Sword Anatomy


Sword Anatomy

By Chowser, November 1st, 2016

Check out this link to examine our different swords.


Swords have been around for over five thousand years, and can be found in countless cultures and regions of the world. For many millennia sword technology had a huge impact on the rise and fall of states and empires alike. With such an important role to play concerning social order, it is not surprising that so many types of swords emerged over time. In honor of this interesting diversity, we’ve decided to dissect the anatomical characteristics of two of history’s most popular styles of swords.

Double-edged European style swords

Arguably the most commonly known form of sword in the western world, the European style double-edged Swords were a major force during the Medieval period. They range in style and size; from the giant Zweihander, to the diminutive short swords, but the general anatomy remains the same. The centered point of European style swords make them suitable for thrusting, while the double-edges allow for deadly slashing and assist in puncturing armor. The cross-guard is often strait out, or curved upward to assist in trapping the opponent’s sword, however; many variations of guards exist, and it is a common place to add embellishment to a sword. For a functional sword, the tang will extend the full length of the grip and lock into the pommel.

European sword parts

The pommel is another place often associated with embellishment, however it also serves as a crushing weapon in a pinch, and is an important element for balance. The Fuller, often referred to as a “blood-groove” or “blood-gutter”, is mainly intended to lighten the blade rather than having anything to do with blood. Blades with a properly crafted fuller can be upwards of thirty percent lighter without compromising strength. The protective scabbards are most often made of wood or leather, but with the advent of durable modern martials, nylon scabbards have also become popular.

See all European style swords!

Japanese katana

On the other side of the globe, and even among many people in the western world, the Japanese katana is regarded as one of the most refined examples of sword technology. Much of the success of the katana is due to the rigorous forging process pioneered by the Japanese, however; the design itself has also been proven effective in the deadliest sense of the word. Katanas are curved, slender, single-edged swords, usually with a square guard. Traditional hand forged Katanas have a thickened kissaki (point), for balance and durability, and the transitional bend near the point known as a “yokote” is meticulously blended.

European sword parts

The curved nature of the blade amplifies the potential slashing power and strength of the blade, while the design of the kissaki (point) allows for piercing thrusts. The nakago (tang) generally curves slightly with the blade, and for functional swords it extends the full length of the tsuka (handle). Like the European style swords, Katanas often utilize a Fuller or “Hi” to optimize the weight of the sword without compromising strength.
See Japanese katanas!

There you have it, a quick dissection of anatomy for two of history’s most popular swords. whether your favorite sword is European, Japanese, or other, we hope you found this information interesting and enlightening.