were a major weapon of war during the ancient and medieval history. They are
also called the gentleman of all weapons. They were bladed weapons that had
two parts namely the blade and the handle or the hilt. They were sharpened
blades that could be single edged or double edged. The width varried with
the culture and era and so did the type of hilt. They could be one handed or
double as per the weight and maneuver of the sword.
The warriors and the knights relied on sword a lot. They were brisk, agile,
graceful and flexible. Some were very elaborately decorated.
Japanese Swords :
The Japanese swords had the finest blades ever. The length could vary. The
most common Japanese Sword was buke-zukuri. It was a style of sword
mounting. It was also called Katana. The japanese swords were heavy and
difficult to maneuver. Samurai or higher rank could wear the long sword.
Merchants, tradesmen and craftsmen could wear the short sword. These
Japanese swords were symbol of the Samurai warrior.
The Japanese history is divided into eras by the dynasties, the growth of
the swords is accordingly. The sword being an important weapon, the sword
eras are named separately. Koto refers to the "old sword" period,
Shinto refers to the "new sword" era, Shinshinto is the "new,
new sword" era, Gendai is the "modern sword" era, and
Shinsaku represents the newly made swords.
Katana Swords :
Katana Swords are the traditional self defense weapon of the Japanese
warrior. Katana swords had long steel blade with a sharp edge. Katana swords
had the finest blades ever seen. Katana Swords were highy intimidating
weapons. Now katana swords are used in Ceremonies only.
The bamboo stick katanas were evolved when the samurais were not allowed to
carry actual swords. These were also weapons of defence.
Wooden Swords :
They are the swords of self defense. They can be of bamboo or cane. They
are used frequently by the martial artists and sword trainers.
Cane sword was developed for the elderly for self defence. It could be used
as a walking stick and a weapon.
The trainers use wooden swords of different models to train the fencers.
When beautifully crafted, they can be good decoratives.
Antique Swords :
They are the collectors products. The ancient swords have a historical
significance and a mysticism attached to them. The blades were made of a
hard metal, steel or bronze. The hilt could be wood, leather, ivory or bone.
the most common was wood covered with leather or metal wire.
They are not used as weapons anymore but are collector's pride. They
decorate homes and offices. They have always been used as a decorative, a
symbol of power and aristocracy.
Chinese Swords :
They originated in China by thes mythical San Huang emperors. Dao is
considered the first single edged sword that was made by melting gold. The
swords were given names. There could be male and female swords.
was from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD) which ruled
China for almost three centuries. This compact swords were beautifully
handcrafted with a ridged central fuller for stiffness required in thrusting
and lightness required for speed.
Tai Chi Sword
are built for the martial artists. The Damascus Tai
Chi sword was built from a hand-forged Damascus steel blade to produce a
fast and balanced sword.
is also called the Dao. The sword has distal-tapered
blade and a hand-tied grip. These swords were kept in brass-mounted real
Gladius Swords :
The Roman Swords were called Gladius. They were initially meant to be
stabbing weapons. Latter they were developed into cut and thrust weapons.
They had a with a long point and "waisted" blade. They were
one-handed, has a light blade with a wooden guard and pommel.
The Pompeii Gladius was the Imperial Roman short sword. It was named so for
it was found in the ruins of Pompeii (dating back to 79 CE). The grip was
natural bone and complete with an oval guard and flattened spherical
Samurai Swords :
The Samurais were the privileged people of Japan. They could wear two
swords (daisho). They had been given special rights to use the sword to
their discretion. Out of the two swords they wore, one was long called the
Saito Katana. Its blade was more than 24" long. The short sword
(shoto-wakizashi) was between 12 and 24 inches.
The samurai swords were named by the owner as the sword was said to possess
the warriors soul. The samurai swords were initially straight blades. Latter
the blades were curved a little. The Samurai swords were tough and sharp.
Bamboo stick Katana was a special Samurai swordthat were developed when the
samurais were not allowed to carry the actual swords in 1867. They were held
in crafted bamboo sheath and had a carved grip. They were also used in
Falchion Swords :
A falchion was a household tool adaptation for wars. It appeared to be more
like a meat cleaver. It was used against the lighter armors by the infantry
and the knights alike. It was a Renaissance sword. It had a wide heavy blade
with point of balance towards the tip. It could inflict heavy blows.
They were mostly single edged with rounded tips. The later Italian versions
were more slender.
Flamberge Swords :
These were modified rapier swords. The shape of the blade had a zigzag
shape resembling flame. They were supposed to look more fierce and deadly
and fashionable at the same time. The effectiveness was same as that of the
one with smooth blade but was said to inflict a deadlier wound.
It was favoured by the high officials and the upper class. It slowed down
the opponents sword as it created a vibration in his sword due to zigzag
shape. The flamberge with a dish-hilt were called flammards" or
Rapier Swords :
The Rapier was a favored Sword in the 16th and the 17th century used mostly
as a dueling weapon. It was a modification of cut and Thrust sword. It was
more fierce than a regular sporting sword. It had a slender blade more
suited for civilian use. It gradually developed into an edgeless thrusting
weapon. The point of balance was towards the hilt thus making the movements
They could only lacerate the opponent and rarely kill. It was more of a
self-defense weapon. A rapier was a tip-based thrusting sword that used stab
and pierce and not slash. The shape of the blade could be flat triangular to
thicker, narrow hexagonal one. The shape of the hilt could vary to personal
The efforts were made to combine the rapier with the military cutting
blades . these modifications came to be called rapier sword. The result
however was that the new blade could not perform well. Flamberge was a
rapier with a flame shaped blade used by the high officials.
Claymore Swords :
It was the traditional Scottish sword. It was evolved from the Scottish
broadsword. It had downsloping quillions instead of the crossguard in other
swords of the era. It was called claidheamh mor in Gaelic. It was a straight
sword used for cutting and thrusting. The blade was heavy and so was the
pommel. It was a two-handed sword.
The cutting force was increased by the use of two hands. Its point was used
for thrusting when need be. The weapon was more effective in close combats.
The sword was accompanied by a dirk.