Difference Between Scythe and Snath (With Table)

Tools are one of the best inventions in the world that has made the labor’s life easy and convenient. In addition, in the agriculture sector, tools play a crucial role for different purposes (plow, mow, and harvest). A scythe is an agricultural tool for mowing (cutting grass) and harvesting crops. On the other hand, snath consists of handle of the scythe. Both are important for agriculture and labor’s comfort.

Scythe vs Snath

The main difference between a scythe and a snath is that scythe is a tool that has a curved blade for cutting crops, small plants, and grass. However, snath contains handles placed at the end of the scythe to form a better grip while working efficiently. The material used in making a scythe is stainless steel. On the contrary, the snath is constructed of wood.

A scythe is an agricultural hand tool that has been known since 5000 BC for mowing and harvesting. Since it consists of a long curved blade, its cutting width is wide when compared to other tools. Its handle is long, and though tractor machinery has replaced the scythe, the scythe is still in use in many agricultural areas.

A snath is a two-handed scythe handle with a long shaft. It’s also made of light ashes and is extremely light to handle. Snaths might vary in size, shape, and function, but they all have two handles, a stem, and a ring clamp. It has been used from the old-time and is considered one of the variants of snead.

Comparison Table Between Scythe and Snath

Parameters of ComparisonScytheSnath
Invented InA scythe has been known since 5000 BC.A snath has been known since 16th C.
PurposeA scythe is made for mowing and harvesting grass and crops.A snath is designed for better grip while working with a scythe.
Material UsedThe blade of a scythe is constructed of stainless steel and iron, which is good for cutting.Wooden stuff is used to make a Snath.
Style In EuropeA scythe in Europe has a thinner and curved blade.A snath used in European scythe is straight in appearance.
Style in AmericaA scythe in America is thicker and straight.A snath used in an American scythe is curved in appearance.

What is Scythe?

A scythe is an old English word that was spelled differently before the 15th. It is an agricultural instrument used by farmers worldwide for scything unwanted grass, harvesting grains, and other crops.

It is an old-fashioned technique that was done by hand. As a result, horse-drawn tractors have taken their place in many areas. One should choose a scythe based on the type of blade and snath.

It was a well-known agricultural tool on two continents (North America and Europe) until the 20th century. In Europe, Romans were the first ones to use a scythe by replacing the sickle (a tool for mowing and harvesting but had a short blade).

Farmers hold the scythe with two hands and place it parallel to the crops and grass (whatever one has to mow). The blade of the scythe is made either of iron or stainless steel. The height can vary from 12 inches to 50 inches.

The blade can be of three types (Grass, Ditch, and Bush). A semi-cylindrical ring supports the scythe’s scath and blade. While scything, a group of mowers mows the meadows in a clockwise direction.

A long scythe (90-100 cm) is for cutting grass and wheat which, can be tricky to use. The short (60-70cm)one is for cutting weeds. Since scything is a skill, mastering it can take a long time.

What is Snath?

Snath consists of two handles through which farmers hold and work with a scythe. Therefore, a suitable snath for a scythe as per the requirement is vital. It is made of wood (light-weight ash) so that users do not feel the extra weight of the handle.

It is also known as a wooden shaft which is held with both hands for proper functioning. The shape and size of the snath vary according to the region. Apart from handles, the snath consists of a stem and ring clamp that connects it with a blade.

It is usually birch and comes in two models. One model is a straight design, and another is a curve design (resembles the hockey stick).Farmers whose height is below or equal to 65 inches are recommended to use a scythe with a straight snath.

However, those taller than 65 inches can use a scythe with a curved snath. The beginners must learn to use a scythe with the straight snath because it is more convenient to use. All kinds of snath are useful for mowing in agriculture.

Europeans prefer the scythe with curved snath. On the other hand, Americans use a basic design that is a scythe with a straight snath.

Main Differences Between Scythe and Snath

  1. A scythe is a tool used by farmers for scything weeds, grass, grains, or other crops. On the other hand, snath is present on the scythe for placing the handle for better grip.
  2. A scythe consists of a blade made of either stainless or iron. On the contrary, wooden snath consists of wooden handles.
  3. A scythe has been invented since 5000 BC. On the other side, snath has been invented since 16th C.
  4. A scythe in America is thick and curved. However, its snath is straight that is good for gripping.
  5. In Europe, the scythe used is thin and straight. However, its snath shape is curved.


Despite the invention of machines that can perform the same tasks, agricultural manual tools are still widely used in many locations. It is because manual tools are handy and cost-efficient. Scythe is one such well-known tool among farmers. It is used for scything the crops, unwanted weeds, or tall grasses.

Snath is a device embedded on a scythe for fixing the handle for better grip. Both a scythe and a snath could be either straight or curved. It is recommended that farmers having heights up to 65 inches should use a scythe with a straight snath for comfort and convenience.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=00wgEAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=scythe+and+snath&ots=5ZVfqTkM1o&sig=AZAfuYO8JqPrXfzPOjsfZa-MPl4

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Editorial Staff at Ask Any Difference is a team of experts in the field of "Difference Between" topics and led by Sandeep Bhandari, Piyush Yadav and Chara Yadav. Trusted by over 1.5 million readers worldwide
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