Anatomy of a saber

A saber can be separated in two main parts, the blade and the handle. The handle consists of a few different components, each with their own purpose. 


The main part of a saber is the blade. A distinctive element of most sabers is the fact that the blade is curved. Depending on the type of saber, the blade has either a convex and concave side or a convex and straight side. The tip of the blade turns up a little bit and is extremely sharp. 

The concave or straight side of the blade is blunt and is considered the top of the blade. The convex side of the blade is sharp and used for cutting and slashing.

Some sabres, such as the schiavona, or basket hilted swords, are straight.


The blade has a narrow extension, which is called the tang. The tang is used to fit the blade to the handle. 


Between the blade and the handle is the guard, also called a hand guard or knuckle guard. The guard of a saber usually has an arc which connects to the end of the handle, covering the knuckles. This shape provides a more secure grip and extra protection of the hand. 


Below the guard is the handle, or grip, of the saber. This is where the wielder places their hand when using the saber. The handle is often made of wood, but also sometimes of steel. To ensure a good grip on the handle, it can be wrapped in leather. Some sabers have a handle that’s covered in brass with patterned rings. This is another way to provide an increased grip on the saber. 


At the end of the handle is the pommel. This is an enlarged fitting to prevent the saber from slipping out of the wielder’s hand. It also works as a counterbalance to the blade. 


Sabers are usually carried in a scabbard. A saber scabbard often has a pair rings attached to it, which are used to wear the saber on a belt. Many sabers are too long and curved to hang it from one point just below the handle. They can either end up touching the ground, trip up the person carrying it or will be very difficult to unsheath. 

At the end of the scabbard is a piece of metal called a chape. 


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