The “Kris” blade has always been, in my mind, the most sinister and fearful of double-edged blades. Originating from Indonesia and used primarily on short swords, these wavy blades typically have 13 undulations contributing to their sinister legend (Kris-bladed knives like the one shown here have less). They are considered not only to be weapons but to spiritual items, possessing good or bad luck. Only the bad guys carry them. Incredible care and skill must go into fashioning a blade in this manner. But why? Is there any real benefit to wielding a Kris blade as opposed to a straight stiletto?
Prof. Roland Philip makes the claim that when used for stabbing, a straight blade may get lodged in bone. But a curved blade is more likely to deflect when striking a rib and penetrate deeper. Pleasant. Other stories mention that when twisted, this type of blade will prevent a would from closing. Also, for a given length blade, the undulations yield a longer cutting surface compared to the same length straight blade. Prof. Philip also argues that Kris shape effectively makes a wider blade, but not heavier. Wider blade=wider wound. In use as a sword, a wide blade is less wieldy, thus a Kris bladed sword offers more quick, and precise handling with a wider effective edge. If a blade has a wavy edge, but the median ridge does not undulate with the edge, this type of blade is called a “flame blade”. More BS that you never knew you wanted to know (and may still not).