Knife Vs Sword | What Makes them different?

By Gias

Knife and swords are obviously two different yet the best things for human survival. Both have distinct places. However, many people still do not get the proper differences between a knife vs sword. 

Well, in many cultures like Japanese and Chinese, swords and knives both have the same importance. But there are some key differences. From this view, you might only find the difference between their sizes.

But it is more than that. Knife and swords are made for different purposes. 

Whereas swords are used for combating, knives are considered great kitchen cutlery. So, there are differences in their construction materials, methods, and other things. 

Therefore, get along with us till the last to learn more details about knife and sword.

What is a Knife?

knife blade and sword blade

Well, a knife is a tool with a sharp edge and small handle that is used for cutting or carving things. They come in wider ranges and with many built-in versatile features. 

Knives were first made about 2.5 million years ago. They have historical values and stories. However, now there are many well-known and reputed brands around the world who are manufacturing knives with contemporary vibes.

What is a Sword?

sword Swords have the most historical value. They were used in wars to thrust or slash enemies. Swords with a long sheath or handguard were also a part of the then ceremonial dress.

Swords are mainly the developed version of a dagger. The trend of using swords is coming from the bronze age when people used to use them for hunting purposes. 

Nonetheless, the modern period has brought several changes in the sword-making process. Now, the weapon is way deadlier. It can cut down anything with just one blow. 

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It is only because of the materials. Swords are made with the best materials possible to ensure your safety and victory. 

We all know Knife and Sword but what makes them different actually?


There are several materials that are used for making knives and swords. However, blade and handle materials are the main among all.


As we have already mentioned, even though it looks like both knife and sword are made from the same material still there are differences. It mostly depends on the bladesmiths. The steel that they are using for making knife blades won’t be appreciable if used for sword blades. 

The blade material might work great for the purpose knife serves but not necessary it will do the same for the sword as well. 

Knife-makers can make a knife with different kinds of stainless steel. Even they make knife blades out of harder materials. 

But unfortunately, for a sword, these blade materials would be too brittle. Generally, knives are never longer than 12-inches. Hence, stainless steel works for them being highly resistant to corrosion. 

However, swords are supposed to be longer than 12-inches. So, building their blade with stainless steel would break it. Thus, to make swords, bladesmiths use high-carbon steel

This material is considered best for making swords since it can endure plenty of stress. It is also highly resistant to tearing. 


Handle materials also differ in making swords and knives. In the case of one-piece knives, the tangs are visible. Whereas swords come with hidden handles. Nonetheless, there are some exceptions.

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Again, knife handles are way shorter than sword handles. Then again, to talk about the materials, knife handles can be metal or woody. The woody handles can be of several types from several woody plants. 

However, sword handle making has to ensure the best material to last longer enduring all pressure


As their building materials for blades differ from each thus, it is obvious that the sharpness will also differ. Some knives have evil sharpness to make cutting, chopping, dicing, and slicing easier. Whereas swords come with a convex edge.

The swing of a sword determines its strength. Not necessary that the sword has to come with razor sharpness. All a sword user wants in its blade is the capability of the sword edge to withstand the force of heavy blows without curling and chipping. 

Moreover, swords are likely to come with a round edge. More like an ax. The feature makes swords highly durable even after slashing hard objects. 

On the other hand, while using a knife you do not have to put that much pressure. That is why bladesmiths make their edges significantly sharp. 


According to length, knives and swords are differentiable and you can clearly see it. Generally, knives are never longer than 6-inches. Sometimes they come in fewer sizes. 

On the other hand, swords come at a length of at least one foot. However, there is no established measurement for a standard knife or sword size. For sword blade, the longer the better. It can provide longer reach if you are on a battleground. 

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Therefore, longer-blade swords are considered fighting weapons. However, smaller blades or medium-sized blades are convenient for cooking purposes. Knives are supposed to be convenient. So, their blades are also made keeping that in the head.


We have already mentioned the purposes of both knives and swords. However, there are many more to add.

Knives are not only meant to be used for cooking purposes. Knives are quite versatile. There are different types of knives including hunter knives. So, they can also be used for hunting purposes. 

Again, knives are used as fighting weapons as well to some extent. Moreover, people also use a dagger for combat. Daggers are made with the same materials as a sword.

 On the contrary, swords are only meant for combat purposes. 

Final Words

So, now you can see the differences between a knife vs sword very clearly. Your knowledge is certainly enriched now. However, you can own both of them. But since they have completely different construction methods and purposes so you have to maintain them.

Both tools are high maintenance and the best ones come at higher price ranges. Nonetheless, there are cheaper ones as well. So, you can make your knife or sword collection great!

If our article has helped you in any way then give us your feedback!  

About the author

Introducing Gias, an Engineer and Kitchen Knife connoisseur with a specialization in Japanese Knives. With over five years of dedicated testing, reviewing, and research experience, Gias brings a wealth of knowledge to the world of kitchen knives. Passionate and deeply committed, Gias has created this site as personal documentation of their unwavering love for kitchen knives.