I’m mostly looking for if it would cut better, but anything helps.


closed as unclear what you're asking by L.Dutch, John, Rekesoft, sphennings, Mołot Jun 26 '18 at 8:13

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you state why you think it might cut better? Cut what better btw? $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jun 25 '18 at 23:30
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    $\begingroup$ Hello, SuperTyler, and welcome to Worldbuilding. Perhaps you could edit your question to add more detail, including what exactly you mean by "augmenting a sword with electricity," as right now this is likely to be put on hold as Unclear what you are Asking. Please visit our help center and take our tour to learn more about the site. Have a nice day! $\endgroup$ – Gryphon Jun 25 '18 at 23:31
  • $\begingroup$ I'm tempted to say shock value. Works best on chaps in armour. But since you're interested in better cutting, the electrically augmented sword would effectively have to be an arc welder or a plasma torch. That's going to take an awful lot of power to implement. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jun 26 '18 at 2:54
  • $\begingroup$ You mean how to add a 1d6 fire damage to your 2d6+2 longsword? $\endgroup$ – Rekesoft Jun 26 '18 at 7:22
  • $\begingroup$ You can use it as a flashlight and blind your opponent. Also advantageous during night battles. $\endgroup$ – Real Subtle Jun 26 '18 at 10:35

An electric sword, to put it simply, would be a rigid live wire. Why fight it at all? Just drop a nice bucklet of water at it and laugh as its welder fries.


If you want it to cut better, you need to make it sharper. To make it sharper, you need to make the metal harder so it will hold an edge better. Making it harder can also make it more brittle and likely to break during a fight.

Making it sharper is a two edged sword.....

Augmenting with electricity can help you win a fight because you can shock your opponent right through his sword every time you block or he blocks unless they wear insulated gauntlets.

Receiving 50,000 volts through your sword will make it highly likely you drop it.

  • $\begingroup$ Another thing to consider is flexibility. Long, thin swords tend to be good at stabbing but so-so at slashing, whereas broad, heavy swords are great at chopping but not at thrusting. Both types rely on momentum. But electricity doesn't care about any of that - if you can bring your sword in contact with your enemy by hook or crook, you can win, even if it's just brushing the flat against them. $\endgroup$ – Cadence Jun 26 '18 at 0:01
  • $\begingroup$ Actually thin wide swords are better at cutting due to having a more acute edge, compare the falchion (best curing said in the world) to the katana and longsword and you find that they are thicker but narrower. Think Surgen scalpel vs machete, Durden scalpel is better at cutting. Machetes edge can just take more punishment $\endgroup$ – Garret Gang Jun 26 '18 at 6:24

From a historical perspective, augmenting blades was extremely rare but when it was done, the primary augmentation for blades was a toxin. By dipping a blade into something toxic, the blade does really 'cut better' because the blade strike doesn't have to be a 'critical hit' to be fatal; that is to say, you don't have to hit the heart or eyes or some other vital organ that either kills your opponent or neutralises their ability to fight.

Electricity won't make a sword cut better directly, but it might have two advantages. First is that the sword would give off a shock to the opponent on strike, effectively incapacitating the opponent for at least a short moment which presents a small window of opportunity for a more thorough strike. The second is that the power might be used to heat the sword up, which means that even a flat edge strike could burn, inflicting massive amounts of pain.

This of course assumes that you can get enough power into a sword to heat up that much metal in the blade, and that you yourself are insulated from both the electricity and/or the heat. Both these problems (power and insulation) represent significant engineering challenges if the sword and its wielder are to be just as agile as the opponent in a fight.

  • $\begingroup$ "From a historical perspective, the primary augmentation for blades has always been poison" Do you have a source for that claim? I don't just mean one guy did it once or that one tribe also used poisoned blades for some purpose, but that it was the "primary augmentation" historically and really used and practical in combat $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jun 25 '18 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ I don't because sword augmentation really wasn't that common at all (although when it was done, toxins were what was used). BUT, in terms of toxins, as I understand it arrow heads of archers were often dipped in excrement (as a toxin) to cause a similar effect. My point is that unless you just have a really sharp blade, you want to maximise the effect of a strike instead. $\endgroup$ – Tim B II Jun 25 '18 at 23:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 Edited the opening line to reflect a more accurate understanding of what I was trying to say. $\endgroup$ – Tim B II Jun 25 '18 at 23:57

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