Different Sword Types and How to Identify Them

There are so many different names for the "sword" in use today, it can sometimes be difficult to know if what you are looking at online or holding in your hand is, in fact, a sword at all! This short, useful guide will acquaint you with the basic terminology for different categories of swords and how to identify them.

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Sword Names 101 The first thing to realize is that ultimately, anything with a blade can technically be categorized as a sword. In fact, through the centuries, the various names used to categorize swords evolved more as a description of the blade's function than it's overall character.

Dirks or Short Swords A short sword is exactly as it sounds a sword that is abbreviated in length and of a thicker blade than a long sword. A dirk, which is sometimes used to describe a short sword, is a specific type of short sword used by those who lived in the Scottish Highlands. But the original short sword owes it's existence to the ancient Romans.

Foils Also called "rapiers," foils are fencing swords. The blades are easily recognizable because they are quite long and slender almost fragile looking. Today's versions of foils and rapiers are much lighter than those used historically, however. The primary use of these swords is in thrusting and parrying during fencing matches.

Two-Handed Swords The two-handed sword is a strange and fearsome sight. They can have fiercely serrated or straight edges and be up to six feet in length. This type of sword is also referred to in different cultures and time periods as a longsword, a broadsword, a claymore, and even a great sword. As it's name suggests, the two-handed sword is designed to be used in an ambidextrous way with it's wielder switching it from hand to hand at will in combat situations.

Cutlasses The cutlass owes it's origins to the French military. The design is curved, a design that is specific to it's uses aboard ships for cutting lines and useful in situations of close-range combat. You can see some examples of cutlasses from the U.S. military branches

Sabers A saber is a particularly heavy type of military sword with a single-edge blade and a heavy construction. It is designed for use in military combat. The blade is curved and typically a large blade guard is also placed between the handle and the blade.

By gaining a basic understanding of some of the most common categories of sword types, you can begin or continue your efforts to build your sword collection with more knowledge and enjoyment.

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Posted in Shopping Other Post Date 01/08/2017