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[[quoteright:350:[[Disney/TheAdventuresOfIchabodAndMrToad http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dd3564f62bd2db95762390d586671413.png]]]]

One way of showing the [[AbsurdlySharpBlade sharpness of a blade]] is dropping a strand of hair, or thread, on it and watch it split it in half. Not to be confused with splitting hairs, which is about fine distinctions.

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Secret of Mammo''

* On ''Literature/{{Gor}}'', blades are frequently described as being "so sharp it would cut a piece of silk dropped on it."
* In Sir Creator/WalterScott's ''The Talisman'', Saladin demonstrates the sharpness of his [[CoolSword Saracen sword]] by dropping a cushion onto it, which is neatly sliced in half.
* Shows up in Frank Stockton's short story [[http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Discourager_of_Hesitancy The Discourager of Hesitancy]] (a sequel to his more famous "The Lady or the Tiger?").
* The split-a-piece-of-silk variant appears in ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'', when a samurai attempts to intimidate Cohen the Barbarian.
** Cohen then subverts it by throwing up a bogey-covered hankie, and decapitating three of them as they look up before they realize what's happening.
** Death's scythe is described as so sharp it can split ''atoms''
* In the ''HardyBoys'' mystery "The Secret of Pirates' Hill", Joe drops an envelope on the blade of some pirate cutlasses in the museum to test it's sharpness. {Hint, it's very sharp}
* In ''Literature/WaterMargin'', Yang Zhi, one of the novel's heroes, is forced to sell his [[AncestralWeapon family heirloom of a sword]] in the street. When confronted by a drunken local bully who demnds a dirt cheap price, he tells the latter that the sword is capable of "cut metals like mud, slice through hair by the merest touch, and kill people with no blood on the blade". [[spoiler: It's all true, and Yang Zhi proved the third feature on the bully himself.]]
* In ''Literature/ProtectorOfTheSmall'', Raoul demonstrates the sharpness of Kel's [[BladeOnAStick naginata]] to Flynn by placing a feather on the blade. It, of course, cuts the feather in half without any effort. Kel also tests the sharpness of a blade sent by her AnonymousBenefactor with a hair from her head.
* In ''Literature/TheBible'', Judges 20:16, the tribe of Benjamin had "seven hundred chosen men lefthanded", each one being able to "sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss".
* Noticeably averted in ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'' where while training a dragon rider to care for his weapons properly an actual metalsmith points out that you don't want that sharp an edge on most blades, being that fine of a point also weakens the metal by making it so thin it can cut hair meaning the sword in question wouldn't last very long before being damaged beyond the point of usability as a sword rather then a mace.

* [[http://yobj.net/notablog/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/saint_big.jpg Here's a picture of St. Minutia.]]

* In ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'', during the contest with Pirelli, Sweeney does this. Generally, on-stage, he pulls one of his hairs out, slices it, and watches it fall to the ground, all during a pause in Pirelli's song.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AliBabaBunny'': Hassan manages to chop WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck's [[HatDamage hat]], the diamond on it, and finally, the hair on his head.
* In ''Disney/TheAdventuresOfIchabodAndMrToad'', Brom Bones intimidates Ichabod during his telling of the legend of the Headless Horseman by slowly splitting a hair off his head with a large knife.
* Played straight and inverted in a ''ComicStrip/{{Popeye}}'' short where Popeye and Bluto were competing store salesmen. Bluto shows that his knives are quality with this trope, then Popeye shows how crappy they are by having the hair ''split the knife.''
** A similar gag happened in the {{Talkartoons}} short "Dizzy Dishes".
* ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo'' has a similar joke when Johnny enters a lumber-cutting competition. After a lumberjack splits a hair with his axe, Johnny splits an axe with his hair--[[TooDumbToLive which was still on his head]].
--->'''Johnny''': My hair is ready.