Western Sword Parts

Post your questions or seek advice on anything relating to swords

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Western Sword Parts

Post by Gaunt » Sun Oct 03, 2004 11:51 am

Musashi wrote: European swords, for example, like your average 12th Cruciform sword, are very plain and functional, and so require only simple terms of description.

You brought up the hand-guard, the whole thing is usually called the crosshilt, or even just hand-guard, but the actual protuberances are called 'quillons'. The handle is also, just as simply called the handle, or hilt.

The blade is fairly straight-forward, depending on the sword. For example, some blades have a 'ricasso' an area of steel below the quillons that is not edge, as some fighting styles place a fore-finger beyond the quillons to straighten the arm etc.

The fuller, as previously mentioned, is merely a shallow depression to lighten the blade, or in some cases, in Viking swords, it has been referred to as a 'blood channel or groove'.

The Pommel is the part of the sword above the hilt - which can be fashioned into many shapes and designs from the common wheel pommels to Viking Trilobed pommels - which is there to counterbalance the weight of the blade.

The blade terminology can be limited (on most swords) to the foreblade and backblade - which is fairly self-explanatory, although the six inches nearest the tip if often referred to as the 'live' blade as it the part of the blade which sees most action.

I hope some of that is useful...
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