Sword vs Knife – Difference Between Sword and Knife

The use of blades has been very crucial for human survival. Whether it’s about safety or daily needs, a sharp edge metal can help us in both. A knife and a sword are two such sharp-edged tools we are familiar with. But, we fail to differentiate knives and swords in words, despite knowing some of the visible differences. 

Sword vs Knife

The main difference between sword and knife is that sword is a long sharp-edged blade mainly used for combat. On the other hand, the knife is a small tactical blade used for cutting and carving and barely for battle. The visible difference between a sword and a knife is their physical appearance and purpose of use. 

Sword and Knife

Swords were a vital weapon in combat before the invention of rifles or canons. The sword is a long blade with a curve at the top to slash objects with durability. Hence, it was an effective weapon to counter enemies in open combat. 

A knife is a versatile household tool that has helped the human population evolve with time. The razor-sharp tool is usually used for cutting and carving; hence, it is used to date by humans. Moreover, knives are easy to carry or keep because of their small sizes. 

Comparison Table Between Sword and Knife

Parameters of ComparisonSwordKnife
UseSwords are mainly used in combat and some ceremonial presentations like parades.The primary use of knives is to cut or carve things.
Material UsedSwords are made with durable elements like high-carbon steel (1060 or 1095).Stainless steel is the best material to build all forms of knives.
SharpnessSwords aren’t very sharp, as the cut depends on the applied power.Knives are razor-sharp; hence, they can cut things with gentle pressure.
LengthSwords are comparatively longer for better reach to the enemy at the battlefield.The knives are short, and the length is around 6 inches usually.
HandleThe handle fully covers the tang in a sword.The tang can be seen near the handle’s edge in a knife.

What is Sword?

Sword is one of the most used weapons during the historical wars that comes with a long metal blade, a handle, and a safety handguard. The swords are mainly used for slashing or thrusting enemies, but they are also part of ceremonial dress; hence, they are used during ceremonial presentations. 

The sword has evolved from a dagger, and it was first developed during the bronze age. Later, the sword has seen continuous changes in design with time. In the early modern period, two sword forms were mainly used, i.e., the thrusting swords and sabres. 

The swords have multiple varieties that have different impacts on enemies. Some swords have pointed tips, while some have sharp edges. The pointed tip swords are used for violently thrusting, while sharp-edged swords can finely slash during open combat. 

The swords are made heavy using heavy and durable materials like iron or high-carbon steel; hence, the fencer can quickly slash or thrust enemies with significant force. Moreover, the sword’s edges are sharp enough to cut down things at one blow. The combination of weight and sharpness has helped swords become one of the deadliest weapons in history. 

What is Knife?

A knife is a razor-sharp edge blade used to cut or carve things finely. The knife is built with stainless steel for a thin, sharp, and corrosion-free blade. People can use knives for hunting, scouting, camping, preparing food, etc.; hence, it is a versatile sharp-edge tool to keep. 

Knives are one of the oldest tools humans have used, and it was invented approximately 2.5 million years ago. Initially, the knives were made using wood, bones, or stones, but later, metals like copper, bronze, iron, steel, etc., were used to manufacture knives. The present knives are sharper than the historical knives due to metals. 

A modern knife is differentiated into different parts that have dedicated purposes. The sharp blade is used for cutting, while the point at the tip helps in piercing things. The handle is generally built using wood or plastic with grooves for better grip. A guard is present at the handle-blade junction for safety purposes.

The knife helped in human evolution and survival, but it has also played a part in several cultures, rituals, and superstitions. The use of knife symbols in various cultures shows the importance of knives. 

Main Differences Between Sword and Knife

  1. A sword is a weapon that is mainly used during open combat. At present, swords are used during ceremonial presentations like military parades. In contrast, a knife is primarily a household tool used to cut or carve things. But, knives have helped humans to survive in the wild. 
  2. Swords are made strong using better materials like high-carbon steel to take higher stress without breaking. In contrast, knives are made using stainless steel, which is corrosion free but can handle gentle pressure put on the knife. 
  3. The sword’s blade is thick and less sharp compared to knives. In comparison, knives have a thin blades with razor-sharp edges to finely cut things. 
  4. Several swords can be seen on a battlefield, but all the styles will be long enough to reach enemies comfortably. Hence, the swords are long to fight with enemies at a decent distance. In contrast, the knives are short and barely longer than 6 inches. 
  5. The sword handle fully covers the tang to hold the blade firmly. The knives have a short tang and are buried close to the handle’s edge. 


Since the development of a sword and knife, the knife has made its way to the present. Currently, swords are restricted to ceremonial events only, while the knife is still serving humans in its multiple forms.

Differentiating a sword and a knife is easy by morphology, but one or two morphological differences don’t make two things different. The two weapon’s construction, design, and material make them stand apart. Moreover, a sword is a weapon that comes with limited uses, while the knife is a versatile tool.


  1. http://mksjournal.org/mks44alves.pdf
  2. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1051/978-2-7598-1635-4.c007/html
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