In Attack on Titan, the blades used with the 3D Manuever Gear have notches in them similar to those found on craft knives:

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Certain knives like the one above come with snap-off points so that when the blade dulls, it can be removed and replaced by a fresh and sharp piece. However, a utility like this seems redundant on the 3DMG blades as a shortened blade would be extremely ineffective at removing a Titan's neck, not to mention that the blades seem to be used and discarded as a whole piece.
Additionally, The wiki page on the blades themselves gives no mention of the notches.

So is there any reason for the notches to exist aside from looking cool?

  • 2
    I always assumed they were designed exactly like those office paper knives − to easily snap at the desired length to produce a sharp tip. Aside from this functionality which rarely (if ever) is used, it makes the blade look less boring and makes for flashy "oh snap" moments when the blade accidentally breaks into pieces. – Hakase Nov 4 '15 at 14:28
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    You sometimes see movies/cartoons, where someone cuts with a knife, hits a tree or something and gets stuck, so I always assumed the notches would be to prevent them from getting stuck, by just breaking off the blade. But I don't think anything was mentioned in the comics. – Peter Raeves Nov 5 '15 at 16:59

The blades were very prone to breakage [picture needed]. The vertical maneuver gear has even a spare blade storage built-in [picture needed], and in at leat one occasion one soldier was left without blades [chapter ref needed] and a companion had to share blades with him.

The notches make sense since the blades break so often even a short and less effective blade had a chance of scoring a kill and you could take the most out of a blade before it becomes completely useless.

Also, the resources inside the walls are scarce. Making the most out of the metal available also made sense.

I have no access to CR manga ATM, and cannot search for manga images. Will add the references later today.


The artist just thought it looked cool. Let's examine some of the other potential answers: * to prevent the blades from getting stuck. Nope. When the blades get stuck, they eject the blade and load a new one. Struggling to break a stuck blade could easily turn someone into titan chow, so this is sensible. * because the blades break frequently. Nope. If the blades break frequently, it's BECAUSE of the notches and the generally flimsy construction. * To capitalize on scarce resources. Nope. Making the swords less breakable would use less resources.

  • Please include relevant sources/references. – W. Are May 1 at 0:57

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