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Shane Savage

how to balance a knife

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I'm making a macheting out of leafsrping and have grinded it down to about 3mm 

I will have a stabilized handle a 3 piece guard and a pummel made from railroad track

my question is their a calculation for blade weight that one can offset the handle and pummel for a good balance?

Thanks for your time

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Machetes are not swords, but this is a good video to watch to give you an idea of how complex the question you are asking is.

The shortest answer when it comes to a simple, chopping machete: It should be forward balanced (i.e. heavy on the tip) but not so much that it falls out of your hand when you allow it to lay in your palm. Good South American machetes use thick full-tang construction and dense hard wood slabs as handle materials to counter the blade weight. A lenticular grind is also good for machetes.

Having said all that, there are still a load of variables to consider. Is the machete going to be used for hours on end to hack away jungle brush as the wielder cuts a path? If so, it needs to be light, thin, and quick. Is the machete to be used as a camp tool (e.g. as a hatchet, cleaver for butchering, killer of snakes, etc.?) if so, a heavier, wider, chopping design is better. 

Hope this helps and doesn't just add too many variables . . .

 

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For something that size, you may not necessarily need one, depending on distal taper (if there is any). If you feel it needs one, Dave's (and Peter's) information is fantastic. A good trick is to get some modeling clay and a kitchen scale. Mark out on the tang where the top and bottom of the pommel will sit and build up the modeling clay between those two points to mock up a tang. Remember to stay within the lines you set for yourself, as moving mass further up or down the tang will change things drastically. Play with a bunch of different weights until it has the dynamics you're looking for, then weigh the clay. You now know the weight you want for the pommel.

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Another trick if you don't have the clay is to tape coins to the end of the handle until you get the balance you are looking for.

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