History of the Blade

We offer a short history of the blades used in two cultures, Asian and European.

Blades have been used all throughout history as a weapon and as a symbol of power. Since the discovery of weapons individuals have used items with sharp edges to maim, injure, and dismember other beings, both human and animals. They have even been used to cut through vegetation. Blades are usually simple in design. Every sword, dagger, and axe work similarly. Each one has a handle with which to hold the weapon and allows for a fulcrum point for the application of force. This handle is called the hilt. Between the hilt and the blade is the hand guard. This keeps another blade from striking the wielder's hand or the wielder's from displacing and coming into contact with the blade. In some bladed weapons the hand guard is part of the hilt and may cover the hand almost entirely. Daggers have shortened blades and are typically made to be concealed until they are needed. A sword is different because it has a longer blade and thus a longer total lever length. This added length and strength makes a sword more practical in open combat rather than concealed, like a dagger. Axes are much larger with the majority of the weapon taken by the staff that is used for handling. The end of the weapon is the bladed part and is usually used for blows. An axe is much stronger, heavier, and more powerful than a sword because of its design. In all bladed weapons the actual blade is not always the part that is used for attacking and defending. The hilt or hand guard may also be used in combat if the situation requires it. Many blades have also been created for uses other than combat, recreation, and tools. Some blades have been used as purely ceremonial. They have been used in anything from rituals to religious sacrifices. Regardless of new weapon technologies, blades will always be useful weapons.