Archive for the ‘Staves’ Category

Of Hammers, Swords and Walking Sticks…

Friday, June 19th, 2009

I ran across a rather interesting weapon today, one that combines both old and new battlefield technologies into a contemporary defensive weapon for the modern gentleman. Or not. About it being a modern gentlemanly weapon, I mean. I guess it depends on your point of view. Most civilized folks these days just pack a firearm. Or pack nothing at all, and simply plan to get on their hands and knees, put their hands behind their heads and say “Take whatever you want. I don’t really need it.” But I digress.

Hammer Head Sword Cane

Hammer Head Sword Cane

So this, is a hammer head sword cane. Quite the interesting design, a standard black sword cane, hidden in a smooth black tubular shaft, with a cast metal hammer head grip. On one side a standard hammer head, with cross grid patterned face, and on the other, a perforated spike. Quite a useful combination actually. And this sword cane, unlike most, uses a quick button release, which is an uncommon, but welcome feature in a sword cane. But for me, the most interesting feature of this cane is that hammer/point head.

In medieval times, a similar weapon evolved for the purpose of compromising the ever more heavily armored forces on the battlefield. Most swords weren’t really designed to battle armored opponents, and while most enterprising combatants simply learned how to use chinks in armor to thier advantage, it was sometimes easier and faster to simply compromise the armor.

This is where the war hammer design came from. Put a tough service point (or four) on the head of a small, but heavy impact weapon, and swing it, Louisville Slugger style, at your armored opponent, and you could punch a hole through that armor fairly easily. A small impact area (the point), combined with a relatively large mass (a hammer head) generally tends to do that to hardened metal plating. I’m pretty sure it would really just be a  bad day for the aforementioned armored opponent after that.

Medieval War Hammer

Medieval War Hammer

We don’t generally wear armor these days, however this design is still a good one for defensive impact use. You know, for smacking unruly peeps upside the head and whatnot. Especially for folks who’d rather not actually break out the sword bit if it could be avoided.

And assuming a solid connection between the shaft of the cane and the head (This is usually a very weak link in most sword cane designs) it would be all the more effective because of both the added weight of the hammer head, and the 100% USDA can of whoop a$$ that could be delivered by that pointy bit.

Now that I think about it, those medieval war hammer folks really knew a little too much about bringing the pain…

Hammer Head Sword Cane – [True Swords]

A Mystical Weapon… From a Mind of Metal…

Friday, September 12th, 2008

If any of you are fans of the Lord of the Rings, you may remember a scene In which Treebeard, one of the old giant trees, describes the evil wizard Saruman, saying:

“He has a mind of metal and wheels; and he does not care for growing things”

For some reason, this phrase has always stuck in my head as an interesting description of Saruman. Maybe because I too, have a mind of metal… Though I would not go so far as to say I care little for growing things… But eco-friendly philosophical wizardry debate aside, there was one product of Sarumans oh so metallic mind, that I always liked. His staff:

In contrast to Gandalfs organically flowing, white wooden staff , Saruman wielded a staff of metal, adorned with a head that could easily have been designed to be a weapon itself. Part mace, part spear, it is the kind of staff I’d wield, were I to ever to become a Wizard. Of course It’ll never happen; being a Balrog is just so much more fun. I’m just saying. But look at this not so little beaut:

Sarumans Metal Wizards Staff

Sarumans Metal Wizards Staff

Now THIS is a staff. As staves go, it is a fairly intimidating piece, a metal shaft topped with a menacing quadruple bladed head, all finished in black. The head is obviously, the most interesting part of this reproduction, the bottom half of the head bearing an uncanny resemblance to a medieval mace design.

Moving up the head we have a crystal ball, nestled snugly between the four prongs of the head, which continue to extend upwards a few more inches, and then go to a wicked looking diagonally cut into a four pronged head, looking for all the world like the head of a quadruple spear.

Perhaps the thing I like most about this design is it’s sheer practicality as a weapon. Even sans magic enhancing properties. It was originally conceptually designed for duty as a Wizards magic staff, so I imagine Saruman used the crystal as a magic focusing tool, and the four blades were intended purely to hold the crystal in place, and were therefore not sharpened.

However, I think the design suits itself rather well to certain kinds of staff or spear combat. If were we to sharpen them, remove the extraneous crystal, and sharpen the tips of the four prongs to wickedness, well… I think you get the point…

All four of them…

Need I say more? Yeah. Thought not.

Sarumans Metal Wizards Staff – [eBladeStore]

Another set of “cutting edge” sword staves…

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Having run into one of my favorite staff based sword weapons, I decided to go looking for a few more, specifically for one of the ones that I am going to show you today. I’m happy to say my search was quite fruitful. Today I’ve got two sightly different styles of shikomizue, that are a bit different from what I’ve shown you so far:

Dragon Katana Twin Swords

Dragon Katana Twin Swords
[view full size]

<^>

Serpent Skull Twin Swords

Serpent Skull Twin Swords
[view full size]

As you can see, while they are both of the same basic shikomizue design, they both bear a few significant modifications on the traditional shikomizue. The most salient difference being that this particular twin sword configuration is divided at the exact mid point of the staff.

This design has several practical ramifications. For instance, the fact that it is split in the middle means that the length of the blades for each sword must, at most, be slightly less than half the length of the overall shikomizue. Compared to a standard shikomizue of the same length, it doesn’t change your reach, but it does make drawing the swords a little faster. At the cost, of course, of shortening your effective blade length.

It also means that you do not need a separate saya, or scabbard. This is an advantage if you never use the saya as a backup weapon, and also in terms of not having to keep track of the saya whenever you unsheath your sword. But obviously it also means you don’t have anything else to defend yourself with if you happen to lose both of your swords. Not cool.

A much less obvious side effect of this design is that the balance of each sword is actually negatively affected. Because your blade is shorter, and your handle is longer, the sweet spot on the blade will be different from a regular sword. Also because the blades are designed to be sheathed side by side, you will also find that the blade of each sword is offset laterally from the center of the grip by a small amount.

These two small mechanical considerations may appear to be insignificant, but in practice, if you were to attempt to perform any clean, high accuracy cutting, you would find that the blade would have a tendency to rotate on contact, and you’d have to retrain yourself to make clean cuts properly! So this design is all about compromise. You gain a little stealth and speed, in exchange for some cutting efficiency.

But enough with all the technical mumbo jumbo! Shikomizue are cool regardless. And the two above are quite unique. My favorite of the two is the Dragon Katana set. For three reasons. First, it’s black. (And that’s instant win in my book). Secondly, it has these very sweet dragons carved into the black hardwood staff/grip/saya. Third, and most definitely not least, it is the closest to the originally intended design of the traditional shikomizue.

Unlike the Serpent Skull, you can see that on the Twin Dragon Katana, there are no external indicators that the staff splits into two. No external fittings, or anything. The split is a clean line that is not visible unless you are looking closely at it. It looks exactly like a fancy black staff. But, of course, by the time you get close enough to actually realize what it is, it will be too late to evade the Dragons deadly bite! MUA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAaaa…

*ahem* Sorry. I got a little carried away. I get that way sometimes.

Lets just say it’s the ultimate sleeper weapon, and leave it at that, mm’kay…?

A Transforming Staff Does Not a Castle Keep…

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

I ran into another interesting creation from Knife designer Tom Anderson, in the form of an unusual “pole arm”, (for lack of a better description):

Castle Keep Staff

Castle Keep Staff
[view full size]

The Castle Keep Staff appears to be, at first glance, little more than spear, sporting two extra blades on either side of it’s head. I imagine if we are to go by the name Tom Anderson gave this weapon, we might assume that it would have been used much like a pike would have been used by medieval knights, except for the fact that the blades on this thing seem a little flimsy in comparison to the popular pole arms of the day, many of which were intended to be able to defeat knights in armor on horseback.

Nonetheless it is quite an interesting weapon for one specific reason. You may have noticed that in spite of it’s obvious similarities to a spear, it was called a staff. It’s name is actually not technically inaccurate, and here’s why. The spear head and pommel are attached to the shaft using threaded connectors, which means that they can both be removed, and attached to each other. The result? A staff and a dagger.

Now from a practical perspective, given the weakness of the blade, this combo might be better suited to dagger/staff duty than spear duty, especially for castle defense, and I would be hard pressed to fight an armored knight on horseback armed with just a dagger and a staff, so from a castle defense perspective, I’d say this is kind of a pointless weapon.

But of course, there are no medieval knights roaming the American countryside, and this weapon is merely a designers vision given form, so I am just nitpicking unnecessarily. The whole dual weapon thing is a neat little trick though. Unless, of course, there is a secret society of fully armored, mounted knights roaming the countryside, just waiting for some fool to decide to defend their castle against attack with a contingent of soldiers armed with Castle Keep Staves.

Hey, don’t laugh. It could happen. Really. And no, you can’t have any of what I’m on. it’s some really good, hard to find stuff…

Tom Anderson’s Castle Keep Staff – [Red Dragon Sword Co]

Log In

Please leave these two fields as-is:

Protected by Invisible Defender. Showed 403 to 159,256 bad guys.

Your Weapon Sir?
The Raiders Almanac
June 2017
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  
Surf the Sands of Time:
Phyreblades Site of the Month!