How NOT to design a wrist blade…

So today I found some time to do my internet blade browse thing, and came upon this little no no…

Close Quarters Combat Fighter - Click to view full size

Close Quarters Combat Fighter

[click image to view full size]

Now this is a no-no for reasons i will get into shortly, but it is ostensibly a rather cool looking little wrist weapon. It’s got a steel fist plate/guard with recesses that are used to store a pair of stainless steel spikes (with leather thong tassels, no less), and the front of the plate is formed into these three spikes that project out over your knuckles.

This is the kind of thing that would be cool to pull out of your pocket and strap on your fist, with a menacing glare, just before a barfight. At least in theory. In practice, you’ll just have to hope your would-be opponent is sufficiently dissuaded to back down based on it’s rather sinister aesthetics alone. Because I can almost guarantee the fight might not go exactly the way you might think with this thing on…

Though it may not seem particularly obvious, there are some rather problematic design flaws with this weapon. The biggest, and one which I talked about a little bit in my Assassins Creed Blade Guide, is the need for a stable platform upon which to mount any wrist or arm mounted blade. This weapon, unfortunately, does not have any such secure mounting.

If you look at how this weapon is designed, you will see that the metal plate/hand shield is riveted to what looks like a nylon mesh web, to which a strap with velcro has been attached. In the front there appears to be a covered elastic band that has been bolted/screwed to the plate somehow. All seems well and good, you might think, until you realize the following:

1. Velcro, when used by itself, is perhaps one of the worst ways to secure a wrist mounted device. In this case it was used to ensure a tight fit of the rear strap, regardless of the wearers wrist size, because that secure fit is a very neccessary requirement of a wrist worn weapon. However because velcro is designed to be pulled off with little resistance, all it would take is a sideways glancing blow from something else to loosen it, or even worse, make it come off altogether.

Velcro does have the strength to be used for applications like these, but needs to be part of a properly designed fastening mechanism, with a secondary fastening device, wrap, strap sleeve, or lock mechanism covering the velcro strip, in order to make sure it can’t just be pulled off once it’s secured. Or just a regular tried and true buckle. So… – Strike One.

2. That band on the front? The elastic one? That’s a nonstarter. First because an elastic band will never give you a solid mount for ANYTHING that will be used in this fashion. It will move when you don’t want it to, allow the whole thing to slide backwards when you need it to stay in one place, and will generally be a major nuisance. It really needs to be another nylon/velcro strap.

And I can’t see how exactly this is fastened to the plate underneath, but using a couple of screws with an elastic strap doesn’t seem too bright of an idea either. You run the risk of the strap stretching out and slipping out from under the screws/bolts/plate, whatever they have under there. Just not the best idea. So for that – Strike Two.

3. The last is not as obvious a problem, and probably wouldn’t be such a big deal if the straps weren’t such a mess, but if you look at how that rear strap is attached, you’ll see that it isn’t really attached to the plate. It’s stitched to the nylon webbing an inch or so after the plate ends. This, IMHO, is a problem. A rather insidious one.

In general things like this work best when the mounting straps are attached to the most rigid part of the platform, which, in this case, is the metal plate. NOT the flexible nylon webbing. Either the webbing should have been smaller, or the plate should have been longer, but either way, the velcro strap should have been attached to the rear of the plate.

Seriously, when a weapon mounting strap is attached to a flexible, non-rigid spot on your wrist mounted weapon, bad things tend to happen when it is used… Trust me. The possible resulting carnage to the wearer if it is used like this would not be pretty. So all I’m going to say is… Steeeerike Three!


But for most of us, we can overlook all of that glorious phail, because it does look cool. Be nice to hang up on your wall. Or for some impressive LARP action. Just don’t count on it for any real CQC. At least not without a major redesign. Actually it would be really easy to redesign, and would be a fairly formidable weapon if properly outfitted and secured. So maybe it’s not a total loss.

But I do have one  little question… What’s with the freakin’ tassels?!?

Close Quarters Combat Fighter – [True Swords]

8 Responses to “How NOT to design a wrist blade…”

  1. 1 Niccolo
    July 21, 2008 at 2:59 am

    Haha… I looked at this and certainly didn’t think “wrist blade”. I saw a cestus… which not many people know much about. In fact… if I were to have designed this, I would have foregone the spikes altogether.

    A shoddily designed piece of work it is. A serviceable cestus… it ain’t.

  2. 2 ladyofspiders
    July 21, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    I loved the titile of this one. It does look cool though, even if it would not work in actulaity

  3. July 24, 2008 at 1:30 am

    A cestus? Hmmm… Interesting I didn’t think of that. Actually, when I think Cestus I think of the movie kickboxer, where they have thier fists wrapped with rope and dipped in glass LOL.. But I can see the similarities… I think the modern day equivalent to the old cestus would be leather with gloves with steel plate inserts, weighted with lead shot…

    Yeah, it does look cool. In fact this would be a great idea if the attached this plate to the back of the lead shot weighted glove I was talking about earlier… now THAT would be a nasty, and very functional, piece of work…

  4. July 25, 2008 at 7:04 am

    Even I wouldn’t buy this….and I’m armblade central…

    Like many things, it’s either a bad idea to begin with, or a good idea done really cheap.
    This would be a bad idea done cheap…which is much worse. It gives armblades a bad name!

  5. July 29, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    LOL Agreed. Bad idea, bad implementation, Just bad all around… this is one of those things that are probably more dangerous for the wearer than the opponent… LOL

  6. 6 MoZZA
    August 30, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    im sure i saw this in a kids toy ninja pack….

  7. August 31, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    LOL I wouldn’t be suprised…

  8. 8 ram s.
    November 7, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    i own this and i can say it is very stable , but made of cheap material, so i can half agree with you, but it does do a high amount of damage to soft flesh

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