Damascus Steel Viking Sword
(About): A Spectacular Modern Reproduction of a Viking Pattern-Welded Sword
The blade of our Damascus Steel Viking Sword is stunning dark pattern-welded steel, rippling with runic shapes and infused with the magic of Wayland the Smith. The warriors of the Viking Age wielded swords made in exactly the same way as this: billets of iron and steel were forge-welded and twisted together, each cut and fold doubling the number of laminations, creating ever-more complex repeating patterns in the metal. The final result was a staggeringly beautiful sword that was reputed to be magically sharp and unbreakable. Our Damascus Steel Viking Sword replicates this mysterious metal with an alloy of two different types of steel – high-carbon 1095 steel and nickel-alloy 15N20 steel – which are folded and twisted in the pattern-welding process. This process is repeated until the Damascus steel has more than 400 layers! The end result is a blade of unparalleled beauty, which shimmers with every movement.
Authentic Norse Blade Geometry
The design of the blade is a fantastic example of the Viking-style blades classified by historian Ewart Oakeshott under Type X. These have parallel sides with little or no taper from hilt to tip, and shallow or even rounded points. They frequently have a wide, shallow fuller, and a subtle distal taper. Our Damascus Steel Viking Sword has all of these qualities: it was designed for maximum cutting strength, having a fair amount of the weight distributed toward the point of the blade to give it significant presence in the hand. But these were no crude choppers: the large fuller significantly reduced the weight of the blade, and the distal taper brings the balance point much closer in toward the hand, causing the blade to move like a Norse serpent… The blade has also been heat-treated to a hardness of 58-60 HRc, meaning that it is a resilient blade capable of standing up to the knocks and scrapes of re-enactment and roleplay.
A Solid Brass Hilt with the Brand of the Wolf
The hilt of our Viking Damascus Sword is stunning golden homage to the design styles and artwork of the late Viking Age. It conforms to the Type Æ swords identified by Petersen, with a short cross-guard sweeping down to broad knobbed quillons. The guard has been cast in solid brass and engraved with a pair of Norse-style wolves: these are Geri and Freki, the two fierce wolves belonging to Óðinn, whose names both mean ‘greedy’ or ‘ravenous’. The guard is a handsome wrapped leather, punctuated by a wooden spacer in the middle for extra grip. The pommel is a handsome ‘cocked-hat’ style, again cast in solid brass, and engraved with the image of Fenrir the world-eating doom-wolf. This beast, who is the son of Loki the trickster-god, is kept imprisoned in magical bonds – but they will not hold forever. The Norse sagas prophesy that Fenrir will break free at the end of the world, killing the Óðinn the All-Father, only to be killed in turn by Óðinn’s son Víðarr.
Our Viking Damascus Sword also includes a sturdy tooled leather scabbard. Truly, this blade bears a thirst: the Vikings used images such as these on their weaponry to increase their ferocity in battle. You could incorporate such imagery into your fantasy roleplay outfit or historical Viking re-enactment to tie such your Viking Damascus Steel Sword into your look.
(History): Pattern Welding in the Viking Age
The reality of pattern-welded swords like our Damascus Steel Viking Sword is a little more prosaic than magical swords made by the legendary Wayland the Smith! Celtic smiths had invented the process of pattern-welding in the late Iron Age (1st-millennium BCE) – most metalworkers only had access to inconsistent and haphazardly-made iron and steel, with significant variance in quality, carbon content, purity etc even from the same places of production. The best way to get a generally better result from manufacturing process was homogenisation: turning a variety of metal qualities into a uniform material to work with. And the best way to achieve this was ‘piling’ different steels and irons together (initially haphazardly but as time went on with more and more deliberation), heating them, forge-welding them together with a hammer, then twisting them, extruding them by pulling them out with tongs, folding them over, then cutting the extruded metal into new billets – which can then be piled, forged, extruded and folded again. The patterned laminations result from the different grades of iron or steel, which each have contrasting colors. Whilst this didn’t make the metal better, it did make it much more consistent, and so the resulting weapons were generally of significantly higher quality. This led to an association between the ‘Damascus’ patternation and prestige – an association which lasted all the way from the inception of pattern-welding to when sword-makers began to experiment with all-steel swords around the 10th century CE. Our Damascus Steel Viking Sword is a spectacular beast from the Dark Age – make sure you don’t unsheathe it under the full moon…
Want two Damascus Swords rather than just one? That’s smart! Here’s one that we recommend.
- Total length: 31 ¾ inches
- Blade length: 24 inches
- Blade material: 1095 & 15N20 steels; Damascus (400-520 folds)
- Blade hardness: 58-60 HRc
- Guard and pommel material: Solid brass
- Grip material: Leather