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Nov 27, 2023 | 08:45 pm 484 0

The beauty and practicality of edged weapons

The beauty and practicality of edged weapons

Since ancient times, people have been using edged weapons. With its help, our ancestors performed a lot of everyday work, fought, and defended themselves and their loved ones. Many years have passed, but edged weapons have not lost their relevance. It has changed a little and become a more attractive product, from an aesthetic point of view, and become as practical as possible. Today, edged weapons are the same work of art as modern firearms, various daytime optics, and night vision devices. It continues to be used for its intended purpose and helps people in various activities.

What is an edged weapon?

Cold steel is a weapon that destroys various targets using exclusively physical force. Such products have long been considered the primary type of weapon. They have been used in numerous wars, turning even a tiny battle into a bloodbath. With the advent of gunpowder, edged weapons faded into the background, but no one began to abandon them altogether. Nowadays, most knives produced are used exclusively as a utility weapon or a valuable item that allows you to do a lot of work in the home and beyond. More significant types of bladed weapons (for example, swords) are today used as decorative items or become an attribute of various events (theatrical productions, reconstructions of famous battles, exhibition knightly tournaments, etc.).

Each country has laws regarding manufacturing, carrying, and using bladed weapons. In some cases, they are so challenging that buying a simple knife or any collectible sword becomes extremely difficult. A striking example of such a careful attitude to edged weapons is the United States. According to most state laws, it is much easier to purchase firearms than bladed weapons. The penalties for non-compliance with the established rules are just as harsh. For simply carrying prohibited knives in almost all states, a person faces arrest with all the unpleasant consequences that follow. Nevertheless, such difficulties should continue for lovers of edged weapons. It is enough to comply with existing laws, and there will be no problems with law enforcement agencies.

The formulations of the concept of “edged weapons” are very different. In most cases, a weapon whose blade length exceeds the size of the palm is considered cold. However, there are many exceptions; it makes no sense to list each of them. Another critical parameter that is always considered by regulatory authorities is the thickness of the blade. Depending on the specifics of local laws, the maximum permissible value of this indicator is about 2.5-2.6 mm. In some countries, the hardness of the steel from which a knife or similar product is made is considered. In these cases, edged weapons with an indicator of less than 25 HRC are permitted.

If ordinary people are prohibited from openly carrying most bladed weapons, then representatives of some professions are allowed. This exception is made only in cases where knives and other similar products are used to perform specific professional duties. In this regard, representatives of the following professions can openly carry and use edged weapons:

  • police officers (only during assignment);
  • hunters (with a special license);
  • athletes (for example, representatives of fencing);
  • military personnel (if they carry award-winning or captured edged weapons);
  • security guards (only while performing their professional duties);
  • collectors (during various exhibitions, presentations, auctions, etc.).

Types of edged weapons

Melee weapons are so diverse that in terms of the number of types, they can compete equally with firearms, day optics, and night vision priors. Each nation has its own traditional blades, which they have been making for centuries or even millennia. In parallel with them, modern products are used in various fields of activity. This combination of ancient traditions and the latest technologies allows edged weapons to improve. Gradually, it becomes more attractive and practical. To classify all existing products, it was proposed to divide them into many categories. Each of them includes models that have similar characteristics and perform identical functions.

The main classification of bladed weapon models is their division by purpose. There are three groups of products: combat, hunting, and sports. Combat-bladed weapons include blades that are intended for attacks on people. Such products are widely used by military personnel and police. With their help, it is possible to defend against dangerous criminals or enemy soldiers and carry out offensive actions if it is not possible to use firearms. Hunting products include mainly different types of knives that hunters use to perform many tasks. Such products are often distinguished by their versatility, practicality, and ease of use. Sports models are also classified into a separate group. They are used during training and participation in various competitions. The most popular melee weapons among athletes are swords, sabers, and epees.

The second most popular classification divides all bladed and thrown weapons. The first category includes products in which the main structural element is the blade (which may have one or more edges). It is the working surface of edged weapons and is involved in most of the actions carried out. Depending on the length of the blade, there are short-blade (up to 12 inches), medium-blade (12-20 inches), and long-blade (more than 20 inches) models. Throwing bladed weapons fully live up to their name. It is used to hit distant targets that cannot be approached within striking distance. Throwing-type products often have a sharp end, their main working element. The most famous representatives of this category are arrows, darts, harpoons, and other similar products.

No less popular is the division of bladed weapons into categories based on the nature of the damage they cause. According to this classification, there are piercing and chopping products. Piercing models mainly include knives, spears, daggers, swords, and other weapons capable of causing stabbing damage. All of them are distinguished by a pointed edge and a unique handle, which allows you to hold the gun for piercing movements comfortably. Edged weapons from the chopping category include an axe, a tomahawk, and an axe. All of them are characterized by a short and wide warhead, which is pointed on the front side, and a long handle, allowing you to deliver chopping blows with enormous force (due to a broader swing, the warhead accelerates to more incredible speed). There is also an intermediate category, which includes different types of swords, sabers, scimitar, and machetes.

Options for using different edged weapons

A vast number of types of bladed weapons does not prevent each of them from becoming widespread in one or another field of activity. This is facilitated by the practicality of most modern models and their ability to cope equally well with different types of work. In addition, all existing products are distinguished by excellent ergonomics, maximum ease of use, and attractive appearance. The last feature of edged weapons does not affect the effectiveness of its operation. Still, it allows you to get absolute pleasure from the operation process (of course, if it is used exclusively for peaceful purposes). In addition, the external beauty of some models makes them attractive to collectors, the number of which is increasing yearly.

The first on the list of the most popular and practical types of edged weapons is a combat knife. It is used primarily by military personnel and law enforcement officials. This product is intended for combat operations, but its applications are more comprehensive. Thanks to its relatively small size and lightweight, it is suitable for solving many problems faced by military and police personnel. First of all, a combat knife can be used for cutting. It always has the sharpest sharpening possible, so it can easily cope with food, tree branches, wires, ropes of any thickness, and much more. Secondly, such bladed weapons help in setting up a field camp. Its capabilities will be sufficient to collect the necessary plant material, which will be in demand when building a temporary shelter from the rain. If the user has a vision device, this work can be performed even at night. At the same time, its effectiveness will remain at the same high level. Among other factors that prove the practicality of a combat knife, its increased strength stands out, thanks to which it is possible to process various hard materials (for example, splitting stones), if necessary. Such a product will also be indispensable when ensuring your safety. Having a combat knife at hand, a soldier or police officer will be able to repel sudden attacks by people and animals effectively.

Many consider the dagger the second most popular type of bladed weapon. It stands out for its short, straight, or slightly curved blade, which does not exceed 12 inches long. Almost always, daggers have a double-sided sharpening, thanks to which they become more effective in battle. In this matter, they were used most often until firearms replaced them. Nowadays, daggers are often decorative items that add to the collections of bladed weapon lovers. They are often used during various theatrical productions, the filming of historical films, and reconstructions of famous battles of the past. In some cases, daggers become an excellent addition to hunting knives. With a compact handle and a short blade, they turn into a light and convenient piercing weapon that can cope with even a huge animal.

Many fans of edged weapons always pay special attention to swords. They combine beauty and practicality better than other products and create a heroic image for everyone who picks them up. The blade is a double-edged weapon equally well suited for stabbing and slashing. Its length and weight vary widely and depend on many factors. On average, the sword measures about 30 inches and weighs 2.5-3 pounds. Such bladed weapons were used long before our era, so each of its models contains a history and is a link between the past and the present. Naturally, no one uses swords in combat these days. Nevertheless, they are present in the cultures of many countries worldwide. They are used for various events and filming of Hollywood films with a multimillion-dollar budget; they are made into an essential element of the national costume, and they are collected and enjoyed by their external beauty.

One of the most significant types of bladed weapons is the saber. It is a bladed product designed to perform piercing and chopping blows. The main difference between a saber and a sword is the length. In most cases, it is 35-40 inches. Also, an important distinguishing feature is the presence of a bend in the blade towards the butt. All known varieties of saber are sharpened on only one side. Also, most models are characterized by the presence of a thin edge. In ancient times, sabers were used primarily as the primary weapon of cavalry. They performed well in battles, so they were considered the only option for a long time. With the advent of firearms, such products were rarely used. Nowadays, sabers are in demand in various art forms, from theater to cinema. In addition, they often become museum exhibits and decorations in the homes of edged weapons collectors. Slightly modified products are actively used in fencing. Many prestigious competitions are held in this category of weapons, including the Olympic Games. Sabers are used very rarely for their intended purpose.

In many countries, the scimitar was considered the primary melee weapon for a long time. It was invented in Turkey but was actively used by many armies. Its effectiveness and versatility gave it a massive advantage over the enemy and helped it win essential battles. The Scimitar is a bladed weapon designed for piercing, slashing, and cutting blows. The blade of this bladed weapon is slightly curved. It has the same width in each section, which is not typical for most Asian and European counterparts. 

The tip was sometimes made more comprehensive, but this happened exceptionally rarely. The scimitar has one blade. Its internal part is sharpened, giving the weapon's owner greater freedom of action. Throughout its existence, the scimitar was used for many purposes. With its help, the eastern peoples fought, executed guilty people, cut down small trees, and cut ripe fruits from the tree. In our time, the scimitar has become a historical value for many, which they try to preserve for posterity. Sometimes, these bladed weapons appear in films, video games, staged battles, and other places. Antique scimitar models become one of the central figures in any collection of edged weapons.

A cleaver is simple, practical, and very easy to use. This bladed weapon belongs to the cutting category. It looks like an oversized kitchen knife that can perform various jobs. The cleaver stands out for its thickened blade, which gives the product additional weight. This feature makes this bladed weapon one of the most powerful. With its help, you can even cut bone without much effort. In ancient times, cutlasses were used as auxiliary weapons for infantrymen. They made it possible to conduct close combat effectively and hit many opponents. Nowadays, the cleaver is used exclusively for peaceful purposes. A slightly modified version of it is a famous knife in any kitchen. It is used to cut large pieces of meat, chop bones, and chop frozen foods. In addition, the cleaver can often be seen in video games and horror films.

There is no more iconic bladed weapon for Latin Americans than the machete. It has been helping people in their daily affairs for many centuries and is actively used in our time. A machete is a wide cleaver, most often over 20 inches long. It is made from a very thin steel billet, due to which its thickness rarely exceeds 3 mm. The blade of a machete is characterized by the presence of a convex blade with a one-sided sharpening. The tip is most often made round and slightly widened. This melee weapon is suitable exclusively for slashing and cutting attacks. Thanks to the blade's sharpening and the product's small thickness, it is possible to cut even very durable objects with one blow. In ancient times, machetes were used for agricultural work. With its help, they collected various fruits and sugar cane and cut off dried parts of plants. Very often, it was used for cutting branches of trees and bushes. This edged weapon also became indispensable in the event of an enemy attack. One precise blow was enough to crush the intruder. In our 21st century, the machete continues to serve humanity. It is used to perform the same agricultural work, cutting large fruits, cutting meat, and grinding feed for livestock. In addition, having a machete in your hands will make it possible to move through places with dense vegetation (for example, through the jungle). Like other types of bladed weapons, machetes can be seen in films, video games, and various folk art types.

The sword is one of the most beautiful and sophisticated types of bladed weapons. It instantly turns its owner into a French musketeer, allowing traveling back in time many centuries ago. If we put aside the external attractiveness of the sword, we can easily understand its effectiveness in combat at close and medium distances. This weapon is a piercing type of weapon. It consists of a straight blade and a handle. The first element has a sharpened edge on one or both sides or is made as a faceted base. The length of the blade varies widely but is always at least 40 inches. The standard handle is complemented by a unique bow and guard, which serve as protection for the hands of the sword owner. For many centuries, these bladed weapons were used for military purposes. However, with the advent of many firearms, swords began to be gradually forgotten. Nowadays, this product is one of the most popular among collectors. Blades are also actively used in fencing, a popular Olympic sport.

Among the many types of chopping-bladed weapons, the most famous is the ax. It has long been considered the most effective, so different armies used it. As soon as close combat was no longer necessary, the soldiers forgot about axes and switched to firearms. Nevertheless, these products have retained their relevance, and even today, they are actively used by everyone without exception. Most modern axes have a long wooden handle and a strong steelhead. The latter is located along the base and is firmly fixed to it. There is a blade at the end of the striker, which, thanks to high-quality sharpening, makes the ax one of the deadliest types of bladed weapons. In the 21st century, it is used mainly for peaceful purposes (only sometimes various crimes are committed with the help of axes). It is used to cut down trees, process wood, cut up animal carcasses, and perform many other complex jobs. This bladed weapon is no less in demand in modern art. Axes are present in many films, cartoons, and video games and are also used during the reconstruction of historical battles and during exhibition battles at various festivals. Due to their visual appeal, these products often become museum exhibits or an essential element of a cold steel collection.

The tomahawk has remained the most popular slashing weapon on some continents for centuries. It is a smaller version of the ax used by the indigenous people of North America. The tomahawk handle is made of durable wood. It is often equipped with various additional elements that will allow you to properly balance the weapon and make it as convenient to use as possible. The tomahawk head is smaller in size than a similar structural element of a classic ax. A pointed end on it makes it possible to cut anything without applying excessive effort. The Indians used tomahawks for military and domestic purposes. With their help, they fought close combat, cut down trees, butchered animal carcasses, and cut out canoe tree trunks. Today, tomahawks are only used to carry out some of this work. Most often, they are collectible weapons that become decorations for any home. They are also essential to various Indian holidays, which usually attract many history buffs.

Throughout human history, edged weapons have played an essential role in a variety of life processes. It was used everywhere and quickly became an indispensable attribute. Nowadays, various types of such weapons are in demand among representatives of many professions. The products produced become more and more attractive every year and gradually become the most practical works of art. It is unknown what edged weapons will be like in 10, 50, and 100 years, but we can confidently say that they will not cease to exist and will continue to benefit people for a very long time.

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