To help out my fellow sword enthusiasts, I offer some pointers on different approaches to double edged swords used for the cut and thrust. As Sir Richard Burton wrote in his "Book of the Sword", he notes that most swords fall into one of three categories:
1. Swords designed mainly for cutting.
2. Swords designed mainly for thrusting.
3. Swords designed to do both, though they don't generally do both equally.
Western Medieval and Renaissance swords saw much evolution from the swords used commonly during the Dark Ages.
From the familiar broadsword came the Bastard / Hand and a Half sword, Cut and Thrust swords, Falchion, Greatsword and later - the Rapier.
We train regularly with both Japanese and European weapons, and this includes suemonogiri (testing cutting skills).
As with any sword, if it does not hold up well to the extreme stress from cutting exercises, it is a liability to the wielder.
We all enjoy cutting with my collection of various Western swords, and in particular the Bastard sword.
So named because it considered a bastardization between a one - handed broadsword and the two - handed Greatsword, the Bastard sword shares much in common with the Japanese katana. Light enough to be wielded with a single hand, with a long enough hilt to be used with two - the "Hand and a Half" sword also is well suited for cutting. Generally, swords that are curved are better for cutting, and straight swords are better for thrusting.
After a recent cutting session with one of my double - edged swords, I decided to touch up the edge. When I dismantled it, I noticed that the shoulders of the blade were slightly buckled. I wondered if any of my other similar swords had this problem.
This is the original in question:
If you look closely, you will see the tips of the shoulders are damaged.
This is caused by the torgue of the blade when cutting solid objects.
This is my Scottish Basket - hilted broadsword replica made by Del Tin Armiche. Note the very strong and thick shoulders on this weapon.
This is what is commonly known as as a "rat tail tang". This is a threaded rod welded to the tang of a sword. The likely result is that if used for cutting, it will fail.
Conclusion - only rely on the best swords for serious use.