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History of the Kukri

The Kukri, or more traditionally named, Khukuri is the national weapon and utility knife of the Nepalese people. It holds symbols of national pride, valor in battle, and personal bravery; although it is all of these things and more.

With its wickedly curved edge, the khukuri is known as one of the most the most renowned fighting knives in the world.  However, the khukuri was also commonly employed as multi-use utility tool, rather like a machete. In this familiar role, it is used for the peaceful, daily tasks of chopping firewood, cutting meat and vegetables, skinning game, and opening cans of food.

The khukuri also is also an important spiritual talisman to the Nepalese people as well. The shape of the blade represents the Hindu trinity – Brahma – the creator, Vishnu – the preserver, and Shiva, the destroyer who clears away the old to make way for the new.

The notch in the blade is a stylized representation of the character “Om” – the core mantra of all mantras (the “sound the universe makes”) – embedded indelibly in the steel and denoting prosperity and fertility; or alternatively a cow’s hoof, which to us is a sacred symbol. So the khukuri is deeply spiritual to us – a sacred object with which a warrior may face death itself, unafraid.

RavenCrest Tactical Kukri:

Below you will find two different examples of the Kukri, both designed, tested and offered by RavenCrest Tactical. The first is an assist open folding Kukri which is a pocket sized, and the second is the more traditional, larger fixed blade Kukri. Please click on either image for more details.

Assist Kukri

Fixed Kukri

Sources:
https://nepalkhukurihouse.com/default/khukuri_history
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kukri

All About Samurai Steel…

What is Samurai Steel?

It has been said that the samurai’s sword was his soul. Perhaps this deep attachment had something to do with the perfect melding of form and function found in the katana, as the famous curved sword is known in Japan. Invented a millennium ago, the katana remains a marvel of aesthetic beauty and skillful engineering. While most bladed weapons over the centuries were designed to either pierce or slash, the katana’s two different types of steel gave it optimum qualities for both, making it a highly versatile weapon in battle.

Let’s look at the steps taken by traditional Japanese swordsmith’s to create these blades of legend…

Step 1: Smelting the Steel

The traditional katana sword is fashioned only from the purest steel, which the Japanese call tamahagane (“jewel steel”). Over three days and three nights, smelters using ancient techniques shovel roughly 25 tons of iron-bearing river sand and charcoal into the mouth of a tatara, a rectangular clay furnace built specifically to produce a single batch of tamahagane. Composed of carbon, the charcoal is as much a key ingredient in steel as a source of fuel for the furnace. The tatara will reach temperatures of up to 2,500°F, reducing the iron ore to steel and yielding about two tons of tamahagane. The highest quality tamahagane can cost up to 50 times more than ordinary steel made using modern methods.

Step 2: Dissolving Carbon

While fired at high temperatures, the tamahagane is never allowed to reach a molten state. This is to ensure that just the right amount of carbon will dissolve into the steel, and that the percentage of carbon will vary throughout the tamahagane (between 0.5 and about 1.5 percent). Katana-makers use two types of tamahagane: high-carbon, which is very hard and allows for a razor-sharp edge, and low-carbon, which is very tough and allows for shock absorption. A sword composed simply of one kind of steel or the other would either dull too quickly or be too brittle. On the third night of smelting, when the tatara masters break open the clay furnace to expose the tamahagane, they use the degree of ease with which the pieces of newly made steel break apart to discern their carbon content.

Step 3 : Remove Impurities

The best pieces of tamahagane are sent to a swordsmith, who heats, hammers, and folds the steel repeatedly in order to further combine the iron and carbon, and to draw out any remaining undissolved impurities, or “slag.” This step is as vital as it is tedious, because if other elements besides iron and carbon remain in the resulting sword, they will weaken it. Once the skilled smith has removed all of the slag, he can judge the carbon concentration of the tamahagane by the degree to which it yields to his constant pounding. One expert has likened eliminating slag from steel to squeezing liquid from a very hard sponge.

Step 4 : Forging the Sword

After the smith hammers all slag from the tamahagane, he heats the hard, high-carbon steel and shapes it into a long, U-shaped channel. He then hammers the tough, low-carbon steel, which he has shaped so it will make a snug fit into the channel and forges the two metals together. Both types of tamahagane are now exactly where they need to be: the hard steel forms the sword’s outer shell and deadly blade, while the tough steel serves as the katana’s core. This perfect balance of properties is what made the katana the samurai’s most durable and prized weapon.

Step 5 : Coating the Katana

While the katana’s body is now complete, the swordsmith’s work is far from over. Just prior to firing the sword a final time, he paints a thick, insulating mixture of clay and charcoal powder onto the blade’s upper sides and dull back edge, leaving the sword’s sharp front edge only lightly coated. This serves both to protect the blade and to give it its signature wavy design called the hamon, which later polishing will reveal. The swordsmith then places the katana back into the fire to be heated to just below 1,500°F; any hotter and the sword might crack during the next step.

Step 6 : Curving the Blade

Next, the smith pulls the katana from the fire and plunges it into a trough of water in a rapid cool-down process called “quenching.” Because the sword’s back edge and inner core contain very little carbon, they can contract more freely than the high-carbon steel at the front edge of the blade. The difference in both the degree and speed of contraction between the two forms of tamahagane causes the sword to bend, creating the distinctive curve. This is a tricky stage, in which as many as one in three swords is lost.

Step 7 : Polishing the Blade

The katana, fully forged, now goes to a skilled sword polisher, who may spend more than two weeks honing the sword’s razor-sharp edge. He meticulously rubs the blade with a series of grinding and polishing stones, some valued at more than $1,000 each and often passed down through families for generations. Sometimes called “water stones,” these tools are typically composed of hard silicate particles suspended in clay. As the clay slowly wears away during use, more silicate particles are revealed, guaranteeing excellent polishing quality throughout the life of the stone. Each consecutive set of polishing stones contains finer and finer silicate particles and removes less and less of the steel.

Step 8 : Adding Final Touches

In the final stage, metalworkers add a decorated guard of iron or other metals at the sword’s hilt. Next, carpenters fit the weapon with a lacquered wooden scabbard, which artisans then decorate with various adornments. Fashioned from gold or exotic leathers and stones, the katana’s handle is as much of a work of art as the blade itself. Finally, the katana is returned to the swordsmith, who examines the weapon one last time. It has taken 15 men nearly six months to create this single katana sword. Though fit for a samurai warrior, this sword will likely sell to art collectors for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Information Gathered from:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/samurai/swor-nf.html
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_swordsmithing

All About D2 Steel

D2 Steel History:

 

 

D2 steel’s popularity began during the “Rosey the Riveter” days of World War II. Back then, D2 steel was used to make dies for production lines. A die is pressed down to cut and create shapes out of softer steel.

To sum it all up, D2 steel was created to “punch” out large military vehicle/ airplane parts, that would then be hand assembled on an assembly line. D2 steel was not just designed to easily cut through other steels, it was designed to cut through other steels repeatedly, in a factory setting without major wear and tear. This work history enables us to determine the strengths of D2 knife steel. Most importantly, D2 steel is hard and resistant to heavy duty use.

D2 Steel Scientific Properties:

The D-series of the cold-work class of tool steels are considered high Carbon-Chromium Steels. D2 steel is air hardened and contains between 10% and 13% chromium (which is unusually high). D2 steel has a hardness in the range of 55 to 62 HRC, which makes is a very durable and high- end knife steel. D2 steel will retain its hardness up to a temperature of 425 °C (797 °F).

The chromium-rich alloy carbides in the D2 steel create excellent resistance to wear from sliding contact with other metal or abrasive materials. This steel has a high wear resistance and creates a tough knife that holds an edge. The very high chromium content provides better corrosion resistance than most tool steels and enables it to be semi-stainless.

Information Gathered From:
https://www.knifeart.com/d2steel.html
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tool_steel

Updated State Laws for OTF Knives….

It has been a busy few years in the world of knife laws / de-regulations…. Thanks to the works of fine organizations like Knife Rights (kniferights.org), there have been many states that have overturned their ancient laws regarding knives and OTF’s. This has allowed us as a company to travel and share our awesome product to more states than ever before. If you are not already a member of Knife Rights, then we highly encourage you to join their efforts.. Here is what they have done for the knife community in just the last 2 years:

2016

  • Knife Owners’ Protection Act Gains Additional Sponsors in Congress
  • Wisconsin Switchblade Ban Repealed, Knife Law Preemption Enacted repealing dozens of local knife restrictions and preventing any future local restrictions
  • Oklahoma Dagger, Bowie Knife, Dirk Knife and Sword Cane Carry Ban Repealed
  • West Virginia Permitless (Constitutional) Weapons Carry including Knives Enacted
  • Maryland – “Knives” Stripped from Weapons Ban on College Campuses Bill
  • Led Efforts that resulted in NJ Governor Chris Christie Veto of 2 Anti-Hunting/Anti-Conservation Bills that would have also Adversely Impacted Many Knife Collectors
  • Led or Assisted Efforts that Defeated Ivory Ban Anti-Knife and Anti-Hunting/Anti-Conservation Bills in MD, OR, AR, GA, FL, IA, VA, OK, RI, MI, CT, IL, HI, NV, VT, CT, NM, DE & WA
  • New York Knife Law Reform Bill to address NYC Bogus Gravity Knife Arrests and Prosecutions Passed – Vetoed by Governor
  • NYC Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Continues – June 2016 Trial Held
  • Free Knife Check at NRA Annual Meeting for 2600 Members Attending Donald Trump Speech
  • Knife Rights as Amicus Invited to Appear Before California Supreme Court on Appeal by State to Overturn Decision that an Open Slipjoint Knife (Swiss Army Knife) Carried Concealed is Not an Illegal Dagger – CA Supreme Court Upholds Lower Court Decision cites Knife Rights oral argument and amicus brief

2017

  • Knife Owners’ Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 84) including Repeal of the Federal Switchblade Act Introduced in Congress.
  • NYC Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Continues – Appeal Brief Filed + Two Amicus Briefs Filed by 17 Law Professors & Legal Aid Society
  • Free Knife Check at NRA Annual Meeting for 1300 Members Attending President Donald Trump Speech
  • Led or Assisted Efforts that Defeated Ivory Ban Anti-Knife and Anti-Hunting/Anti-Conservation Bills in AZ, CT, DE, GA, IL, MA, MD, MI, NE, NM, PA, RI, VA & VT
  • Colorado Switchblade Ban Repealed
  • Montana Ban on Concealed Carry of Knives 4-inches or greater, Dirks, Daggers, Sword Canes and Razors Repealed
  • Georgia Legal Carry Length without CCW increased from 5 inches to 12 inches
  • Texas Ban on “Illegal Knives” including Bowie Knives, Daggers, Dirks, Stilettos, Poniards, Swords, Spears and Blades over 5.5 inches Repealed
  • Michigan Switchblade Ban Repealed
  • Illinois Switchblade Ban Repealed (Requires FOID Card)
  • New York Gravity Knife Law Reform Bill to address NYC Bogus Gravity Knife Arrests and Prosecutions Passed – Vetoed by Governor

2018

  • Louisiana Switchblade Ban Repealed (Effective August 1, 2018)

OTF Knife State Laws 2018 (UPDATED 6/16/2018):

MYTH: Switchblades / OTF Knives and Balisongs (butterfly knives) are illegal everywhere without exception

Not true. Most laws about non-firearm weapons are by state, with very few existing at the Federal level. Currently, the only country-wide law about switchblades is US Code Title 15, Chapter 29, and this law only controls the importation of these knives into the US, and the sale over state lines. It has no effects on buying, owning or carrying switchblades. Such is left to the states. The majority of states allow legal ownership of switchblades, but a few do not. Many have prohibitions on the sale of them, and most have laws against carrying them concealed. But some states such as Vermont and Utah have no restrictions on them.

US Switchblade Laws

The following is a comprehensive compilation of the laws on switchblades (also called automatics or OTF Knives) in the United States. This chart covers both overall federal law and each state law. These laws are for non-law enforcement citizens, as nearly all laws contain some sort of exemption for police. In states where unlawful intent must be proven (and is not simply presumed) for the knife to be illegal, this chart counts this as “legal.”

Legend:

Possession = Refers to the legality of merely owning or having direct control over a switchblade, even if kept at home. Sale = The legality of merchants and private citizens offering switchblades for sale or selling them. Usually includes any transfer of ownership, even gifts. Note that such laws almost always only affect the seller; no state law affects the buyer of such a transaction. Open Carry = legality of carrying a switchblade unconcealed and in plain view of others. Concealed Carry = legality of carrying a switchblade in a concealed manner on one’s person(or most of the time, in a car). Balisong considered same thing? = Refers to if the wording of the law considers switchblades and balisongs to be the same thing. If “Yes,” balisongs are subject to all the same restrictions as switchblades listed for that state. If “no” they are covered by a separate law and may or may not be legal. Blanks indicate the state has no laws about either.

Practical Matters

If possession itself is illegal, then all others become illegal by default. If possession is legal, but sale is not, it effectively becomes impossible to legally obtain a switchblade from within that state (since federal law prohibits inter-state sale). One must physically travel to another state to legally purchase.

Is your OTF legal in….?
Are OTF legal in..?

Below are your answers….

State

Possession

Sale

Open Carry

Concealed Carry

Balisong considered same thing?

US Federal Law

Legal

Illegal when sold over state lines or imported from outside the US

Legal

Legal

Yes

Alabama

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal

Alaska

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal

Arizona

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal if over 21 years old

Arkansas

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal

California

Legal if blade is <2″
CLICK FOR OUR CA LEGAL OTF

Legal if blade is <2″

CLICK FOR OUR CA LEGAL OTF

Legal if blade is <2″

CLICK FOR OUR CA LEGAL OTF

Legal if blade is <2″

CLICK FOR OUR CA LEGAL OTF

Yes

Colorado

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal

No

Connecticut

Legal

Legal

Legal if blade is ≤1.5″

Legal if blade is ≤1.5″

No

Delaware

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

No

District of Columbia

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

No

Florida

Legal

Legal

Legal

Illegal (Legal with gun permit)

N/A

Georgia

Legal

Legal (if over 18)

Legal if blade is ≤5″ (any length with gun permit)

Legal if blade is ≤5″ (any length with gun permit)

Hawaii

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

No

Idaho

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal if blade is ≤4″

No

Illinois

Legal (must be 21 and have valid FOID Card)

Legal (must be 21 and have valid FOID Card)

Legal (must be 21 and have valid FOID Card)

Legal (must be 21 and have valid FOID Card)

Yes

Indiana

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal

No

Iowa

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal if blade is ≤5″

No

Kansas

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal

Kentucky

Legal

Legal

Legal

Illegal

Louisiana

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal

NA

Maine

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal

Yes

Maryland

Legal

Illegal

Legal

Illegal

No

Massachusetts

Legal

Legal

Illegal

Illegal

No

Michigan

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal

No

Minnesota

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

No

Mississippi

Legal

Legal

Legal

Illegal

No

Missouri

Legal

Legal

Legal

Illegal

Yes

Montana

Illegal (ex. Curio or blade is ≤1.5″)

Illegal (ex. Curio or blade is ≤1.5″)

Illegal

Illegal

No

Nebraska

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal if blade is ≤3.5″

Nevada

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal

No

New Hampshire

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal

No

New Jersey

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

No

New Mexico

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

Yes

New York

Legal w/ Valid Hunting and Fishing License

Legal w/ Valid Hunting and Fishing License

Legal w/ Valid Hunting and Fishing License

Legal w/ Valid Hunting and Fishing License

No

North Carolina

Legal

Legal

Legal

Illegal

No

North Dakota

Legal

Legal

Legal

Illegal

Ohio

Legal

Illegal

Legal

Illegal

No

Oklahoma

Legal

Legal

Legal

Illegal

No

Oregon

Legal

Legal

Legal

Illegal

Yes

Pennsylvania

Illegal (ex. Curio)

Illegal (ex. Curio)

Illegal

Illegal

No

Rhode Island

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal if blade is ≤3″

No

South Carolina

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal

South Dakota

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal

Tennessee

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal

No

Texas

Legal

Legal

Legal if blade is <5.5″

Legal if blade is <5.5″

Yes

Utah

Legal

Legal

Legal

Situational

Yes

Vermont

Legal

Legal if blade is <3″

Legal

Legal

No

Virginia

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

No

Washington

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

Illegal

No

West Virginia

Legal (if over 18)

Legal

Legal (if over 18)

Illegal

No

Wisconsin

Legal

Legal

Legal

Legal

Yes

Wyoming

Legal

Legal

Legal

Situational

*New York’s state law provides an exception for “Possession of a switchblade or gravity knife for use while hunting, trapping or fishing by a person carrying a valid license.” Whether this affects sale or type of carry is unclear.

**Information cited from: “http://weaponlaws.wikidot.com/us-switchblade-laws” and “https://kniferights.org/about/accomplishments/”

All About Damascus Steel…

Brief History of Damascus Steel:

If you hang around the knife community long enough you will hear grand talks and debates when it comes to Damascus steel.. To the casual knife collector or knife beginner, the amount of history and info out there on Damascus steel might seem overwhelming. In this post we will look to give a brief overview of where Damascus steel originally came from, how it’s made, and how it is currently being used in edged weapon manufacturing.

The history of Damascus steel can be traced all the way back to 500 A.D. where in India it was called Telangana, Wootz or Ukku steel. It then found its way to Damascus, Syria, which was the center of trade in that region for war equipment such as knives, swords and armor. The name “Damascus” wasn’t adopted until the time of the Crusaders. The Crusaders witnessed Damascus swords slicing through their own lesser quality swords, cutting the sword clean in half in a single swipe without ever losing its edge. The next swipe would do the same to the body of that less fortunate Crusader.

What is Damascus Steel?

Damascus Steel by definition was a type of steel used for manufacturing sword blades in the Near East made with wootz steel. These swords are characterized by distinctive patterns of banding and mottling reminiscent of flowing water. Such blades were reputed to be tough, resistant to shattering, and capable of being honed to a sharp, resilient edge

How is Damascus Steel Made?

Historians believe that the original method for creating Damascus was the crucible method. The crucible method of production for original ancient Damascus steel gradually declined, ceasing by around 1750, and the process was lost to metal smiths. Several modern theories have ventured to explain this decline, including the breakdown of trade routes to supply the needed metals, the lack of trace impurities in the metals, the possible loss of knowledge on the crafting techniques through secrecy and lack of transmission, suppression of the industry in India by the British Raj or a combination of all the above..”Modern Damascus” is made from several types of steel and iron slices welded together to form a billet..

Here is a nice video that goes into the detailed steps is takes to make a basic / beginners modern Damascus blank:

Current uses of Damascus in Weapons:

 

In the ancient times Damascus was sought after first for its strength and secondly for its beauty. In our current market that dynamic seems to have reversed. Most consumers seek Damascus for it’s aesthetics and rarity. And as you can see by the images, many new methods and materials have allowed for the final Damascus product to not only be a weapon, but also a work of art.

Here are a few more videos that high light some masters of the Damascus craft:

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damascus_steel
http://www.claysmithguns.com/knives_history.htm

 

Best Tactical Father’s Day Gifts 2018

Best Tactical Father’s Day Gifts 2018:

It is almost Father’s Day, and there is an elephant in the room we all need to acknowledge…… Most people spend far more time and money on Mother’s Day gifts than they do on Father’s Day gifts… Wait, you don’t believe us??!! Well we have compiled just a few examples of bad Father’s Day gift ideas that have been created throughout the years.

The Toupee Visor: No one will ever notice…

Action Jeans: For those fathers whose #1 issue is denim restricting their roundhouse kicks…

The Extra Love Shirt: Not just children buy bad Father’s Day gifts, significant others can also be guilty of this gift giving offense.

Why do these terrible gifts exist? And why do they ever get purchased? We feel it’s because more high quality and unique gifts are either extremely hard to acquire or are priced far out of reach for the average person. Luckily, here at RavenCrest Tactical we have some great options that are assured to “wow” your dad on his special day without breaking your bank or sending you on an Indiana Jone’s missions to acquire….

Below are our top three options we have for your dad on Father’s Day:

Option #1 – Guardian Tactical OTF Knife:

RavenCrest Tactical - Guardian OTF Knife - Select Series

The Guardian OTF Knife is a full size fully automatic double action OTF (out the front) Knife that comes standard with CNC aviation aluminum handles. The all CNC construction of the Guardian makes for a precision fit & finish not only on the exterior of the knife but also on the inside operating components as well. Aviation aluminum is strong, lightweight and elegant in appearance and feel. (READ MORE)

Option #2 – RavenPac Monthly Knife Club :

The RavenPac Knife Club is a monthly subscription service that delivers knives to your door rain or shine every month. The knives you receive have all been hand selected and tested by the owners of RavenCrest Tactical. You will receive a knife (Maybe even a few knives now and then) valued at $25-$50 and beyond. Our goal is to “WOW” you every single month. We focus on bringing you the biggest bang for your buck. (Remember, one lucky “winner” will receive an OTF knife in addition to their regular pac.) (READ MORE AND SIGN UP)

Option #3 – Rewind 2 Balisong (Butterfly Knife) :

The RavenCrest Tactical “Rewind” 2.0 Balisong (Butterfly Knife) is a versatile flipper that’s easy to pick up but hard to put down. The skeletonized handles on the “Rewind” 2.0 keep weight to a minimum while providing tactile grip/feedback in all the right places. This medium weight balisong allows the operator to manipulate the knife fast or slow with pinpoint precision.

“Rewind” 2.0 Balisong Special Features:

  • CNC Skeletonized Stainless Steel Polished Handles
  • Japanese Inspired Two Toned (Stonewash & Satin Finish) “Chisled” Tanto Blade
  • Smooth Bearing System
  • Blue Titanium Spacers
  • Adjustable Latch System
  • Removable Pocket Clip
  • Exclusively Designed By RavenCrest Tactical

If you do not see what you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact us via our website CLICK HERE FOR WEB CONTACT or call us directly at (480-664-6137) and one of our skilled sales people will help you find the perfect gift for your dad.

Army Tank vs RavenCrest Tactical OTF Knife

Army Tank vs RavenCrest Tactical RCT-1 Raven OTF Knife… TANK TOUGH KNIVES!
Really cool some of our Army friends sent us some video clips of them running over one of our knives (wanted to see if they really were “Tank Tough”)… We put all the clips together…hope you guys enjoy!

New Build Your Own Custom MINIs & New Custom Colors!

We’ve Got Some Very Exciting News!
NEW Custom Minis. NEW Colors. New Colored Parts.
We are pumped to finally bring you the highly anticipated Custom Mini Nemesis OTF Knife. You can now Build Your Own Custom Mini Nemesis. With it’s launch we have released 5 NEW Mini Nemesis Handle Colors and 8 NEW Part Colors!

WATCH THE VIDEO TO LEARN MORE:

NEW Handle Colors:
Metallic Gold
Radioactive Blue
Slasher Yellow
Digital Camo
Maroon

NEW Part Colors (Button, Glass Breaker, Pocket Clip):
Bronze
Metallic Gold
Radioactive Blue
Maroon
Slasher Yellow
Pink
Red
Slime Green

With the release of the Custom Minis we have also added to our Full Size Nemesis Custom Line.
NEW Handle Colors:

Metallic Gold
Radioactive Blue
Slasher Yellow
Maroon

NEW Part Colors (Button, Glass Breaker, Pocket Clip):
Bronze
Metallic Gold
Radioactive Blue
Maroon
Slasher Yellow
Pink
Red
Slime Green

DID YOU KNOW?
A lot of our NEW Colors were superhero inspired. We looked to ironman, spider man and wolverine just to name a few. Superheros have inspired and intrigued us since the first story was ever told. We hope you find yourself inspired by these NEW colors to create a legend all your own.

Top 5 Famous and Deadly Swords

#5 Napoleon’s Sword:

In 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte became the military and political leader of France after staging a coup d’état.  Five years later the French Senate proclaimed him emperor.  In the first decade of the 19th century Napoleon and the French Empire were engaged in conflict and war with every major European power. Historians regard Napoleon as a military genius and a man who made strong contributions to the operational art of war.

Jean-Pierre Osenat

On the battlefield Napoleon carried a pistol and a sword.  He owned a large collection of arms and artillery.  His weapons were one of a kind and included the best materials.  In the summer of 2007, a gold-encrusted sword that once belonged to Napoleon was auctioned off in France for more than $6.4 million dollars.  The sword was used by Napoleon in battle.  In the early 1800s, Napoleon presented the weapon to his brother as a wedding gift.  The sword was passed down from generation to generation, never leaving the Bonaparte family.  In 1978, the sword was declared a national treasure in France and the winner of the auction was not identified.

 #4 The Sword of Mercy:

The Sword of Mercy is a famous weapon that once belonged to Edward the Confessor.  Edward the Confessor was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England before the Norman Conquest of 1066.

RCT_Sword_of_Mercy

The Sword of Mercy has a broken blade, which is cut off short and square.  In 1236, the weapon was given the name curtana and has since been used for royal ceremonies.  In ancient times it was a privilege to bear this sword before the king.  It was considered a merciful gesture.  The story surrounding the breaking of the weapon is unknown, but mythological history indicates that the tip was broken off by an angel to prevent a wrongful killing.

The Sword of Mercy is part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom and is one of only five swords used during the coronation of the British monarch.  The weapon is rare and is one of only a small number of swords to survive the reign of Oliver Cromwell.  Cromwell is known for ordering the melting down of ancient artifacts for scrap gold and metal.  During the British coronation, the Sword of Mercy is wielded as the monarch bestows knighthood upon the recipient of honor.

#3 Zulfiqar:

Zulfiqar is the ancient sword of the Islamic leader Ali.  Ali was the cousin and son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad.  He ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661.  By some historical accounts, Muhammad gave Zulfiqar to Ali at the Battle of Uhud.  Muhammad admired Ali’s power and strength on the battlefield and wanted to present him with the cherished weapon.  The sword is a symbol of the Islamic faith and is admired by millions of people.

RCT_Zulfigar

The Zulfiqar is a scimitar, which refers to a West Asian or South Asian sword with a curved blade.  It is said that Ali used the sword at the Battle of the Trench, which is a famous siege attempt on the city of Medina.

#2 Honjo Masamune

RCT_Honjo_Masamune

Masamune was a Japanese swordsmith that is widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest metallurgists.  The exact dates for Masamune’s life are unknown, but it is believed that he worked from 1288–1328.  Masamune’s weapons have reached legendary status over the centuries.  He created swords known as tachi and daggers.  The swords of Masamune have a strong reputation for superior beauty and quality.  He rarely signed his works, so it can be hard to positively identify all his weapons.

RCT_Honjo_Masamune

The most famous of all Masamune swords is named Honjo Masamune.  The Honjo Masamune is so important because it represented the Shogunate during the Edo period of Japan.  The sword was passed down from one Shogun to another for generations.  In 1939 the weapon was named a national treasure in Japan, but remained in the Kii branch of the Tokugawa family.  The last known owner of Honjo Masamune was Tokugawa Iemasa.  Apparently Tokugawa Iemasa gave the weapon and 14 other swords to a police station in Mejiro, Japan, in December of 1945.

Shortly thereafter in January 1946, the Mejiro police gave the swords to Sgt. Coldy Bimore (U.S. 7th Cavalry).  Since that time, the Honjo Masamune has gone missing and the whereabouts of the sword remains a mystery.  Honjo Masamune is one of the most important historical artifacts to disappear at the end of World War II.

#1 Joyeuse

Charlemagne is a man that was born circa 742.  He is one of the greatest rulers in world history and became King of the Franks in 768.  In 800 he was named Emperor of the Romans, a position that he held for the remainder of his life.  In the Holy Roman Empire he was known as Charles I and was the first Holy Roman Emperor.  During Charlemagne’s lifetime he expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire, which covered much of Western and Central Europe.  Charlemagne is regarded as the founding father of both the French and German monarchies, as well as the father of Europe.

RCT_Joyeuse

Joyeuse is the name of Charlemagne’s personal sword.  Today, there are two swords attributed to Joyeuse.  One is a saber that is kept in the Weltliche Schatzkammer in Vienna, while the other is housed at the Louvre in France.  The blade on display at the Louvre claims to be partially built from Charlemagne’s original sword.  The sword is made of parts from different centuries, so it can be hard to positively identify the weapon as Joyeuse.  The hilt of the sword indicates a manufactory date around the time of Charlemagne.  The heavily sculpted gold pommel is made in two halves and the long gold grip was once decorated with diamonds.

Charlemagne’s sword appears in many legends and historical documents.  Bulfinch’s Mythology described Charlemagne using Joyeuse to behead the Saracen commander Corsuble as well as to knight his friend Ogier the Dane.  After the death of Charlemagne, the sword was said to have been contrarily held by the Saint Denis Basilica and it was later taken to the Louvre after being carried at a Coronation processional for French kings.

Source: www.toptenz.net/top-10-famous-deadly-swords.php/2

History of the Edged Tool : Drawing Blood Lore

Drawing Blood Lore

Just as with swords, regional and cultural superstitions exist regarding the treatment of knives that are used in combat. One common superstition states that it is bad luck to return a combat knife from its sheath without using it to draw blood. That is, don’t take your knife out of your sheath unless you intend to attack your enemy with it.

sgian_dubh

A Scottish myth exists surrounding drawing the sgian dubh (Dirk), without drawing the blood of an Englishman. These superstitions are usually attempts to insult the culture of the enemy.

KnifeBite

There are cultures that believe a knife does not belong to an individual until it has ‘bit’ them, or tasted their blood. After initial blood letting the owner and the knife are bound in their destiny. Practitioner in these superstitions may intentionally prick their finger on the blade of a knife rather than wait for an accidental cut. The knife will stay sharp longer and is less likely to accidentally cut its owner once it has tasted his or her blood.

crysknife

This blood drawing has made it’s way into our classic science fiction. Dune Writer Frank Herbert invented the Fremen and the Crysknife. Once a Fremen warrior unsheathed his blade it must draw blood before it is sheathed.

There you have it, those are just a few of the knife superstitions / rituals that are out there. Stay tuned in to our blog for more articles on this topic.

http://www.extremely-sharp.com/eslife/drawing-blood-lore/