TMS 2019 Bladesmithing Competition Rules

Teams and individuals entering the TMS Bladesmithing Competition must adhere to the rules and meet the requirements presented below in order to compete:

Eligibility and Entry Requirements

The TMS Bladesmithing Competition is open to university teams only:
  • Teams may also include up to one (1) non-student artisan and two (2) advanced-placement high school students. At least half of the team membership must be university students.
  • Recent engineering graduates who received their degree following the TMS 2017 Annual Meeting & Exhibition will be considered students for the 2019 competition.
  • Please Note: Multiple Bladesmithing entries by the same person/group will only be accepted as space is available.

Each team or individual entrant is required to obtain written acknowledgement from their faculty department chair in order to participate in the competition. A sample acknowledgement is provided for your convenience. (Signed acknowledgement due to by November 1, 2018.)

Produce a knife or sword blade 20–120 cm long (including handle).
  • Each team is limited to one blade.
  • Blades must be formed extensively by hand hammering/trip hammering or forge pressing.
  • Blades must not be sharpened (minimum edge radius = 0.5 mm).
  • There is no restriction on the starting material for the blades. Teams may use: purchased stock material; material that is alloyed, laminated, or otherwise processed by the team; or material smelted from ore.
Entries must include:
  • Video: Maximum of 5 minutes
  • Technical Report: Maximum of 10 pages (double spaced)
  • Poster: 24" x 36"
    Please Note: This poster size must be adhered to or your poster cannot be displayed.
    Poster file size should not exceed 48" in either direction (horizontal or vertically). A minimum of 150 ppi (pixels per inch) is required, but should not exceed 300 ppi. Please do not submit original files. Only the following file formats will be accepted for inclusion in the poster portion of the competition: JPEG, TIFF, PDF.
  • All participants should carefully investigate and act in compliance with all local laws and any pertinent institutional rules and regulations regarding the handling of items fabricated for or entered into the competition.
  • Best practices for laboratory safety and safe blade handling are required. Evidence of this is an essential component of the judging criteria.

A Message to Department Chairs

Metalworking Safety

Safety is the number one priority for all teams entering the 2019 TMS Bladesmithing Competition. Students must apply safe practices at all times and failure to properly address safety concerns will result in automatic disqualification. All teams are required to coordinate with a faculty advisor and appropriate campus safety personnel to discuss safety procedures, identify potential hazards, and complete safety training prior to participating in the competition. All students must complete any required safety training at their home institutions before using specialized equipment and facilities. It is also recommended that all students review the following important safety links as a starting point before entering the laboratory/shop environment.

Mandatory Blade Check In and Check Out

Teams and individual entrants will be required to attend a blade check-in on Monday March 11, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. for their blade and poster to be included in the display. The exact location for the check-in will be posted on this website and communicated in an e-mail to the registered teams.
  • Teams must submit the name and contact information for the member who will check in the blade to no later than February 11, 2019.
  • Teams must check out their blades at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, when the TMS2019 Exhibition closes.
Once a blade is checked in, the following rules will apply:
  • Display cases will be locked once the blades are placed in them. This means your blade will be secure during the three days of the TMS2019 Exhibition.
  • Dedicated security will be present at the 2019 TMS Bladesmithing display area overnight.

Contact Us

For additional information about TMS Bladesmithing events, activities, and opportunities, please contact