Question of the Day: Are you watching Forged in Fire?

Now that the Stanley Cup is over (yea Blackhaks!) and the NBA Finals as well (my Cavs came up short), I have been doing more channel surfing at night out in my shop, and came across a new series on the History Channel. Forged in Fire is a blademaking competition in the mold of a Food Network cooking challenge. The show features a quartet of professional bladesmiths who engage in a series of challenges with the judges sending one home at the end of each round. The winner walks with a $10000 check.

Tonight I am watching the second episode, which is in its first run. As is the case with most History show, the episodes get rebroadcast extensively, so check your cable company’s search feature.

There are 3 judges who examine and test the blades. Tests include hacking and slashing tasks, including chopping ice. The judges are Master Bladesmith J. Neilson, Swordsmith David Baker, and martial arts expert Doug Macaida.

There have been other knife-related reality shows, most notably the Blade Brother’s show. However, this one is not about the personalities, it as about the work. My first episode (#2) is ending with the 2 finalists forging ancient Indian (asian) circular Chakrams. They are launching them at sugarcane with a modified trap thrower. It looks like TTAK is going to need to up our testing game.


  1. Bill C says:

    Nope. I removed the History Channel from my TiVo when they stopped covering history and started showing reality programming exclusively.

  2. Sam L. says:

    I gave it up, too; I may go back just for that.

    1. It was entertaining enough and didn’t have much of the interpersonal stuff that ruins otherwise good shows. I am going to tune in again. At least on DVR.

  3. Robert H says:

    So far it’s really entertaining, although I don’t like that the contestants don’t know the testing requirements ahead of time. Its understandably difficult to design a blade where you don’t know the intended use. It’s not entirely clear whether the judges are looking for mastery of technique or an effective weapon. I’m surprised that many of the blades are chipping out or just plain cracking as it shows some of these guys don’t have a good handle on the steel they are working with. I love shows that feature skills that were so necessary a century ago yet most of us are so far removed from them now.

  4. David says:

    “didn’t have much of the interpersonal stuff that ruins otherwise good shows”

    Hermit much? Lol. I actually laughed out load when I read that. I watched the first episode on your recommendation and will continue watching.

    1. My wife and I both laughed at “Hermit much?”

      And yes, I am. I am looking forward to my 40th birthday next year so I can officially become a curmudgeon.

      You understood my point though…the show is knife driven, not personality driven.

  5. Sam L. says:

    I’ve watched two of them, and have DVR set to Record Series.

  6. Apparently Murray Carter is going to be competing on a future episode. Can’t wait for that one.

  7. Rebecca says:

    I watched the chakram episode .. I’m trying to find out where the contestant Trenton is from and how to get in touch with him.. I’m in the SCA ..

  8. Alan Hinkel says:

    Do Fullers, or Blood Gutters, make it easier to retract a knife from something that is stabbed, such as a pig or deer?

    1. Nope. Common misconception. The fuller is primarily to lighten and stiffen the blade.

  9. Pat says:

    I would like to know what you do with the meat you use to test the contestants blades?
    I see food used on so many show and always wondered what gets done with the food when thr show is over.

  10. Gary Rose says:

    I’m just curious…who cleans the judges clothes after them test the get pretty messy sometimes

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Question of the Day: Are you watching Forged in Fire?

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