Cross Sectional Analysis of Blaise Freres Foil Blades
BF FIE foil blades are well known for their variability in shape, longevity, flex, weight, and subjective “feel”. This post hopes to shed some objectivity onto this very popular fencing blade.
1. Square vs regular (Rectangle) based blades
Note the shape of the base between the above 2 blades. Made from the same homologated metal and both carrying the “D” stiffness label, the square blade is purported to have higher stiffness and better point control. This would make mechanical sense, as increased vertical mass (height) of the square blade would have more resistance to bending. Whereas the regular rectangular blade has a “2×4” section, the square is “3×3”.
2. Black Predator blades and BF variations
The Race Imboden gold line is taller in cross section than even the regular BFs, this may contribute to it’s subjective high stiffness as many fencers have reported.
The new BF black predator blades are consistently thinner in height and similar in width to other BF variations. Stiffness ratings for the black blades had minimal effect on cross sections. The approximate 2mm reduction in height and material along the length of the blade would explain the 15% weight reduction that Blaise Freres have claimed on it’s new product.
The black color is likely the result of a new electroplating finish being used. Whether the blade material is actually different, or the same composition but just less material, is up for debate.