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A futuristic bladed weapon that has Absurd Cutting Power due to the fact that it vibrates. The idea is that high-frequency vibrations in the blade allow the weapon to cut through nearly anything, essentially making it an electric turkey carver turned Up to Eleven. Often, this results in a humming noise and the blade of the weapon visibly blurring or even glowing.

Bonus points if it cleans itself -- rather explosively. Potentially has great Mundane Utility: it is descendant of real tools very closely related to the fast cleaner / washer / perfect blender. These weapons may be as dangerous to the user as the enemy. Often, the only thing that can stop a vibroweapon is another vibroweapon.

Compare Hot Blade, which uses heat instead of vibrations to cut better than a mundane sword. A subtrope of Absurd Cutting Power.

Examples of Vibroweapon include:

Anime and Manga

  • School Shock's Bai Hua utilizes a rather large set of these They cut really good, especially through her lover's chest.
  • The Union and AEU mobile suits in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 play the trope straight with their sonic blades. The first episode shows one activated during an attack on a new MS exhibition, complete with the audience covering their ears in pain.
  • In Guyver, every Guyver and even some Zoanoids possess high-frequency swords (though, in the later series, they look like Laser Blades).

  Thancrus(the aforementioned zoanoid), after his and the Guyver's blades strike one another and everybody groans at the horrifying feedback noise: "Shit! You have high frequency swords, too!"

  • In the Bleach, one Privaron Espada, Cirucci Thunderwitch, used blades like this in her released state. It doesn't work - her opponent, Uryu, has a sword that vibrated faster and as such can cut them just as easily.
  • Ophelia in Claymore wielded a non-vibrating BFS but vibrated her arm at super-speed to imitate the effect (pictured). Depending on your translation, she may or may not call it the "ripple sword" technique.
  • Similarly, it's suggested that this is one of the reasons the heroes in Samurai 7 are able to cut through the Nobuseri. This is demonstrated when Kikujiyo uses a giant Nobuseri sword to stop the falling capital. Because of the sword's size, it literally sings while he's holding it up.
  • In Soul Eater, Ragnarok converts itself into a vibroweapon when it screams.
  • The Progressive Knives from Neon Genesis Evangelion have vibrating blades that can cut through a fighter jet with ease.
    • A couple of times, Asuka gets Unit 02's hands on the Sonic Glaive and Smash Hawk, which are in all likelihood also "progressive" weapons.
  • The Super Prototype Lancelot from Code Geass uses twin "Maser Vibration Swords", initially making it the only powered weapon-wielding Knightmare Frame in the world. In the second season, similar blades are given to the Lancelot's production model version as well as the Ace Customs descended from it. The Guren SEITEN has a dagger version. The Black Knights were also able to get a Katana version developed for use with their newer frames, referred to as a Revolving Blade Sword, ostensibly developed from different technologies (it's really a chainsaw katana) and meant as a counter to the MVSs.
  • Kranz Maduke, one of the Chrono Numbers from Black Cat, has one of these as his signature weapon.
  • In Elfen Lied, the vectors technically can be called a vibroweapon, as they vibrate so fast it can slice pretty much anything.
  • This is described as the reason lightning chakra in Naruto has such piercing power (or at least when Killer Bee uses it): it rapidly vibrates objects it charges.


  • Marvel Universe:
    • The Vibranium metal exists on just the right wavelength to allow it to cut through any other metal. Yes, even adamantium (Depending on the Writer).
    • In New X-Men, an anti-mutant group attacked the compound and one of them managed to stab Emma Frost in her diamond form with a vibranium knife; the blade cut clean through and left her shoulder a bleeding mess.
    • Weirdly, some types of Vibranium can melt metal without coming in contact with it. There are two types of Vibranium, the stuff from Wakanda (Black Panther's kingdom) and a different lode found in Antartica, they are almost identical but seem to posses different properties when put into contact with other types of Unobtanium.
      • The supervillain known as Klaw has a vibranium weapon that channels a destructive vibrational wave.
    • X-Factor Shatterstar can generate vibratory shockwaves, turning his swords into vibroweapons. This is often erroneously stated as his only ability, but he also has hollow bones and general Charles Atlas Superpowers. His vibration power is simply the only one with an outward effect, but it tends to be more taxing on his body than it's worth, and the number of times he actually uses it in the comics can be counted on both hands.
  • The Flash can do this with his entire body, as demonstrated numerous times by Wally West when he chainsawed his way through objects instead of vibrating through intangibly like Barry Allen.


  • Star Wars is host to all sorts of vibroweapons, with some even appearing in the movies. Pretty much any time you see what looks like a normal bladed weapon, it's actually a vibroweapon. Unless it's a cortosis woven blade.
    • Knights of the Old Republic even has cortosis woven vibroblades. And evil cortosis woven double vibroblades previously owned by powerful Sith for people who want a really fancy sword.
    • In Jedi Outcast, Luke mentions that cortosis is a very rare mineral, and Fyyar making a Power Armor out of it is considered to be a highly-expensive feat. On the offer hand, everybody and their mother in KotOR has a cortosis-woven blade. This can, presumably, be handwaved by saying that it wasn't so rare 4000 years before the movies timeline, but that would indicate that an entire galaxy's supply of a mineral could be mined out in a few millennia. Then again, it is never specified how much cortosis is needed for one blade to make it lightsaber-resistant.
    • Most Star Wars citizens are mildly creeped out by the concept of a "dead" blade, since by their standards it's tantamount to deliberately dulling a knife so it hurts more.
    • Shatterpoint features vibroshields: metal shields with the edges sharpened and powered into vibroblades. Mace Windu comments that they're like twisted mirrors of Jedi lightsabers: he uses his sword as a shield, while these guys use their shields as swords.

Live Action TV

  • The Standard Giant Robot in Gekisou Sentai Carranger, the RV Robo (and its American Counterpart, the Turbo Megazord in Power Rangers Turbo), used a scaled-up version of the Ranger's ViBlades. What makes this noteworthy is that this essentially makes it the only Sentai Robo that does not use a sort of "magical energy" for its sword-based final attack - it just starts the sword up, drives towards the enemy, starts spinning, and crashes through with nothing more than blunt kinetic force.


  • Vibroblades appear in Robert A. Heinlein's 1940 novella If This Goes On—.
  • Used extensively in the world of Miles Vorkosigan by Lois McMaster Bujold, to the point that the eponymous character gets sarcastic comments for carrying around a blade that's just plain steel.
  • Vibrobladed weapons are fairly common in Honor Harrington, though the legal requirement for civilian versions of such weapons to include an alarm sound when activated limits their usefulness as a weapon. It's rather hard to stab someone in the back when your knife is blatting away like a demented alarm clock, which is why military grade vibroknives lack the noisemaker.
  • In Robert Asprin's Phules Company books, they are common, starting from 3rd book. Anyone who wants to look Badass has a vibroknife and one of characters even mentions it in retrospection of his hooligan childhood.
  • Mackie Messer of Wild Cards can make his hands vibrate like this, essentially turning them into vibroknives.
  • Kosall in The Acts of Caine combines this with Absurdly Sharp Blade. Its vibrating effect only triggers when a living hand touches the blade, but even quiet it remains absurdly sharp; one undead wielder exploits the fact he can wield Kosall without its distinctive rattling hiss to great effect.
  • The Ur Example is almost certainly the Diskos in William Hope Hodgson's The Night Land. (OK, the circular blade rotates rather than vibrating back and forth, but the principle is the same.)
  • Draconis Elite Strike Teams are issued vibrokatanas in Victor Milan's Battletech novel, Black Dragons
  • In Fred Saberhagen's Book of Swords series, several of the Swords vibrate for various individual reasons, several of which are for cutting things (stone, dragon scales, weapons, armies, etc).
  • A staple in the Battletech Universe, often used by villains to kill quickly and silently.
  • The first sentence of the page asks if you are trying to avoid lightsabers. Lightsabers were first made popular in Star Wars. In the expanded universe, what do you think thugs and soldiers wield as melee weapons?
    • There are the "vibroshields" in Shatterpoint. They're made of superconductive metal, allowing them to block and deflect blaster shots, and their edges are sharpened. They are one of the few non-cortosis weapons that can resist lightsabers, and are wielded by the Jedi's Evil Co Chaotic Neutral Counterparts, the Akk Guards of Haruun Kal. More conventional vibroblades of all shapes and sizes (ranging from small knives and "vibroknucklers" (think brass knucks, but with a vibrating blade at the front) to full-sized swords and spears) can be found in numerous Expanded Universe stories.
  • In Lord Valentines Castle by Robert Silverberg, the group encounters and recruits a gigantic amazonian woman who wields a vibroblade.
  • The Bright Spear from Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light was described as vibrating itself clean of gore before returning to the hand of its wielder.

Tabletop Games

  • SLA Industries, a futuristic role-playing game by Nightfall Games, actively encourages Players to undertake Melee combat through various means. One of these methods is to include a really cool list of powered weapons, ranging from a fairly humble vibroknife to a vibroboxing-glove and even a vibroSCYTHE. Which also has a retractable 'flick' blade. And can have a tazer built into it.
  • GURPS has vibroweapons but their operational time is limited by weight. If they're made out of hyperdense materials their cutting power jumps to ridiculous levels but severely limits how long it works for.
  • At least one version of Gamma World included vibroblades in the weapon list.
  • Shadowrun has various vibro blades in its arsenal.
  • Cyberpunk 2020 too. For example, a vibrokatana.
  • They're also favored weapons in Rifts. More like a necessity, given that everyone and their mother has body armor that can stop a tank shell. Strangely enough, depending on which book you look at (it's not terribly consistent) a vibro-blade doesn't actually shake the blade itself but surrounds it in a vibrating energy sheath, bizarrely invalidating it for this trope by making it a sort of Laser Blade with a solid core.
  • Mechwarrior has vibroblades... usually used as practical tools, they do a fine job of carving up flesh, too.
  • Whilst Games Workshop is better known for their chainsaw-gasms, occasional characters in the fluff have had vibroweapons, including Tona Criid.
  • The World of Warcraft table top roleplaying game features vibroweapons as a type of tech-mod that can be applied to swords and knives.


  • Bionicle, Toa Krakua, a Toa of sonics uses a sword that sends off sonic vibrations strong enought to shatter mountains.

Video Games

  • Spoofed by, of course, Kingdom of Loathing, where the "Vibrating Cyborg Knife" has + 20 damage, but 3 times the chance of fumbling and injuring yourself.
  • The Gun Blade in Final Fantasy VIII has a vibration function activated by the revolver barrel attached to the hilt, which the player could use with a well timed button press. Activating the vibration function only at the moment of contact (thus preventing fatigue from holding the vibrating weapon) provides a semi-plausible explanation for the otherwise purely Rule of Cool fueled design of the gunblades.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 2, Raiden has a Vibroblade katana which, like an actual Katana, only has one edge. It can be flipped to be used as a non lethal weapon. All of the swords wielded by the various Cyborg Ninja in the series, Raiden included, are vibroblades, which helps explain their ridiculous cutting power.
  • Fallout takes this a bit too far into Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot realm as (at least in Fallout Tactics) description tells us that Ripper is a vibroblade chainsaw knife. It's strange, but there are no other Vibroweapons, though setting has wild collection of melee weapons and is veritable Portable Power Feast (in FoT single mission gives enough Fusion Cells to burden 6 PCs to crawl). Fallout: New Vegas retreats from this and makes the Ripper just a chainsaw knife.
  • Being based on the Star Wars universe, the Knights of the Old Republic series features vibroswords as low-level melee weapons. Like most anything else, these usually become obsolete once you're able to get your hands on a lightsaber, though. The sequel has things such as the 'Sith Tremor Sword' and various Echani vibroblades which are only a little less potent than a well engineered lightsaber, even at the very end of the game.
    • If the Sith Tremor Sword has all the top-tier upgrades in it, then it's on par with lightsabers, not even including the bonus Sonic damage which makes it even better.
  • UFO: Enemy Unknown's palette switch writ large, Terror From The Deep, has three of these. The first weapon is called the VibroBlade and does what it says. The second two can be built using alien tech research and are called the Thermic Lance and Heavy Thermic Lance. Those heat up the "drill" to cut through armor like a hot knife through butter. Neither of the three look particularly like ordinary bladed weapons, however.

Web Original

  • In Pay Me Bug, Amys has several vibroknives. They work just as well when thrown as when wielded normally.

Western Animation

Real Life

  • In reality electric bone saws vibrate back and forth very quickly as a safety feature -- the rapid vibration will saw through bone easily, but a person's flexible skin will just jiggle back and forth and remain uncut. Similar saws may be used to remove plaster casts.
    • Accidents do occasionally happen and demonstrate why the vibration is necessary: The blade can make a long, clean cut.
  • Craftsman now has a vibro-hammer, that basically lets a person press a nail into wood.
  • As a step in the one-upmanship in the razors and blade wars, Gilette made a razor with five blades. That vibrate.
  • Harmonic scalpels use vibration to both cut and cauterize tissue. Many medical instruments that are sensitive to extreme conditions are cleaned by vibrating the contaminants off.
    • Not just sensitive instruments, but even glassware in labs can be cleaned by putting it in an ultrasonic bath.
    • This might have to do with the constant g-loads placed on the object. Anything not part of the object will eventually be dislodged as it's constantly accelerated, decelerated, then accelerated again.
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