History’s Weapon Competition Series ‘Forged in Fire’ to Debut This Summer

history channel

Talk about cutthroat competition!

History has ordered eight episodes of the series “Forged in Fire.” Hosted by Wil Willis, a former Army Ranger and Air Force para-rescue specialist, the competition series pits master weaponsmiths against each other to re-create iconic weapons that will be tested and evaluated by a panel of judges.

Competitors will re-create weapons from historical periods ranging from Japanese katanas to medieval broadswords to ancient throwing blades. Each entry will be judged on its artistry as well as its functionality and accuracy. The panel will consist of Willis, knife and sword expert J. Neilson, combat specialist Doug Marcaida and weapon history buff David Baker.

Production on the series has begun in Brooklyn. “Forged in Fire” is produced by Outpost Entertainment, a Leftfield Entertainment company, for History. Executive producers include Tim Healy and Steve Ascher for History, along with Jodi Flynn, Brent Montgomery, David George, Shawn Witt and Simon Thomas for Outpost.

“Forged in Fire” will debut this summer.

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  1. John Kessler says:

    I would like to see the crafts men on Forged by Fire to make a straight razor. I know an expert they can consult with.

  2. edJ says:

    I am tool and die maker and I taught metallurgy and machine tool operation until my retirement. I enjoy watching Forged in Fire, but I must comment on the remarkable number of safety violations seen in every episode. I hope no one who watches this show thinks that it is okay to weld without gloves, work with safety glasses without side shields, operate right-angle grinders without wheel guards, operate a drill press with gloves and without regard to the direction of rotation of the spindle, handle sharp materials without gloves, bandage an open wound with masking tape, I could go on and on. Producers, you have an obligation to your contestants to keep them safe. Viewers, this show is in no way an example of proper shop practices.

  3. Gary B says:

    What do they do with the “test” meat?

  4. Debbie says:

    After the contest is over, does the winner get to keep his/her weapon?

  5. larry bowley says:

    Please stop throwing comercials in the site its very irritating

  6. Greg Atnold says:

    It is a lie you can’t temper a blade that way it would shatter like glass to temper a blade first heat bright red then quench in oil then sand bright then carefully heat from the spine it will turn colors you want the spine dark blue and fading out to the edge the edge should be very light blue or straw

  7. Steff says:

    Just wondering if they get to keep their products after the show. It would be a shame if they didn’t get to after putting all that work into it.

  8. FrankieA says:

    My husband is a master blacksmith for 35 years. He’s taught many blacksmith for many years. You should have him on this show he would put you to shame. His name is Jerry Allen most people have heard of him.

  9. Steve says:

    I am a blacksmith on the south shore of Nova Scotia , Canada. I would like to come on your show and show you all how to blacksmith properly!

  10. Ray says:

    I just watched the episode where they had to make the crusader sword as the final test. That part of the show really pissed me off allowing the contestants to return to where they are from to craft the swords. This changed the conditions of the competition. One blacksmith had a warehouse full of modern blacksmith tools available at his disposal (he shared the warehouse with 3 other blacksmiths), while the other blacksmith was literally working out of his garage with limited access to tools that he probably can afford. (He specializes in making knives not swords.) In the show you can see him using a mini-furnace powered by propane which was too short to accommodate and evenly heat the long sword that he was trying to craft. As a result during the strength test his sword bent due to the problem with the heating step of the process. I feel that in order for this to have been a competition purely based on skill, they should have forced the final stage to be done on set with both blacksmiths having the same equipment available.

  11. Harold Werner says:

    CURIOUS. What’s the time limit.?????

  12. Kimberly says:

    What happens to the sendered creations?

  13. James says:

    Your new show seemed to have a lot of promise. Then I tried to watch a string of episodes. Could not finish even one show. Every commercial break, should NOT be preceded by a cliff hanger. Cliff hangers are only effective once or twice at a time. I kept changing channels, due to a feel of being cheated, and kept forgetting to turn back. Which doesn’t say much about the show. The cliff hangers constantly thrown at the audience, loses it’s effectiveness, and the result is annoying. Might try to watch again, but next season, if you last that long, when you’ve had a chance to revamp the cliff hanger issue. Yes, almost all shows use this technique, but only once… maybe twice. Close, but … tune in next week for the rest of the comment.

  14. Luke Wynn says:

    How can i sign up to compete on the Forged in Fire tv show

  15. L. Morris says:

    This is “Chopped” for Men….ok and those wonderful few women who work with metal.
    I love this show!

  16. Art Stoody says:

    Okay…

    It should be obvious by now that those of us who are in the PRACTICE of this artform, are pretty disappointed in what direction this show went. (For chrissakes — you are the HISTORY channel !!?)
    If you are part of the team which creates &/or decides what to Air and has any respect for the actual CRAFT of the show’s subject matter (..which is Blade Making!) then this is for you.

    First off, you need to have better competitors.
    Aside from ‘Matt’ (who happily won!) you had a bunch of amateurs making blades.
    At least he had the experience of making ALOT of blades in the past, and was the only copetitor to deal with hardening/tempering.

    Next, you need to address more of the actual ‘Art’ of making blades.
    There needs to be less minutes spent on ‘filler’ and a few more minutes with each competitor on choices of materials & why, their hardening/tempering methods, layering &/or pattern folding and – their sharpening methods! (if any! – NO coverage of these on your first episode!!?)

    Aside from you ‘katana wielder’, you don’t have appropriate judges either.
    You might want to cosider having one of each of these:
    — A renowned blade/weapon maker. (perhaps an elder professional Japanese bladesmith?)
    — A degreed Metalurgist or Metals Specialist (who can more adeptly comment during the show)
    — A Scientist *(perhaps someone with combo experience in, Physics, Lab-Testing, Materials Science)

    And as far as coverage goes, the actual time spent on competition can be cut drastically. We don’t need it to remain interested and keep watching. The thing that WILL make us all come back and watch more shows, is less crazy crap (eg: shooting blades with bullets) and more REAL Metalwork.

    We’re not idiots.
    And neither are you.

    Sincerely,

    -Art Stoody

  17. Joe Brown says:

    Some spoilers…

    Just saw the first episode and this is History Channel’s attempt to copy Iron Chef. If you like Iron Chef, you might like this, but this show is in my opinion another gimmicky reality show lacking any historical content (sort of typical for the History Channel of late, except for Vikings). I think I would watch another episode only if the losing contestant gets gutted with the knife/sword they were making (just kidding). I really hate where the History Channel is going with their programing. I really wanted to like this show, but this is more of the same History Channel rubbish they’ve been putting out recently, virtually lacking in any historical content or originality. Even their recreation of the katana is riddled with problems. Their katanas are katanas in name only. There is no folding of steel in their sword making process. That last test they performed with the bullet is totally bogus. I’ve seen butter knives splitting bullets, so what does that tell us? Like I said, I really wanted to like this show, but I can only recommend this show if you are high/drunk or have nothing better to do. There is so much stuff out there to watch, so watch something else if you value your time.

    • Chris C says:

      There are specific techniques to making a katana. They used modern metal and more tried and tested, modern methods but what you are saying is not accurate. If you actually believe that then tell me where the Katana’s sword gets its harmon, the wave on the blade… if you cant, then you dont know what you are talking about. Its because of placing clay on the blade while being tempered and was exclusive to Japan, it is how they made the back soft (able to absorb) and the edge (front) hard for sharpness. Now a days the mimic this with acid or laser etching, but there WERE specific things that make a katana a kanana. Another huge difference is a katana does not have a huge pummel / counter weight. The blade is primarily drawn through from the back hand using front hand as pivot Vs. a more hacking motion of an axe or European sword where the blade does more work and the pummel counter balances.

      I DO however agree withy ou about the butter knife/bullet thing. You would have to REALLY jack a blade up to where 440 carbon steel wont break apart a soft lead round… or even copper.

  18. Hans Madsen says:

    To all who have negative comments…… don’t watch.

    Hans Danish by birth, knife enthusiast by choice

    • Art Stoody says:

      Hello Hans —

      Yes, that IS an option. (..just not watching )

      However, our species has evolved and grown and learned to be SO much more than we previously were (evolution-wise) by doing everything we can to MAKE THINGS BETTER.

      The only way we are going to get BETTER programming on television, is to inform the people who make (average/weak/mediocre/bad) television what we DO and of course DONT like.

      That is actually the MAIN purpose of this Comments Forum, to voice our opinions publicly.
      Whether they be positive or negative opinions.

      Our feeling is — If you don’t like the show, see what you can do to get the Producers & Developers of the program to MAKE A BETTER show! (With the framework they started, It wouldn’t be that hard.)

      So, Hans Madsen – I will offer this in reply to your comment:

      “To all who can’t handle reading ‘negative comments’… …don’t read.”

      Or as my Mama used to say, “If you can’t handle the heat, get outta the Forge !!”

      • James says:

        Testify! We would still be watching Brady Bunch quality TV, if we (the viewers), did not complain/comment.

      • Chris C says:

        Our software. They say if our brains are the same as they have been for thousands of years, that is our hardware however, we have better software. Knowledge passed down to us from other sources, people places and books. Our software. So yes I absolutely agree. They used to say the average person that liked the Howard Stern show would listen to it 30 minutes to 1 hour the average person who did NOT like him would listen for 3.5 hours. So drama causes watchable TV and mistakes and things that annoy viewers create conversation about it.

  19. Rebecca says:

    Not another dumb show why can’t you actually show stuff thats actually interesting to everyone. Women are not going to watch this show. Enough with the stupid shows like pawn stars, counting cars, mountain men, axe men, swamp people, etc. get back to the good shows and documentarys.

    • Brandie Faron says:

      I’m a woman and I watch and love the show. It is interesting to me. So you are NOT speaking for all women because you dont speak for me!!!

    • M Cutler says:

      Do NOT speak for all women. I’m a woman, and I love watching blacksmithing, the woods, and everything outdoors.

    • Chris C says:

      that dude that makes big a$$ swords has a female blacksmith…. so there is that.

    • D. Michael McIntyre says:

      My wife would laugh at you. She enjoyed watching the first episode with me.

  20. WhipWhitaker says:

    I believe Peter Martin will win.

  21. Ja Sa says:

    The History Channel aired a segment on the Sahara desert and claimed there was more water in its aquifer than all of the Great Lakes in the United States. It also claims that if tapped for human use, it would be depleted in 100 years.
    Geologists estimate the Great Lakes contain
    6 quadrillion gallons of water. How in the world could any civilization use 6 quadrillion gallons of water in 100 years, and how many wells would need to exist to pump that much water?
    Somebody needs to fact check the producers of the History Channel.

  22. Longbeard the Blacksmith says:

    will be interesting to see these new bladesmiths and how their wares would compete with Don Fogg, Howard Clark, Murray Carter, Mike Bell, and a myriad of other proven smiths from the BladeSmithing arena. And what the take of this show will be on the blades many of us have studied and made, tested, over the years.

  23. Harry R Sole says:

    So they’re going to create these iconic weapons of the past with modern technology. Whoop de do!

  24. bryan says:

    The FMA arts are in good hands. Kuya Doug will be extremely informative!

  25. Gus says:

    Doug Marcaida is one of the world’s best filipino martial arts instructors (civilian & military) based out of NY & traveling the world conducting seminars to spread his art of Marcaida Kali. His video clips can be found on youtube.com under kalisong1 – Further information can be obtained on his website rochesterkali.com –

    Can’t wait to see this series!!!

  26. Daton says:

    I’m sure Kuya Doug will do an excellent job of bringing Filipino weaponry to the forefront of the discussion.

  27. JP says:

    Kuya Doug will be teaching a seminar in Atlanta, GA June the 6th, looking forward to some amazing skill and teaching. Register at http://www.armasfilomeno.com

  28. Steve says:

    Some of the foremost experts in their fields and all in one show! Kuya Doug brings a wealth of knowledge in bladed weapons to the table and is sure to bring his passion and perfection to the show! Can’t wait to see it!

  29. Not many people in the world can rival the knowledge of Kuya Doug Marcaida when it comes to bladed weapons and their application in combat. Sounds awesome!

  30. Dorichka says:

    Sounds amazing, can’t wait to start! It’s nice to have a series what gives a full picture. I loves Doug Marcaida’s activity and way of fighting anyway. :D

  31. Jay says:

    Looking forward to this. Having Douglas Marcaida Jr. in it spells Passion and Perfection in the Filipino Blade Arts. Mabuhay ka Kuya Doug!!! Great show am sure.

  32. Crshokie says:

    the premise of this show is fascinating. To see how various groups in history interpreted the most effective design for the edged blade and their use will be really interesting. There couldn’t have been a better choice of an individual to demonstrate the capability of each blade than Doug Marcaida! Can’t wait to check it out!

  33. cabre118 says:

    Hope the Filipino blades will be well represented! Go Doug!

    • Chris C says:

      It bothered me when the guy, that supposedly is more so into Japanese style blades, and I am by far no expert but….

      1) Dude started talking about how these blades were not normally full tang… um tha’ts EXACTLY, at least in part, why many Japanese blades were/are so good is because they ARE full tang…. even ancient ones… I have no idea what he was talking about.

      2) He was talking about the quenching process creating the curve of the blade. There is a difference between the curve developing in the heating process and warping metal by quenching it. When he tossed that absurdly hot katana in cool water to quench it I literally winced and gritting my teeth watching. WTF? first of all thats more of European method, and secondly thats just a NO. The “wave” (harmon) on the older katanas is more organic and random, and smooth looking because it is created by putting the back half of the blade in clay when tempered. That makes the backside of the metal cool, soft, springy and the front half hardened and sharp. That is part that creates the curve and creates the harmon, so the backing is soft, the front is hard. Aside from folding the metal over and over (because the materials in japan were limited) the other teqnique that was pretty exclusive to Japan was putting clay in it.

      I am not going to make that thin ass handle a 3rd point but ugh.

      I am no expert but it bugs me when a self proclaimed expert goes on TV and apparently knows less? I am not saying what they are doing is easy by any means but maybe he should just let his work do the talking, because when he talked about stuff it was annoying.

      3) the only other real complaint I have is it was a LOT of content that was reduced down to 1 show. It felt like at times the focus was on stuff they did not need and I also found myself hoping they dont ‘introduce’ drama to this show….

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