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Katana Cutting Through steel

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#1 Jordan_97



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Posted 01 August 2011 - 10:09 AM

I was watching a wierd Japanese show and they were doing a Katana demo. The samurai cut through steel pipe and plate. Is that actually possible? I found the video of it on Youtube, click on the link and see for yourself. It's in Japanese but you don't have to worry about it.


#2 Laoich23



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Posted 01 August 2011 - 10:29 AM

It is possible, That sheet is very thin though. The pipe is small, it would be like using a cold chisel, where speed makes up for the weight of the tool. If it wasn't on a 'butcher's block' it wouldn't work. I worked at Albion Swords, we've cut through the same with European style swords.

#3 JPH


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Posted 01 August 2011 - 12:52 PM


There is a difference bewween "steel pipe" and thin walled steel tubing as well as steel plate and thin sheet and both the tubing and thin sheet were what was used... It's simply showmanship and I am proably one of the most guilty out there for doing it.

I have cut 1/4" round mild steel barstock into pieces as well as "hacked" my way through 1/8" x 1" mild steel strapping using using various designs of swords. The "hard part" is knowing what the steel that the sword is made from can and can not withstand and the proper technique. I have seen many videos of folks doing this and you need to have dead on technique, a very good knowledge of metals and enough "guts" to follow and power through. Now it's not easy as metal doesn't cut like "soft" (meat and tatami/goza mats) targets and the amount of resistance is considerably greater so you got to have the power to move that "out of the way" during the actual cut so it does take some practice..

It really isn't anything more than showing what just about any properly made, properly heat treated quality sword can do in the hands of a trained individual. I have cut ropes throw up in the aire...ropes that were hanging, as I said before hacked through steel strapping and cut round barsock...plus a whole lot of mats in my tamashigiri classes....it is simply knowing how and using the right sword with the proper edge geometry. I have sold a lof of swords doing that for the last 40 some years...

Hope this helps


#4 Stormcrow


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Posted 01 August 2011 - 04:16 PM

That looked like the "plate" was about the thickness of a Coke can. Like Dr. Hrisoulas said, showmanship.

The MAD Dwarf workshop used to have a Youtube video (I just looked for it, looks like they took it down for some reason) that among other things had them whacking into some I believe 18 gauge steel. Whatever thickness, they said it was what is typically used for modern armor makers. So, not to knock the samurai or his sword, but it's not out of the realm of what a properly made blade should be able to do.
James Helm - Helm Enterprises, Forging Division

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