Katzbalgers

A Katzbalger is a short Renaissance arming sword, notable for its sturdy build and a distinctive s-shaped or figure-8 shaped guard. Measuring 75–85 cm long and weighing 1–2 kg, it was the signature blade of the Landsknecht. The Katzbalger Sword was designed with a large figure eight guard that protects the hand if the opposing sword should slide down the blade.

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Katzbalger

There are several different explanations about the origin of the name "Katzbalger": one is that it comes from the custom of carrying a sword without a scabbard, held only by a cat's skin (German word Katze means "cat", while Balg means the skin (fur) of an animal. Katzbalger means a piece made of a cat’s skin). However, this is rather unlikely. Another theory is that the word derives from balgen (brawling), and refers to intense, close-quarter combat like fights between feral cats. The most common translation is "cat-gutter", with an allusion to cat fight. A katzbalger would often be used by pikemen, archers, and crossbowmen as a last resort if the enemy were to draw too close for bows or pikes to be effective.

Advisory Service: Questions and Answers

What is the difference between industrially rolled and hand-forged blade?

In the case of hand-forged blade our blacksmith takes the already rolled spring steel and forges it with hand on the anvil or under the monkey (drop hammer). By forging becomes the steel more compacted (denser). Industrially rolled spring steel blades are made by cutting steel plate into strips under drop shears. Then they are ground or milled/grooved and without further forging directly put into the annealing furnace and hardened in oil bath. The qualities of both kinds of blades do not differ from each other much since the industrial rolling is already very good. On forged blades usually have forge traces, which give them an authentic and unique look.

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