Gutting a lightsaber is the process of removing all of the internal components or ‘guts’ (i.e. electronics, chassis, batteries, etc) from a lightsaber hilt. Here are the top 4 reasons sabersmiths and lightsaber enthusiasts gut a lightsaber.
1. Gutting a Lightsaber to Create an Empty Cosplay Prop or Display Hilt
A broken, inexpensive or outdated lightsaber could be gutted to create a lighter and simpler costume accessory or a display piece (i.e. shelf queen).
2. Gutting a Lightsaber for Repairs, Upgrades or Force FX Conversions
A lightsaber could be gutted to repair or replace broken wires or other internal components. A lightsaber could also be gutted to add a soundboard to a stunt saber or upgrade internals like a soundboard or controller to a newer model. A Star Wars Force FX Lightsaber is commonly gutted during Force FX conversion, a process that transforms an otherwise non-duel worthy lightsaber into a duel worthy lightsaber.
3. Gutting a Lightsaber to Cannibalize Parts
Sometimes a lightsaber will be gutted for the parts in order to salvage some or all of the parts for use with a different DIY lightsaber project. For example, some lightsaber enthusiasts gut inexpensive toys, like the Walmart Space Sword, in order to extract and install the cheap soundboard in a different hilt. [See also: SaberSourcing’s Walmart Space Sword Review]
4. Gutting a Lightsaber Because the Manufacturer Doesn’t Sell Empty Hilts
Although many of the major custom saber companies sell empty hilts that can be displayed or installed by the end user, not all of the custom saber companies do. Vader’s Vault, Sabertrio and Electrum Sabercrafts only sell installed hilts so sometimes buyers purchase new or used lightsabers by those companies in order to gut the hilts for a project.