TMS Bladesmithing Competition Rules and Entry Requirements

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 preceding competition year will be considered students in the current competition. For example, students who graduated after the TMS 2022 Annual Meeting & Exhibition will be eligible for the 2024 competition.
  • Please Note: Space in the TMS Bladesmithing competition is limited and places will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. 
  • Multiple Bladesmithing entries by the same individual/university will only be considered 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. Please submit the acknowledgement letter along with other important information on your team using the official form.

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 a video, technical report, poster, and blade photograph (typically due in January of the competition year):
  • Video: Maximum of 5 minutes in length, with the following technical specifications:
    • Codec/Format: H264 / MP4
    • Dimensions: HD (1920x1080)
    • File Size Limit: 300mb
    • Encoded Bitrate: Approx 1.2 Mbps
  • Technical Report: 11-point Arial font. Maximum of 10 pages double-spaced, including appendices, acknowledgments, tables and graphs.
  • Poster: 24" x 36" Landscape
    Please Note: This poster size must be adhered to or your poster cannot be displayed.
    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.
  • Blade Photograph: Teams must also submit one photograph of the completed blade as well as one photograph of their team with the blade. These photographs may be used for promotional purposes or highlighted at the bladesmithing awards ceremony.
  • Laws and Regulations: 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.
  • Safety Practices: Best practices for laboratory safety and safe blade handling are required. Evidence of this is an essential component of the judging criteria.

Metalworking Safety

Safety is the number one priority for all teams entering the 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.

Additionally, it is the responsibility of competitors to adhere to the COVID-19 safety guidelines of their university, and other local and state guidelines, while working on elements of the competition.

Mandatory Blade Check In and Check Out

Teams and individual entrants will be required to attend a blade check-in during a designated time slot for their blade and poster to be included in the display. The exact location for the check-in will be communicated in an e-mail to the designated team captains.

  • Teams must submit the name and contact information for the member who will check in the blade to by the deadline provided by TMS staff..
  • Blades not shipped to the official service contractor, Freeman, must be transported in a locked case at all time.
  • Teams must check out their blades at the time provided by TMS staff (typically at the close of the Exhibition). Teams are responsible for collecting their blades and arranging return transportation. No blades may be removed before this time.
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 Exhibition.
  • Security will be present at the TMS Bladesmithing display area overnight.
  • Blades cannot be checked out before the conclusion of the Exhibition. Teams that are unable to check out their blade in person will be required to make return shipping arrangements with the official general service contractor, Freeman. TMS will not be responsible for any blades left behind.

Contact Us

For additional information about TMS Bladesmithing events, activities, and opportunities, please contact For permission to use the Bladesmithing logo or TMS logo please also contact with the details of your project.