Bat'leths: Prop Sizing Info
Classification: Weapons
Subdivision: Bat'leth

Bat'leths: Prop Sizing Info

tlhingan bat'leth

The Origin of the Bat'leth | The Sword of Kahless | Prop Sizing Info | Sizing Your Bat'leth

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"Computer, I want a Klingon bat'leth. Tip-to-tip, 116 centimeters. Weight, 5.3 kilos. With an exterior hand gripping diameter of 5 centimeters. Blades, composite bakonite."

"Ahhh, A warrior's configuration."

Perhaps it is a warrior's configuration. Perhaps not. That all depends on the size, strength, and shape of the warrior wielding the weapon. 116 cm is 45.68 inches, 5.3 kg is 11.68 lbs, and 5 cm is 1.97 inches. 11.68 lbs is weighty, but not as bad as say...20 lbs, which is what the equivalent shape would weigh in steel.

The hand grips are fine for the average person, but some have shorter or longer fingers and would prefer a different configuration. Nearly 46 inches is about right. Most people seem comfortable with that size, although we'll discuss how to arrive at customized configurations later in this report.

Not much has been explained to us about the origin and history of the bat'leth. The word itself is supposed to mean "sword of honor", but Marc Okrand has said that the current spelling is a typo and that it doesn't mean honor sword in its present form. No sweat; our language is full of slang. There's bound to be some in the Klingon language as well.

Kael sutai-Mang did an excellent story on the origin of the bat'leth which I subscribe to (at least until the great entity tells us more about it). If you haven't seen this document, ask your local weapons officer to burn you a copy, or view/download it from It's good reading.

In real life, the bat'leth was designed by Dan Curry, the visual effects producer on DS9. He is a master martial artist in many forms and also is responsible for the various katas and choreographed fighting seen on the show. Versions shown in close up are made from tempered aluminum, but in fight scenes they use rubber bat'leths with a steel core so that they don't hurt each other. The aluminum bat'leths appear to be made from 1/4 inch (6.37 mm) stock, but the rubber/steel ones look to be thicker, perhaps as much as 3/8 inch (9.525 mm) thick. The bat'leth is the main staple weapon of the "new age" Klingons. Anymore, a Klingon armed with a bat'leth is as common as a Fed security chief armed with a phaser. The grace and beauty combined with the devastating damage make this weapon very appealing to Klingons, and there are even Federation members that have considered carrying them into combat as well.

A bat'leth can be a work of art. There are armorers (weaponers actually) out there that provide ready made bat'leths for sale (but this site will not provide a link to any of them*). Price from reasonable to luxurious. The ultimate decision is with the buyer. Shop around and look for the weapons that represent you best. Better still, use the original drawing provided by Paramount, and make your own.

The bat'leth is a beautiful weapon. It's the quintessential Klingon weapon, but not always the first choice for dragging around at a convention. Since the many conventions have no metal policies, you really can't show off your metal bat'leth, so having plexiglass or wooden versions made might be a good idea. Metal weapons are great for personal displays, parades, "assults", and club recruitment drives where the maximum exposure is important.

Remember to be safe and sane when displaying all your weaponry around the mundane/not mundane public. Foolish pranks and stunts have made cons create current weapon policy; let's not get ALL weapons banned!

Lastly, I mentioned above that the bat'leth (regardless of current weapon policies) was not the first choice for dragging around a convention. It's true. It's cumbersome, and even my bat'leths which only weigh 3.5 lbs (1.59 kg) get heavy after a weekend. My personal choice for weapons is a pair of meqleHs. However, any of you that have encountered me at a convention may notice that I carry no weapons at all. Mostly that's because I cannot afford one of my own weapons and I cannot buy from another shop. But in truth, I just don't like dragging them around. I do that 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, and personally, I go to conventions to "escape" work. Don't we all?

Tactical Advantages:

Tactical Disadvantages:

Dimensions and technical data:

-QeyneH, 1996


K'Tesh's Notes:


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