Can You Slice Someone In Half With A Sword?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 04/24/21 •  5 min read

We’ve all seen it in action movies, the hero bursting forward, sword in hand, striking the enemy down, and slicing him in half.

But is it really possible to slice someone in half with a sword?

The short answer is yes, you can do so. BUT it’s unlikely for that to happen as a lot of things need to go right.

Firstly, you would need the right sword that is very sharp and strong enough to cut through bone and muscle.

On top of that, you will also need years of training to have the proper technique with the blade to be able to do this.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at what needs to go right for you to be able to do so, along with some quick tidbits and facts about swordsmen slicing through their enemies with their trusted steel.

Read on to learn more.

Can You Slice Someone In Half With A Sword?

As mentioned earlier, yes it is possible, but a whole lot of things would have to go right for it to happen.

On top of needing the right weapon and the right technique, the circumstances have to be perfect as well.

Human bodies are very thick, especially when compared to swords, and to be able to cut someone in half, you’re going to need the weapon to be sticking out the opponent’s back, which means you’ll have to be very close to accomplish this.

You’ll also have to hit the person just right to do this, as soft tissue can be really tough to cut through, and humans have a lot of it.

On top of that, you’re also going to need to slice through the minimum amount of bone, meaning there is a certain spot that you have to slice through to do this.

This can be done with a wide variety of swords that either need to be really heavy, really sharp, or both if you’re lucky.

Katanas and broadswords have long been known to be one of the best weapons in history, and there are numerous stories about people using these blades to slice their opponents in half.

But realistically, it will probably take you more than a few swings to get this done, especially if the opponent is standing up and trying to dodge, so the likelihood of this happening in the battlefield is fairly slim and is more likely to happen in one on one combat.

The Legend Of Samurai Slicing People In Half

One of the prime examples people point to when debating whether or not a sword can cut a person in half is the samurai.

It was said that whenever ancient samurai would be gifted with a blade, they would rigorously test its balance and sharpness.

If it felt right when it was gripped, and the warrior could easily maneuver while holding and using the blade, that would mean it was balanced.

To test the sharpness, however, legend has it that they would use the blades on prisoners and execute them by trying to slice them in half.

And if the blade went cleanly through with a single diagonal stroke, that would mean it was up to par with the samurai’s standards.

The legend goes on to say that after witnessing a lot of executions, the prisoners concocted a plan that involved swallowing as many rocks as possible so that when a samurai would try to slice them in half, the blade would be stopped by the rocks and the warrior would be humiliated in public, giving the prisoners the last laugh.

What Swords Can Slice Through Bone?

A lot of different swords can slice through bone, from the longsword and broadsword of European soldiers, all the way to the katana used by the samurai and the saif used by warriors of Arabia.

To be able to cut through bone, a sword would need to be both sharp and heavy and be a proper combination of the two qualities.

If your blade is too heavy, you won’t exactly be slicing the bone as opposed to crushing it with the weight of the blade.

And if the blade is too sharp, it might be too thin and be damaged by hard bone, or if it isn’t sharp enough, it simply won’t cut through tough materials such as bone.

What Is The Sharpest Sword In The World?

The sharpest sword in the world were the katanas made by Masamune, who is well-known among enthusiasts as one of the best swordsmiths in history.

Asian swords typically had a sharper edge than European ones, however, they weren’t as strong since they had to be sharpened to a thinner edge.


So there you have it, an answer to a question asked by sword enthusiasts from all over the world.

A sword can definitely have the capabilities to slice a person in half, but a whole lot of things would have to go right for that to happen.

And now that you know the answer to the question, you don’t have to worry about frantically searching through Google to find it the next time it’s asked.

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.