The point of balance of real Han Jian, it is not what most people would have thought.
Using two authentic Han Jian as illustration
An eight side Han Jian : blade length 69 cm [27"]
A four side Han Jian : blade length 86 cm [33"]
Before any fittings is added to the sword handle,
The POB of the
8 sides Han Jian is at 23.5 cm [9.25"] in front of the hand guard
4 sides Han Jian is at 27.0 cm [10.6"] in front of the hand guard
Here we have 5 hand guards of different sizes, combine total weight is
On average, a hand guards weight 21.93 grams [0.77 ounces]
Here we have 5 pommel of different sizes, combined total weight is 133.38 gram.
On average, a pommel weight 26.68 grams [ 0.94 ounces] .
From this we can see, the pommel and the hand guard are not really that heavy. If we ignore the weight of the wood handle and the wrapping cord, the additional weight on the handle by the pommel and the hand guard combine is 48.61 gram, less than 50 grams [1.7 ounces]
We took a pair of hand guard and pommel, and add them to the raw blades.
After adding the pommel and hand guard,
8 sided Han Jian’s adjusted POB is 20.5 cm [8.07"] in front of the hand guard.
4 sided Han Jian’s adjusted POB is 23.5 cm [9.25"] in front of the hand guard.
The POB get drawn closer to the hand guard, however,
due to the fact that the fittings are relatively light,
their effect on the weight distribution of the Han Jian
is not very pronounced.
As we all know, if we fix the weight of a sword,
when the center of gravity gets closer to the hand guard,
the sword is easier and more agile to yield.
when the center of gravity moves away from the hand guard,
the striking power of the sword increases.
So it is necessary, to find a POB where it is agile to yield but yet still have enough striking power.
The answer is in the unique geometry of the Han Jian blade.
Han Jian blade is long and slim compare to later period Jian.
Han Jian also have a taper toward the tip of the blade.
The blade geometry determines the weight of the Jian.
A blade of a 100cm [39.3] Han Jian weight only around 500 grams
[1 lb, 1.6 ounces].
The blade geometry also determine the best POB, and the center of gravity.
By moving the POB further out from the the hand guard, Han Jian strike an excellent balance.
The forward POB increase the striking power, while the total weight is still light, Han Jian got the exception handling and power that have not been surpassed.
This article is translated from the original Chinese article by Mr. Lau Zai To
Mr. Lau is one of the foremost collector and expert in Han Jian and we are in debt and benefit from his pioneering research work.