Michael asked in SportsMartial Arts · 9 years ago

What kind of sword is the strongest?

What kind of material makes the strongest, sharpest, lightest sword? I know not to buy a stainless steel sword, what about carbon steel and iron ? All Information is appreciated :)


The class of sword I am looking for is a short blade that would be good to penetrate kevlar body armor and a long blade katana

16 Answers

  • Ymir
    Lv 6
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    For sword steel, you want high carbon steel. It is forged at extremely high temperatures along with the impurity added in, carbon, to form the right alloy structure with the base material being pure iron. Wrought iron.

    Before high carbon steel forging was discovered, people had to either settle for a short blade that was sharp or a long blade that was mostly unsharpened. That's because the weight of the metal would cause the edge to break and put the sword in danger of snapping in half without the flexibility of quality steel.

    In Japanese katana construction, they get special mixes of metals, which contain impurities such as carbedendum or molybdenum, which make the steel easier to temper or allows it to hold its shape at higher temperatures, but mostly it is the carbon content that determines sword quality. The hamon, the wave line on Japanese or Damascene blades, is the result of a specific mixture of metals.

    Pig iron is the stuff you smelt from ore and what not. It's brittle. Cast iron or wrought iron, could be called black iron, is made from reforging pig iron to ensure that all the elements are 99% iron atoms. It makes for a hard and durable material for plows, hoes, staffs, and what not. Sword steel is then made from re forging wrought iron along with other complicated steps.

    I am recalling this from memory. For more details input "steel making" or "forging iron" in a search engine for more details on the chemistry and equation processes/byproducts.

    Proper sword steel will be able to bend at a 45 degree angle, with the handle placed vertical, straight up, and held in position, without breaking the blade. It's why you can forge a very long blade and still be able to use it, due to steel being strong yet flexible. If you try using stainless steel or iron, however, it would either be too flimsy like aluminum or too heavy.

    EDIT:The Wootz steel mentioned for Damascus water steel or Indian clay construction or Japanese folding construction are all similar in one way or another. They were all different methods that ended up producing similar quality steel blades. I don't mention the various construction method differences since it's not necessary.

    For a wakizashi or katana greater than 20 inches in blade length, look up the cold steel website/catalog. Or casiberia's website. Anything around 500 dollars is quality steel that can cut or penetrate kevlar. It just needs to have a point at the end.

    Kevlar is designed to stop very high velocity impacts with very low masses. A sword, however, is a relatively low impact object that has a much higher mass. Thus armor designed for one, does not defeat the other.

    As for being able to cut or penetrate through the armor, that all depends upon stance, targeting, momentum, accuracy and control. The sword, of however high quality it is, can only reduce the amount of force needed to cut. It does not, however, substitute for actual skill.

  • 9 years ago

    The daisho, katana and wakazashi combinastionif made in the traditional way will give you the best combination of light strong and flexible. As far as penetrating body armor goes kevlar is a fiber the traps the bullt as it spins and tangles it up like a spioder web, which is why teflon coated bullets are called cop killers because the nonstick teflon does not get grabbed by the fibers in the kevelar. That being the case just about any edged weapon or piercing weapon will have the same amount of chance of getting through just kevelar. Many bullet proof vests alsohave steel or titanium plates in them though for just such a situation and in that case it isn't really going to matter what sword you have, if you have a strong thrust at a stationary target there is a chance that the any decent steel blade will penetrate at least some. Most armor, medieval and modern, is more designed to prevent slashing attacks. Also, when thrusting with the point at a standing target most steel plate armor will be strong enough to stop any blade and turn the attack into more of a push. If the opponenet is moving toward you and has inertia, or if they are on the ground and you are thrusting down is when you will have the best chance of breaching steel plates.

    This was true even in the old days. Most deaths on ancient battle fields, deaths of armored warriors that is, were the result of warhammer and axe weapons because the weiaght and small surface area of those weapons could crack the armor. Sword deaths to those wearing armor were more often then not delivered to those ion the ground or where to the extremeties such as the wrists and lower legs that were unarmored or lightl;y so. The primary reason that the sword was so widely used even in times of full plate armor was because very very few people could actually afford any armor other than perhaps hardened leather

  • Uguisu
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Your requirements are dependent upon too many factors. Stab vests are tight-woven (often kevlar) fibers designs to resist slashing and piercing to a max depth of a few millimeters given an energy rating in joules of the attack. Some vests have only a knife rating (against slashing) while others have a spike rating (against piercing). It's impossible to guarantee against every blade geometry. Instead, the adept fighter will target those parts not armored, to guarantee some (albeit not necessarily fatal) penetration.

    The metal best suited depends on the sword design, and should vary in hardness depending upon the position tested along the blade. Softer steels are less impact resistant, but can usually carry a sharper edge. Harder steel is less flexible and prone to cracking and breaking. It's a trade off. The problem with stainless steel (420/440 stainless) isn't that the steel is bad, but that the introduction of chromium (to prevent rusting) makes the alloy brittle.

    1080 Carbon can be fine for cutting, but won't resist a block, and may lose its edge quickly after a few cuts.

    9260 Spring steel is usually fairly capable of standing up to contact.

    Most iaito are made with zinc/aluminum alloy, which allows for a lighter blade with less need for maintenance.

    Source(s): Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu http://ocbujinkan.com/
  • 9 years ago

    There are many factors affecting the performance of a blade weapon. Many of these trait come with trade-offs. There's no single bladed weapon hat can surpass all others in all aspects but there are many blades that are best for it's intended use. Some things you might consider are length, carbon content, curve, fullers, class type.

    Please ask a swords expert if you want to make the best decision for what ever you might need it for.

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  • neiss
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Strongest And Lightest Material

  • Jay
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Most of what you're describing the use of the sword for comes from technique. No matter how good a quality the sword is, with poor technique it's not going to cut much.

    As far as the question goes regarding material, I agree very much with Ymarsaka.

  • 6 years ago

    If you knew a sword smith. He could make the sword's tang, a handle itself. And shape it like a sword handle, but out of the high carbon steel itself. So the whole weapon is made out of a solid and tough high carbon stee, even the tang itself is now a handle. Instead of making the handle out of wood. And making the high carbon steel tang, shaped like a twix chocolate bar. In the past, sword smiths made sure a swordsman's sword would outlive him. Nowadays, sword smiths work under big companies. So they have to make swords have weak tangs, and wooden handles. Or their greedy boss won't make anymore money.

  • 4 years ago

    The roman short sword. 2 1/2 feet long made of iron easy to handle well balanced. And very effective at bost offense and defense great for close combat.

  • Maria
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Daedric is the strongest style of standard swords, though there are a few special versions that you can get from quests that could be stronger (though those can't be enchanted with your own choices).

  • CTC
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Kevlar is made to take the impact of a bullet. Its not made to stop a blade.

    Different MAs have different weapon forms and train to use different swords.

    It makes no sense to buy a sword ur not trained to use.

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