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Types Of Swords

Updated on October 22, 2011

A sword is perhaps the oldest weapon invented by man. Who invented this weapon and when is hard to tell but one thing is for sure that ever since man started to fight against other men sword had always been there.

People of every era and culture in the past had used sword and every civilization had its own type. War alone is not the only purpose for which sword had been in use. For centuries it has been used in sports like fencing and in some ancient Greek and Roman games.

There are so many different types of swords that have been used by man for centuries that listing them all down is not possible. Generally we can describe a sword a long weapon made of wooden handle and a long sharp blade made of metal. The blade can be short, small or curved while the material used for the handle may also vary.

Below given are some common types of swords:

Egyptian Sword (Khopesh)
Egyptian Sword (Khopesh)

Egyptian Swords

Starting, let’s first talk about the swords invented by one of the oldest and the strongest civilization of the past, the Egyptians.

The swords of the Egyptians were one of the most dangerous and beautiful swords ever invented by man.

The blade of these swords was made of bronze, was long and had daggers and dirks.

The blade which was bent at the middle was used to behead the victim.

No doubt it was the most feared sword of it’s time.

Katana Sword
Katana Sword

The Katana Swords

These are another category of swords belonging to one of the most powerful and feared people of the past, the samurais.

This sword which is also called the samurai sword has been a symbol of the ancient Japan and in ancient times was considered as a representation of the Samurai spirit.

A beautiful sword, the Katana has a long thin slender and a curved single edged blade. The sword although appeared slender was in fact very sharp, sharp enough to slice a man in half in only one blow.

It is believed to be the only sword which was a mixture of such extreme sharpness and beauty.

17th Century Broadsword
17th Century Broadsword


Broadswords were invented around the 6th century and were one the first medieval swords.

These swords had a long blade which was thicker around the base near the handle and got thin at end until it formed a tip at the end.

The sword had a two edged blade which made it a versatile and a dangerous sword. The height of the swords was around 30-45 inches and its weight was around 3-5 pounds.

Two Handed Claymore
Two Handed Claymore

Two Handed Swords

The two handed swords first became common during the 1500s and the 1600s. These swords were very long, around six feet!

The most famous European two handed swords were the claymore and Flamberges.

The claymores were of Scottish origin and were used in wars while the Flamberges were popular among the upper classes.

These swords gave a slow painful and dangerous blow to the opponents and were effective only along their edges.

Swiss longsword
Swiss longsword
Falchion Sword
Falchion Sword


The long swords were special swords which were neither one handed nor two handed.

These swords were also called half swords or hand and a half sword.

These swords were straight and double edged.

They were around 4-4.5 feet long and weighed around 5-8 pounds.

The Longswords had a unique structure and were used for wars.

Falchion Sword

The falchion swords were comparatively shorter swords used by the Knights and crusaders of the medieval times.

These swords had short, heavy and a single edged blade which was made of iron and steel.

The height of these swords is 37-40 inches in length and weighed around 1-3 pounds.

Shamshir Sword
Shamshir Sword

Foils And Rapiers

Foils and rapiers were invented during the 16th century and were made for the purpose of fencing.

These swords were long and very slender.

The swords were heavy for fencing despite of that these swords were very popularly used during that time.

Shamshir Swords

The Shamshir were Persian swords which became popular Islamic swords during the 16th century.

The word Shamshir comes from a Persian word which means “sword” in general. These swords were simple straight sharp edged swords used for wars.

The Shamshir from Persia the travelled to different parts of the world and also became popular amongst the Mongols and moguls. 


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    • angie ashbourne profile image

      angie ashbourne 5 years ago

      Hi! Interesting Hub. I have a British army officer's sword from W.W.2 Angie

    • RamyMehelba profile image

      Ramy Mehelba 6 years ago from Egypt

      Interesting hub, Thanks!