Why is there a groove in swords?

It's a bit of an old wives tale but most people just have the idea that the groove in a sword or a knife is there to help blood flow away from the blade. Or it is there to prevent suction that seals the blade into a body. That is all very graphic and totally not true. I guess it makes a little bit of sense but that is not the real reason why there is a groove in the blade of a sword or knife.

 

 

 

That groove, like you see in the picture above is called a "Fuller" and it is there because it adds a significant amount of strength to the blade while even making it a little lighter. I would have never learned this except for I have been blacksmithing and doing blades. Fullering a blade like this is actually a pretty interesting process and they even make specialized blacksmithing tools that will allow you to put the fuller on both sides at the same time.

I am currently working on forging a sword and I am not putting a fuller in it but if you are interested in the whole process you can check it out here: Blacksmithing a Sword

 

So, how do you make the fuller in a sword? Well, there are a couple of different ways to do it. And one of the most common ways is by using a fullering tool. This is a blacksmith's tool that is used to fuller both sides of the blade at the same time. The picture here shows a fullering tool with a piece of sword steel in it.

I have a tutorial showing how to make this tool. You can watch the video tutorial right below.

 

 

 

A tutorial showing the fullering tool.

 

 

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