To begin with, there are hundreds of different types of swords from diverse eras of human history and regions around the world.
As a result, there was no universal agreement on specific sword kinds.
As a result, words like broadsword and longsword were frequently employed to describe weapons with similar appearances but different historical periods, regional cultures, and fabrication technologies.
In most cases, these terms did not take into account their intended usage or fighting style.
Second, in most historical societies, a sword was simply referred to as a “sword” in its local tongue, regardless of its precise characteristics.
Although the vocabulary employed in the classification of swords in English is inaccurate, it is without a doubt an excellent way to understand the different types of swords.
While the classification system has changed throughout time, swords have always been classed by blade type or hilt type.
Table of Contents
- 1. Two-handed sword
- 2. Longsword
- 3. Cutlass
- 4. Falchion
- 5. Ninjato
- 6. Swordstaff
- 7. Jian
- 8. Edgeless and Thrusting Swords
- 9. Single-edge and Curved Swords
- 10. Long Knife and Short Sword
1. Two-handed sword
The term “two-handed sword” refers to any large sword that is designed to be used primarily with two hands.
Hence, any of the following different types of swords can fit into this category if they are large enough.
Greatswords are long swords similar to those used in Europe and Asia throughout the Middle Ages.
The Greatsword was popular throughout the Renaissance; however, some older swords, such as the Scottish Claymore, bear a striking similarity.
These oversized weapons can be anywhere between 63 and 71 inches long and as tall as a full-grown man.
These great swords were too heavy to be wielded with only one hand; they invented a large grip for two-handed use and increased leverage.
The Zweihander (“two-hander”), sometimes known as the Doppelhänder (“double-hander”) or the Beidhänder (“both-hander”), is a two-handed German sword modeled after late Middle Ages longswords.
This type of sword rose to prominence in the early 16th century, when German mercenary warriors began to wield it.
The name “longsword” refers to a variety of late Medieval and Renaissance weapons designed to be used with both hands. A few variations, though, can be used with one hand. A longsword is usually longer than a short or bastard sword.
This type of sword has been linked to most Samurai warriors in numerous books, television shows, and films as one of the most famous sword names in Japanese weapons.
In the classic film “The Last Samurai,” Tom Cruise, a well-known actor, wields a Katana. The length of a katana varies between 24 and 30 inches.
Due to broad use in the 14th and 16th centuries (Feudal Period), the sharp one-bladed sword attained broad use, only to be restricted to army use in the Meiji Period.
It has a two-handed grip and a circular/squared guard.
Claymore is a type of sword that dominated the Medieval Period from the 15th to the 17th century, demonstrating the rich Gaelic/ Scottish sword naming legacy.
The “long-sword heavily influenced its creation.” The fact that it was a two-handed weapon and the cruciform hilt/basket hilt were two of its distinguishing traits.
A V-shaped handle was used on the second type of claymore. Claymore’s use is shown in the Scottish film “Braveheart,” with foot army men wielding the weapon, and King Arthur’s “Excalibur” sword was a Claymore.
The gladius was a popular type of sword among soldiers and gladiators throughout the Roman Empire. The foot soldiers applied them.
Roman soldiers used the gladius/Hispanic blade during their invasion of Hispania. Gladius was accompanied by a shield. It is flexible when it comes to cutting, chopping, and thrusting.
It had a hardwood grip and a double-edged blade. The shortest and most flexible gladius was Pompeii, while the longest gladius was Mainz.
It dominated West and North Europe and was known as the Carolingian sword. The Scandinavian Vikings primarily used this type of sword.
The Roman Gladius blades inspired it. It has sharp double edges and a pointed tip that can be used for slashing and thrusting.
It was used from the early Middle Ages until the 12th century when mixed with some of the early knightly blades.
It was much shorter than a saber, with a straight blade frame. Others had slightly curved blades and were commonly used by the navy as a navy weapon.
Cutlass is light and has a gun grip for quick action and withdrawal. Apart from the navy, some of the most famous pirates, including Blackbeard, also used it.
As it could only be used during certain government occasions, it was publicly burned.
This type of sword resembles a blade with an ax edge. As a result, it was extremely useful for achieving tremendous striking power.
Falchion’s weight makes it take longer to apply than the others.
Different types of swords emerged as early civilization progressed, representing various cultures and nations.
Swords were given names depending on some of their distinguishing characteristics and the culture in which they were used.
On the other hand, the classification of swords has been done by the majority of archaeological scientists who have examined various swordsmanship periods.
Swords have been a symbol of legacy, strength, and protection since the Bronze Age. Their use is still dominant in many world cultures and even government ceremonial purposes.
From its name, it refers to the ninja blade utilized by Japanese warriors during the feudal Japan era. It has a single edge blade and guards that range from being round for practical double hand usage.
History made it known that Ninjato made some of the best types of swords in military assault weapons.
The Swordstaff (svärdstav) is a medieval Scandinavian weapon manufactured by attaching a sword blade to the end of the staff in the 16th century.
As a result, this type of sword combines the force and utility of a sword with the reach of a spear. Swordstaffs have a significant advantage over spears since their blade edge makes them good for close combat as well.
Furthermore, compared to standalone swords, their longer length allows them to create more force in an attack.
Jian is a straight sword that has been used in China since ancient times as the blade of choice. The first references to this word originate from the 7th century BC.
The one-handed variant is typically 18 to 31 inches long, whereas the bigger two-handed models can vary significantly in length.
8. Edgeless and Thrusting Swords
These are sword-like weapons that function more like a tool for direct, blunt attack than swords. Swords with no sharp edges are known as edgeless swords.
As a result, they don’t work with typical sword hacking and slashing tactics. Edgeless swords excel at rapid thrusting as their short build, which allows for increased agility and precision.
Furthermore, some of their best swords are capable of piercing iron armor, resulting in substantial damage. Legendary Spartan Xiphos, the French Smallsword, the German Panzerstecher, and the European Rapier are the popular edgeless swords.
9. Single-edge and Curved Swords
These types of swords have a single cutting edge and have thick or curved blades.
Slashing attacks, slicing things, severing limbs, and broad sweeping actions are all common uses for these swords. The blade’s dull side was frequently employed for defensive and blocking techniques.
The Chinese Dao, Japanese Katana, Greek Kopis, and several variations of the modern Sabre are all examples of famous swords in this group.
10. Long Knife and Short Sword
Many long knives and daggers are classified as swords, particularly old varieties from before the invention of high-quality steel. The Roman Gladius, the Scandinavian Seax, the Scottish Dirk, and the medieval Baselard are all popular Iron Age types of short swords.