here, it led to swords that were made of good steel that was not meant to be able to withstand some abuse.

    Do not misunderstand. European swords, even the so called broad sword, were never dull or unwieldly. The broad sword was just broader than the rapier. Another way of looking at it; the thin sword is designed to pierce, the broad sword designed to chop and slice.

    This test is unfair in some ways, and fair in others. This is a straight up failure test, and as such, we should see what happens when the european sword is swung at a japanese sword in a vice. We should also know where both swords were made, and under what conditions by whom. The final thing to remember is that the sword is a tool for killing people, not iron stock. If you want to cut iron, use a sawzall. While there may have been swords shattered by other swords in history, slicing through a sword is a romantic idea, no matter what area of the world the weapons come from.

    * A gun is a killing tool too. A Sniper uses the one shot one kill motto as well, however, most soldiers will be more than happy to use several shots if the enemy will just stop trying to kill them.

  • Anonymous says:

    A few clarifications here:

    1. An authentic Japanese sword is supposed to be folded hundreds of times in the forging process. This would make it much more durable than this, but there is one thing wrong:

    They are striking the edge directly with the opponent’s weapon. The edges of Japanese swords were much softer than the back of the blade. This was to make them sharper. Most Samurai deflected incoming blows with the BACK of the blade, rather than the softer edge, which was made for precisions strikes against soft tissue rather than hacking through armor.

    2. As above stated, Japanese swords had a specific forging process, which is more than likely completely lost to time. Of course the blade is going to be weaker than a broadsword, people still know how to forge a broadsword.

    3. The katana in the GIF is obviously made of an extremely soft metal. Stainless steel, perhaps. If it IS made of pure steel, then I defer to my previous statement; that it isn’t forged anywhere near as well as in ancient times.

    4. Not only is the strength of the metal in question, but the construction of both blades contradict eachother. The katana, likely ill-forged and defected, is thin, long, and narrow. The broadsword is thick, wide, short, and has a fuller – the indention running through the center of the blade – which increases the blade’s durability and strength.

    In short: The katana is made for one-swing-one-kill, the broadsword is made for berserker rage and wild swinging. It’s like testing a sniper rifle against a machine gun.

  • Anonymous says:

    stright from Mythbusters. Mythbusters speacial 9
    The Count of Monte Cristo: A sword can cut off the blade of another sword.

    busted

    A genuine Japanese-constructed Katana did slice through the replica stainless-steel sword. It also broke another genuine sword, but this break was caused by stress fracturing rather than being cut through.

    Katana vs. Rapier: Rapier was bent into snapping, but not cut.

    Claymore vs. Katana: Katana flexed but didn’t break.

    Claymore vs. Viking sword: Viking sword severely nicked the Claymore. In the end, though some swords managed to break the other, none were able to actually cut through another sword.

  • Anonymous says:

    The sheer volume of “fails biology forever” is ridiculous! Katanas bend. They have to bend for the same reason skyscrapers sway in the wind. A rigid object snaps under diress. And there’s also a substantial amount of “didn’t do their homework”. You receive with the broad side of the blade, not the edge. Otherwise, you get the chipping that is seen in that video. In the battle between the heavy braodsword and the katana, with no other factors involved, the heavy sword always wins. It’s basic science. The greater mass is going to power through with the inertia behind it. Too bad a battle between the two swords is irrelevant without taking into account the wielders and styles. Tell you what though, with my build, and I’m taking a solid one handed sword with a large guard (maybe a nice cutlass) over a katana or rapier or super heavy broadsword, and I’m taking a spear before I ever take a sword.

  • Anonymous says:

    A skilled samurai with a good sword probably would be smart enough not to let it break like that, but it’s no contest that a good broadsword would beat a good katana if you were just trying to break one with the other. Even if the video is using sub-par swords, they’ve done plenty of comparisons on at least 5 discovery/history channel programs, and logically it just makes sense that a bigger sword most likely with better metals would win.

    The medieval european knight vs. the fuedal japanese samurai: http://www.thearma.org/essays/knightvs.htm

    I like this quote:

    “Those who think the Medieval sword and shield was and is just a “wham-bam, whack-whack” fight are as greatly misinformed as those who imagine the katana was handled in some mysterious and secret manner and can cut through anything as if it were a light-saber. Those who presume the use of Medieval long-sword merely involved a brutish hacking are also under a tremendous delusion.”

  • Anonymous says:

    the animation is from a german tv show
    and they like to fake things

    A broadsword is a good weapon against armor “bcause its havy and can break bones”

    but a Katana is the best for slash and cutting

  • Anonymous says:

    The Katana is real, and the fact that it bends and not breaks is proof that it is a high quality weapon.

    I forget who exactly forged that particular Katana, but he is one of the best, most well respected swordsmiths on the planet.

    It is not a cheap replica, it is a very expensive, authentically crafted weapon.

    Also, about Knights plate armor.
    It became so effective that it became completely immune to all swords, most spears, axes and blunt weapons. It could even stop arrows at longer ranges.
    The armor is not designed to take the force of the blow, but to deflect it. Weapons just slide off it is, and to no damage.
    The armor was so effective, special piercing weapons (such as lances) had to be made to counteract it.
    A katana would not even be able to put a scratch in plate mail.

    As for forging techniques and quality of metal.
    Folding the blade was common all over the world. European swords were not mass produced (as they were not, and ever were primary weapons). The crafting process was just as detailed the crafting of a Katana.
    The major difference was the spiritual side of things. Europeans did not believe in this, they did not spend months praying, thinking it made the sword spiritually more powerful.
    As such they could be produced faster.
    Their forging techniques were argueably better than in Japan. Ever heard of Damascus steel? Even with modern day technology, we do not know how to make such high quality steel as that.
    Japan also has infamously poor quality metal.

    European swords were better forged, made use of higher quality metal, and were designed as weapons to be used.
    Japanese Katana had inferior forging techniques, were made from poor quality metal, and were largely ceremonial weapons that were never intended to be used for real fights. (Most samurai actually favored using spears and bows)

    • but stainless is very hard, no way it can bend like that… it should break in half, not bend.

      Katana forged to be light and swift to kill people (light armored) with one stroke yet strong enough to clash each other (with katana again of course). It’s not meant to survive high impact weapons like broad sword or any European sword and peircing trough platemail etc… the reason is pretty simple actually, it’s because there is no Euro knight who were armored plate, big metal shield and a broad sword in Japan ^^

      that’s how it’s work of the weapon development you know. if there’s stronger weapon than cut through your shield, you created much more stronger shield. if there’s stronger shield that could deflect any attack of your weapon, you created much better weapon.

  • Anonymous says:

    Isn’t a katana’s use supposed to be slash and draw from the body?
    While a broadsword is usually used to stab, maybe occasionally lop off body parts? Or is that a scimitar’s job?

    Maybe if they used an older-style Japanese sword, the test might’ve been different.

  • Anonymous says:

    The test is just to piss off katana fans, really.

    There’s no point in the test anyway, katanas aren’t meant to be used against anything hard.

    In the end, western swords are better as they are stronger and an actual fight between these two different types of swords will go a bit like that.

  • Anonymous says:

    The test must be made under scientific methods. Which is the materials of both swords? Which is the process used to make those swords.

    Also, the Broadsword lays on two points, while the Katana lays only on one point (the guy’s hand). The test should be done inverted also. But I think the broadsword would win, just because she is broader which makes it a better beam.

    But, in a nutshell, which the test is trying to accomplish? Swords are not made to cut other swords. They are made to allow its wearer to survive/kill.

  • Darkomake says:

    so the guy just smash the blade like a gay whit a bat… lol thats not the way to use that kind of sword… i mean first looks like the imitation i have in my dorm and second… is for cutting not for smashing if you wanna smash buy a morning star or an axe! or a Bazuuka! lol

  • Anonymous says:

    What makes people think western swords are heavy?

    I do reenactment, and my shitty 96cm swords weight is just less than 1kg. Those of us that have the quality shit is even lighter and better balanced, swords are made to fight with, heavy swords are crappy swords because you can’t fight with them, you need to be fast.

    A two handed katana’s weight would be around 1 kg, while a handandahalf-sword would probably be more like 1,2 / 1,3

    Either of them would cut your arm off with ease, or pierce your chest, what matters is the person wielding it.

    Also, spears ftw.

  • Anonymous says:

    it’s not a weapon, it the person using it.
    katana is cooler anyday.
    a good example is if i have a knife vs a trained martial artist likelihood of me cutting or stabbing him is close or next to nothing.

  • Anonymous says:

    Depending upon the quality and care of the blade, I’d say this is accurate. Steel today is made to bend, not break. You can also see, there are two grooves where the blades met, and that is also very real and very accurate.

    If a blade were to break, it would have to be under very, very excruciating and damn near unreal circumstances. I imagine the guy who swung the blade knew what he was doing, and was probably just as surprised as many of us are.

  • I believe they actually ran a simulated test based on data from the show Deadliest Warrior. Ninja/Samurai Versus Spartan Warrior.

    If I remember the Katana did not bend or break but it was incapable of doing any damage due to teh spartans shirld and armor.

    However when the ninja was behind the spartan the katana was more effective due to less armor.

    In th end the spartan won like 75 percent of the time due to the ninja not being able to pierce it’s armor with any of its weapons.

    The times ninja did win was due to extremely accurate strikes or shots that pierced the vulnerabilities of armor that were not protected or by blinding the spartan and slitting it’s throat.

    Either the way the Katana did not fare well, and the ninja never even attempted to cross swords blatantly against the spartans broadsword.

    • Anonymous says:

      that show sometimes makes mistakes, though.
      Ninja did not use katana. They used ninjato. The techniques utilized are completely different.

      I also remember the show they did with mafia vs. yakuza. They said mafia would win because the yakuza used nunchaku while the mafia used stilleto. But yakuza would probably use tanto for a close fight. Not nunchaku.

  • Anonymous says:

    Its funny how much discussion there is when in truth each sword has its own merits and style. The Katana is folded steel and most European swords though not folded are forged to be durable. Europen swords were heavy and hard because they had to contend with European armor. The Katana’s blade was not meant to meet the blade of another weapon but rather for cutting the adversary. This is why alot of Japanese sword styles rely so heavily on the style of cut and the use of Kata for timing. If you watch some of the kata you’ll notice they angle the katana in a way that either makes the blade meet the side of the other sword or the two sides meet. Exactly what the test proves in the video is moot, however we can infer that despite the weapon it is the skill of the person holding it that decides any real outcome. Both weapons are beautiful and equally deadly so stop aruing over the superiority of each and agree that it would be one hell of a fight to see two trained swordsman go at it.

    • Anonymous says:

      ALL swords bend. They have to. If you knew anything about the katana that you fap to, you would know what they are essentially a thin strip of hard steel sandwiched between much softer steel.

  • Anonymous says:

    As a iaido and battodo specialist, I can say he doesn’t use his katana very well. We cut with the point, more effective than the middle of the blade. And a real tamahagane katana costs thousands of dollars, so, is he using a hand-made high quality saber or a simple cheap chinese copy,

  • Anonymous says:

    The user was obviously just a collector or some trolling aussie/brit. You’re not suppose to hack at something with a swing-slash sword. Hell, you’re not even supposed to hold it in front of or above you. It’s like using the flat side of a boxcutter to cut open a box.

    • Shippoyasha says:

      Um. No. Some styles of using katana has the same exact stance.

      That said, the old mainstay of a broadsword is a time tested and also typically denser in make than a Katana. This is really not surprising. Of course, a fun way to slice a broadsword is to try to do it from its blunt-side of the blade. But it still won’t likely make any kind of a clean cut.

      As for people saying that medieval people used heavy armor, that is plain untrue. Most heavy-armor we fantasize (boy, do we fantasize a lot about Samurai and Knights don’t we?) just was not a widespread thing. The most armor people in most medieval nations had were leather-clads at best. So a solid, sturdy sword most definitely was one of the lethal mainstays of medieval weaponry.

      Those people who say they all wore heavy armor and only use flail/mace to inflict damage are a bit rocked in their head. If it truly was a armor vs armor fight, it probably was the case, but the vast majority of wars in the medieval ages did not use metallic armor.

      • Anonymous says:

        it’s half true:

        Full plates only appeared by the end of the middle age, at least the ones for footmans… but basicaly most soldiers used banded mails and chain mails. I only know the name in french of the most comon armour: Brigandine, it’s a leather base with small plates of metal to reinforce it and a second leather piece to cover the plates… it was tough enough to sustain a lot of hits.

        Now you must consider something to, Katanas were reserved for the samurai witch were the elite, as fully armored knight were.

  • Anonymous says:

    LOL

    really guys…..
    a Katana is made for cutting and slashing,
    not for hacking it against a other Katana like a
    axe or Bihänder…….

    you dont block full force attacks with it….
    you let them slide up the blade down to the Earth…
    no force there xD

  • Anonymous says:

    If i were a medeival knight screw the broadsword. I want a WarHammer or a Battle Spiked Mace. I need to crush a man’s armor and his body parts inside the armor.

    A sword can’t cut european armor. You can stab joints but cutting wont work because metal can’t be sliced. I prefer a more brutish medeival weapon.

    now against hakama and gi wearing samurai or ninjas a katana is great. Fast and swift, and deadly effective when it cuts flesh and cloth. Against armor tho its not so ideal.

    Also i hear katanas work wonders on suit wearing yakuza and gaijins.

  • Shippoyasha says:

    No need for a shitstorm. This has been a proven science for a long time. Of course, the Japanese and Japanophiles with their extreme romanticism of their Katana would be aghast, but there’s a reason why the more blunt styled western swords and spears have been used and feared for well over two millenia. While the Samurai Sword as a practical application is only around 1000 years old.

  • A Katana and Broadsword where made for completely different fighting styles.

    The Katana is a slashing sword meant to deal with agile lightly armored opponents while the Broadsword is a hacking weapon meant to counter the heavy armor and chain mail used in European combat.

  • Anonymous says:

    Well, scientifically unsound, for a start. The broadsword is clamped at both ends. The katana is only held at one. They would need to reverse the test by clamping the katana and swinging the broadsword.

    If you took two identical swords in this testing setup, the one you swing should bend. That is just physics.

    • Anonymous says:

      +9001.

      Swords aren’t meant to be smashed against swords in vices.

      Katana are the ultimate flesh-cutters, but that’s because of the polish and the design, not because of the forging process.

      FWIW, in “The Sacred Blacksmith,” a lot of the swords are implied to be cheaply-made molded steel, not properly forged swords. So it would be like a katana cutting through a stainless steel replica.

  • Anonymous says:

    Anyone who studied mineralogy knows that tempered steal is much more durable than what a katana is made of. But it is also true that he is using it wrong. At the end of the day this does not make the broadsword better it just makes it last longer. To be honest no one sword is the ultimate weapon there all good at what they do. What makes a weapon better is how well it’s used

  • Anonymous says:

    Being a practitioner of Iaido for a little while i can only say – dude’s DOING IT WRONG!

    Pussy-swinging a poorly made katana against a broadsword strapped to something that most likely absorbs like 75% of the impact is NOT a proper test.

    Do this like a man and get two guys with proper knowledge and proper weapons to have at each other!

  • Anonymous says:

    Japan isn’t known for its vast natural resources. One of the reasons the swords were folded many, many times was to remove the impurites of the metal. Swords were not made to clash against metal like in the animation.

  • Anonymous says:

    That show is BS.
    I know, because I has tried it at some point where I want to test the strength of the Katana I made.
    Ok, now is a few points to be added to the post.

    1: It is, Idiot beyond comparison to try and ‘bash’ something with a Katana, as previosly mentioned by some of the annoymous fishies out there: Katana is a weapon of grace, which modelled after a long time of study and prefect engineering: the curve, being the weakest point that hold the brittle blade is supported by bow-like structure, to provide support as well as absorbing the impact and distribute it evenly to its surrounding, making the blade is slightly resist to breaking. Katanas are made curved to increase the contact area, giving it more suitable to slash than to hack something to: even in the bushido art, there are some schools that teaches how to ‘retrieve’ the blade, A.K.A pulling back the sword just after the impact to cause more friction and in turn, cuts deeper.

    2: While broadswords user can whack something off, even break a concrete pipe (I tried it, and my wrists end up being sprained. ROFL) without having any skills or all, it is not because it is made from tougher alloy or so: It is the weight distribution of the blade. Because the mass of the blade is concentrated in-between the middle of the sword (near the tip, and do not count the hilt.), anyone who learned physics would know the acceleration one provides with the swing will produce more centrifugal force than any katana would produce, even with the same weight (to confirm this, try to release your grip while swinging your sword-better try this in a open lot or something without people walking, otherwise you cold be jailed because ‘sword-hammer throwing which impales somebody named *insert name here*’. You will see, broadswords (or anything like that) will travel just like a giant-sized throwing darts, and rarely spins on the air while katanas will spin and spin and spin…

    It is because the weight of the katana is concentrated near the hilt part: this would mean the sword handling is more easy and more swift movement could be made. And it also provides the ‘sweet spot’, where the energy accumulated from your swing is concentrated to a peculiar spot: the 1/3 of the farther end of the blade, bear the tip of the sword. As you see in the pic, the idiot tester bashes the katana in the middle-which is not the place where the energy concentrated most. That explains the poor cutting power, and why it bends.
    Why it bends, do you ask?

    3) Even proper made katanas has their flaw.
    Katana, being made from thin layers of steel, coating a soft spine, is a special kind of sword: they have their weak point as well as the good one.
    -Section: Edge.
    Made from: layered high-carbon steel, or in metallurgy, Pearlite.
    Pearlite is steel which is rigid and harder than untreated iron or steel of kinds. It is named so, because the pearl-shaped, mirror-like dot which appears in the core iron when it is formed. It is known for its hardness and the sharp edge it produces; it also known to retain the edge well: but it is also brittle and prone to cracking if the quenching goes awry.
    The quenching itself, like most of you have known by the means of youtube, is the process which incorporates the different-ratio cooling: the part covered by ash and mud will gain less heat then the uncoated part, and while cooling it will cool down more slowly, making the different type of steel produced by the method. Because of the difference of the steel’s properties, the pearlite will extend, making the katana slightly curved in shape.
    The plus:
    *Because the thin layer of the carbon-rich steel, the edge is far sharper than any sword which is only tempered or forged with the cast method. Imagine a stack of HVS paper: their edges is there, ready to be sharpened anytime and provides a razor-sharp blade, just like your -run-on-the-mill- Gillete.
    The minus:
    *Carbon-rich steel is more brittle than its counterpart, the pure iron. This, is considered the only flaw of the katana. Without their soft steel core, even the katana forged from Damascus (I’ll cover about this later) will chip-and highly likely, break, unlike those in mangas.
    The Sword-core.
    Made from low-carbon steel. It has its own name-which I forgot.
    The steel here actually, come from the same chunk of iron-Tamahagane, which translated to ‘Jewel Steel’ because of the quality exhibited-and the painstaking process to made it. The difference between them is the process: while the steel which will become the edge will not be cooled down with water, and the excess firescale-a layer of rust made from the contact of red-hot iron with water (which is, H2O. They will react and form FeO2, which is rust; and the Carbon inside the steel will react with the excess O2, making CO2 or CO-this could poison the smith when the room is not properly ventilated) will be brushed off. Repeat and rinse, there you’ll have a low-carbon steel.
    The Low-carbon content of the steel makes it more ductile-more malleable-as well as impact-resistant. They are known to resist breaking by deforming just like a lump of clay would.
    The plus:
    *They absorbs the impact just like a cushion…seriously. And that is their only purpose.
    The minus:
    I don’t know if there is one. Who uses their sword-core to hack enemy, anyway?
    The Blade.
    Made from different material, according to the smith and the style.
    When I mentioned the blade, I mentioned the flat side of the sword: the one which bears the hamon, or wave-pattern. Many people thought that this part of the sword is useless, but in reality it is far then being so.
    The blade can be made outright from the same material of the edge, which is the old-stlye. Or can be made from the low-carbon steel, that is the feudal-style (it is more easier to craft one this way): The material difference-as well of the structure of the blade can make miraculous thing happen, like bending completely like in the vid, or cutting through metal sheets.
    There are three major styles of blade forging:
    *The ‘edge’ style.
    Just like your car wiper, this style puts the edge on the edge (this is not a pun) of the blade. In this oldest style, the edge is directly mounted on the blade, making the soft-steel as the complete part of the blade.
    *The ‘hotdog’ style.
    The extension of the ‘edge’ style which makes the high-carbon steel covers the core steel, leaving only small portions of the core exposed at the opposite direction of the edge. This style is used when you wanted to get a katana which will not have scratch-mark, usually caused by guarding.
    *The ‘wrapper’ stlye.
    In this style, which then divided into two more styles, the soft inner core is blanketed by harder metals, such as higher-carbon content-steel. This provides a good (and obviously, harder blade that can be used to guard as well as reinforce both the edge and the core, making it almost impossible to bend upon swinging or impact (athough it will bent when hammered from the sides. What wouldn’t?)
    There is also the filler-groove, or blood-groove method, but I will not mention it here.
    Somewhere in the post I recall someone who writes that the back of the sword will be used to block an incoming attack of sort—that is, a mere lie: true katana swordmaster block with the flat side of the sword, and then ‘throws’ the attacker weapon with a heavy swing to the side or upward slash, throwing them off-balance, disarming the enemy and crating an opening which they could land a slash or two. But there is always an exception; that is, what style the sword is forged with: the ‘wrapper’ style enables the katana to have the back part of the sword as guarding edge, that are also could be used to shatter the foe’s blade, given it made from the other two styles. Then such, the ‘wrapper’ style is considered the most perfect style. And no, adding titanium to the alloy will not make your katana harder or lighter. It will, trust me, make it more brittle then ever.
    The Hilt.
    Is made from white oak or another kind of wood, which sap is non-corrosive. Coated with coarse rayfish skin to aesthetic value, or to prevent the blade from slipping, and then binded by coarse silk. The tang is held by to pieces of wooden nail.
    What made this part special is the armguard (Tsuba), which bear intricate pattern that symbolizes the holder: be it his/her status or bloodline, to a mere artpiece.
    To summarize it, Katana is far more complicated than a piece of flat steel which had been sharpened and given a handle.
    Back to the video. Now look more closely as the camera zooms in to the chipped, alas, bent katana. From my observation , the katana data is as follows:
    ‘edge’-style with accessory filler-groove, made none other than cheap stainless steel. And the hamon is highly likely a faux: it does not bear the crystalline pattern of the steel, thus meant it has not yet undergo the tempering (by this I meant the heat-treatment and quenching), that is proven why it can bent strangely (because the inner tension stored by the back-part of the sword while in the quenching process, in reality-and if it has been tempered, it should break, not bend.)
    While the broadsword is as follows:
    Same stainless, reinforced from blowback because tied with chain to the table. Wider and fatter than your average katana, of course.
    So , using average logic, when two material of the same kind clashes with each other, which will win: The one with more mass, or one with less mass, but more speed?
    Q.E.D. By the one who is pissed off by the frugal show.

  • I've studied a hell of a lot of bladesmithing and metalurgy as it applies to steels, and there is so much wrong with this comparison.
    First, let me get the biggest thing out of the way: Comparing Eastern and Western swords is retarded, especially katana vs broadsword because that's like comparing a screwdriver to a hammer. Which is better? The real question is better at what? (Samurai vs Knight is also stupid because you will NEVER agree on which samurai, which knight, what age, what style, which equipment, which conditions, and so on. They both had fighting systems that worked for them in their own conditions. Just let them be…)
    Also, the tester there had zero technique. You could probably fuck up a very nice katana pretty badly hacking at a soft, green 2" diameter tree branch like that.
    To make matters worse… it's a broadsword – a sword known for being a huge honkin' ton o' steel. Maybe a katana could cut it… or at least partway into it… if the broadsword wasn't heat treated, and the tester used a proper zantetsuken technique – assuming those aren't mythical. This would work because the edge would be far harder than the steel it's cutting, it wouldn't impact hard enough to shatter the edge, but it would draw and slice the target (like a drill bit boring into annealed steel.) It still wouldn't do the katana any favors though – they're best used on soft things, like people…
    The spray of metal dust is promising – at least the katana probably had SOME edge hardening. I suspect it's a new make, because that bend is ridiculous. The core and spine of that blade are way too soft. I'd say a bend like that makes sense for a Howard Clark katana, except… his are TOO good. (I can't see one taking that kind of damage, even from hacking at rocks. They could bend that far sideways though… and return mostly true.) Anyway, I'm not sure what that sword is for – perhaps iaido tameshigiri demonstrations? I'm not even sure it's all steel… all the katana and similar classes of swords I've seen tend to fail by breaking off, or shattering the edge to useless raggedness a long way down the blade, exposing the soft core and crumbs of edge metal.
    Anyway, this proves nothing, and it's a dumb, arbitrary test to begin with. If the katana cut the broadsword in half, it would be an impressive show of skill for the weilder, but nothing mindblowing. You could test the swords in a fixture that brings them edge to edge at the same speed and force, in a way that totally doesn't simulate a sword fight, and then you'd get into an almost particle physics level world of minutae as the relevant questions came up of what the molecular composition of the alloys used in each blade were, the homogeneity of the alloys, if multiple alloys were used, what their thicknesses, locations, and geometries were, how blade geometry affected the kinetic energy at points of impact (betcha I have a khukri that could cleave a katana in half in the hands of an amateur… because it's hard as a diamond figuratively, heavy and thick, and the geometry makes it vorpal – anything on the sweet spot is severed effortlessly – but katanas aren't made for that abuse any more than they're made to be laid across two tables and smashed with a hammer) …how heat treating and tempering were done, what the balance of austensite to martensite in each blade was around the strike zone, etc… and that massive inquiry that would take a team of scientists a week to digest would tell you about that one specific incident that they tested – not how good each type of sword is.

  • Bronxdragon says:

    This is stupid…both swords are different types of blades and are forged differently not only that they are used differently. Last time I checked katanas are now more decorative….so I doubt people are even forging them like they did back in the day….I still prefer a big ass greatswords nothing says I wanna kill you better than a blade as tall and wide as you are.

  • Firesoul1 says:

    After watching the gif for a whole 5 mins and after applying the basic knowledge of shapes, i conclude that the katana wasn’t very well made. First, curved objects distribute the energy evenly away for the impact point. Second, the top half of the blade bends forward. it is harder to push through a curved object than a flat one, why to people in martial arts school practice breaking through flat surfaces? that is because the energy is concentrated in a singe point rather than going in two different directions. Third, it looks like the katana has more predominant damage than the longsword, which also comes into question the material that katana was forged from. if i had a choice for which one i would bring to battle would still take the katana as it is made for precision attacks and having the enemy bleed out from all the possible cuts.

    On the discussion of armor, you cant possibly cover your entire body. Defense comes at a cost of attack speed and mobility. A warrior can’t fight forever so when the body becomes tired armor might become a hindrance if the battle drags on.

  • Anonymous says:

    did they bother to use a Reverse Edge Sword?

    also, the broadsword has the support of the table…

    damn fools, swords should be swing at one another, not placing one down and slash it.

    • Anonymous says:

      My thoughts exactly. I’m no physics expert, but I know that one hitting the other has a different effect than both hitting each other simultaneously.

      Of course, a katana is much thinner and lighter than a broadsword, as it is meant for speed (so I’ve been told). A broadsword is larger, and heavier, so I would guess the result either way may be similar.

  • Tallgeese_VI says:

    It’s like taking a full swing onto a wall……

    Physics.

    The broadsword was placed facing un on the table, no wonder since it was enforced by the table and the force applied was given back to the katana….and he’s doing it wrong.

    Another factor may be that the katana was a fake ?
    A katana would never bend that way.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well to clarify the physics once and for all, i’ll quote newton

      ”To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions”.

      basically it means that it doesn’t really matter if the broadsword is supported by braces or the table, the impact results in the same amount of force being felt by both the broadsword and the katana. Only thing i’m curious about is why the katana blade did not snap.

    • Anonymous says:

      “The broadsword was placed facing un on the table, no wonder since it was enforced by the table”

      If that so, then why when they did hit broadsword with another broadsword, it DID brake. Shouldn’t “attacking” sword be broken?

  • Anonymous says:

    I don’t get it, why people are so butthurt about this simple test. Test subject was to either confirm or deny “katana can cut broadsword” theory. Theory was proved bullshit. That’s all.

  • Anonymous says:

    So after having read all the comments; people, get your fact straight, please! A european blade is not that much heavier then a japanse blade of similar size, just look up the facts and youll see that on average european swords are just a few hundred grams heavier then then japanese swords, and the reson european swords are heavier most of the time is because they have a big heavy pommel at the end to balance the swords. All those people saying “oh but the katana is fast and agile and is made for speed olololol” have NEVER swung a sword in thier life, if they had they would know that in reailty the european swords are mostly faster and easier to swing then japanese ones, and that, in general, japanese swords actually have more weight behind thier swing, since much of the weight of the european sword lies on the pommel.
    Now, I dont blame you, I used to think like that too, until I actually started practicing and playing with swords. I was very surpised how light a sword was the first time I picked one up.

  • Anonymous says:

    Already seen this troll thread almost daily. What else is new?

    It’s been discussed to hell and back that not only is the katana in the video improperly made, but it is being improperly used.
    Not to say that the katana is superior to the western sword, but as the curved edge has longer surface area, it will create a more severe wound when drawn across someone’s body. This means that the slashing damage of the katana is superior to a European straight sword.

    In addition, there is evidence to suggest some katana of the feudal period were tested by cutting helmets made of rounded steel and entire human bodies in half. While these tests were inhumane, they certainly hint at the potent cutting power possessed by a curved sword. It’s too early to declare a victory for Mighty Whitey, even if I understand why you guys hate weeaboos so much.

    This isn’t unique to katana, and certainly not their area of expertise; other swords like the scimitar, talwar and falchion are all quite good at doing the same thing the katana does, probably even better. Rather, pay attention to the shape of the blade.

    Katana aren’t completely committed to being curved like the talwar, which would be awkward to stab with, or the kopesh, which being sickle shaped is great for chopping but not for stabbing. You could say they are a kind of moderate middle ground in a sense, like the European sabre, between straight swords and curved swords, and so could be used in a similar way. But because they’re also used two handed, they’re a midpoint between two handed swords and sabres as well.

    Think of it as a curved bastard sword, and you have a good idea of what the katana is and isn’t meant to be able to do. The priorities with the weapon were different than that of a straight-bladed European sword because armor quality in Japan was inferior. If your priority is to stab only or slash only, the katana isn’t as good as weapons specialized in these areas. If you want to crush armor, use a blunt weapon. For the purposes Europeans needed to make their swords heavy and thick, maces and warpicks were superior.

    This video is comical because a sword from a nation that only needed to pierce low-quality armor is being used for a purpose a mace from lands filled with heavy, high quality armor, is more suited for. Reinforced against a brace like that, the European sword might as well be a solid plate of mail. Even cutting that little nick into its blade is a remarkable accomplishment. I highly doubt a talwar or a scimitar would fare any better or worse.

    Either way, this is irrelevant as in all nations, the sword was never anything more than a sidearm for actual soldiers in feudal times. The spear is a military’s weapon of choice, as stated by earlier posters.

    • Anonymous says:

      A lot of you guys got quite a bunch of stuff a bit wrong. There’s many glaringly obvious reasons why European swords are incomparable or downright superior to Japanese designs.
      For starters, unlike the katana there were many European swords that were actually used in a primary role, usually either short swords used together with a shield (shields themselves were an alien concept to the Japanese, which would give any baka gaijin a huge advantage in a fight) to quickly poke away at weak points and openings, or awfully giant two handers that were really useful against spears cause you could chop off their speartips without making yourself too vulnerable thanks to the blade’s long length. These are obviously just 2 examples, there were many other types of swords with all kinds of roles. In Japan on the other hand swords were almost purely sidearms.
      There’s more to this variation. European swords came in all kinds of shapes and sizes unlike the “single edge, no crossguard thick blade” designs the Japanese used. As just mentioned, the katana actually has a very THICK blade compared to other swords which makes it utterly useless against armor and shields, and it’s probably a contributing factor to why it bent, along with the fact that the rear bit is kept a bit more flexible than the harder edge.
      There’s also the whole myth about European fighting being crude and clumsy compared to the Japanese fighting styles. Wrong again, the reason why european weapons were so varied was because the techniques used were very sophisticated.
      Because of all this my opinion in a duel a generic knight would easily beat a generic samurai.

      Also, here’s a video made by someone who actually knows his shit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLWzH_1eZsc&feature=related

    • Anonymous says:

      A lot of you guys got quite a bunch of stuff a bit wrong. There’s many glaringly obvious reasons why European swords are incomparable or downright superior to Japanese designs.
      For starters, unlike the katana there were many European swords that were actually used in a primary role, usually either short swords used together with a shield (shields themselves were an alien concept to the Japanese, which would give any baka gaijin a huge advantage in a fight) to quickly poke away at weak points and openings, or awfully giant two handers that were really useful against spears cause you could chop off their speartips without making yourself too vulnerable thanks to the blade’s long length. These are obviously just 2 examples, there were many other types of swords with all kinds of roles. In Japan on the other hand swords were almost purely sidearms.
      There’s more to this variation. European swords came in all kinds of shapes and sizes unlike the “single edge, no crossguard thick blade” designs the Japanese used. As just mentioned, the katana actually has a very THICK blade compared to other swords which makes it utterly useless against armor and shields, and it’s probably a contributing factor to why it bent, along with the fact that the rear bit is kept a bit more flexible than the harder edge.
      There’s also the whole myth about European fighting being crude and clumsy compared to the Japanese fighting styles. Wrong again, the reason why european weapons were so varied was because the techniques used were very sophisticated.
      Because of all this my opinion in a duel a generic knight would easily beat a generic samurai.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, but when sakoku hit all development on local gun technology stopped and was effectively censured due to cultural isolationist policies since guns originally came from foreigners. Same with foreign trade, naturally.

      Basically, the Japanese are right about one thing: Sakoku fucked them over pretty good, especially when it came to military technology.

  • Anonymous says:

    No expert here, but:

    katana: slashing throats and limbs

    broadsword: wounding armored opponents and parrying

    BTW, japanese iron ore is of low quality, which is why they need such a long refining process to craft quality steel. Swedish iron ore on the other hand is good quality, and even without much refining would yield a good material. That is why heavy iron armor was possible in Europe, but not in Japan.

  • Anonymous says:

    Obvious fake for the katana to bend like that. Either the user is extremely powerful or the katana is really weak, and I bet on the latter.

    Many modern katanas are a mass product for decoration. But a TRUE japanese katana is made by experienced Japanese blacksmith and they work at one at a time. This type of katana is getting rarer and rarer as the soul of samurai has went down the sink in Japan.

    Seriously, in terms of the most efficient medieval combat weapons, katana lies at the top.

    • Anonymous says:

      The most efficient CUTTING WEAPON would be the katana because that’s what it is designed to do. But in the expense of holding a sharper edge, it is also more brittle and less durable compared to its Western counterparts.

      You should NEVER use the katana on a slab of steel armor and for slashing at the longsword. The katana will snap, or lose its edge and all you get will be a useless piece of metal while the heavily armored knight backhands you and then stabs you to death with his longsword.

  • Anonymous says:

    You people simply do not understand the difference between a national symbol and a butcher’s knife.

    The “true” katana would never break nor bend,that thing here is just a lump of metal.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, true katana did break and chip but that’s only if they were poorly maintained. They didn’t bend either, because they were made with carbon steel which was known for hardness and edge, not malleability.

      However, compared to simpler but more practical European weapons, they may as well have been lumps of metal. Nobunaga Oda trusted a suit of European plate harness to Japanese equipment, and knew that katana weren’t designed to deal with protection as solid and reliable as European armor.

  • Anonymous says:

    Lot of factors there, quality, use, etc.

    The sword in the bullet video is a super high quality one that I think they still don’t let “Foreign Devils” have at any price. The chopper one bends more like the “Buy at the county fair” one that still is good for a disturbed youth murdering his parents and getting shot by the police.

    With the advent of the gun, swordsmithing faded away in the west. We now mostly have “Fantasy” blades that are just pieces of metal, and those made for dry ceremony like “Dress” swords.

    It’s too bad because though there was a different “Theory” behind it, we used to have much better swords, depending on workmanship of course. A recent attempt to re-create this lost workmanship was the “Dragon-slayer” blade that actually used a “Twisted” core of metal that was then hammered into a blade. The difference is “Western” swords are used for a ton of things that a Samurai sword would never be used for; Assaulting metal armor, chopping wood (armor related and otherwise), carving off bolts in a move that sacrifices part of the swords edge and just having the smith re-sharpening it later, countering axes and deflecting hammers…

    The swords are bigger and thicker due to that.

    It’s really different form of fighting.

    A well made broadsword would just smash through a samurai’s defense and chop into him, any nick on the blade nothing a smith wouldn’t just fix easily. However, a samurai likely could move his blade faster so the broadsword wielder would have to really know what he was doing to set up to smash through the defense. But also the one with the broadsword would likely have chaotically made armor, even leather with bits of metal in it so the samurai might screw up if he got a hit first, even breaking the blade in some of the armor.

    I’m wondering:

    There was probably never a “Medieval Knight in full armor” versus a “Samurai in full Armor” fight. And I mean real professional warriors with expert made equipment. I’d think the knight would win, but more by “Crude barbarity and better armor” and a frustrating battle for them both.

    But I think the best swords were made in India which are the basis for “Singing Sword” legends. Attempts to re-create them created the “Damascus” blade effect which is of course echoed in samurai blades. A combination of different metals, some rare earth included and the artisans doing it knew what they were doing. They could fight against armored opponents but then still be swung and cut cloth in the air.

    There’s another extreme, too, the Chinese sword now making a go-through in lots of movies. Those things are VERY flexible and that’s the point. I guess if you hacked up peasants that’s one thing, or were such a martial arts master you could exploit ‘shear’ effects on the fly… Not that I’d casually insult someone who was a master of them, but I’d prefer a more Western sword myself or maybe a scimitar.

  • Anonymous says:

    I remember seeing something like this. They were talking about the broadsword, the scimitar, and the katana. They said a broadsword can easily hack apart an iron bar but will break if swung the wrong way, the scimitar was light and very flexible, and the katana was like a combination of the 2. I can’t remember if it was Mythbusters or not.

  • Anonymous says:

    I liked the show. The smiths arguments weren’t bad and since he’s doing that over 14 years, his opinion should be quite reliable. At least I believe him more than any of the comments made on the internet.

    Btw is there a difference between a long sword and a broadsword, since they used a long sword in the show, but everybody’s talking about broadsword?

  • Anonymous says:

    Sword grade steel is carbon steel. Regardless of the strength or ability of the person, wacking any genuine sword against anything would never produce those results.
    Nowadays swords are constructed with pretty much the same metal, process differs, but regardless this would never happen.
    The only difference between blades nowadays is aesthetics, and use.

    You can bend any genuine Katana 80 degrees and have it retain it’s original form. I would imagine a broadsword wouldn’t be much different.

    • Anonymous says:

      I will recommend that you start with the longsword, and then you branch out. You might wanna visit the ARMA website to get more information. Those guys are very enthuthiastic in learning historical fencing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks. Much appreciated. Also, long before I posted this message I had bought a copy of a book titled: “Medieval Swordsmanship: Illustrated Methods and Techniques” by John Clements. I believe the author had been studying in this field for years so he covers the concept of wielding a short sword and shield, as well as the long sword. I understand that a book can’t be made as a good instructor but its all I had to go on at the time.

  • Anonymous says:

    “These foreigners like flashy things so perhaps the harder thing looks stronger to them.”

    *looks at Cloud’s sword* *glances at all the jrpgs with too many flashy stuff* Rrrrrrrrright.

  • Anonymous says:

    There 2 great difference between blade and sword… a katana is use to cut, and sword is used to broke and bones, so it’s pretty sure that a katana will not be able to wistand a sword… Well we never really know, because samourai never fought against medieval knight!

  • Anonymous says:

    RTL2 = German TV station infamous for its tabloid journalism

    W wie Wissen = sensationalist show about popular (lol)science

    not exactly a reliable source when you’re looking for rigid scientific tests

  • I remember TV show called Mail Call with R. Lee Ermey he did his show about Swords and explain about what Metals they used. He also did a Challange Claymore VS Katana they did the whole Ice Block test It turns out the Claymore lost in that one I watch the Katana slice through Ice block.

  • Anonymous says:

    Dude, katanas are used to parry attacks and then cut the opponent. You’re not supposed to be even using the sword that way to just blatantly hit hard objects with that kind of bad swing.

  • There are several things going on that can account for the gif either being legitimate or not.

    Traditional forged Katana are forged from very pure Japanese Steel. I see comments stating the folding was to remove impurities, that is false. The folding is done for 2 reasons.

    1- Straw is placed on the hot steel during folding to add carbon to the steel. Adding Carbon makes the steel more flexible.
    2- The Folding of the steel aligns the molecules of the alloy. The more folding the tighter the alignment.

    Also during the folding the Steel is separated into two pieces one is worked less and stays “softer” and is used as the spine. The over is worked more making it harder and becomes the cutting edge. The two pieces are put back together and drawn out into a straight shape.

    Then clay and ash are mixed and painted onto the blade in varying thicknesses to create a differential tempering. The two different types of steel together with the varying thickness of the clay cause the blade to curve during the tempering process.

    Now that broadsword does not look old. In fact it looks very new to me and modern metallurgy can create steel much stronger than even a traditionally forged Katana. L6 Steel Katanas forged by Howard Clark exhibit superior traits to traditional Katanas.

    I would say that Broadsword in the gif is made of modern steel.

    Katana is a cutting weapon, the Broadsword is a stabbing weapon. Swords are not shields, your protect you blade by evading attacks or striking faster than your opponent.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re wrong on a couple of counts here. Folding was a technique invented by the Chinese, which the Japanese later copied, primarily to squeeze impurities out of the metal and make refined steel. “Very pure Japanese Steel” is an oxymoron. Japanese raw steel contained a great deal of impurities due to low grade natural iron resources. Only 1/3 of the raw steel that was produced by the smelting furnaces was suitable for swords. The main reason folding was used was to burn off the vast majority of impurities in the metal. A side benefit, which is exploited in katana forging, is that various layers of metal used are fused together into a single piece. Katanas are made from a blend of high carbon steel (which is hard, brittle, and capable of holding a sharp edge) and low carbon steel (which is tough and malleable) which is layered and fused to become the finished product. The carbon content of the metals is not generally altered during the forging process. Straw would not have been used during the actual as the carbon content of the whole section that was being worked would be altered which would defeat the purpose of folding-to produce layers of alternating hardness. Straw-ash is generally mixed into the coating of clay and water which pulls impurities out of the metal and insulates parts of the blade. The different types of steel that make up the various layers of the blade are prepared ahead of time to various carbon contents.

  • drunkspiderman667 says:

    with a broadsword you have to commit to your strikes and its WAY heavier. with a katana you can change directions and strike quicker.

    in a fight between the two the people wielding them is more important.

    also you NEVER strike bluntly with a katana your strike then pull back using the edge to cut into you target.

    ive cut through a reinforced steel door with my crappy 20 dollar liquadators katana so this is bs.

  • Anonymous says:

    The sword society purely consists out of idiots.
    The Katana is not an axe like most of the European swords. It wasn’t meant for chopping. Its structure is simply too fragile for that.
    The soul purpose of a Katana was to cut. An efficient weapon that prioritizes speed and technique over strength.
    And either blocking a Katana, European sword or even a pipe, it is crucial to block the hit with the side or backside of the blade in order to prevent the sharp side from receiving damage.

  • Anonymous says:

    There is a common delusion (especially by weeaboos) that samurai and their katanas was some mysterious force that could cleave through anything. And that katana is some sort of holy uberawesome sword crafted with perfection.

    Another common delusion, initiated mostly by Holywood and it’s bullshit is that a medieval knight’s armor was clunky, his sword a hunk of cheap dull iron and that he moved with as much grace and agility as a brick.

    Both absurdities and bullshit aside, assuming that both warriors were equally capable physically and mentally, the medieval knight would simply win. Despite overexaggarated properties of the katana, a samurai is still a guy with a single-sided blade with a scale/studded leather armor versus an equally trained knight who would wield a superior suit of finely crafted full plate and double edged longsword plus shield (as the media portrays knights, let alone the fact that full plate cost a fortune and the fancier models you can see in museums were mostly affordable only by royalty).

    There is a big difference between trying to slice a samurai and trying to slice a lumbering pile of steel with a kite shield boosting his already absurd defense.

      • Forgot to sign in for the original comment.

        Anyways, this is comparing a hypothetical situation of a katana wielding samurai vs a full plate armored, longsword + kite shield weilding knight. The knight would demolish the samurai so bad it’s not even funny.

        But that is due to the differences in warfare. The japanese did not need to face opponents who wore full suit of fine plate or wielding shields. The main concern was countering arrow shots, spears and other blades/katanas. Such armor would be mince meat for any decently crafted double-edged longsword.

        Full plate is far from invulnerable indeed, but you can not simply use katana and try to cut down a plate wearer. Europeans developed maces and flails for that purpose. One of those would produce enough force trauma in the suit to shatter bones.

        One thing I have some respect for is that the Japanese managed to preserve the “art” of their swordmaking, samurai codex was well documented and all the traditions were well preserved. Our European medieval ancestry is mostly presented through ridiculous Holywood movies, fantasy games and acne ridden fat arses LARP-ing with wooden swords on some random guy’s estate pretending it’s the magical fairy forest. -_-

        • well spoken, especially the last part.
          did some research after reading you comment and discovered that many people that actually own a plate armor and wore them know that your agility doesnt suffer as much as hollywood or other rumors want to tell you.

          but its a pitty that many forget what great weapon a halberd was even against plate armor.

      • Anonymous says:

        They would. Read your Physics textbooks. The lower the carbon content, the more likely the steel is going to bend like that. The higher the carbon content and the harder the steel. Any higher and the steel becomes brittle.

        There’s a reason iron (which, added with carbon, becomes steel) is very popular amongst artisans, craftsmen and blacksmiths: they are malleable (they bend easily without snapping).

  • Anonymous says:

    Here’s part of the MythBusters episode on movie myths and swords cutting other swords: http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/mythbusters-slicing-a-sword.html

    In the video a high quality carbon steel katana completely slice through a stainless steel katana. Then they test carbon steel on carbon steel and they actually bend the blade out of wack with one blow and stress fracture the katana with another strike.

    In the OP’s video, the broadsword on the table is being supported better along it’s length while the katana isn’t. A lot of swords would fair poorly in the katana’s shoes here (putting aside questions of the type of metals used and whether one sword is better than another).

    They’re all just slightly differently shaped pieces of steel anyway. In terms of durability under high stress like that itll simply come down to the thickness of the sword, the quality of the steel and the situation.

  • Nothing beats the light saber. It’s just a piety it does not exist.
    The quality of the steel, the maker and the user will make the strength of a sword and not the sword’s name…

  • Anonymous says:

    Man it’s obvious that the katana will break…the broadsword is made to penetrate armor and is REALLY heavy…on the other side a katana is made for quick lethal blows.

    Katana=technique and speed.
    Broadsword=power and endurance.

    Also I don’t see a katana cutting a suit of armor (at least european armor).

    But even so…I still love the katana XD.

  • isnt the broadsword lying on a table or some hard stuffs? it’ll be a better test if they were to swing 2 swords together and see which sword gets cut in half. but i still think in combat it is the wielder that determines who gets to live another day. a knight couldn’t stand against a samurai in terms of speed, by the time the knight slashed once, the samurai would have sliced the knight twice or maybe 3 times. but swords alone, i think broadsword’s gonna win :S

  • Anonymous says:

    for their purposes they both work well, I would say in 1 on 1 combat the broad sword has one advantage which is intimidation. Advantage of the katana is lighter weight means the fighter is more maneuverable.

    In a real fight swords clanging together is not something that you do purposely though. So end of the day it depends on who is the better fighter, and who can better use the strength of their weapon. In mass combat I see the broad sword being better since being nimble takes second priority to dropping a huge sword over someones head.

  • Anonymous says:

    For those who didn’t watch the entire airing: they tried a longsword against one strapped on the table (i.e. replace the katana with a longsword) and the ls cut (broke) the one strapped on the table.

    So they put the longsword through the exact same test as the katana in that short clip in the sc article.

  • Anonymous says:

    “The sword has little to do with anything, it’s all in the proficiency of the wielder.”
    Nah, screw that too.
    It’s just a simple dream of all to have passions for things they like, am I right?

  • Pyrolight says:

    As was mentioned by Ichiro Ino when the mythbusters tested two Katana, the stainless steel one did exactly what you see in the video above, but the carbon-steel on didn’t. In fact they ramped it way beyond human strength and it still didn’t bend.

    Now the mythbusters didn’t use a real Katana since they are far too expensive and rare now, and I highly doubt this show used a real one either.

    Lets just stay a human having the strength to actually bend a folded steel blade like they did in the example is unlikely, can’t say impossible but I rather have my doubts.

    Now to the test itself. No way in hell would a katana cut a broadword that much is a given. Both would be a nasty nick and that would likely be about it.
    My guess is two stainless steel replicas which more or less means nothing. Again using two real few hundred year old (or even new forged) weapons would cost far more then the test it worth.

  • Anonymous says:

    If they want to test it right, just put two normal people in a room, one with a katana and the other with a Broadsword, and tell them they have to kill each other.
    But i couldn’t care less.
    That show is retarded, they used scenes from Kill Bill as reference.
    The katana may bend or snap, but that was not forged by Muramasa or something.

    And WTF is テイラリ Anyway?*

    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpEC38sL3iU
    (at 7:32).

  • Anonymous says:

    Yeah this really isn’t a fair test. The way the broadsword is being held in place is what makes all the difference. The broadsword is being held at the handle and the end of the blade giving the blade more support and more strength. If you don’t believe me then go grab a metal pole and hold one end in place with something sturdy and try to bend it and it wont be too hard. But if you hold both ends in place then good luck.

  • Anonymous says:

    japanese swords dont bend, the sword used is a cheap/fake one.
    katana blade is hardened/tempered so many times.
    it won’t dent or bend. it’ll crack and break apart.

    go and seek videos about real katana, not cheap ones.
    the weakest katana are the ones carried by the kamikaze, they were machine made, they get rust quick and bend.

    Handmade katana are stronger, cut even thin steel pipes.

    • Anonymous says:

      If they want a real test, they should invite two fencing experts, one in the use of the katana and one in the use of a longsword, and have them both duke it out.

      Also, the test is flawed. Nobody blocks a sword slash with the edge, they block it with the FLAT of the sword. This is not how you block with your broadsword!

  • Anonymous says:

    This is an excerpt from a German show called “Welt der Wunder”. The show is widely known to spread bullshit by means of conducting various “experiments” that are scientifically questionable at best, and downright ludicrous at worst.

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the katana used during the show was simply a prop or replica they had lying around somewhere.

  • Katanas are more style oriented, requires more practice and ability, and are made for quick attacks, killing the oponent in a single blow.
    In the other hand, Broadswords are more power and endurace oriented, requires more strength, and are made for launch hard blows on the oponent’s defence.
    If it was a hammer-like attack it was obvious what the katana would broke, those aren’t made for so strong and direct hits after all.

    (And I know about this kind of stuff thanks to all the RPGs I’ve played)

  • Furude_Rika says:

    We should never believe those words. If you believe that katana is better or broadsword is better then you’re just biased either way.

    I too like katana but we’re just thinking it from the otaku’s POV.

    The best way to solve it is to test it yourself…

  • Anonymous says:

    Well I’m german and watch that show sometimes too but I admit I don’t think that was a real katana, from real bladesteel you know it BREAKS and doesn’t BEND when overstressed. I think they used cheap blades for both.

    I don’t remember the MystBusters episode that good anymore but I think there the katana broke instead of bending around the object it hit.

    And yeah, it’s also a fact that the channel RTL2 is known for its dumbness <.< mostly cause it fucks up animes with bad syncs and translations and cuts the hell out of anything they show…

    • oh boy rtl2 don’t remember me.They are crazy how much they cut anime.But what do you expect when anime are aired at kids time.And exactly because of that reason(naruto) i went and looked for another way to get anime japanese audio and eng subs.Was kinda surprised to see how much germany censores,but i already noticed that when sasuke was stabing himself in the leg without holding anything and no blood or being hurt visualy.Well it just looked weird,i thought wtf was he doing?!

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure what the problem is, katanas were not designed to be used steel against steel they were designed for cutting slashes which were excellent against the lightly armored infantry and horsemen in Japan at the time. Steel was rare and not that great on Japan and the iron used to make steel was inferior to European steel even at its best.

    European swords were designed to fight people wearing lots of armor, weather leather, padded or pure steel and they weren’t sharp at all, it was more akin to smacking someone with a steel club.

    Mind you however European swords are stronger and more versatile than their Eastern counterparts but its just what worked best where they were that evolved the design.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve been making comments left and right explaining that Western swords were overall simply better, but even I think that the one person with the freaking emoticons continually posting about penises is really fucking weird.

        No, really. Please quit it with the non-stop “peen” business.

        This thread is already rife with nonsense and logical phallusy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah, thanks. So for those that don’t understand German: they compared a Katana and a German longsword both made by a reputable German blacksmith who also tested those.

      The essence was, that both swords have their advantages, though the longsword was a bit favoured.

      They did the same chop after this with longsword vs. longsword variant, and it broke the bottom one. It also supposed to be more versatile in combat. Not as sharp as the Katana though.

      In the end, there are a lot of variables, and it boils down to how skilled the holder is and what situation there is.

      In a quick encounter the Katana would win, as it is faster. In an armoured fight with preparation time for both parties the longsword.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually now that I’ve seen the show, i think it’s probably pretty accurate. I normally think that the show (Welt der Wunder) is for imbeciles, however this time they actually got an expert who knows his stuff (the guy actually performed the test is a smith – if you watch the video you can see him crafting a katana).

  • Anonymous says:

    It’s physics.
    The broadsword was supported along the the line of the blade by the table. It’s just wrong this way.
    For instance: no karate master could possibly ever break those messes of tiles, if they were put directly on the ground. The bricks are always supported on the two ends if you recall.
    On the other hand if the katana would had been supported at the two ends of its blade (it would be enough, no need for total support, because of its curve) and struck by the other, well…
    My bet would be: the katana’s edge gets fragmentet (’cause the outer shell is more rigid than the inner material), but the broadsword wouldn’t leave the clash in one peace. The shorter the katana, the higher my bet would be…

  • Anonymous says:

    the guy is using the katana like a blunt weapon,not for a cut/slash move,he is basically using it as a sledgehammer,besides the cutting edge is the softer of the 2 steels used to make a katana.

  • Shadow-Phoenix says:

    “He who commands the past, conquers the future. He who commands the future conquers the past”

    But in short do not dwell on past weapons as todays weapons simply replace those that are not as effective.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oddly enough, this was part of the reason why European medieval and renaissance weaponry is so underestimated while similar Japanese equipment has been overhyped.

      The Europeans designed their weapons for war and continually updated their designs and standards to meet changing battlefield conditions. Without a stagnant military culture, they didn’t have the time or the inclination to place as much cultural emphasis on any one design.

      The Japanese, after the Warring States period, did have a stagnant military culture. They placed so much cultural importance on one weapon design and sought to perfect it simply because they had no reason to be more practical about it. The cultural importance of the katana has bled off into a nearly unassailable reputation when, in fact, it was never more useful than as a samurai’s sidearm of second-to-last-resort.

      People tend to forget that before the Edo period, when samurai actually fought in real wars instead of just duels, they preferred spears.

  • Anonymous says:

    The two swords are simply designed for different things, European swords are designed to crash into each other repetitively in what is much more defensive combat, so no wonder it’s better at taking hits, and being used defensively. Katanas are designed more offensively, and any ‘Samurai’ who uses one defensively (or at least blocking an attack head on, parrying is okay, though not as good as dodging) should just commit seppuku already. Though I must say the bending does make me think they’re using a sword not made for combat, it should break into three because of the toughened edge… Though again, the broadsword did take a massive gash from the attack, so that was likely not combat ready either; silly clip of unfinished swords is silly.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thats rather obvious, both swords are excelent in what they are suposed to do, but they were used in diferent circunstances, while the katana was a master sword at slashing that would not work in the same scenary were the broadsword was used.

    With the broadsword you had to face the heavy armors os steel that was almost impenetrable, they needed to be stout swords so it wouldn’t break, they were of course used for slashing but they also needed to be strong to unbalance a heavy armored knight qhen the sword could not penetrate the armor.

  • Anonymous says:

    Not a fair comparison. First the genre of the two weapons are different. A Katana is usually generally classified as a saber. Whose main purpose is cutting.

    A broadsword’s main purpose is hacking through armour which are pretty tough to hack through and by any standards, a Katana is incapable to achieving.

    The true and false blade theory applies as well. The true blade which is the sharp side of the sword is fragile is meant for cutting and slashing while the blunt side is for parrying and hacking armour.

    • Anonymous says:

      actually it wasn’t that bad. The purpose of the creation of katana was to increase the length of the slash at the cost of depth. It doesn’t cut as deep as a tachi but you don’t have to be as close. That makes it so that you swing it much the same way as a hacking blade and let the curve of the blade do the work for slashing. That’s the difference between a katana and a samurai sword.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not to mention Katanas were SPECIFICALLY NOT designed to clash against big heavy metal objects like say, ANOTHER SWORD. This is a dumb test. European swords have great toughness, and Japanese katanas aren’t as well suited for clashing but cut and slash very well.

      People really need to appreciate both swords for what they’re worth.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, Katana is just Desert Eagle of swords. It has many fault, and nobody with basic knowledge will call it “great weapon”, but it’s popular and cool weapon, because it looks freaking awesome!

      • Anonymous says:

        Pretty much, but it’s still tiresome to watch idiots masturbate over their romanitic fiction ideals they’ve learnt from anime made by some poor japanese guy trying to keep the nationalistic spirit high about how omgwtfbbq katanas are and how they slice through concrete and steel slabs, Kenshin style, just because they where magically forged by mythical sword smiths who folded the steel 10 bazillion times…

        With the way japanese and weabos talk about katanas, you’d almost think that they really was talking about lightsabers…

        • Anonymous says:

          Technically what you call longswords were merely called “swords” and “arming swords” at best. Actual longswords were swords that really were longer than ordinary stereotypical knightly swords. Bastard swords, zweihanders, greatswords, these were all referred to as “longswords” in general.

          But yes, mordhau is proof that Western swords were truly weapons for soldiers and not just relics of cultural nostalgia. Real soldiers will take any advantage they can get and are likely to use their weapons in ways other people wouldn’t realize was feasible.

          Even if it means grabbing your sword by the blade and using the cross-guard as an improvised anti-plate hammer. Helps to have a good gauntlet and chain glove, though.

        • Anonymous says:

          Katana is, honestly, more brittle compared to say, the longsword, but it does have a sharper edge. But I will take the longsword any day due to its durability, its ability to cut and thrust AND its versatility. Almost all Western fencing techniques originated from longsword techniques.

          And besides, in case of heavy armor, you can improvise the longsword and Mordhau away, but in expense of possibly losing a couple of fingers.

    • News flash. It’s not just Weeaboos, anime fans, and otaku. People in general think that katanas are awesome swords. Hell, a lot of people don’t even CALL them katana. They just call them “samurai swords”.

  • Ciscotaku says:

    kinda useless, swords have become obsolete. Why reminisce bout the past when nowadays you can just buy an ak-47 for $100 and destroy 30 swordsman given that you don’t miss a bullet of the whole clip.

    • Kyon Theorist says:

      Interesting read. Seemed a little biased around the middle, but I expected that since he was up front about being a practitioner of European styles while he only dabbled with Japanese styles. He was completely unbiased in the end though which was nice. Shame not to many people will read it. Cleared up a lot of misconceptions too.

  • This is from an episode of “Welt der Wunder” a German show. They tested what is better a Japanese or a European sword. They were both on the same level but in this test the katana failed and the European sword broke the other sword in two pieces without problem.

    • People needs to get informed about the swords before posting. I know jack shit about a Katana, like most posters.
      For information about broadswords (that, at some point in time,indeed looked like a flatten crowbar) I srongly recommand you look up Violet Leduc’s medieval encyclopedia.

    • I’m certain that sword is a re-enactment standard single handed broadsword (not a Bastard Sword or Claymore). I am a re-enactor of 10 years experience, so can recognise this easily.

      The test is not a fair one, as a sword of this type, is made of high quality carbon-steel, as they are made for full strength contact with other swords, whereas real Katana (not display models) are made using traditional techniques.

      Also, as pointed out, the broadsword is being braced along it’s entire length by the mount it is attached to – hence and deflection it would give, is being absorbed by the mount.

      Also, as others have said, the fighting techniques are totally different for these types of weapons. Broadswords were made to break limbs or lock armour joints – rendering your opponent useless, with only the very tip being sharp, for finishing off (or by using a poinyard dagger), whereas Katana are not made for contact with other metal objects, especially edge to edge, with all deflection being done with the flat of the blade, on a steep angle.

      The only fair type of test, Broadsword Vs Katana, would be for two highly trained swordfighters to fight each other, using the technique for their specified weapon.

    • Anonymous says:

      they had a thing on mythbusters where they tested all kinds of blades.
      one to check out is a show called “lock and load” where they compared the cutting power of a broadsword vs a katana.

    • Well well, we know that that kind of Blade on blade test does pretty much say nothing. It only says that a thicker and slightly harder sword will bend a softer thinner sword. Thats common sense, in the second test he hits the same sword with another European sword. Then the blade on which he hits, does split -.- The other blade was just close to the hardness of the other and made it break. I don’t know how they came to that crap. But the rest of the reportage was very interresting.

      Part one
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpEC38sL3iU

      Part two
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hy_A9vjp_s&feature=related

    • Anonymous says:

      Metal is very malleable, even hard metal. Unless cut, it is very likely to bend.

      That said, blunt striking with a sword doesn’t prove anything. The struck sword should always be the one surviving the impact, given similar quality craftsmanship.

      Katana are made for slicing, not chopping. As swords go, they are very rigid. This is ideal for thrusting/slicing, but useless for chopping… This exercise only shows what happens when you don’t use a tool properly.

    • Anonymous says:

      yes i’m sure a katana wouldn’t bend like…
      i think the katana they used in that video is poorly made…
      because it has been proven that the katana is the sharpest and strongest sword ever made

      p.s.
      a real katana would take 3 months to make
      and i think the katana they used in that animated gif
      are just cheaply made chinese katana using melted/sharpened scrap metal

    • Anonymous says:

      Did anyone bother to point out that the broadsword is supported on both ends, from the hilt and the tip, which gives it a stronger structure? Basically it has been reinforced by the supports already, and they might as well swing the sword straight on the floor already. When was the last time you’ve seen anyone combat while holding a double-edged blade?

      This is not a realistic test, it’s an extremely stupid one in fact.

    • Anonymous says:

      Katanas are made so that the cutting edge is hard, while the spine of the blade is soft and springy (comparatively). It is made this way precisely so it does not snap in half when hitting something hard. My guess is that enough of the hard cutting edge was broken off in that chip that the force of the impact bent the rather malleable spine.

      But then again, if that katana was not folded and just some cheapo replica, they are just two lumps of metal and the bigger one wins. Most display swords these days are made of Stainless Steel, or a type of carbon steel nicknamed “spring steel”. Stainless is hard and brittle, so I doubt the katana in the clip was made of that (it would definitely have broken in half, stainless replicas are dangerous to use as weapons), but the bending could also be consistent with spring steel. If you own a collector sword, you can usually tell the difference quite easily. Spring steel swords come coated in oil and will rust if you do not keep them that way.

      I do find it funny that all forms of media these days focus on sword so much, though. In feudal Japan, spearmen were paid twice that of swordsmen because they were just more useful. In Europe, the advent of plate armor relegated swords to backup weapons and signs of faith (that’s primarily why they are all shaped like crosses) as you cannot cut through plate, you have to crush it with the heavy impact of something like a flail, mace, morningstar etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Myth Busters did that test..but the katana didn’t snap..it just chipped..but broadsword remain just fine..well..can’t argue with that since broadsword are meant to bash and knock people while katana is used to hack and slash..so obviously broadsword will be harder due to it’s thickness..

    • Anonymous says:

      Most people who look at the katana with any interest are weaboo’s and gloss over many of the facts of its construction.

      Katana’s are made straight and folded many times… this makes a superior cutting edge, but it leaves the whole sword rather brittle, so a wedge is driven along the back of the sword, and a softer metal is inserted to give the sword a bit more flexibility… after this wedge of softer metal is added, it is heat-welded to the harder metal and then the whole blade (which is still straight) is rapidly cooled.

      Due to the difference of how the two metals cool, the straight blade deforms into the curved shape that the katana ends up with.

      The hard forged edge is ‘great’ (as good as you can get with crappy japanese metal) for cutting things like flesh, but it was *never* meant to encounter things like armor or another sword, which is why when you see it hit another sword in the pictures / video, you see the brittle edge shatter, and the softer more flexible back deform.

      The Katana is one of the most romanticized weapons out there, and while it was good at the task it was suited for (cutting flesh / incredibly light armor) it is overall an inferior sword for most tasks, I’d take a chinese jian over it any day.

      • Anonymous says:

        A jian is a pretty light weight sword too. It would have many of the same problems when encountering armored opponents. Though I can see your point I think. It is much faster and lighter than a katana and a katana doesn’t slash as deep as it’s predecessors. A jian can hack flesh more effectively than a katana can slash it.

        • Anonymous says:

          oh and yeah often knights would fight with a sword in their offhand and a dagger in their primary. The sword was used to create openings while the dagger slipped through the joints of armor. It’s funny how it’s the little things that get you.

        • Anonymous says:

          I wouldn’t rely on a jian for thrusting because of it’s durability. I wouldn’t trust it not to bend or break. Yes, you could divide swords based on the possible arm and wrist movements. That would put the jian and most fencing blades as light weight, one handed swords as middle, and great swords which require waist movement as heavy. I only ment that the ability to use wrist movement with a jian made it significantly faster and more mobile. We agree on that.

        • Anonymous says:

          The main reasoning behind the jian, is it can be wielded one handed better, has a variety of techniques like ‘flicking’ that can be used to open up bleeding wounds, and due to its straight blade it can be used to thrust better… which when your opponents are wearing armor, allows you to attack gaps in the armor easier.

          That said, no smart fighter goes into a swordfight without a knife as backup, because if you get close enough, they’re not going to be able to swing their sword while you can stab the hell out of them with the dagger.

      • Anonymous says:

        most ppl who use the word weaboo are morons who are letting their biases show versus intelligence

        1) “as good as you can get with crappy japanese metal”

        tamahagane was one of the best steel alloys for swords available with the technology at the time.

        is it magic? no.

        japanese swordsmiths simply had a fairly advanced knowledge of metal working relative to their overall technology level.

        was it crappy? only if you’re a poser trying to act like he knows something.

        2) “I’d take a chinese jian over it any day”

        funny you’d take so much time to criticize the folding method of katana’s yet not realize that the japanese didn’t actually invent the method.

        the chinese did.

        seeing where this is going with your very ironic statement?

        3) the sorter and harder metals aren’t like lego bricks as you seem to imply, they’re ultimately melded together to cause a consistant blend, not flat layers.

        not only that be its a rather silly criticism seeing as european swords were, wait for it, forged with a mix of hard and soft steel as well.

        4) edges are ALWAYS brittle, not just folded edges

        its a property of having a thin metal edge.

        thats why anyone with real knowledge of swords use (hopefully some actual training so they don’t hurt themselves) knows you never block edge to edge WITH ANY SWORD as you’ll just ruin your sword.

        5) “The hard forged edge is ‘great’ (as good as you can get with crappy japanese metal) for cutting things like flesh, but it was *never* meant to encounter things like armor or another sword, which is why when you see it hit another sword in the pictures / video, you see the brittle edge shatter, and the softer more flexible back deform.”

        other swords = than you’ve seen absolutely nothing, but as pointed out about whether you’re a practitioner of western sword arts or asian, you should know that you never block edge to edge anyway.

        armor = steel armor no, the japanese didn’t create steel plate armor to begin with.

        however either way =

        6) the reality is NO swords were meant to cut other swords in half or deal with armor ANYWAY. for someone that claims ppl gloss over facts you’re rather selective in you criticisms as one-way when they frankly go both.

        barring the largest of swords (which at that point became big cleavers), contrary to popular belief swords weren’t the primary weapon of warfare.

        european swords were no better at puncturing armor than a japanese sword
        (ppl like to think thrusting with the thin tip would make it the perfect armor piercing weapon and the physics make sense, but the utility didn’t work out that way. hitting a guy in plate armor, with plates that aren’t flat sheets, and who is moving and twisting and swerving, usually meant you attempt to use your great armor piercing sword resulted in you scrapping and sliding off and leaving yourself open to be made dead).

        which is why the typical weapon of war was larger heavier weaponry.

        not surprisingly though, NEITHER WAS THE KATANA. the truth is samurai didn’t charge into battle swinging their katana about.
        it was a sidearm at best.
        likewise, the primary weapons of war, used to deal with things such as armor, were heavier weaponry.

        ANY SWORD short of larger blades (and the japanese had their larger blades too, in fact contrary to popular belief, the japanese had straight swords as well) was designed primary with lightly armored and unarmored foes only. they were ALL inferior towards any other tasks.

        SWORDS IN GENERAL have had their range of use greatly romanticised WHETHER THEY ARE EUROPEAN OR JAPANESE.

        ———————-

        as for this video, the main problem with it is who has an arm braced like that.

        if you see that and are like our friend here and think that will magically happen every time, you’ve never practiced with a sword ever.

        the point at which you hit a sword with another sword enough to do that, the guy’s arm would have moved.

        you might as well just be slamming a katana/rapier/longsword/claymore/whatever edge first against an anvil and saying “look the anvil’s tougher!”

        • 1) Tamahagane was “on of the best steel alloy for swords available with the technology of the time” — in Japan. Europeans had far greater resources. The reason the Japanese smiths became so good at metalworking when compared to their western counterparts is because they had poorer materials to start with, thus a need to work them harder.

          2) The Japanese did invent the folding method in Asia, IIRC. First, they imported Chinese swords, which were flimsy and bend when held out sideways. They then improved the designs, and China started importing Japan’s swords. To put it simply.

          3) The different metals used in laminating a Japanese blade are not melded together. There is a definite core and edge, and sometimes more layers. I’ve seen a photo of a sword cut cross-wise to demonstrate this (forget where it was; some book I read for a research project).

          4) The thinness of the edge makes it brittle. However, the metal used for the edge in lamination, and the later yaki-ire, create a brittle but hard metal in contrast to the soft but flexible body.

          5) Both of you are wrong. A Japanese sword was entirely capable of ‘encountering’ another sword, and was meant to before sword-making became purely an art form. Also, the Japanese did make steel plate armor; it’s just hard to tell, as they lacquered over everything.

          6) Correct for the most part. But the part about the Japanese swinging swords around; well, likely it depended on the battle. Typically, chaos reigns any battlefield. And what did the Japanese do against the ‘untrained’ Mongols, who didn’t know the ‘proper’ way to fight? Probably swung swords at them. The sword (tachi) was indeed a sidearm in the Kamakura period (I believe it was), when most fighting was on horseback. Later, when more battles were fought on foot, the sword (katana) became more of a staple (likely the spear still reigned, though). I don’t know about elsewhere, since it’s out of my area of ‘expertise.’

          Japanese bows do suck for combat, though. They can’t even pierce bamboo armor at medium range, from what I hear.

        • Anonymous says:

          In defense of my earlier post, I was not critizing the katana merely enlightening on its construction, I do find them and their construction to be rather interesting (and a goddamn miracle when you realize that these people managed to construct weapons like these with no knowledge of the science behind it).

          I *know* the jian was constructed the same way, I just prefer it because of the straight blade which IMO allows it to do *more* against certain styles of armor (which the chinese more frequently had)… and while the japanese did do amazing things with tamahagane, they’re metals quality is overall inferior to that of most other nations, they were also in terribly short supply of it.

          Don’t be overly defensive, I didn’t talk about the construction of the jian, nor did I talk about the construction of European swords, I focused solely on the katana, I didn’t talk about how the weapons were *used* either, merely the enviroment the katana evolved in.

          And yes, I am aware that edges are always brittle too, I was explaining *why* what happened did in fact happen there, as proof of my claims that the edging was brittle and the ‘core’ was soft and that katana’s were composites, the brittle parts shatter (when struck wrong), the core deforms.

          Overall you’re rather biased (and defensive) in thinking I was criticizing the katana, I was not, nor was that my intent.

          In short, calm the fuck down, there was no insult to the great nihon there. Samurai were primarily warriors of the Horse, the Spear, and the Bow… the sword came last.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hit a guy wearing chainmail with a katana and it’s gonna bruse him or maybe wind him if you’re lucky. The same guy with a broadsword and you’re gonna break some of his ribs.

        • Anonymous says:

          If you actually listen to his comment about scraping, it would prove that the katana is inferior to the sword. Since the katana has a sharp edge, the friction it has on armor is much less than a western sword due to area of contact of the weapon and the armor. This means katana scraps faster on armor than a western sword. This means more energy is transfered from the western sword to the armor = more dmg.

    • Funny thing is, I watched an army show with that drill Sergent guy (from full metal jacket) a couple months ago, and the Katana was tested in comparison to a broadsword then. The broadsword lost (quite badly), though the explanation behind it made sense.

      Japanese sword : forged one by one,by folding metal and alloys multiple times.

      Broadsword : Forged in a cast mold by multiples, so that they could hand one to every farmer drafted or forced into service.

      Basicly, quantity vs quality.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dude… they didn’t even /have/ cast molds back in the middle ages. The concept of mass production of identical parts didn’t even become common until the industrial revolution. You really shouldn’t trust everything you see in fictional movies.

        The swords they hand out to modern officers are mass-produced junk, sure, but authentic medieval broadswords are every bit as unique as Japanese katanas.

        Heavy steel armor was never popular in Japanese armies, and so their weapons (like katanas) were designed to slice through lightly armored opponents. They’re very sharp and relatively light. On the other hand, European infantry wore a lot of metal armor, meaning it was necessary to have a heavier, more resistant weapon that could smash through armor.

        It’s only natural that a broadsword will bend/break a katana. That’s what they’re designed to do.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sure they did, however, cast iron is pretty darn brittle – and would thus be pretty useless for weapons you’re expected to hit others with. For cannons, sure, go ahead and cast those, but swords? no.

          In the bronze age, of course, swords were easily molded, because that’s pretty much how you work bronze.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually yes, they did have cast molds in the middle ages. Cast molds were some of the earliest forms of swordmaking.

          Granted, ‘mass production’ did not enter till the industrial revolution, but that was only in degrees of precision. The idea of building weapons for as cheap as possible using casting techniques is very, very old.

      • Anonymous says:

        That show tends to be overly simplified. Hacking weapons like falchions were the blades that were quickly churned out and given to the masses. Anything more fine-tuned to war such as a broadsword, arming sword, etc was properly forged.

        As for the whole “katana is higher quality due to folding and different hardness in the core,” that’s fairly moot. Folding was necessary due to impurities in Japan’s iron ore. Folding was necessary to get the same good quality iron that was around for medieval European blades. Many surviving samples of Euro blades also share the same softer core and hard edge.

        • Absolutely not. You could easily run, jump and do backflips in plate armor. Soldiers in the modern day to carry 2-3x as much weight with them and are expected to be able to run even with that. Plate armor felt nearly weightless by comparison.

        • Anonymous says:

          Take a history class, 13:57. Actual Plate armor is actually VERY heavy and the average person is VERY weighed down by the distribution of metal. It doesn’t matter whether or not the weight is distributed, you are STILL slower regardless because it takes more force to move an arm than before. In order to alleviate this weakness, a lot of plate armor is custom made to give the user the maximum protection without overly encumbering their speed and mobility. “One size does not fit anybody” armor that you just jam on is piss poor.

          There was a reason why a lot of film armor is made out of fiberglass and other lightweight material, because wearing a full suit of armor made of iron is going to tire you out real fast.

        • Anonymous says:

          mister 20:59 anon is wrong. Plate armor does make you a slower runner, but not a slower melee fighter, as the added weight was concentrated on the torso and not the limbs. The movement limitation was mainly when the body bent in ways not usual during a melee fight [sitting], you could still dodge and move your arms about in any way you could need for a fight, except for raising your arms above and behind your head.

          Really, plate armour was designed for melee fights, if it impaired the soldiers ability of fighting in melee, It’d would have never been as popular as it was.

        • Anonymous says:

          You’ve obviously never played an RPG because even in those strength never cancels out agility except through completely fictional ways (i.e. magic), secondly wearing heavier armor WILL weigh you down, there are no two ways about it, you will be slower while wearing a suit of armour, if not because of the weight then because of they way they restrict movement though it’s likely a combination of both.

          You’ve must have played too many RPGs if you think you can just muscle your way out encumberance 😉

        • Anonymous says:

          People don’t realize that wearing armor didn’t actually meant you sacrificed agility or mobility. That’s the impression idiots, who play too many RPGs, have.
          In reality strength does not cancel out agility; in fact most armored troops were just as fast as unarmored troops, as the weight of armor is well-distributed and the wearers were well-trained professionals, but also had the advantage of better protection.
          The blades were of superior quality as well due to purer iron ore used to forge them.
          Really, Japanese military hardware was pretty shit compared to Europe.

    • AsakuraZero says:

      katanas are made to parry with the back of the blade the, katana style sword its made to slash, not to bash the opponent.

      also broadswords are bad in combat, they are heavy and harder to use, they doesnt have a real sharp blade since they are made to screw the hell out of a man with a steel armor.

      i dont remember if the katana was able to cut through the steel armors but they are better swords than the broadsword.

      like a friend said, “for what do you need your weapon? when you tell me that i will tell you which ones oyu may use”

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s pointless to try to compare two blades made for entirely different purposes for use in different contexts.
        The katana was designed and forged in response to changing conditions that required lighter and longer blades usable with faster reaction times in order to combat light or unarmored opponents. Its main feature was the single-edged curved blade able to deeply lacerate the opponent especially upon drawing.

        The broadsword was designed to be heavy and mostly blunt in order to combat infantry who wore medium to heavy chain and plate armor. Rather than to cut the opponent, it was made for heavy swings against slow-moving, heavily armored targets that dented plate, crushed chainmail, broke bones, and caused internal bleeding. Of course if you clash the two blades together the tougher and harder broadsword will cause more damage to the katana. That was its purpose: to damage metal.
        You can’t say that the broadsword is bad in combat (in context versus heavy armor the broadsword is a very effective weapon) or that katanas are objectively better. Both swords have their merits and were suited to combat in their respective time periods and locales. Taken out of context, they’re quite useless: A katana is not going to do much damage to plate armor over chainmail just as someone wielding a heavy broadsword is unlikely to be able to outmaneuver a trained katana user.