What Types of Swords are there? | Movie Sword Awesome Replica
What Types of Swords are there?

You’re adamant to start your own movie sword collection. Great! But wait, what type of swords are available on the net and which one should you choose? Well if you search online you’ll find various opinions on the categorization of swords since there’s no clear line that separates them. So to make things simple, there are generally 3 different types of swords in the market.

First is the decorative sword also frequently referred to as display sword (which I think is inaccurate since a genuine antique sword can still be a display sword in some collector’s secret underground vault). The name decorative sword clearly states its purpose – making your fireplace, study or games room look ultra-cool. Decorative swords are generally made from but not limited to stainless steel making them more corrosive-resistant than common carbon steel. Even though meant for display purposes, they do come sharpened.

Just a reminder, decorative swords are not to be used in sword duels or cutting parties. But if you insist, top-up your insurance coverage and get a paramedic team on standby. Most decorative swords (99.99%) will break under heavy-force and worst case possibly land you an “involuntary manslaughter” charge.

The second type of sword is the practice sword used in beginner and intermediate sword training exercise. They help students to learn basic sword techniques (offence and defence), sword handling and balanced footwork. Practice swords can be made from a variety of materials mainly wood, plastic, latex, foam, aluminium and even steel. They do not have sharp edges for safety reasons especially during sword duel exercises where students apply the learned skills to the test. You probably heard of sword cutting exercise in advanced training where actual sharp swords are used to cut bamboo, plastic containers and roll-bundled newspaper. Skilled and experienced professionals use functional sword for this purpose which is described in the next section.

The final type is the functional sword, the real thing - designed and forged to withstand the brute forces from cutting, stabbing and metal-to-metal bashing. A fully-functional sword is one great piece of engineering sometimes termed “battle-ready” cause it really is. High carbon steel is used to make the blade and the tang as one single piece. The tang is the part of the blade that extends into the hilt. A full-tang extends all the way to the hilt end typical of many European swords. A partial-tang is more favoured in Japanese katana. The guard, grip and pommel of a functional sword are also carefully designed and made of durable materials. If you plan on having a cutting party, a fully functional sword is the best piece to use. Well actually it’s a must. You are less likely to worry about the sword breaking, just keep your eye on where the sword is going and make sure you’re gripping it firmly. If you don’t have any previous training on handling a functional sword, go get one. Remember “involuntary manslaughter”?

Well there you have it, or maybe not quite. You may be asking so where does movie sword replica fall into? The answer – any one of the 3 above depending on the sword’s purpose. For example, if you’re looking for a cosplay sword replica, a decorative sword made from wood, plastic or foam is best. It’s also easier to make decorative and practice swords exactly like the movie's design. Functional swords however are a different story.

Most awesome designs seen on the movie screens are just that - designs. If a functional sword is forged exactly as seen, it may not behave like a true sword - the weight could be too much to handle, there’s heavy resistance to swinging or the whole sword vibrates violently upon contact. Not so functional or practical anymore. But there are some manufacturers who apply design enhancements to make the replicas as original and functional as possible.

What Types of Swords are there?

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