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Which Sword are You: One-handed or Two?

Discussion in 'Sword Discussion' started by Ava, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. Ava


    Jul 21, 2017
    Which of these two medieval sword forms was the more effective weapon – the one-handed or the two-handed sword?


  2. gadunz


    Dec 4, 2012
    Depends on the user & whatever he carries in his offhand. 2 blades, & a spike, are better than 1.
    Lapedog likes this.
  3. Timo Nieminen

    Timo Nieminen

    Jan 12, 2016
    Two-handed lets you use a longer sword. Reach matters. A 6' two-hander can be a very effective weapon. Just keep in mind that the spears on the battlefield will have more reach, and the bows, crossbows and guns will have more range.

    Two-handed gives you more leverage.

    One-handed lets you make use of hilt ergonomics to help you move the sword. A snug grip so that the pommel and guard support your hand, letting you hold it securely with a relaxed hand, a pommel that you can use as a pivot to help you rotate the sword (the Windless Battlecry Acre you show fails to do either well, but many swords give you one or both). One-handed lets you use a shield/buckler/dagger with your other hand (or your reins). One-handed is more compact and makes for a better EDC sword - a tiny little short sword you have with you is more effective that the 6' two-hander you left at home. One-handed gives you more reach with the same sword (because you can use a more side-on stance).

    One-on-one, no shield or off-hand weapon, in a clear open space, a longer two-handed sword is better than a shorter one-handed sword. In more general circumstances, which is more effective depends on the circumstances. Skill with the weapon (really, skill with fighting with swords in general, rather than skill with a specific sword) matters much more than the particular weapon.
    DocJD likes this.
  4. Iblametheparents


    Mar 13, 2015
    Bastard sword with complex hilt.
  5. WValtakis

    WValtakis Gold Member Gold Member

    May 29, 2004
    Hand and a half, steerage hilt (43"/2lbs 4oz) ;) Atrim blade


    hexenjager and Lapedog like this.
  6. GrReaper


    Sep 22, 2014
    I used to be in the one-handed camp but that was because I didn't know how to use a two-hander. I've now crossed over to prefer two-handers. They just feel right to me.
  7. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    Due to old age and poor condition , I do better with two hands on sword or stick .
  8. gtk4158a


    Aug 17, 2014
    I would choose my single hander. I have both a excellent quality Albion single hander "Ghaddhjalt" And I Own a Albion Munich 2 hander. The reason is that i would choose the Ghaddhjalt is that well, A sword would not be my primary weapon. I would use a 8 foot plus spear. A sword was almost a "sidearm" in medievel warfare. A Pike or spear was primary weopan and when it was splintered or broken then a secondary weop was drawn.
  9. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    I do not know much about swords, but I love a two handed EDC. IMG_2862.jpg
  10. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    That looks expensive . Obviously the knife is over $5 !
  11. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    Love that Saya for your Busse sword.

    Also remember that one handed swords are typically sidearms. The primary weapon being a pole arm or a bow.
  12. tiguy7

    tiguy7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    It cost less than it was worth but more than I could afford. The 9" CPM S-90-V blade is hardened to 62 HRC. The Carbon fiber inserts in the 6-4 Titanium handle keep the weight down. It is perfect for watermelon, wedding cakes, and tall grass.
    DocJD likes this.
  13. boy&hisdogs


    Dec 9, 2015
    If I had some armor, then 2 handed all the way!

    But if I was some half naked tribesman then I would definitely want the one hander and a nice big shield.
    Mecha and DocJD like this.
  14. MyLegsAreOk

    MyLegsAreOk Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 31, 2017
    Gotta wonder of the use of the big two handers. Weren't people shorter and had poorer diets back then because of food scarcity? What could shorter and weaker people do with those big things? But earlier posters are right in the fact that it depends on the application.
  15. gadunz


    Dec 4, 2012
    Type Sword
    Place of origin [​IMG] Scotland
    Service history
    In service
    ca. 1400–1700
    Used by Highland Scots
    ≈2.2–2.8 kg (4.9–6.2 lb)[citation needed]
    Length ≈120–140 cm (47–55 in)[citation needed]
    Blade length ≈100–120 cm (39–47 in)[citation needed]

    Myth debunked: Our medieval ancestors were just as tall as us says a new study

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...s-just-tall-says-new-study.html#ixzz4sc6NuzN2
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
  16. MyLegsAreOk

    MyLegsAreOk Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 31, 2017
    But dailymail is a tabloid. I'm willing to believe there were outlandishly tall people though.
  17. gadunz


    Dec 4, 2012
    When a bigot presents pure facts, you acknowledge the facts & dismiss the bigot.

    And now from an academic.
    New Light on the "Dark Ages": The Remarkably Tall Stature of Northern European Men during the Medieval Era
    Richard H. Steckel

    From: Social Science History
    Volume 28, Number 2, Summer 2004
    pp. 211-228

    [​IMG] Abstract

    Based on a modest sample of skeletons from northern Europe, average heights fell from 173.4 centimeters in the early Middle Ages to a low of roughly 167 centimeters during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
    Steckel is the SBS Distinguished Professor of Economics, Anthropology and History at Ohio State University,He is well known for his work on health and well-being, in which he is a major contributor to anthropometric history
  18. Timo Nieminen

    Timo Nieminen

    Jan 12, 2016
    1. Those same "shorter and weaker" people could shoot 130lb bows, march all day in armour, and didn't have desk jobs. While shorter on average than modern adult male height, not much shorter (how much shorter varies with region, but typically around 2" shorter than modern), and quite possibly stronger rather than weaker on average.
    2. Big two-handers (150cm to 180cm long, 2.5-3kg) were rare weapons on the battlefield. You didn't give them to everybody - you gave them to the bigger and stronger (and more experienced and reliable) soldiers.
    3. A modern not-very-strong desk worker can learn to use one - you don't need supermen.
    gadunz likes this.
  19. HFinn


    Sep 6, 2012
    On medieval battlefield swords were not a principal weapon. Spears, axes and poleaxes did most of the dirty work. When fighting in full armour or against one a sword was actually a poor choise.

    One on one, in a dueling situation and in normal clothes this changes. Most of the archers carried a buckler (small shield) with an arming sword (a nimble one hander). It all boils down to the user. Longsword certainly has an edge on reach, but that can be overcome with tactics.
  20. GrReaper


    Sep 22, 2014
    Yes, I agree, people back then were stronger on average. They had to be, in order to survive. It was a very violent time, especially in the dark ages. Killing and fighting were very common occurrences. There were wars going on all the time, and bandits and raiders were everywhere. The nobles (at least the men) spent almost all of their time practicing fighting and riding horses. People who train everyday with swords, maces, battle axes, lances and bows are going to be very strong. The peasants toiled in the fields all day with heavy tools and oxen, a very hard lifestyle. When the lord called them in to go to war, they had to answer the call with whatever weapons they had. How could they not be more physically robust than sedentary people today? Most people today work in desk jobs. There are very few people today who work in hard physical labor all day. Certainly, no one today trains all day with swords and axes while riding horses all day.

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