Tang (weaponry)

Tang (weaponry)

The tang of a sword or fixed-blade knife is that part of the blade extending into and usually through the grip that is fastened to it.

A "full tang" means that the grip conforms to the shape and follows the outline of the tang, which is a solid piece of metal (typically steel). It is a single piece of metal from tip to base but the hilt is usually encased. Scales (flat pieces of handle material, like stag, wood, or synthetics) may be affixed to the tang with rivets or pins. Alternately, the tang may be wrapped with braided cord or paracord. Injection-molded rubber (Kraton) or plastic (Zytel) are other grip options. A full tang generally implies a tough and durable sword or knife hilt, provided the steel has been properly heat treated and is not too hard (the harder it is, the more brittle it is). This method of production means that the sword or knife is stronger as it is a solid construction rather than a blade fixed to a base which can come off through wear or contact.

A "hidden tang" or "rat-tail tang" means that a long rod extends from the blade through a drilled or hollow grip, and is threaded so as to hold the grip in place by tightening a fastener at the end. Such fasteners are frequently built into the sword's or knife's pommel, which is then screwed on. This tang design results in a lighter but much weaker weapon.

A "stub tang" means that the blade has only a short tab of metal at the end — often less than an inch in length — which fits into a slot in the grip and is held in place with epoxy, occasionally with a pin for reinforcement. Stub tangs are frequently found on low-quality knives and some swords. Use of a stub tang greatly reduces the amount of metal required, as well as the skill of workmanship needed for manufacture. This results in lower prices for the consumer, but gives a shoddy weapon prone to breaking. Most knives with cast-metal grips utilize a stub tang. Any swords with a stub tang are to be decorations only, any use is extremely dangerous.

See also

* blade
* hilt

External links

* [http://www.agudoo.com/knowknives/tang-and-handle Different types of tang construction]

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