My first post in this forum

A few years ago there was an article in the UK magazine Newscientist about dinosaur teeth and their cutting ability. It said that a sharp smooth edge has 3 properties that allow it to cut- speed of the blade (along the surface, not chopping in to it), applied force and sharpness. There was an equation for cutting in the article but unfortunately I didn’t note it down. Increasing any of these properties will increase the depth of a cut. Removing any one of them will remove an ability to cut (but in the case of speed, a sword blade that is not drawn across a target can still chop like a wood axe).

To my mind this means:
A heavy, wide, sword blade can apply a greater force for a greater time before it stops cutting. A machete cuts deeper than a rapier.
A fast blade cuts deeper- try it on a joint of meat with a kitchen knife. A curved blade is easier to draw across a target (giving it a high speed for a long time) so Japanese swords/sabres have a reputation for strong cutting ability.
A sharp blade cuts deeper- not controversial at all.

There is some existing scientific/engineering research in to this which is probably worth digging out. It explains a lot of why different swords cut differently.

Andrew