If you have followed any of the videos lately about sword tips and cutting , then this is an important video to watch. Theory is great, but testing a theory is greater. Here, SF Jay and Da’Mon explore the question of round vs. angle tip with regard to a common African cutter, the redoubtable Takouba. Here’s the video:
As you will see when Jay strikes the target, there is nothing preventing that round tip, which is not rounded-out or square…, from slicing through that cardboard. Even when hitting with the top third Jay effortlessly slices through it. Yes, Jay and Da’Mon are no slouches when it comes to cutting exercises, and that counts, but the weapon performed as it should, and that is the material point.
As to the whys which generated so much of the discussion, there are a variety of reasons swords might be round at the tip. There are examples where this appears to have been intentional, as one sees on many executioner’s swords and on many Early Modern katzbalgers, though there were exceptions with these too, and then many examples were likely ersatz repairs. Maybe grinding another angle on the tip might remove to much steel, something to consider in any place where such resources are scarce. In any event, unless the edges were flattened or rounded to make them less sharp, there is nothing in the shape itself that would debar it from damaging cloth and flesh.