Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search


Please help our efforts with a donation. It's time to pay our annual server hosting bill. We've collected 2151.00 towards our goal of 2400 USD. View Goal Progress
Last 10 Donors: Leo Todeschini, Anonymous, Neil Eddiford, Joel Minturn, Josh Wilson, Neil Bockus, Adam Rose, Jesse Belsky, Raymond Deancona, Olov Tidemalm (View All Donors)

Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Albion Talhoffer - Tatami cutting - surprising results Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2  Next 
Author Message
Michael Edelson




Usergroups: 
Donating Members

Location: New York
Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,032
PostPosted: Mon 29 Jan, 2007 3:01 pm    Post subject: Albion Talhoffer - Tatami cutting - surprising results         Reply with quote

While updating my Earl review, I thought I'd also let people know how the Albion Talhoffer fared against tatami mats.

As with the Earl, I will break the results down into three categories; feel, results, and durability.


Feel
-----
I did not expect the Talhoffer to fare well at all. It is, after all, a type XV with a very narrow profile and a thick edge. The design is always described as a cut/thrust compromise leaning strongly towards the thrust. It is also not particularly sharp.

I was quite hesitant to try cutting a full mat target with it, as I was afraid to damage (bend) the sword after failing the cut. I was therefore extremely surprised at how good this sword felt cutting tatami. It offered less resitance than the Earl (it is thinner and not hollow ground), but I cannot honestly compare the two as my clearest impression of cutting with the Talhoffer was shock at how good it was despite my expectations.

I have no idea why a type XV should cut tatami so well, but it does. It also feels great doing it. This sword has what I would consider the perfect hilt…there is not a part of it that I don’t like…the pommel is perfect and can be gripped a variety of ways, the handle is just long enough and thick enough to control the sword and the shape of the grip allows for precise edge alignment.




Results
---------
Like the Earl, the Talhoffer cut cleanly and without the slightest damage to itself or even scratches in the finish. Also like the Earl, it did not lose edge sharpness to any noticeable or measurable degree. There was also very little flex (post cut video analysis), except on botched cuts (see below).



Durability
-------------

I made about 40 cuts in total, about 10 with the Talhoffer, and I botched 1 of those. The botched cut had good edge alignment and a lot of power but insufficient speed to finish the cut (exactly like the botched Earl cuts...my left oberhau needs a lot of work). In video analysis, the botched cut forced the Earl to flex a little more than 30 degrees, and the sword returned completely to true.

There was no damage of any kind to the Talhoffer, despite the one botched cut.



Conclusion
------------
Prior to tatami, I cut a variety of media with the Talhoffer. Stiff plastic bottles (which it hates to cut), milk juks (it liked those), pool noodles (pretty good) and soft wood (liked that too). Overall, I would have said the Talhoffer is not a good cutter, as it was much harder to cut those items with it than any of my Angus Trim swords (which slice through those things like the proverbial hot knife). However, after seeing its performance on tatami, a target much closer to what the sword was designed for, I would have to say that the Talhoffer is in fact a very good cutting sword. Having learned from this experience, I would caution people away from drawing conclusions about swords based on cutting items the swords were not designed to cut.

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/


Last edited by Michael Edelson on Mon 29 Jan, 2007 4:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Mon 29 Jan, 2007 3:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've very much enjoyed watching the progression of your understanding of these tools as well as the broadening of your views on the subject. I'm sure that it's served as both a learning experience for those of us reading it as well as a reinforcement to things we've also learned in our own experiences. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Regarding the Type XV and its ability as a cutter: I've been speaking of this for years and specifically described my own surprise regarding the Arms & Armor Black Prince sword. That sword was the first to change my entire understanding of the "aggressively tapered pointy swords". They are much sturdier and more powerful than their profile taper would often indicate.

.:. Visit my Collection Gallery :: View my Reading List :: View my Wish List :: See Pages I Like :: Find me on Facebook .:.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
Nicholas Zeman




Usergroups: None


Posts: 57
PostPosted: Mon 29 Jan, 2007 5:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think some of the prejudice against the XV and XVA cutting abilities can be directly related to both the visual profile and the advent of cutting soft targets like pool noodles and plastic water bottles. My Mercenary (Albion type XVa) doesn't cut these soft targets very well, but my Atrim slices them up like nothing. A close glance at the edge will reveal the difference; the Atrim has a much thinner profile (DN1506) and a sharper edge, so it cuts through these soft targets a lot better (I believe the edge is more roughened as well, which helps with the bite in these soft materials). I have yet to try my Merc at harder materials, but I am feeling better after reading this review!
View user's profile Send private message
Patrick Kelly




PostPosted: Mon 29 Jan, 2007 9:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Having learned from this experience, I would caution people away from drawing conclusions about swords based on cutting items the swords were not designed to cut.


Very true and sage advice.

I've enjoyed reading your feedback on both the Earl and the Talhoffer. Thanks for taking the time to post your experiences.

Years ago I did a review of A&As Black Prince and, like Nathan, I found it to be a very different sword than I had expected. A few years ago I had the opportunity to cut some goza with Albions prototype Brescia Spadona. That experience opened my eyes to the capabilities of these sword types even more. They're far better cutting instruments than most believe. While not as easy or quite as decisive as the earlier cutting dedicated designs, against an unarmored target any difference would be irrelevant.

Thanks again.
View user's profile Send private message
Ed Toton




PostPosted: Tue 30 Jan, 2007 6:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This probably isn't the best place to ask it, but is there a good source of tatami mats that you could recommend. I recently acquired my Albion Talhoffer, and am looking forward to attempting some similar cuts with it. I've done very little cutting with my sharps so far, and was curious about how the Talhoffer might perform. Thanks very much for the write-up!
-Ed T. Toton III
ed.toton.org | ModernChivalry.org
My armor photos on facebook
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

PostPosted: Tue 30 Jan, 2007 7:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ed Toton wrote:
This probably isn't the best place to ask it, but is there a good source of tatami mats that you could recommend.


No it's not the best place. Happy If you're looking for advice on tatami suppliers, please post about it in the OT forum so people can respond in that thread, not here.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jean Henri Chandler




Usergroups: 
Donating Members

Location: New Orleans
Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 917
PostPosted: Tue 30 Jan, 2007 8:18 am    Post subject: Re: Albion Talhoffer - Tatami cutting - surprising results         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:
I would caution people away from drawing conclusions about swords based on cutting items the swords were not designed to cut.


I have an Albion Constable and it cut's amazingly well, I've cut cardboard tubes, water bottles, 2 liter soda bottles, wooden poles, and a two by four. It cut everything with ease. I have a lot of this on video, on youtube. I'm not a very experienced cutter either, my friends even less so.

I've also cut with the Brescia Spadona and it cut extraordinarily well. In fact the reason I bought my Constable was because of an experience I had cutting with the Constable and the Brescia at a cutting party.

I want to get some tatami mats and cut those. I have the stand / holder already.

I think there is something about the XV / XVa blade shape which makes it cut well.



J

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
View user's profile Send private message
Angus Trim




Usergroups: None

Location: Seattle area
Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 870
PostPosted: Tue 30 Jan, 2007 2:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Albion Talhoffer - Tatami cutting - surprising results         Reply with quote

[quote="Jean Henri Chandler"]
Michael Edelson wrote:


I think there is something about the XV / XVa blade shape which makes it cut well.



J


In a word, rigidity.........

swords are fun
View user's profile Send private message
Paul Watson




Usergroups: None

Location: Upper Hutt, New Zealand
Posts: 365
PostPosted: Tue 30 Jan, 2007 4:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Albion Talhoffer - Tatami cutting - surprising results         Reply with quote

Jean Henri Chandler wrote:


I have an Albion Constable and it cut's amazingly well, I've cut cardboard tubes, water bottles, 2 liter soda bottles, wooden poles, and a two by four. It cut everything with ease. I have a lot of this on video, on youtube. I'm not a very experienced cutter either, my friends even less so.


Did you completely cut through a 2x4 timber with this sword?

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, but that which it protects. (Faramir, The Two Towers)
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Edelson




Usergroups: 
Donating Members

Location: New York
Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,032
PostPosted: Wed 31 Jan, 2007 3:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the positive responses, guys. When a sword I really like performs well, it's a good feeling, and I like to be able to pass that feeling along to others.
New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Allen W




Usergroups: None


Posts: 284
PostPosted: Wed 31 Jan, 2007 6:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How sensitive was the Talhofer (or Earl for that matter) to point of impact along its length? How were tip cuts?
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Edelson




Usergroups: 
Donating Members

Location: New York
Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,032
PostPosted: Wed 31 Jan, 2007 6:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I didn't notice much difference (except as noted below) when varying the point of impact when cutting with either sword, but then I wasn't paying particular attention. I suppose that had there been a lot of difference, I would have noticed it whether I was paying attention or not. I only know that the point of impact varied by about a foot because of the trail of tatami "gunk" on the blade.

I didn't try tip cuts with either sword, though I did cut close to the tip a few times. Such cuts did feel different than the rest...more vibration was felt when the sword struck the mat, and the cut did not feel as clean.

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
S. Clare




Usergroups: None

Location: Prince George, BC
Posts: 7
PostPosted: Thu 01 Feb, 2007 12:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wonder how the Albion Agincourt might compare with the Talhofer in these cutting exercises, given that the blade is the same type. Anyone have any experience with that one in cutting tatami mats? I am also interested in the Crecy's performance on mats - I suspect it would be a better cutter, but I would like to hear of the experience of others in that regard.

Cheers,

S. Clare
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Henri Chandler




Usergroups: 
Donating Members

Location: New Orleans
Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 917
PostPosted: Thu 01 Feb, 2007 5:05 am    Post subject: Re: Albion Talhoffer - Tatami cutting - surprising results         Reply with quote

Paul Watson wrote:
Jean Henri Chandler wrote:


I have an Albion Constable and it cut's amazingly well, I've cut cardboard tubes, water bottles, 2 liter soda bottles, wooden poles, and a two by four. It cut everything with ease. I have a lot of this on video, on youtube. I'm not a very experienced cutter either, my friends even less so.


Did you completely cut through a 2x4 timber with this sword?


Yes, though it was rather old probably a little dried out. It had fallen off of my neighbors back-yard shed.

We also cut through a thawed-out frozen chicken.

J

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
View user's profile Send private message
Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

PostPosted: Thu 01 Feb, 2007 6:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

S. Clare wrote:
I wonder how the Albion Agincourt might compare with the Talhofer in these cutting exercises, given that the blade is the same type. Anyone have any experience with that one in cutting tatami mats?


They're not just the same blade type, they are the same blade. Happy Albion makes two different Type XVa blades: a short one shared by the Mercenary, Castellan, Constable; and a longer one shared by the Agincourt, Talhoffer, and the others.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Peter Johnsson




PostPosted: Thu 01 Feb, 2007 6:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

S. Clare wrote:
I wonder how the Albion Agincourt might compare with the Talhofer in these cutting exercises, given that the blade is the same type. Anyone have any experience with that one in cutting tatami mats? I am also interested in the Crecy's performance on mats - I suspect it would be a better cutter, but I would like to hear of the experience of others in that regard.

Cheers,


The Agincourt and Talhoffer are close siblings.
You will exprience difference between them mainly from ergonomical reasons, since the pommels are shaped differently (they share the same grip core). Some prefer scent stopper pommels, others feel that wheel pommels are an active help in achieving edge alignement durign cut. Personally I find the wheel pommel to be useful rather than a hindrance.
The balance and heft is very similar.

The Crecy will be more effortless in cutting mats: it is a more cut oriented sword.

None of these types cut strongly with the point (even though the Crecy will cut a bit farther out towards the point than the Talhoffer typically will). One should not expect narrow awlshaped thrusting swords to cut with the point: it is not according to their type. They *can* cut exposed flesh with the point, but you will obviously not do amputating cuts this way. Look at swords with broader blades and spatualte points for this (like Tritonia, Duke, Count, Steward and possibly Baron).
If you look at the profile, the silhouette, of a sword you can tell: a pointy sword need to have a pretty thick point or be vulnerable. A broad point need to be pretty thin, or the sword will be cumbersome. This will affect the cutting function of the swords. Obviously the broad thin point will cut with effortless efficiency and the narrow thick thrusting point less so.

As most will focus on the cutting perfomance of swords in their practice (or even base their understanding of swords just from the prespective of cutting performance), the potential and function of a sturdy, sharp, agile and precise point is less appreciated. Looking at sword types through history you will see that the point was indeed appreciated and often favoured. Among contemporary afficionadoes, a sword is mostly appreciate after how large or difficult targets it will sever.
With this attitude many important aspects of the sword will escape notice.
Test cutting then becomes a situation where the performance of the sword is judged, not a test of the skill or ability of the swordsman.
Note that I am not saying that cutting perfrmance is not important. Of course it is: just that there are other aspects that are equally important. Placing the cut at the right place at the right time, is perhaps more important than how deep you will cut as long as the cut is deep enogh. I think one need to look at these XVa swords from this perspective to be able to fully appreciate them.
-And yet they do cut, as has been testified several times in this thread.

I am glad that Michael has shared these observations on the Talhoffer on the forum. It is nice to see how practical use of a sword can help shift the understanding of a whole class of swords.
Thanks for sharing and taking the trouble to write a thorough report, Michael!

(..and sorry about all my bad spelling!)


Last edited by Peter Johnsson on Thu 01 Feb, 2007 7:30 am; edited 2 times in total
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Randal Graham




Usergroups: 
Industry Professionals

Location: Nova Scotia Canada
Posts: 79
PostPosted: Thu 01 Feb, 2007 7:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well said Peter... and now I feel no desire to reply, as it would be redundant...

:0)

R.H.Graham
Swordsmith
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Michael Edelson




Usergroups: 
Donating Members

Location: New York
Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,032
PostPosted: Thu 01 Feb, 2007 9:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Peter,

I'm as guilty of cutting bias as anyone, though I do peform thrusting tests with my swords, particularly the XV and XVIIIs. I've been fortunate enough to have gotten my hands on some of the best mail available for these tests and some of these tests are described above.

Of course, when it comes time to take photographs and post them, I only put up the tatami cutting. So yes, guilty as charged, but I'll try to do better. Happy

Despite my love of cutting, however, I am in love with slender swords with awl like points...XVs and the more slender XVIIIs appeal to me more than any other sword types. There's something about them...

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Travis Canaday




Usergroups: None

Location: Overland Park, Kansas
Posts: 111
PostPosted: Thu 01 Feb, 2007 10:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:


As most will focus on the cutting perfomance of swords in their practice (or even base their understanding of swords just from the prespective of cutting performance), the potential and function of a sturdy, sharp, agile and precise point is less appreciated. Looking at sword types through history you will see that the point was indeed appreciated and often favoured. Among contemporary afficionadoes, a sword is mostly appreciate after how large or difficult targets it will sever.
With this attitude many important aspects of the sword will escape notice.
Test cutting then becomes a situation where the performance of the sword is judged, not a test of the skill or ability of the swordsman.
Note that I am not saying that cutting perfrmance is not important. Of course it is: just that there are other aspects that are equally important. Placing the cut at the right place at the right time, is perhaps more important than how deep you will cut as long as the cut is deep enogh. I think one need to look at these XVa swords from this perspective to be able to fully appreciate them.
-And yet they do cut, as has been testified several times in this thread.


Exactly!

It seems the cut is regularly over-emphasized with the thrust under-emphasized when it comes to longswords and the Liechtenaur system. I think it's in the Danzig manuscript where it refers to the point of the sword as the nexus of offense.

The main targets for swords like these in an unarmoured situation would be the head, face, neck, wrists, and hands. Other than that, my impression is that the object of most cutting actions is to chamber a thrust. Trying to unterhau through a gambeson with one of these probably wouldn't do much.

Of course cutting exercises are still very important for learning necessary skills. But for the most part these kind of large sweeping cuts aren't really a big part longsword fencing. Cutting exercises like this make perfect sense for JSA, because these kind of cutting motions are the primary method of attack.

Thank you Michael for posting this. I love this stuff.

Travis
View user's profile Send private message
Travis Canaday




Usergroups: None

Location: Overland Park, Kansas
Posts: 111
PostPosted: Thu 01 Feb, 2007 11:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not Danzig, but Dobringer...

From Christian Tolber's "Fighting":

"...the Oberhau and the Unterhau from both sides. These are the main strokes and the foundation of all other strokes, which in their cause and fundamentals come from the point of the sword, which is the kernel and center of all techniques."

Travis
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Albion Talhoffer - Tatami cutting - surprising results
Page 1 of 2 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2013 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum