Are swords and katanas made of meteorites or other space rocks are better weapons than their Earth-counterparts?


Just saw a photo of that katana made of space rock and I’m curious to know if it’s a better weapon than those made of metal. Also, what is the ideal Earth element that is best suited for swords? Thank you.

In: Geology

I don’t really think so it might just be a mere fancy sword. This is because the meteorites do not contain any special metals that is not available on Earth. Even just the rock is just like any other rock on Earth may be with just few different compounds.

So it won’t really add any special attributes to the sword.

In the modern day, we can exactly replicate meteoric iron. So there’s really no advantage.

In primitive civilizations, it’s nearly impossible to find metallic iron except from meteoric iron. Because smelting iron ore is relatively difficult, this means that almost all ancient iron implements needed to be made from meteoric iron.

There’s this wonderful element called iron that’s used in all swords from the iron age onwards, though usually with a bit of carbon in them too. That’s also the element found in meteorites too. There is no special metal or unique element involved. They were meant to be good because the meteor was a gift from the heavens and also often forged by a master in his trade.

So, sarcasm aside, the answer is a bit fat no. They might have some additional elements in them that provide a better alloy but humans can add traces of other elements to improve steel’s properties too.

Iron meteorites are notoriously difficult to forge, because of impurities (many other metal and non-metal elements may be present.). If you managed to forge one, you’d have no way of guaranteeing the reliability, flexibility and strength of the sword. And if it didn’t have the right % of carbon in it (or added), it wouldn’t hold an edge very well. A lot of swords and knives you see that are labelled as “meteorite” are one of two options:
– they have bits of meteorite mixed in with normal powdered steel, which is forged together in a cannister and then cut and reforged a few times to give an interesting visual pattern, reinforcing the “exotic meteorite look”. It’s the equivalent of “mango juice” where only 3% is mango and the rest is apple and water. These are for display use mostly.
– You can melt and refine the iron in the meteorite, purify it to remove unwanted impurities and then add carbon to have good enough quality steel for a functional blade. But the time, cost and effort needed for this is off the scale for the end product. It also won’t look like anything special, so what’s the point?

No, in fact they’re worse. Mainly because the composition of meteorites varies wildly, sure it might be mostly iron but there are other elements as well. Some are useful and others are detrimental. Nickel for example is a useful element while phosphorus is not. Often times gas pockets can be present in the meteorite which have to be removed first, the grain structure of the meteorite is all over the place. If you cut a meteorite open you’ll often find stress fractures that wouldn’t be visible from the outside. If you have those in a sword it’ll shatter pretty easily. In order to make it into a useful sword you’d have to refine it to the point where it’s just iron with maybe a few useful elements but iron is inferior to most steels. At any rate the best element would probably be the platinum group metals although they would be costly as hell and heavy, in general though steel gets the job done.

Some are, some aren’t. If you got lucky and used a meteor that was rich in Iridium you’d have a pretty awesome weapon. Otherwise, it’s just basically iron that fell from the sky.

The best swords are not made of a single element. Pure Iron was inferior to Steel, which is a mix of Iron, and carbon with high heat. In addition it’s not just the materials that matter, but the technique. Steel folding was one such technique often used in katanas which made for a stronger, sharper, purer blade, but was incredibly labour intensive.

Where the iron used to make the steel comes from does not matter at all, however. It’s just cool.

Any sword made from metal you know the quality and purity of is going to superior to one made from a random hunk of metal that fell from the sky.

Meteoric iron was valuable in the bronze age because it was the only source as refining iron from ores hadn’t been invented yet. By the time people were making steel swords and katana they had reliable access to better iron than what you’d find in most meteorites.

I’d doubt but i wouldn’t doubt that there is a really good outer space material for swords that isn’t on earth.