eli5 why is the guillotine blade diagonal?

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I’m guessing bc of friction

In: Engineering

7 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

I feel like basic reasoning can answer this question. Have you ever cut something with a knife? do you just press down or do you move the knife around?

diagonal knife is like moving the knife

Anonymous 0 Comments

The diagonal blade forces a slice cut even when the blade is moving in one direction

A slice is more effective and reliable than a chop for severing the head from the body

Anonymous 0 Comments

Energy efficiency/ratios.  Pretend a neck is a perfect circle 10cm in diameter. A horizontal blade will cut the entire neck once it has travelled 10cm. (Top to bottom)  If the blade is at a 45 degree angle the blade will make first contact on the top right side of the circle and will complete the cut once the blade reaches the bottom left. The blade must travel 14.1cm to complete the cut. So at a 45 degree angle you cut 1cm of neck for every 1.41cm of vertical drop of the blade. It’s like speeding the blade up 41%. 

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s always easier to start a small cut than a large one. Angled blade starts a small cut instead a blunt, across- the-entire-neck cut (basically a chop), though with a heavy enough blade that wouldn’t be a concern with the soft squishy flesh of a human. Pulverized or sliced, dead is dead.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Ever pushed a knife down hard into the middle of a juicy tomato without making a slicing motion?

That’s why.

Anonymous 0 Comments

originally, the blade WAS straight. ut they quickly realized that it would have to be raised and lowered multiple times. they added weights to the blade to make it fall faster.

then, they tried the angled blade, similar to how a curved axe would cut a round tree, and et voila! a speedy death machine!!

Anonymous 0 Comments

When carving wood, I always thought it had to do with micro-serrations of the imperfect blade, making that diagonal slice easier, but apparently the more important factor is that a diagonal approach effectively narrows angle of the bevel (lengthens the distance between edge to full blade thickness), and if you think about it, a narrow angle doesn’t have to displace as much wood to cut through it, so there’s less friction and resistance.

Maaaybe that’s relevant to a guillotine?