Created By: DragonQuestZ on April 1, 2012 Last Edited By: DragonQuestZ on December 15, 2013

Wooden Blade

Swords, knives, axes, and other bladed weapons made out of wood, and work well.

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Trope
A working bladed weapon made of wood. It could be a sword, a dagger, an axe, or evena throwing star, as long as the blade is made of wood.

Now such a thing might be feasible in Real Life (in terms of slicing, not simple piercing), but in fiction, such things are often at worst only slightly less powerful than a metal weapon.

Yet sometimes these weapons can be shown to be greatly inferior, usually to show how outmatched one side is.

Some characters make deliberately make blades out of wood, as often a "calling card".

A Super Trope to Wooden Katanas Are Even Better (when such katanas match or best steel katanas).

Compare Simple Staff, Batter Up, Wooden Stake, Blade on a Stick.

Examples

Community Feedback Replies: 38
  • April 2, 2012
    Arivne

  • In the webcomic Goblins, one of the early villains can do this with both arrows and swords. One of the protagonists later kills him and takes such a wooden sword which continues to function.
  • April 2, 2012
    Koveras
    Played with in Sergey Lukyanenko's Knights of the Forty Islands: the swords belonging to your enemies appear to be made of steel, while those of your allies appear wooden. However, when pitted against each other, they have equal cutting power, since they are actually both at the same time: your sword can maim and kill your enemies but the moment you turn on your allies, it turns into a blunt stick. This way, the mysterious organizers of this Not Just A Tournament prevent friendly fire among participants.
  • April 2, 2012
    OneMore
  • April 2, 2012
    nman
    • In The Riftwar Cycle, the Tsuranni homeworld has virtually no metal, and as such their weaponry is fashioned from wood. The author justifies it by making the wood come from a unique native tree that is known for being extremely strong.
  • April 3, 2012
    Raso
    • Kingdom Hearts Sora uses one till he gets the Keyblade, they cant actually do any damage to heartless. He gets another one later when the Keyblade is stolen, requiring other to actually do damage while he gets to swing and do 0 damage.
  • April 3, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    BTW, would bokken fall under this more than Wooden Katanas Are Even Better?
  • April 3, 2012
    Megadraco
    • In {Minecraft}, you can use a wooden sword and it works just fine, except for the duration.
  • April 5, 2012
    pawsplay
    The Aztec Empire was a low weapon metal civilization, so the standard blade of war was an edged wooden bat laced with obsidian crystals or other sharp edges. Although no match for sustained blows from a Spanish sword, nonetheless, quite effective in its own right.
  • April 5, 2012
    Astaroth
    Add Oracle Of Seasons / Oracle Of Ages to the Zelda list
  • April 6, 2012
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons. The world of Athas (the Dark Sun campaign setting) has a severe shortage of metal, so bladed weapons are sometimes made of wood instead. They have a moderate penalty to damage done and their chance to hit, and there's a small chance they'll break if they inflict maximum damage.
  • April 6, 2012
    McKathlin
    In Minecraft, the wooden sword is the weakest sword made of common materials, but still much stronger than unarmed.
  • April 7, 2012
    Generality
    Video Games
    • General: It's common in Role Playing Games to have the main character start out with a wooden sword. It will typically be replaced very quickly with a steel one.
  • April 29, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ That's a description line, not a work example.
  • April 29, 2012
    Bisected8
    • In Team Fortress 2 one of the first alternative weapons for the Sniper class was a wooden knife, it does (very slightly) less damage, but inflicts a bleed effect which stacks with the pyro's flame effect (as well as the sniper's own "jarate" effect, which increases the damage both deal) making it much more powerful.
  • April 30, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • Gor:
      • In Blood Brothers of Gor the Fantasy Counterpart Culture Plains Indians Tarl is with run out of arrows with points, so they use thousands upon thousands of pointed sticks to create a Rain Of Arrows.
      • In Players of Gor Tarl is undercover with a Commedia Dell Arte troupe; its Miles Gloriosus character has an oversized wooden sword. He never uses it for combat, but instead makes much humor out of struggling to get it out of the sheath.
      • Kur of Gor: Tarl, trapped on one of the Steel Worlds, is reduced to using a "spear" which is just a pointed stick, with the point being fire-hardened. When he tries to use it against a Kur it snaps off.

    Edited on 8/21/13 (since it hadn't been rolled in any updates anyway) to fix example indentation, sort chronologically, and to add another example from another book
  • April 30, 2012
    Mauri
    It seems familiar but if you check the case of lovehina it mentions the case of the wooden blades. But how can we differentiate from absurdlysharpblade?
  • April 30, 2012
    Generality
    • Susano, hereditary hero in Okami has a wooden BFS, with a flower growing out of it, no less. Subverted in that every time he uses it, Ammy has to secretly help him with the Celestial Brush. Double subverted when he uses it to deal the final blow to the great beast Orochi, cleaving it in two with no help at all.
  • April 30, 2012
    IronLion
    Kingdom Of Loathing has a wooden axe, Just For Pun.
    What does this thing do? Man, I wooden axe if I was you.
  • August 21, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^^ Because that trope doesn't care what the blade is made out of, and this ykttw doesn't care if the blade isn't that sharp.
  • August 21, 2013
    DAN004
    Bokken is indeed the "Wooden Katana" in... that trope. :P
  • August 22, 2013
    Arivne
    Literature

    Real Life
    • The Japanese swordmaster Miyamoto Musashi is said to have used bokken (wooden practice swords) in duels against opponents using real swords - and won.
  • August 22, 2013
    Bisected8
    Might serve as an example of Weapon Jr.
  • August 22, 2013
    DAN004
    • In one of Fantastic Four stories (forgot which), Mr. Fantastic invented a wooden gun which can safely hurt Magneto.
  • August 22, 2013
    Koveras
  • August 22, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ Square Peg Round Trope. This is bladed weapons only.
  • August 22, 2013
    Alvin
    Maybe this counts or maybe not, but in a GK Chesterton short story (whose title escapes me; I'll try harder) a man wielding a wooden sword that was a child's toy defeats a wandering swordsman who had defeated many experts. We find out the wandering swordsman was testing the effectiveness of a magnetic sword.
  • August 22, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Since it was wood, I guess it counts.
  • August 22, 2013
    aurora369
    In Skyrim, the wooden sword is technically a child's toy, but you can use it as a weapon, enchant and upgrade it, if you're a fan of Cherry Tapping.
  • August 24, 2013
    Arivne
    From the trope You Shall Not Pass:

    Literature
    • A Game Of Thrones. Syrio Forel holds off five Lannister guardsmen and a knight of the Kingsguard with only a wooden practice sword to buy time for Arya to flee. He actually kills the lightly armored Lannister guards, and is only defeated by the knight in heavy armor and full helmet.
    • The War Of The Ancients trilogy. The orc Broxigar uses an axe made of enchanted wood that is stronger and sharper than any metal.
  • September 2, 2013
    Arivne
    Film
  • September 2, 2013
    DAN004
    One of Ryu's weapons in Ninja Gaiden is a wooden sword that does pathetic damage, but when you upgrade it to the max it will become the strongest weapon in the game.
  • September 3, 2013
    MattStriker
    More literature:

    • In The Last Continent, Rincewind at one point remarks that the wooden weapons wielded by the natives of this pseudo-Australia only seem silly until you've seen the kind of tree that grows there. Specifically, a native boomerang-type weapon is at one point described as the type that doesn't return because it is stuck in your ribcage.

    Also:

    Tabletop Games

    • In The Dark Eye the island of Maraskan is basically a cross between Australia, Japan and the Death World of Catachan from Warhammer40000. Its human inhabitants use wooden weaponry and armor that is effective enough (thanks to some iron-hard native woods), but the really scary weapons are wielded by the island's lizardfolk tribes who, thanks to some elemental magics, have managed to weaponize the Everything Trying To Kill You nature of their environment with their weapons made of living (and very angry) plants.
  • September 3, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
  • September 4, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    Any good pictures?
  • September 5, 2013
    aurora369
    In Game of Thrones, Syrio Forel the fencing instructor used wooden swords for practice, but he used one to a great effect vs real opponents when Lannister soldiers attacked him and Arya. He was only stopped when his wooden sword's blade was chopped off by real steel.
  • December 15, 2013
    Bisected8
    I'm not quite sure if this is an example, but;

    • Many types of swords have wooden weapons which are considered "training" versions of them, but conversely have their own martial arts (or at least sports). For example, the singlestick is this to a broadsword and the quarterstaff is this to two-handed swords (the only difference in the way they're used being that the sticks are lighter and can't actually cut).
  • December 15, 2013
    DrakeClawfang
    The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, with the Hearthfire add-on the player can find and purchase Wooden Swords as gifts for their children. The swords are actually treated as weapons though and can be used by the player to fight, though they have very poor damage.
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