Blood Groove: What is the truth behind it?

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Blood Groove: What is the truth behind it?

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:46 pm

I am sure many of you have seen numerous knives, daggers, bayonets, swords, and other cutting tools over the years that have the claimed "blood groove", the concave channel down the center of the blade, that is claimed to be put there to make it easier for blood to flow out of a target during combat. What is the truth of this? Does that stand up to known real world history and use, or is it just a gimmick for sale, or, at best, a way to lighten a blade?

Someone once told me that regardless of whether it works or not, it lightens and even strengthens the blade. I dont know if that is true or not. Does that hold up geometrically?

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Re: Blood Groove: What is the truth behind it?

Postby dsvirsky » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:50 pm

The function of a fuller (not blood groove) is to lighten the blade while maintaining structural strength. Period. It's not there to channel blood or make it easier to withdraw the blade after stabbing someone.

Oh, and it also looks cool.

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Re: Blood Groove: What is the truth behind it?

Postby Doc Dan » Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:15 am

Exactly.

I do not know why someone in their ignorance (or perhaps on purpose to make knives more evil) started that nonsense. Maybe it was just to impress others with their vast knowledge. It is actually a fuller. On a sword, it makes the sword able to be lighter, more flexible, and still remain strong. On a knife it is not normally necessary, but every ounce of weight savings can make a difference to a soldier or hunter. Marble's made their Ideal knife that had broad fullers on each side. It made for a very light, but strong knife for its size. They popularized the idea. Kabar copied the idea for their famous knife, but made the fullers less broad. Others have copied this idea.
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Re: Blood Groove: What is the truth behind it?

Postby Reference_Sensor » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:16 am

The above posts nailed it exactly. Bloviating journalists and Hollywood writers probably had more to do with this kind of folklore being propagated than anything else.
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Re: Blood Groove: What is the truth behind it?

Postby MichaelScott » Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:22 pm

The famous galdius hispanensis Roman short sword, was designed primarily as a thrusting weapon used in conjunction with a large shield. Early ones were about three feet, later shortened to the standard blade of about two feet. Very sharp point, no fuller or “groove”.
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Re: Blood Groove: What is the truth behind it?

Postby cbrstar » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:01 pm

You can lighten the blade 25-35% without compromising strength. But I think the blood groove myth is because it's usually found on a weapon that's designed for stabbing and not cutting. You're not going to usually see one on a kitchen knife that's designed for slicing.

A lot of people say the suction thing is a myth. But this is going to sound gruesome...My Grandfather once told me in WW2 he had to fire a round to dislodge his bayonet. These myths all come from some truth.

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Re: Blood Groove: What is the truth behind it?

Postby fanglekai » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:32 pm

A fuller allows the blade to be made thicker, thus stiffer and stronger for the same weight as a blade without a fuller. Removal of some material lightens the blade while maintaining the additional strength due to the increased thickness.

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Re: Blood Groove: What is the truth behind it?

Postby Doc Dan » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:16 am

A knife is not going to get stuck inside a body unless it gets wedged in a bone, which can easily happen. I knew a guy who stabbed a deer to death (his rifle malfunctioned) and the blade never got stuck. Look at all of the people stabbed. If this was a real concern, it would be well documented. It is an urban myth.

Now, I can see a saber getting, not stuck, but harder to pull out because the greater length would cause greater friction in a body. It would still come out with a yank. A rapier or foil, never.
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Re: Blood Groove: What is the truth behind it?

Postby demoncase » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:24 am

Funnily enough I've always called them 'fullers' rather than 'blood grooves'....They are there for the same reason structural steel in buildings are I-Beams or hollow box section.

It also means that the point of balance of a longer blade can be tailored to be more usable- a reason why they are such a feature of martial blades (that will be getting waved about a lot) rather than kitchen blades of similar lengths (which will not be getting waved about but used against a block- unless you've upset the Gordon Ramsay)

I have in my collection a 1907 SMLE Bayonet that was dug up at the Somme in 2007
Being the original pattern it has a hooked quillon guard
Even though it's 18" long and has a 5" handle- the fuller runs most of the blade, leaving the balance of the blade right around your index finger where it would be through that hooked quillon.....which isn't a surprise as the pre-WW1 army manuals featured a delightfully quaint section on 'fencing with the bayonet unmounted'.

Most of these bayonets got that guard cut down in 1914 when it was realised that the Great War was not going to involve the gentlemanly art of fencing.
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