6
$\begingroup$

To help you get the idea of what I mean, here is an example of the edge. Imagine the edge can move like a chain sword or chain saw, so don't take it too literally. Don't consider the entire sword shape in this example, just the edge. Imagine the design similar to a macuahuitl sword, if you don't know what a chain sword or chain saw mechanism looks like.

Macuahuitl flat edge?

macuahuitl flat edge?

Shark edge?

shark edge ?

No gap or no serrated edge? Just a normal sword but the edge moves like a chain saw or chain sword.

no gap or no serrated edge just normal sword but the edge moving like chain saw or chain sword ?

Or maybe a wavy or half circle edge? (almost wavy, but with more gaps, and the gaps are flatter, so something like a small axe blade positioned into a macuahuitl style sword)?

or maybe a wavy or half circle edge (almost similar like wavy, but have more gaps in it, and the gaps is more flatter, so something like small axe blade positioned into macuahuitl style sword)?

Or you can suggest different edge styles and provide a reason, if possible, in your answer.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Hi, welcome to Worldbuilding.SE! If you havent already, please take the Tour of our website. You may notice i have suggested some edits to your post, most of this is to make it easier for future users to read. I also advise you to make some changes, for example, if you Edit this question, the [!] Insert text] section is for users who use a screen reader, rewriting what you have just wrote is not particularly helpful to blind or partial-sighted users. Instead, use that box to describe the image. $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris Apr 3 at 15:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Or rather, i did edit it but my edit was rejected by the Community bot. Strange. $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris Apr 3 at 15:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @LiJun No, it does not show up on your question because it is in square brackets [ ]. I’ve been told that its to help visually-imparied users as the computer will be able to read inside those brackets and read the words aloud to a user. Also, whilst your grammar can be understood well-enough, this site advocates professionalism and having questions being easier to read helps with that. Finally, you should always try and credit the creator of an image you use. More experienced members than myself can help you with that. $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris Apr 3 at 15:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hello again. I did a massive edit on your question for grammar, punctuation, and other formatting. If I got something wrong, please change it. $\endgroup$ – Cyn Apr 3 at 18:23
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @LiJun Thank you for accepting my answer but standard practice on SE websites for accepting answers is to wait at least 24 hours before you do. Users from different timezones may not get a chance to answer otherwise. You do not have to change it now, but just so you know for the future. $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris Apr 3 at 19:08
6
$\begingroup$

It depends on what you want to cut.

A chainsaw works well on trees as it tears pieces off and flings them away. On a human you wouldnt just tear pieces off but also pluk out sinew, tendon, pieces of muscle etc. This would quickly foul up the mechanism.

Swords have different styles. In Desert regions where metal armor is almost a death sentence and leather was predominant the swords were mostly Curved. This was so that if you sliced your enemy there would be more of the sword's edge cutting passed the leather and cut through. These swords were less about bludgeoning through your enemy for that reason. A similar approach is probably best for your chainsword. The wielder will aim for places where no armored plating is present such as arms, neck, leg or the joints. If necessary the wielder can even try to cut the plate holder so the armored plate falls out before finishing the opponent.

If you really want to go space-marine and chainsword through armored opponents I would redesign it into a multi-buzzsaw sword (buzzsword?). You have 4 blades in parallel with as many rows as possible on the blade. The first parallel group has the outer two spinning the same way and the inner two the opposite, the next row has this in reverse etc. This way if you hold it against a target the blade will not try to pull out of your grasp or try to spin. The target will be "pulled in" by the blades as they grind off material. The engine inside can work through pressure, and any buzzsaw that is depressed will get shifted into gear so the energy of the engine is as well distributed as able (ofcourse they would be spinning on idle before being depressed). Unlike the space marine chainswords the (blooody) material sawn off wont be launched onto their abdomen and legs but be pulled out the other side of the blade. If you want you can create a compartment so you dont spray the buddy next to you, and have a small portion of the engine relegated to flinging the pieces of armor, clothes, bone, flesh, blood and gore you just accumulated out the front of the buzzsword and into your opponent for some psychological warfare. "here's your buddy I just buzzsawed in half right back at you". Yes I'm assuming you have the technology and bodybuilder soldiers to make a heavyweight buzzsaw worth it, you can swing a dam chainsaw like a sword so this shouldnt be a problem.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Good answer :) it should however be noted that there aren't really any swords that are designed for bludgeoning. Swords in general are a terrible design if that's what you want to do (use a hammer/mace/axe). They are variously used for slicing, hacking or thrusting, but not bludgeoning. $\endgroup$ – Ynneadwraith Apr 3 at 16:14
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Ynneadwraith as metal armors became more common many swords got larger for a more concussive blow behind it. The pommel of a sword was specifically designed for people with armored hands who would hold the sword by the blade and use the pommel as club. $\endgroup$ – Demigan Apr 3 at 17:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Ah, pommels yes. Forgot about those. Spikey crossguards can do a good approximation of picks as well. Never the blade is what I was thinking. Even the heaviest of zweihanders were never intended (or particularly great at) concussive force compared to a hammer. $\endgroup$ – Ynneadwraith Apr 3 at 20:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Ynneadwraith I was more referring to a sword such as a falchion rather than, say, a katana. Admittedly, it would not be the most effective thing you can do but its still a valid option for some swords. Also, even if the end of it is lighter than a warhammer, for example, you would still getting hit round the head at high speeds by what is effectively a steel bar. I, for one, would very much want to avoid that if possible. $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris Apr 5 at 13:01
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Ynneadwraith True, a prime example being the Estoc which has no edge, focusing entirely on the thrust. I was in no way trying to imply that using the spine is a preferable way of harming an armoured opponent. As you say, hitting someone armoured with the spine, esspecially in the head, could daze them. This could give you the time to thrust the blade into the helmet to get the kill. In this way, the spine is bludgeoning but you are also not damaging the edge of your sword (another reason to use the spine than the edge) allowing you to retain a sharp edge to use against less-armoured opponents $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris Apr 5 at 13:34
5
$\begingroup$

The problem with chainsaws is that they are not particularly effective weapons. Cloth can easily get pulled inside the mechanism and cause the saw to sieze up, requiring it to be disassembled to remove the material.

Additionally, there are the problems with weight and fuel consumption, an issue for a weapon as slower weapons are more unweildly and you could easily run out of fuel in a fight.

Here is a video demonstrating the chainsaw’s flaws as a weapon

However, if you were set on using a chainsaw-like motion for your blade, i would suggest using the flamberge (a wave-like blade, like the one pictured in the question) as this is less likely to get caught on materials and drag them into the mechanism.

You may also want to consider a Jigsaw motion where the blades move up and down, rather than in an ovular motion like a chainsaw. This gets the sawing motion you may want but with a reduced risk of material getting stuck. You could have just the edges of a sword be replaced by these blades so the whole sword blade is not moving up and down.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Wouldnt the logical conclusion of this be that a cutting edge would be best? Practicality of any chainsword type aside a cutting edge will drag much less material into the machine and cause it to stop. $\endgroup$ – Demigan Apr 5 at 10:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Demigan I am unsure as to what you mean, can you please clarify? $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris Apr 5 at 10:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You show all the reasons why a jagged chainsaw edge would be bad against anything other than trees. But a straight, continuous edge wouldnt rip pieces of cloth and flesh and drag it into the machinery (at least not as much). This makes a straight, continuous razor superior to jagged edges. Your hedge-cutter design would also suffer less from this problem, but would have trouble cutting into someone. $\endgroup$ – Demigan Apr 5 at 11:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Demigan This is true but i feel it is more a problem with the idea of the weapon as a whole. Chainsaws are not particularly effective at cutting, for the reasons i mentioned, and are not ideal as weapons. Also, in my design, i stated that the flamberge would be a better idea that using jagged edges as that is still a continuous edge but it would keep a similar aesthetic to a chainsaw blade. Ideally, yes you are correct, a straight edge would be better for not getting stuck. However, a static edge would get stuck even less than an active one, so i feel it is a flaw with the concept in general. $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris Apr 5 at 12:03
4
$\begingroup$

Cutting is a very well understood process - but sadly also very dependent on some variables that are not mentioned in your question, namely the material being cut, the speed with which the sword is supposed to pass through the material, and the speed with which the chain is moving.

I am going to assume that the variables are to be set by the answerer: Everything, 30m/s, 12000m/s (yes, that's alot)

Sword-Speed is negligible to chain speed, therefore subsequent teeth will not encounter much additional material. This is both good and bad: Good in that there is not much mass to be displaced by each tooth, bad in that the edge takes the brunt of the force, and will thus blunt fast. It means you'll not have a circular chain, but rather something that is unspooled from a source and used only once. The teeth can be extremely small, the leading edge practically vertical, the edge, then a taper;The teeth might be so small the edge looks flat from the enemies perspective (and moving will appear so for sure)

12000m/s is the speed of sound in diamond, so there should not be many materials able to withstand this sword. On the edge. As this presumes a one-off chain, the source needs be in the grip, and the chain is left to unspool freely. To cut through 3 m of material will take you 1/10 th of a second, meaning 1200m of chain get unspooled. A sword grip being about 0.0001 m3 large, this comes out to about 10^-8 m2, or, for instance, 1 mm broad and 10 um thick (making the teeth be at the very limit of haptic sensibility (unmoving)). The blade cannot be thicker than the chain is broad, but thinner is better here anyways, as we do not want to move too much material.

How to get the chain up to speed is left to the reader..

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ “12000m/s is the speed of sound in diamond” Can you claify what this means? I would have assumed that the speed of sound is a fixed number, like the speed of light. Do different materials have different “speeds of sound”? $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris Apr 3 at 18:43
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @LiamMorris Here is the formula for speed of sound. Light has a carrier (the photon), while sound is the transmission of movement through a medium, like wave at the surface of water. But the speed of light also varies with the medium (it is the speed of light in vacuum that is a constant). The more it is slowed down, the higher the diffraction index, for example it is slower in water or glass than air (hence how we can make lenses with glass). $\endgroup$ – Eth Apr 4 at 12:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.