Duel worthy lightsaber blades must above all be strong enough to endure sparring and safe enough to minimize harm to an opponent. Let’s examine 5 traits of a combat ready lightsaber blade.
Note: This list adapts and expands upon rules from The Saber Legion (TSL), the world’s biggest saber dueling organization. If you plan to join a lightsaber dueling club like The Saber Legion (TSL), consult the group or the group’s rules before purchasing a lightsaber blade.
1. Custom Saber Blade
Only custom saber companies make duel worthy lightsaber blades. NONE of the officially licensed lightsabers are currently equipped with duel worthy blades (e.g. Force FX lightsaber, Disney Parks lightsabers, Savi’s Workshop lightsabers, and Legacy Lightsabers). If you’d like to use an officially licensed lightsaber for dueling, you would need to get the lightsaber converted. The licensed lightsabers may be able to withstand some light contact, at the user’s own risk, but are not designed for heavy dueling.
2. Heavy Grade Blade
Duel worthy lightsaber blades are heavy grade or thick walled blades. Heavy grade blades are made from 1 inch diameter polycarbonate tubes with 1/8 inch thick blade walls. Blades with thinner walls and smaller diameter blades (e.g. 7/8 inch or 3/4 inch diameter) are weaker and less capable of withstanding heavy impact during lightsaber dueling. Flat acrylic blades are too brittle and have too many sharp edges for dueling.
3. Rounded Blade Tip (Taped or Heat Shrunk)
Only the rounded style of blade tip is appropriate for dueling. Bullet tips or pointed tips could harm an opponent during a duel and are not recommended. Additionally, the blade tip should be secured to the blade with tape or heat shrink in order minimize the occurrence of the blade tip flying off the blade during a duel.
4. Appropriate Light Diffusion
The blade must diffuse the light enough so the LED cannot be used to blind or otherwise disorient an opponent. Clear blades should be diffused with blade diffusion film or a blade diffuser tube. Certain blades with a trans-white color may be opaque enough to not require additional diffusion, on a case by case basis. Additionally, the blade tip must be mirrored to direct the light back inside the blade. Shine through blade tips are not recommended because they allow too much light out of the tip.
5. Removable Blade (Non-Component or Neopixel Blade)
Many individuals duel using a removable, standard heavy grade tube blade (i.e. non-component blade) that illuminates with an in-hilt LED. Removable neopixel blades may be used as well, as long as they are made from heavy grade blade stock. Permanently attached string blades (e.g. Force FX lightsabers, some inexpensive custom sabers) are not appropriate for dueling because the blade could break apart from the hilt.