Sword Making

As one of the most popular weapons in history, swords are best known for helping to make battles more bloody and deadly. But before they were used as a weapon, they were primarily utilized as a tool that ushered in the farming revolution. This blog post will discuss some interesting information about their evolution from their use as agricultural tools to weapons themselves.

Today, these weapons are associated with violence and death. But, as history has shown us, these weapons were originally used for agricultural purposes. However, today, there is a great number of real swords for sale in the market, and the reason is people’s love for these historical weapons. Even today, people use them for purposes such as training, martial arts, cosplay, decor and more. 

Swords in the past were not well-crafted and technically differed significantly from the ones we know today. These early blades needed to be heavy in order to function properly because they only possessed a single cutting edge. Since we are discussing sword making in the past and today, let’s begin with the early days of sword construction! 

Sword Making in the Early Days

Swords of this era were primarily designed to cut through small trees, not armored foes.  
Due to the fact that the image is ingrained into our minds as a deadly weapon and because we have always used it for war, it is hard for us to imagine a time where they were used for farming purposes. But this is exactly what they were originally used for.  

The word 'sword' is thought to be derived from the Proto-Germanic word 'swurd', which translates to something that pierces, or that has a penetrating quality. The early ones were not created as weapons; they were first used as tools. 

These tools were invented by humans around six thousand years ago and their purpose was simply to cut through the thick branches of trees. Because of their inability to pierce armor, at this time they would usually have one single cutting edge. The reason this was so is because early swordsmen would use a wooden handle with a blade attached to it because it made the weapon much easier to wield .  

Real Swords Were Heavy in Weight

The first swords were designed to cut through the thick branches of trees, and as such they had a single cutting edge (instead of multiple like today's ones). These agricultural tools were created using metal, wood and stone. They were also known as hoe-swords because of the way their long handles resembled those used for farming purposes.  

The first swordsmen would hold these weapons with two hands due to their weight and strength.   According to Roman historian Tacitus, a man could take three men with him into battle and win due to his use; however, he could only defeat one man by himself.

Real swords

Blades Used in Making Swords

The earliest known metal swords were the ones made in Asia Minor about 3500 BC, by smelting zinc-lead ore and adding copper. Iron would replace bronze during the first millennium BC. Steel came to be used because of its strength and ability to hold a sharp edge – it was better than iron and bronze.

  • Making Metal Blades

Blades could be made sharper and stronger but they were more difficult to forge and usually only available through trade, since alloys like steel had not been found yet; this made them fairly rare among pre-industrial societies, where iron was still fairly common as a tool material until iron metallurgy became widespread during the Industrial Revolution (1760 AD estimate). 

  • Making Steel Blades

With the development of tool steels, steel began to be used for blades and was not restricted to use in swords, although they continued to be made from steel. Some blades today are made of cobalt or nickel based alloys. For instance, the modern highlander sword would often have a steel blade. However, foam and wooden swords are also quite popular! 

Read More: Highlander Sword - The Connor MacLeod Sword

  • Crafting Process

The process of crafting a blade has not changed much over time, but the technology to control their qualities has been developed. The smiths would heat the metal up until it became malleable and then hammer it into shape on an anvil. 

Typically, blacksmiths used a blade-sized strip of steel that they would shape roughly into the desired form and then fold using either stock removal or pattern welding techniques, a technique aided by forge welding. 

Making Sword

  • Welding Process

For welding, a metal bar was heated red hot and then hammered into shape. For stock removal the metal would be heated white hot and then pulled off in one piece by hand. After this, the sword’s blade would be ground or sharpened and edge rolled to form a razor edge.

Modern Types of Steel For Sword Making

  • There are many different forms of steel that have been developed throughout history: agricultural alloys, alloy steels, casting steels, nickel alloy steels, specialty alloys, stainless steels and tool steels. 
  • Agricultural steels are used in farm implements and construction equipment, semis have been used for centuries to make swords. 
  • Chromium stainless steel is a common alloy steel which reduces corrosion resistance. It is often used in constructing full tang swords. These swords have relatively larger blades and the the blades starts from the top of the handle. Others are half tang swords. 
  • Tool steels are high carbon steels that contain tungsten and vanadium, which increases their strength and edge holding ability. They are used for knives, cutlery and other general tools that need to be strong. 
  • Other advanced performance alloys include so-called "superalloys", which may contain combinations of elements such as tungsten carbide, molybdenum, cobalt, chromium, nickel or titanium.

Swords Can be Divided into Different Types

A sword is a blade weapon in which a sharp edge is combined with a point or crosspiece, or another sharp-edged piece forms the point. 

The many different types of these weapons that have been used by soldiers, adventurers, and civilians throughout history. There are many different parts that make them unique but you'll usually find them to be either straight bladed weapons such as sabers or curved weapons like scimitars. Broadly speaking, there are three types of these blades: slashing, thrusting and cutting.

  • Historical Swords

As far back as 1000B.C., these weapons have been made out of bronze, copper and iron. Eventually, these metals were discovered to be too malleable and difficult to make sharp edges on them. The advent of steel in the 10th century was the beginning that is still sharpened today.

  • Medieval Swords

Medieval swords came in two major varieties: the single-handed type (used by knights) and the two-handed type (used by infantry). 

  • The single-handed weapon was often called a broadsword, which could be used to slice off an opponent's head or limbs or thrust into gaps in armor.
  • The two-handed blade was so called because it had a long handle and was used mostly by knights. The sword's tip was very sharp, used for slashing in close combat.

In the later medieval period, as heavy armor became popular, these weapons  tended to be shorter, heavier and had thicker blades. With the development of firearms and cannons, these tools found a new purpose: they became secondary weapons while they were carried instead in the scabbard. This is where the term "sword vs gun" originated from. 

Blades are built in various shapes, terms and designs depending on their type e.g., saber (heavy), claymore (medium) etc.. These are one of the most common weapons found in video games. They are typically fast and effective however they have some flaws like the fact that they can't be used to cut through thin objects, armor or perhaps certain types of materials.

Medieval swords

  • Katana Sword

One sword type is the katana, or traditional Japanese weapon. The katana was used in Japan for thousands of years before it became one of the most iconic weapons for samurai warriors. 

It is considered a naginata, a curved blade weapon with a long handle and small hilt. The blade is forged from solid steel and has a sharp edge that can be blunted but not sharpened on both sides (it's made this way to prevent accidental harm).

Read More: 11 Best Katana Swords in the Market

  • Wooden Swords

These are made from red and white oak, but any kind of hardwood can be used. There are many different styles of wooden blades, from ancient to modern. Modern anime swords are often made of wood.  In order to make the shaft, insert a handle end into the hole on the other end of the hilt. Mahogany is used for the blade, which has been carved into the shape of a wave curve. 

Drawing and cutting will become easier thanks to the blade's curve. Most of such weapons do not serve as combat weapons and can be used with both hands if the hilts are extended. The wooden blades were decorated to resemble the original weapons during special competitions. This one measures two feet two inches long.

  • Ninja Sword

Japan's ninja fought with these weapons, originally called ninja swords. They were known to use them frequently to conduct espionage and engage in combat. 

Many famous blades created for entertainment or military purposes have also been made with this material by weaponsmiths and blacksmiths. A ninja used a ninja sword to perform an action. Shinobi use bladed weapons that are referred to as this term. Shinobis ("those who serve the lord"). 


Swords are Part of Our Historical and Modern Culture

Swords are an ancient weapon that is still used in the modern age. They are used for self, personal protection and for attacking others. They can be long or short. Some people use them to fight or spar with, some people use them as decoration, and some people just collect them because they think they look cool! But all these have one thing in common-they protect you from your enemies by keeping you safe from attack, but also keep your enemies away through fear of being hurt themselves!

In the modern days though, swords are used mostly for cosplay, decor, and costume purposes. Though modern swords are also used for practicing the art of swordsmanship, they are popularly used as collectibles. An enthusiast would love to have some modern and stylish SAO swords, fantasy swords in his collection! 

Read More: 6 Brilliantly Designed SAO Swords