What are medieval swords made of

what are medieval swords made of

Medieval Swords By Name

Sword types changed over the centuries based on their intended use, but the process of making them changed very lit-tle. Contrary to our modern idealized view of the sword being hammered out by a single smith in a lonely forge, the vast majority of Medieval swords were made by a team of craftsmen, not always in the same location. 1 Some swords were made with a core of wrought iron, and fitted with steel blades. The smith takes two or more thin iron rods and heats them in the forge until they are white-hot. Then, the smith fastens one end of the rods in a vice, and twists them all together using a pair of tongs. The primary techniques are forging and stock removal.

How Were Swords Really Made? By John Clements. Just as with the subject of swords and swordsmanship, historical swordsmithing is also something currently filled with considerable myth and misconception. At different times and in different regions throughout the Medieval and Renaissance eras a variety of swords were devised for a variety of demands.

There was a natural competition at work between arms and armor, as a man needed one to fight effectively and the other to what is a base words list safe.

The result was a diverse family of single and double hand swords for cutting, thrusting, or cutting and thrusting. These might be straight or curved, slender or wide, tapered or not, and single or double-edged. But just how swords were made is something rarely presented in an easily understood manner and a good deal of what is a file compression program surrounds this topic today.

The technical terminology and debate involved can often overwhelm the modern student of spathology the study of historical swords. It must first be appreciated that a sword is unlike any other object. There is nothing else to which it can really be analogous. It is a fighting tool, but it is not simply a giant knife or a huge razorblade nor is it just a heavy hunk of long flat metal with a handle.

A sword is a unique instrument with its own functional properties dependent upon its design. As a tool the sword was the premier personal weapon of the professional warrior and unlike other weapons, such as bows, spears, axes, daggers, etc. This man was a swordsmith or a bladesmith.

Through his talent and experience he worked by hand to carefully shape and then temper iron into finely crafted steel. A swordsmith typically had to know how to make steelthe harder form of iron that contained minute traces of carbon usually from charcoal. Steel, or carburized iron, enabled a metal blade to have a far sharper edge and to withstand much greater stress without breaking or staying bent. But first the swordsmith had to acquire good steel of the desired trait.

The craft of smelting iron into steel was an exacting skill in itself and quality steel was a trade good. Source steel could sometimes be obtained in pre-forged ingots produced by others specialized in the task, saving the bladesmith the trouble and leaving him free to concentrate on shaping and tempering. Some smiths though would smelt their own raw ore. This part was also something of a mystery for their was no way in the past to know, let alone properly measure, the minute carbon content that under high heat seemed to magically transform iron into steel.

A swordsmith had to base it all on his experience of what, as best he could tell, had worked well enough before. The real sweat came when he set about to work the ready metal into a blade. A swordsmith needed to carefully forge a blade.

He had to shape and mix metals of different known qualities, some softer for the core or sides, some harder for the edge and point. With the hammers and tongs that were his trade the swordsmith would work the proto-blade, moving the block of glowing metal back and forth between an anvil and a hot coal furnace fueled by a bellows. He would shape his metal while red-hot by slowly and repeatedly hammering and re-heating until it was the length, width, and thickness he wanted.

He had to work the sides, edges, and tang into shape, none of which was entirely identical in its characteristics to the others. In order to be both strong and light for striking powerful cuts or thrusts against either hard or soft targets, different sword blades would require not just different lengths and widths but different cross-sections. A swordsmith had to skillfully create these shapes, perhaps in some small way improving his design each time by refining his techniques and incorporating new ideas.

When satisfied with the initial shape the swordsmith was far from finished. A finely crafted sword had to have how to make clear stickers the right mix of good steel as well as just the right temper. Heat treatment was the final crucial step that gave the blade its strength and toughness.

Heat-treating is really the whole process of quenching or hardening and tempering or slightly softening. Tempering is really just the low-temperature re-heating of hardened yet still somewhat brittle steel now called martinsite. But when they were tempering historical swordsmiths did not know they were rearranging molecules of martinsite into a softer yet tougher pattern. They just knew they were making a better blade through careful use of heat over time.

Proper heat-treating was perhaps half the Art itself for there was no means in the distant past to gauge temperature or even accurately record time.

The very fact that the consistency and quality of source metals for swords were not standardized in any way would have ensured that each swordsmith would have had to follow his own instincts. A swordsmith had to judge it from his experience and skill as such heat-treatment could ruin a good blade or help save an inferior one. Many different means were developed to do this but all of them involved quenching it by soaking the heated blade in a liquid medium in order to lower the temperature.

Quenching is really the fast cooling of the glowing hot blade in order to harden it. To ensure toughness and flexibility the blade would be quickly quenched in either oil or water.

Quenching would come before any tempering. But it is important to understand that the actual results of any heat-treatment would depend greatly upon the qualities of the different types of steel to which they were applied. This is where its edge and point would be properly honed by hand to a desired degree for the type of fighting work it was expected to perform. It could then be given an edge with smaller stones or hard metal files.

Sometimes an apprentice or specialist what are medieval swords made of this job. A sword blade might also be inscribed or decorated, perhaps by the maker or another artisan although some decoration might be applied earlier during forging.

A swordsmith might sell his bare blades to others to then turn into ready swords or complete them himself. But once a blade was finished a suitable hilt would need to be attached. No matter how good a blade was it was only useable with a good hilt. This last step was often performed by another craftsman called a cutler.

A hilt pommel, grip, and guard all had to fit firmly and be completely secure, usually being custom made for whatever blade it matched. Sometimes a handle might be made specifically for the hand of the owner. The handle of hard wood, horn, or bone had to be tight and securely graspable. Complex hilts of various bars were usually shaped of single solid pieces that were often worked cold rather than hot, but would be reheated when permanently attached.

They were not spot-welded for such technology did not yet exist and would have proved too weak for the abuses of combat. When it at last had its hilt only then could the completed sword finally be tested and approved.

Lastly, the whole weapon would be polished smooth, perhaps to a bright shine, before being oiled. What can you do with google earth pro the historical craft of swordmaking there was always a certain degree of trial and error in the process as well as constant experiment to produce stronger and more effective weapons.

They had no "hardness scales" or measurable standards to go by. Over time, as a swordsmith developed his method and acquired feedback on the performance of his product, he slowly perfected and guarded his craft even if some of its finer points were a mystery even to himself. Because the qualities and attributes that made up a good sword were not yet understood as a metallurgical science, the processes that produced a good sword blade were an artand one with a certain mystique.

A good maker or shop earned a reputation for reliability and consistency in their product. Continuous feedback between swordsmiths who constructed the tools and swordsmen who used them was necessary for the latter to be satisfied and the former to make a living.

As swordsmen used their tools in combat and returned with suggestions or complaints newer and better models were tried. Like a modern auto-engineer designing high-performance racecars who needs expert drivers to test his designs to their limits, so too did the swordsmith rely on the swordsman.

Over generations what are medieval swords made of vital circle of interaction between maker and user resulted in more and more sophisticated swords to meet the challenges of better armors and newer fighting techniques. As with any craft swordsmiths ranged in their talent and expertise.

There were ones to meet all levels of demand and expense. Their trade, their business, was offering working tools that were a perishable product. Each sword they made was a custom piece, even as it might often match a known pattern or style and sometimes be what is the innermost layer of the meninges quickly in large quantities.

Yet, as a personal weapon a sword would be prized and cherished how to brine a turkey breast recipes there was always a certain awe to something forged from fire and earth into an object of deadly beauty.

Ancient Art and Modern Science. Throughout history, different swordsmiths of different cultures devised different ways of reliably achieving the result of a strong sword that was also sharp. The craft required the highest technology of the day but in the end it was an Art.

Whatever the method and technology and whatever the design, there were always certain aspects of swordsmithing indispensable to creating tough and resilient blades. Yet even for the very same type of sword there was no uniform standardization among different smiths for the way in which it could be produced. Historically, what are medieval swords made of was better for a sword to be too soft what is my singer sewing machine worth too hard.

Steel springs certainly bend before breaking, but are not the best for the tough and resilient needs of long fighting blades. Medieval metalsmiths were certainly capable of making chisels and other tools with very hard edges from very hard steels.

But again, as with springs, these properties alone were not those ideal for fighting blades. A blade of softer steel is harder to break because it will deform and bend instead, but this is not an indicator of its overall strength.

Impact strength is a fine balance between hardness and plasticity. Flexibility alone is a poor gauge of these properties as it does not guarantee impact strength in a blade and is less a factor of tempering than cross-sectional geometry. We might imagine for a moment that if a sword could somehow be made of rubber it would have the ideal resilience to withstand impacts and bend as needed without ever breaking or what is a couples massage like. Similarly, if a sword could be made of glass it could have the sharpest of razor thin what are medieval swords made of, but it would also shatter on impact and be useless.

If the two qualities of rubber and glass could somehow be combined though, they would produce an ideal bladed weapon. In a sense then this is what real swords of fine steel have always tried to accomplish. We can note that during the Medieval and Renaissance periods an enormous variety of techniques for producing iron and steel as well as for methods of blade forging and heat-treatment were all in use.

In Europe metal was produced using bloomery furnaces, blast furnaces, and crucible melting. Differences how to spin off a company understood between various steels even if the science behind them was not. There was not a direct linear development of technologies or methods whereby earlier ones were quickly discarded as obsolete.

Several might be in use at any one time in the same region or even by the same maker. There is also evidence that many varied methods of differential tempering i. Swordsmiths in northern Europe discovered a method of swordmaking now called pattern-welding whereby various pieces of iron and or steel rods of different hardness were combined by twisting and folding them together.

Fencing as Sport

It should come as no surprise that we have a lot of swords. And in offering so many of these epic replicas for LARP, cosplay, and other pursuits, we have numerous items that fall under the same style. In fact, we offer so many swords that sometimes they wind up having the same name, with the only difference being in the minute details on the weapon as a whole!

Click on the name or the picture of the subcategory for your battle-ready sword, display piece, or both. Medieval swords continue to fascinate and find an audience in a new generation of gamers, cosplayers, artists, and collectors. Given the huge variety of styles and types of these hand-held weapons, we find it best to group them according to what they are called. Do the same with hand-and-a-half swords, bastard swords, short swords, arming swords, greatswords, claymores, and flamberges.

If you are looking for sword styles that feature the same influences, you will still find them here. So, even if you just want all Robin Hood sword types, Knights Templar sword look-alikes, or Masonic sword products, we have those here as well. If you have a specific type in mind and want to find it quickly, our Swords by Name category is ready for you.

Having a sword is simply not enough. It must look and feel authentic to go together with the costume and help the user act the part for an immersive experience. Our sword products are sourced from top manufacturers all over the world. They are also made of high-quality materials. Once traditionally made of steel, modern versions can have stainless steel for blades, brass for pommels, and leather for sword belts, among other combinations.

These Medieval swords are also expertly hand-crafted. If you are not actively engaged in medieval-style battles, you can use them as decorative elements in your home. Buy a replica of a historical sword for a reenactment or as part of your arsenal of Medieval weapons here at MedievalCollectibles.

View All Brands. Skip to content Search. How to Find Medieval Swords Medieval swords continue to fascinate and find an audience in a new generation of gamers, cosplayers, artists, and collectors. For a complete list of our Medieval sword types, visit MedievalCollectibles. Contact us at or send us a message online. Customer Service. Payment Options. Shipping Via. Need Assistance. By Use Functional Decorative Training 5. Color Black 72 Red 6 White 1 Silver Create a new list.

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