Wielding a lightsaber is a fun and exciting endeavor. As with any sport or hobby, however, it’s important to take some simple safety precautions in order minimize the risk of injury. Here are six tips to help you stay safe during lightsaber spinning and lightsaber duels.
1. Select a Safe and Duel Worthy Lightsaber
Some lightsabers are safer than others. Look for a lightsaber without sharp edges anywhere on the hilt or coupler. Sharp edges can cut up your hands or cut up your opponent during a duel. When dueling or spinning, avoid using lightsabers with sharp edges or claws.
Use a properly installed lightsaber with a chassis. It’s important to purchase a lightsaber installed by a reputable and respected sabersmith or custom saber company. Two lightsaber hilts can look identical on the outside, while the inside of one hilt is wired poorly and the other hilt is wired properly. A chassis helps protect the lightsaber’s internals from shifting around during use.
2. Select a Duel Worthy Lightsaber Blade
Use midgrade/thin walled polycarbonate blades for light dueling or heavy grade/thick walled polycarbonate blades for heavy, full contact dueling. When dueling, select blades with round blade tips, rather than pointed or bullet tips, which can hurt your opponent. Some non-standard blades, like flat acrylic blades (e.g. flat acrylic Ripper Blades), are not duel worthy, but may be used for lightsaber spinning.
3. Install a Blade Plug on the Hilt When the Blade is Removed
Installing a blade plug on an in-hilt LED lightsaber when he blade is removed is a simple, but important safety measure. A blade plug helps prevent the bright in-hilt LED light from shining in someone’s eyes. Neopixel lightsabers do not require a blade plug because the light source is contained within the neopixel blade itself.
4. Wear Safety Gear During Dueling
Treat lightsaber dueling like a sport. Lightsaber dueling, especially fuel contact sparring, requires gloves, padding, and protective headgear to minimize the risk of injury. See The Saber Legion’s (TSL) website for lightsaber combat gear ideas.
5. Duel and Spin in Open Environments
Dueling and spinning lightsabers requires more open space than you might think. Choose open, unobstructed environments like parks, gyms, garages or your backyard. Waving a lightsaber around in a cramped environment like a studio apartment is dangerous because you could knock over a lamp or trip over everyday obstructions like shoes or toys. If you decide to try indoor lightsaber spinning, closely monitor your surroundings and consider using a shorter lightsaber blade (i.e. 24 inches or shorter).
6. Understand that most lightsabers over $50 are NOT toys
Most lightsabers that are $50 or more are commonly comprised of metal and plastic. For this reason, few, if any, lightsabers over $50 are advertised as toys.
JUST FOR FUN: Lightsaber Safety Parodies
The internet is filled with ‘lightsaber safety’ parody videos and graphics, including a a popular YouTube video called Lightsaber Safety 101. These videos and graphics refer to the fictitious lightsabers that cut through things and not the real life, plastic-bladed lightsabers sold by Ultrasabers, Saberforge, Sabertrio, Vader’s Vault, etc.