Archive for the 'Knives' Category

13
Nov
08

A Knife On A Rope…

A long while back, Sinza, a friend of mine who runs the Exotic Automatic Forums, suggested I look at on one of the weapons used in the movie Blade Trinity. Specifically Blades Chain Saber. At the time I wasn’t too keen on posting about it because, from my perspective, it was an Epic Phail of a weapon.

However in retrospect, I probably should have done it, because I do just as much griping about flawed weapons on this blog as I slobber over the cool ones. (My bad, man, my bad… 🙂 ) So when I happened to run across it again, I thought it would be a good time to rectify my mistake. And also point out why I didn’t like it.

Chain Saber

Blade Trinity: Chain Saber

[click image to view full size]

So what we have here is a knife on a rope. Kinda like a Soap on a Rope, but not quite as useful. Essentially what is a wide split blade with a rat tail tang, attached to a length of black elastic, that is connected to a black and chrome grip.

When retracted, the blade locks to the handle/grip. The grip has a set of buttons, one cosmetic, and the other functional which releases the blade.

Now this is certainly an interesting design, with lots of potential. I cannot argue that. A blade swinging around at the kind of velocities you could generate with something like this would be quite the formidable weapon. The only problem I have is that this replica gets all the important parts horribly, horribly, wrong.

Take the elastic band, for instance. Mating a piece of steel to some fabric covered rubber is never a good idea, expecially in a high stress environment. Mr. little rubber bungie cord is really is not a particularly tough fellow, and when made to rub elbows with Mr. Steel, a rather notoriously hardened chap, well… Bad things can happen.

Just picture a Wiimote going airborne and becoming embedded in wide screen TV. Except with a hunk of sharp steel instead of a small plastic brick. You get the idea. Not good. especially if you like wide screen TVs. Mr. Bungie was a good man. Pity he just snapped like that. Please do accept our condolences Mrs. Bungie… A moment of silence please… Ok… I’m rambling aren’t I… Right. Back on topic.

In fact, the weapon used in the movie employed a chain with a retraction mechanism in the handle. A much more sensible implementation. But it too, suffers from a rather insidious design flaw. Have you ever tried to swing a blade on the end of a chain? I have. Really fun. Except for one thing.

Unless you are using a quad edged blade, your chances of hitting anything with the *edge* of your blade are about 50/50. If you are good, you can get the point to bear fairly reliably, but edgewise strikes… Meh. So the way it is used in the movie is… You guessed it! Magic!

If I were designing such a blade, I would do one of two things. Either use a chain that is rotationally stable about the lengthwise axis of it’s links (like a bicycle chain), or use a bade that will cut no matter what  side it hits. IE use a quadruple, quintuple or sextuple edged blade.

Personally I think a fine, highly flexible, high tensile cable attached via a freely articulating joint to a quadruple edged blade would be the best design solution for a weapon of this nature. Especially given the design challenge of fitting a retraction mechanism into the handle. But that’s just the design nerd in my head talking.

What’s funny is the site I found this on touts the replica as an “exact” replica of the original. huh? *Exact*? Are you saying a fixed bungie cord is *exactly* the same as a chain attached to a button activated retraction mechanism?!? I think not.

Either way, great concept, not so good implementation, and total humiliation on the replica. Certainly cool to look at, but I really wouldn’t try to swing it any harder than you would an ostrich feather…

“Exact” replica… Pfft.

<Inigo Montoya>This word. I do not think it means what you think it means…</Inigo Montoya>

Blade Chain Saber – [Kingdom of Swords]

06
Nov
08

The Zombies Ate My Brain…

I’m guessing it was while I wasn’t looking. During a movie. Resident Evil, to be specific. How do I know this? Because I just ran into a weapon that is supposedly from the movie RE, and I cannot, for the life (or brains) of me, remember anything remotely similar being in the movie…

Alices Zombie Extinction Arm Spikes - AKA Zombie Killing Kunai

Alice's Zombie Extinction Arm Spikes - AKA Zombie Killing Kunai

[click image to view full size]

Ok, so what are these? Well, to be honest, I haven’t the foggiest. Prolly on account of my brains being consumed and all. But I can certainly try to determine how they might be used…

So what these look like are a set of cast alloy spikes, with a faux Kunai four sided diamond like cross section. With a ring on top. Again like a kunai. What little is left of my brain is getting very suspicious.

Each side if the spike is cast with a rectangular parallelogram. Why? I dunno. But a pattern appears to be emerging. They are thick, low quality castings (like a Kunai) have a ring (like a kunai) come in multiples (Much like Kunai) and even have a leather wrist holster (Can anyone say “Ninja “?)

And to top it all off, I do not recall seeing anything like this in any of the Resident Evil movies… So here’s what I think the real story is. Some enterprising knife designer decided to design an “original” kunai. For some reason, they don’t sell. Then marketing hits on a brilliant idea:

Brand it as a weapon used by a popular (and pretty) protagonist (Alice), from a popular series of movies- Resident Evil. Voila! Alice now uses Kunai to kill Zombies… Alllllrighty then.

Any questions?

Alices Zombie Extinction Arm spikes Kunai – [True Swords]

04
Nov
08

Introducing: The Gun Katar

I’m not really into politics, however it appears that the Good ‘ol U. S. of A. is going to have it’s first African American President. Now while that is of itself a noteworthy and landmark occurrence, as the transition from slavery to presidency is no mean feat, I’m also hoping it will bring with it important changes. Like an improved economy. Reduced national deficits. Better international relationships. You know. Good Presidential stuff.

However we will just have to wait and see. Politicians are politicians after all, it doesn’t matter whether they are black or white, which is a fact many seem to have forgotten. The proof is in the pudding. Whatever that means… I never really liked pudding anyway. Only time will tell how well campaign promises equate to results…

Anyway, in honor of this momentous occasion, I thought I’d break out a beauty of a weapon I ran into a while back. I have done a few gunblade posts in the past, but none of them compare to the sweetness that is the Gun Katar:

Gun Katar

Gun Katar

[click image to view full size]

Is that not completely and uncompromisingly awesome? Now this is a weapon for which a Gun Kata would make practical sense. Yes, A Gun Kata. You know, that little gun dance that seemed to occur at random in the movie “Equilbrium”? The one with Christian Bale before he became the “Dark Knight? Yeah. That one. Go look up Gun Kata (not Katar) on the YouTubes or something. But I’m ranting here. Back to Gun Katar goodness.

What you are looking at here is a Katar, a traditional Indian punch dagger, primarily a thrusting  weapon, often designed to penetrate chain mail armored opponents. It has a thick wedge shaped blade, and unlike most other weapons, the blade is held vertically, by a grip and a set of side bars that sit at right angles to the blade.

Gun Katar - Side View

Gun Katar - Side View

[click image to view full size]

This one is a particularly ornate one, featuring some very intricate engravings. You can see an elephant and a boar on one side, as well as flowers, leaves in the center area where the blade emerges, and other traditional Indian adornments.

Gun Katar - Engravings

Gun Katar - Engravings

[click image to view full size]

Gun Katar - Engravings

Gun Katar - Engravings

[click image to view full size]

Like many other katar, this features a double bar center grip, with the traditional side bars that run down either side of the blade and acts as guard as well as added support for the weapon.

Gun Katar - Side Guards

Gun Katar - Side Guards

[click image to view full size]

Under normal circumstances, that would be the sum total of the design of a traditional Katar. Except this one takes quite a hike from the traditional beaten Katar path. This Katar is loaded. With black powder. A double charge no less… 🙂

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Barrel

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Barrel

[click image to view full size]

This Katar is sporting a pair of flint lock pistols, one attached to either side of the weapon. If you look closely at the grip, you can see a pair of triggers recessed into the front bar, one at the top and one at the bottom.

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Triggers

Gun Katar - Flintlock Pistol Triggers

[click image to view full size]

As you can probably imagine, a person wielding this in battle would have a healthy advantage over your poorly equipped standard Katar wielding schlub. I can just imagine how confrontations with the original owner of this weapon would have ended. Indiana Jones style.

I love weapons that make the old saying: “never bring a knife to a gun fight.” redundant… 😉

Anyway I thought this was a cool weapon for a special day… There are one or two more pics at the link after the jump. Here’s to great things in our future… 🙂

Peace!

Gun Katar – [CollectorEbooks.com]

04
Oct
08

Cool Kunai…

If you were following my last few posts, you may remember a comment I made about the cutlery industries use of “Metal” (aka cheap cast alloys) to form certain sword parts (usually the hilt), in spite of the fact that steel is relatively cheap.

Now I will readily admit that steel is much harder to work into complex shapes than it is to case an alloy, but still, there are some times when steel is the right thing to do. Like with these Kunai:

Red Kunai

Red Kunai

[click image to view full size]

Now the beauty of these kunai is that they have been designed for throwing use, which usually means all steel (usually a high carbon or spring steel) construction, and a properly balanced design. Now these  Kunai have been modeled after those used in the Naruto series, and barring the use of a red grip wrap as opposed to the white wraps used in the anime, are a fairly close approximation.

But more importantly, notwithstanding that this particular kunai design is not really the ideal for throwing (Yes, you heard right, in spite of all the anime hype, they are not the best throwing knife design) the fact remains that they will probably be made from steel. Sweet, sweet steel.

No alloys, no resins, no cheapo construction… Well maybe a *little* cheapo construction methodolgy, but not with cheap materials, making this one of the best replica anime Kunai that I am aware of today. And IMHO, the fact that it is steel alone, would probably make it worth having.

And incidentally for the curious among you, i’ll explain my whole “not the ideal throwing implement” comment. An ideal throwing knife should be able to be thrown either from the tip or the grip. This design will make a great tip thrower, but the large abrupt ring on the grip increases the chances that it would hang up in the hand if thrown from the grip.

that ring could also makes it a little harder to balance, (which is important for other reasons) though that could theoretically be figured out during the design stage. The topic of what makes an ideal throwing knife is one I think I will dedicate a post to in the future because it is quite the interesting one. But I digress.

My point is, I really wish knife designers could do the same for every knife they designed and made. Real grips, not alloys, proper steels, etc. I know it’s an unreasonable request, but if they did, they would make lots of folks, like me, happier than a foody at a food fair…

We’d also be perpetually broke for the rest of our natural lives, but so long as I got to adorn the walls of my cave with lots and lots of cool, well constructed swords, I don’t think I’d mind all that much… 😀

Red Kunai – [True Swords]

28
Sep
08

Marketing at it’s best….

I was leisurely doing my regular knife ogling when I ran into what is sure to be a premier exhibit in “Phyreblades Hall of Jacked-Up Marketing Gimmicks”. It’s something i thought was marketed with a *wee bit * more flourish than was required. Take a look:

CRKT Fixed Blade MercHarness

CRKT Fixed Blade MercHarness

[click image to view full size]

This is the “MercHarness” fixed blade carry harness from CRKT (Columbia River Knife and Tool). Yes. A MercHarness… Sounds totally hard core doesn’t it… Yeah… “Fixed Blade Carry Harness”. Too cool. Could it carry your great grandfathers old 10lb pocket watch? Entirely possible. But is it just enough for the CRKT marketing folks to hang themselves with? This is what I’m guessing.

This “MercHarness Fixed Blade Carry Harness” is officially described as milspec paracord with the internal stranding removed, and little rubber “keepers” added. Yep. Now don’t get me wrong, I love CRKT’s stuff, one of their folders is my favorite daily carry. However seeing as I’m not a particularly sophisticated creature, I may be missing something here.

And this is it. As far as I can tell, this “Carry Harness” looks and sounds a terrible lot like just a fancy bit of rope. Yep. Thankfully the site I found it on no longer appears to carry it (possibly just out of sheer embarrassment, but who knows). But it seems to me just a little bit presumptuous to call this glorified length of gutted paracord a “MercHarness”.

But I could be wrong. You tell me…

CRKT MercHARNESS Fixed Blade Carry Harness thong/rope thingy – [True Swords]

26
Sep
08

Sweet Slivers of Side Folding Steel Batman!

Folding knives have been around for a long time. As a result there are a whole lot of different folding pocket and automatic knife designs, but of late there is rarely much new innovation these days. So it’s cool to see the occasional little tweak to the venerable folding pocket knife design. Like this one:

Boker Black Magnum Folding Neck Knife

Boker Black Magnum Folding Neck Knife

[click image to view full size]

This here, ladies and germs, is a Boker side folder. Appropriately named the “Boker Black Magnum Folding Neck Knife”. Yeah. I don’t think you can get any more descriptive with a name than that. Weeell, maybe you can. But it would be insanity. Madness.

Please, no. Not Sparta. Madness. Just madness. Yes. Thank you very much.

Anyway, back to the foldings. Unlike the traditional, single pivot pin pocket knives, which I guess you could technically call “edge folders”, as they pivot open from the front edge of the grip, these pivot open from the side of the grip, on a hinge pin. Basically, traditional design=pivot pin. Side open design=hinge pin.

Got it? Good. Hinge pin=side open and pivot pin=edge open. Two legs good, for legs bad. Make sense? Wait… Or is it the other way around… Eeer… What am I talking about… Bah! Who cares.

Boker Neck Knife

Boker Neck Knife

[click image to view full size]

The point is that they are cool. And a little different. And just as useful as a pocket knife. Though to be honest, it would be a mistake to call them original. Why? Because this design is not new. I had a side folding pocket knife like one of these many many years ago. It was a whole lot smaller, but it was a pretty nice little knife.

And one nice thing about these designs are that they are much, much slimmer than your regular edge open design. Side openers like these generally consist of the blade, a small lock, and just enough additional material around the blade, be it polymer/ABS/steel to protect the blade when closed and provide a handle/grip area.

Smith & Wesson Viper

Smith & Wesson Viper

[click image to view full size]

The resulting folders are a lot more compact than the thick, side scaled, liner locked design of their edge opening counter parts, and therefore make for better neck knives and for compact pocket carry. Pretty nice actually… And best of all, they come in black… 😀

Boker Black Magnum Folding Neck Knife – [True Swords]

S&W Viper Side Open Folding Knife – [True Swords]

Boker Neck Knife – [True Swords]

24
Sep
08

A Cool Ninja Fighting Knife…

Yes, yes, another “ninja” weapon, I know. And it’s another “inspired by an anime” weapon too… But trust me, this one is different. This blade is actually realistic (of all things!) in it’s design. Yep. Lots to like about this, as you’ll see in a minute. Might want to grab that cuppa joe and get comfortable…

Ninja Fighter

Ninja Fighter

[click image to view full size]

Now this, my friends, is a Ninja fighting knife. What we have here is a one piece brass knuckles/blade combination, with cord wrapped ABS grips, that house a pair of red tassled metal kunai. A very interesting and also very practical (imho) combination.

There are a couple of things that I have issues with, (as usual) but they are all relatively minor. Like bright red tassels and “metal” kunai… Usually the word “metal”, as used in the cultery advertising sense, generally describes some cheap cast/alloy junk.

In this day and age where fairly strong steels can be had very cheaply, why some folks still resort to the ultra cheap cast/alloy junk is beyond me. However seeing as traditional Kunai were traditionally also made of a soft iron, It’s a flaw that I can kind of overlook…

Aaaahhh… Eeerrrm… Aaarrhg… No it’s not. I tried. That’s just wrong yo… 😡

Then there is the molded ABS grip/kunai holder. As materials go, ABS is actually not a bad choice. It’s fairly indestructible, resistant to the environment, etc. However, sometimes the molds used are less than perfect, resulting in gaps, slipping, etc.

And since this is where your only purchase on the blade will be I sincerely hope they did a good job on it. It’s hard to tell from the looks of it, but personally, I think this weapon would have been even better, if they would have stuck to a simple cord wrapped grip or wood scales.

And as for those red tasseled “metal” Kunai… Well, it’s just eye candy really, this weapon could have stood on it’s own merits of dark wickedness and badassitude. There was really no reason to throw all that fancy schmancy junk on it to begin with. But such it is with knife designers these days. Always trying to appease “Ooooh ! Shiny!” crowd…

Interestingly enough, this weapon is based on a set of blades used in the anime Series “Naruto” by the character “Sarutobi Asuma”, son of the Third Hokage, and a seasoned, hard core, chain smoking Ninja of the series, who used two of these, (knives akimbo no less, John Woo eat your heart out…), as focus points for his chi during battle, making them quite a lot more deadly than just regular blades.

Sarutobi Asuma

Sarutobi Asuma

I remember liking his knives the first time I saw them in the series, and could remember thinking at the time about the similarities between it and the venerable, tried and true WWII trench knife design. Yes, this design is the bees knees because not only is it a wicked little blade, (in black no less) it is actually very similar to that of a well known historical blade design. Except with more pointy bits. 😀 In other words… it rocks!!

I will say however, that the shrill voiced, high pitched little weapon history nerd who lives in my head, kept screeching his exception to my comparison between this and the WWII trench knife. He as a good point, so I guess I might as well go over the gist of our little “conversation” the few minutes before I lost it and had to gag him…

He basically said (and the purist, tradition bound Ninjutstu-ka among you may probably agree) “Bah! Your brain is addled! Ninja never used WWII trench knives!!”. (Well, Duuuuuh!) After pointing out that he lived there, so I couldn’t be that addled, (or maybe I am, because he lives there) I also conceded that no, they did not. At least not that I have been able to find.

HOWEVER, the Japanese did have hand weapons, called Tekken, (or Iron fist) that looked a lot like heavy iron knuckle dusters, that were often used against swords and armor. They also had Kaiken, which were similar, except for having a sharpened outer edge. And they also had Tantos.

So while I have found no examples of this exact weapons being used, I have no problems imagining that the Shinobi, being the resourceful little warriors they were, would have eventually combined these weapons and could easily have come up with this exact design, given the right battle conditions.

So there you have it. An cool black wicked looking anime weapon with a realistic, functional, tried and true design, with a historically verifiable pedigree. Sorta.

Ah liek eht. Ah liek eht a lot… 🙂

Ninja Fighter – [True Swords]




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