19
May
07

Want Wolverine Claws?

OK Bub! Who wants some! No, really, ya want some Wolverine claws? Too bad. Ya can’t have ’em. But I can get you a cool set of hand claws that are almost as intimidating.

Anderson Cutlery – Pantera Claw

Anderson Cutlery - Pantera Claw
[view full size]

Now any true Wolverine fan should, at this juncture, be aghast. For many, many reasons. First of all, this set of claws bears only a passing resemblance to what they are supposed to be modeled after, and should not, in any form, have been made representative of the glorious splendor that are Wolverines retractable adamantium claws. Really. I mean seriously. About the only thing loosely linking the two are that they are claws of some sort. Aarrrgh!

And then look at the design. These are simple hand claws. Essentially a pair of fancy brass knuckles with claws attached. Not, by any stretch of the imagination, Wolverine claws. They would not exactly provide the most secure grip for any serious “clawing” action, probably tending to rotate out of the hand in that particular application, though they would make for a great stabbing weapon, much like how a set of brass knuckles make for a great punch enhancer.

Now being that I’m not *entirely* insane, I’ll readily admit that designing, fabricating and surgically installing an accurate, working set of Wolverine claws would pose some serious mechanical and physiological problems, since the average human lacks the kind of space in their forearms to house a set of blades internally like that without looking like a freak. Or Popeye.

There is also the issue of the appropriate physiological voids and guides (or lack thereof) required to allow for repeated deployment without the wholesale destruction of the various tissues of your forearm in the process. And I won’t even get into the strength, ligament structure or musculature that would be required to effectively deploy, use and retract the blades. But there are better solutions.

The closest and most accurate reproduction to a set of real wolverine claws I can think of would be a forearm mounted contraption, similar to the Tekko-Kagi hand claw employed by the Iga Ninja of Japan (see the item to the far left below )

Tekko-Kagi Hand Claw
Tekko-Kagi hand claw
(iganinja.jp)

Incidentally, according to the Iga Ninja Museum site, the middle two unassuming items were supposed to be examples of Kunai, an old Japanese garden tool turned ninja-super-implement, to which I will shortly devote a sorely needed post. I found out later that, in actuality, the two implements in the middle are more likely to be examples of a type of obscure medieval hand weapon called tekken (Japanese for “Iron Fist”), or tekko, a form of medieval knuckle duster. But I digress.

Much like the Tekko-Kagi pictured above, the hand claw design I would employ would be secured at both the wrist and around the hand/over the palm. In addition it would have a platform mounted rail that would be secured at the elbow. The blades would be mounted to a hinged sliding base attached to the rail. When retracted, the blades would be stored over the forearm, and when extended would be anchored at a hinge point just above the wrist, with the base of the blades above the hinge strapped to the back of the hand.

This joker had the right idea. I ran into his site(**see note below) about 4 years ago, (long before this blog was a gleam in my eye) and was suitably impressed. It doesn’t seem to have been built with longevity/durability under practical use in mind, but it is about as close to an authentic pair of wolverine claws as I think you could ever get. At least not without surgery anyway.

And yes. You read correctly. I said “durability under practical use.” in reference to a set of forearm mounted, retractable steel claws. No. You are incorrect. I did not, at any point, claim to be sane. I merely stated that I wasn’t *entirely* insane. There is a big difference. Get it straight. I am demented. But enough about me.

OK, my intention is not to totally dis these Pantera Claws the entire post. There are other examples of replica wolverine claws, like the ones here that are in fact practically useless for anything other than trying to look cool. The fact of the matter is that the Pantera claws they wouldn’t be in this blog if they didn’t have any intrinsically redeeming value.

Which, in this case, is that they are a set of real sharp steel claws of a very intimidating variety. My only real beef is that the really shouldn’t have tried to ride the X-Men/Wolverine gravy train, but on their own merits they are actually works of art. The simulated wood grain composite grips on these blades are beautiful. Even without the blades they would have made for a very attractive set of brass knuckles.

With the blades they are actually quite the intimidating piece. The blades have the right amount of menacing curve to them, and the recesses on the spine and below the blade just ahead of the grip add to the sinister stance of the brushed finished 440 Stainless steel claws as they rise from the grip. Altogether a very impressive and menacing design. Would almost certainly give your average opponent the heeby-jeebies to have to face something like that on the street.

Though I can’t think of many scenarios where one might be carrying something like this around when such an altercation might occur. Unless you decided to pick a fight for the sole purpose of testing out this bad boy. You did didn’t you. You Hooligan… Instigator.. Hoodlum. You better watch yourself there, bub… I’ve got an eye on you and and a very itchy claw…

**Update!:
Nates Wolverine Claw construction site is currently inaccessible. Fortunately, I have put together a guide listing some of the common wolverine claw replicas and memorabilia, as well as a link to a page with the relevant construction information in this post. Thought it might save a few Wolverine fanatics a trip across the entire intarwebs… Happy Hunting!!

Anderson Cutlery’s Pantera Claw – [True Swords]

PhyreBlades Ultimate Wolverine Claw Reference Guide – [Realm of The Dark Blade]

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18 Responses to “Want Wolverine Claws?”


  1. May 30, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Hello
    I read your blog. I am a knifemeker in my spare time and have been playing around with automatic knives – switchblades. I have also been designing some real retractable forearm blades/spikes. My designs are only in working prototype stage at the moment, but I hope to have quality products for sale by next year.
    This will give you a idea of what I’m redesigning :Patent number: 5722169

    http://www.google.com/patents?vid=USPAT5722169
    It could be made with blade, spike, or claws. See me in a year!
    Jonathan

  2. May 30, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    Nice to meet you Jonathan. You know, I have been mucking about with this idea for years and years, but never actually tried to put one together. The basic functionality is quite rudimemtary, but I have nonetheless never gotten around to actually constructing any thing. What would be really cool would be to implement a modified version of an OTF switchblade design that would allow for both extension and retraction of a set of heavy blades. I would be very cool for us Wolverine wannabes to see someone actually give this idea some substance… I’ll be keeping an eye out for your work…!!

  3. June 11, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Hey Guys
    Give me some e-mails address so I can get a hold of all of you when I have a solid product available. Also, ANY and I mean ANY ideas as to what you want please let me know. I’m doing designs for underhand spike/blade as in ‘Smokin Aces’ and also over the wrist like Wolverine.
    Now, to make somethiing like this and make it real, the blades are not going to be that long. But they really don’t need to be. Start off with a wrist/forearm brace. On my arm if I want to bend my wrist I’m only going to have 9-10 inches to work with. Lets say 10. When extended you need to leave a bit of the blade in the handle for stability, about 2 inche at least. That puts 8 inches coming from your wrist, about 4 inches past the flat of your fist. If you wanted longer claws and weren’t worried about moving your wrist, a set could be made in a 12 inch casing coming off the back of your hand with about 7 inch blades from your fist. I’d want to build the supports back at least to the wrist just so in the cutting swipe you don’t snap you wrist.
    If you wanted badass Wolverine claws I would build them onto a large wrist/forearm brace and a pair of leather gauntlet gloves-motorcycle or medieval reproduction type. A variation of the 2-way auto OTF switchblades could be made to this size and made stronger, but it would not be easy to open. I own a Jeff Harkins Triton and I am friends a bit with Jeff. This is THE BEST Out-The-Front knife hands down. And the button has about a 10 pound pull. Which means it takes a good push to slide that button. Trying to do that with a cable would make it harder. One of the problem with Wolverine claws would be height. You would want the blades to be at least 3/4 inch wide, but they are not laying flat on your forearm they are on their side. A 3/4 inch blade with case…at least 1 inch, plus mechanics and wrist support and straps…looking at around 1.5 inches thick with it getting thicker the more curve you put on the blades.
    Also, cutting into a object with multiple blades just dosen’t work that well. As soon as the first tip starts to go in the second tip that hits slows it down. Try it with the Pantera claws. I own a pair and as cool as it looks it would suck for a swipe.
    Now if you only had one blade…10 inch case built into forearm brace, the kind with the strap that runs across the palm up between the thumb and forefinger, and set it right at the edge of the wrist. So you could bend your wrist down put not up. Brace would have to be custom made to look like normal black wrist/forarm brace, nylon velcro type, but with stainless steel sheet construction all hidden.(that way if any one saw it and asked you could just say “carpal tunnel” and they wouldn’t think a thing) Palm strap would have to be very strong ang very comfortable as most of the load will be focused here. This would also have to be connected directly to the support brackets. With about a 5 inch blade coming flat from your fist, I’d make the blade 1.25 wide with a chisel ground blade with a modified tanto/sword tip point designed for armor piercing. Blade would be ATS34 steel Hardened to 59R, coated black. Of course like any weapon this could be covert and tactical or highly embellished and decorated.

    Send me any ideas.
    Jonathan

    jonathan@sinzaknives.com
    sinzaknives.com

  4. June 13, 2007 at 1:52 am

    I can be reached at phyreblade at gmail dot com.

    BTW, I agree with everything you have stated above, especially about the number of claws and dimensions. Unless one is gifted with superhuman strength, (like wolverine) multiple claws would be more of a liability than a benefit. I think we are pretty much on the same page so far as the bracing/support mechanism is concerned, though I am personally more partial to the over-the-hand deployment position, since I feel it leaves your hands in a better position to grasp things.

    Regarding the overall form factor, I think a 1″ to 1.5″ blade width should would be acceptable, and should be easy to package using a 10″ straight, tanto-styled blade. If we place the deployment/retraction mechanism on either side of the blade, the overall packaging shouldn’t be much higher than the blade itself.

    The one area I have had the greatest difficulty in designing has been a remote deployment/retraction mechanism. I wanted to design it such that a wearer could deploy the blade one-handed, using a remote deployment button located on bracing itself. But, as you have suggested, it will take a lot of force to actuate any well designed, positively locked OTF mechanism designed for this application. And the problem is compounded when trying to make a remote switch because almost anything I come up with to make it easier to open also makes it more prone to accidental opening.

    I’ve been recently considering implementing some sort of low profile Spiderman webshooter style palm lever blade release, perhaps with a thumb actuated safety. I’m still mulling that little problem over in my head…

  5. June 17, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    I was also thinking of the spiderman style palm button. My nephew has one of those toys and I mught just have to borrow it and see what I can make of the design.
    What I was describing at the end WAS a over-the-hand design. What I ment was 10 inch blade laying flat (like in Underworld)insted of on it’s side ‘wolverine style’ with 2 of that 10 inside for support. 3 inches of non sharpened blade over the back of you hand and 5 inches of sharpened blade. That would be 5 inched past the flat of your fist. …That make any sense?

    How to open …and for that matter…how to close?

    A palm button may work but I’d bbe worried about setting it off by accident. I have a prototype with a spike and I used a cable with a keyring ring on the end. Pull up on the ring with one of your fingers and as you pull your wrist out of the way it pulls the cable and opens the switch. But this was for a under wrist mount like in ‘Smokin Aces’ or ‘Blade Trinity’. It could be turned around for a over wrist design, but pulling a cable over the back of your hand isn’t as smooth a motion. I had a idea I turned around for a while about a set of claws that had a shoulder harness, like for a gun, with cables running to the opposite waist area. Not 100% on the design, but I was thinking of a cable with a ring at the area where it straps to your belt. You would open the right hand claws by moving your left hand to your side by your belt and giving a tug on the cable. A return cable could run along side and be put in similar area……just a thought.

    A easy way to do it would to make it a gravity knife style. My idea for that would be to have the blade float freely but have a N.I.B. magnet in a Titainium blade (nonmagnetic) in a titainium sheath. A little bit of sheet steel at the end would hold the blade it place fairly strong, but if you snapped your wrist it would slide the blade into place. To unlock, hold blade pointing up and with a wrist ring and cable (those just seem to work well) pull slightly to unlock and the blade will drop back into closed position. If I were to make something I was really going to wear I might go with this design, very simple few parts. I’m sure if we wanted to add some batteries and electronics we could put a nice little button somewhere, but thats not my style. A button that you hit with your other hand would also be easy, but then you just have a switchblade strapped to your arm…not as cool.

    Must open with same hand.

    They have prostetic hands with a upper arm/shoulder harness that will open and close the hand when you extend your arm. That also could be done, but I don’t like the safety factor.

    So…Right now I don’t see too many options other than cables with rings/handles to pull or maybe a redesigned spiderman palm button. A very good safety switch would have to be built into the design. Don’t want that popping out at the Supermarket and scaring the old ladies.

    I have a few designs and ideas for what I would like to do in this area (when I get time here and there).

    1.Classic Wolverine claws: 3 blades, curved, long, in a glove and wrist brace.
    2.Under Wrist Auto Spike: 6-7 inch spike, black coated, looks like normal wrist/forearm brace.
    3. Army Version: Over Wrist- Think tactical knife on forearm brace. Black or camo coated, simple, strong, light-all titainium construction, sturdy. Looks like a piece of military equipment. Use military materials and fittings.
    4.Custom Knife version: Polished, Stainless steel, nickle silver and Micarta sheath, engravings.
    I try to do at least a little during the week but mostly just on the weekends. I have other knife/weapon projects I’m working on, So a little here and there. If you have any ideas for buttons of ways to open and close you can e-mail them to me, they might give me a different idea. I just started cutting out pieces of the “Spring Spike Weapon” That I gave the patent number for in above message. I’ll see how this works after I get it all built and see where I can improve.

    If you get a chance, do a web image search on ‘PATA’ sword and ‘KATAR’. Both are Indian weapons that are ‘punch swords’. I can only imagine a fellow with one on each hand and the skill to use them….must have been a sight!!!

  6. June 17, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    While I’m thinking about it….

    You have a major problem when you have more than one blade. When you cut something the material is pushed to each side of the blade to make room for the blade. Think of cutting a log with a ax. If you have two or more blades, the material between two blades has nowhere to go to make room for the blade. It gets wedged inbetween. On a three bladed Wolverine claw, the center claw would push the material to either side and the two outer blades would be bent/stretched apart. But if cutting/slashing through something you are going to have material on all sides of all blades. This is going to make it VERY hard to cut through most anything.
    Also, my though are for a ‘usable’ version the blade would lay flat as if you look at how your hand and arm move I think it would flow better with natural strikes. A ‘Wolverine’ claw strike isn’t really a natural move accept for a roundhouse punch.

    But you’re looking for ‘Wolverine’ claws…can be done. For the movies they made a hydralic arm with blades hooed up to a ram device. Big and bulky. I’ve also looked at schematics for the new Goblin arm blades from Spiderman 3. Nice design but completly different style.

  7. June 18, 2007 at 12:02 am

    You make many good points, though I think that, in a wrist mounted application, how natural a horizontally oriented blade would feel compared to a vertically oriented one would be subjective, depending on individual experience and training.

    Also, I agree with you about the disadvantages of multiple blades, but for slightly different reasons. In reality, I don’t think that “wolverine style” blades would really ever be thick enough, or be used in material dense enough that lateral compression forces would come into play.

    However multiple blades would certainly increase the overall blade surface area, and subsequently the frictional drag on the weapon would increase. In addition, the overall edge area presented to the material is also greater, reducing the amount of pressure each edge can apply, making them less efficient for deep cuts through any given material than a single blade.

    The Gravity/Magnet blade is an interesting idea, however the floating blade design might not handle sand, grit or other obstructions as well as a spring loaded one. And I agree with you on avoiding electronics and batteries and such. Not particularly my style either. I haven’t seen anything on the Goblins arm blades, I’ll have to see if I can find anything.

    So far as remote deployment, same hand deployment is definitely the coolest (and probably also the simplest) way to go, and your cable/ring idea would probably be more flexible and simple than the “spidey paddle” idea I had. Having a good safety goes without saying. And I certainly can’t argue with your choice of materials! Personally I’d prolly go titanium for everything but the blade itself.

    I am actually quite familiar with the Katar and it’s big brother the Pata. I was actually at some point going to blog about a similar movie blade, one used for the live action version of the Witchblade comic character. She used a blade that is very, very similar to a Pata…

  8. June 21, 2007 at 3:30 am

    http://www.warriorquest.com/samuraiweapons.html

    Found this. Looks like they might make them for sale.

  9. June 22, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Yeah, I saw that, they didn’t have any links to sell it, I think it’s more of a marketing tool for the Dojo. Based on the designs displayed at the Iga Ninja Museum, I think that design is a better specific example of Tekko-Kagi. It would make a nice starting point for wolverine claws though.

  10. 10 Nightmare
    January 11, 2008 at 6:56 am

    Ok i know im only a 15 year old with not a very good brain, but i had some idea’s. I know you might of already thought of these but, it would be good for the retractable claws to be fitted into a glove up by the forarm. alowing to be sprung out with the push of a button or something like that. But you might not want to do it on your self, coz ………… that could hurt! lol

    Nightmare

  11. January 11, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Hey Nightmare, thanks for posting!

    Though the idea of having the the blade in a full length arm glove/gauntlet has already been thought of, it is still a good one. But getting it to deploy, either via a button or a cable, is the easy part. The tricky part is getting it to go back in again using the same mechanism… 🙂

    And I agree, you most definitely do not want to try something like this on yourself. Besides being really silly, it would hurt really, really, bad… LOL

    BTW, your brain sounds perfectly fine! All you need is a little more experience… 😀

  12. 12 Someone who likes unusual blades
    April 19, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Hmmm… does anyone know were to get one of the retractable blades (like the ones from assassin’s creed) ?

  13. April 21, 2008 at 1:25 am

    No, Can’t say that I’ve seen any around, and believe me, I’ve been looking. However Sinza and I have been kicking around a few ideas to make one, visit http://sinza.forumotion.com if you’d like to see what we’ve got so far…

  14. July 23, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    If you want to make your own wolverine claws, check this out!

  15. July 24, 2008 at 1:54 am

    Hey Wolverine Man
    Thanks for the link!

  16. 16 abc123
    December 5, 2008 at 12:47 am

    i look enough like him 😄 i got the hair the sideburns, everything…cept the claws…XD

  17. December 8, 2008 at 4:48 am

    Have you ever tried to do wolverine for halloween?


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